The Role of Controller: Why Systems Trump Strategy

In business, the daily operations that allow a company to function optimally might feel like a carefully-managed ecosystem. Having several different departmentsas well as a specific set of responsibilities for each position within a departmentmaintains the balance of that ecosystem, and makes it possible for businesses to meet their goals.

More than any other department, finance is an area that benefits from its key players carrying out essential duties. Without the accurate oversight of revenue, accounts payable, inventory, and billing, a business could go from burgeoning to bust.

A controller acts as one of these key players, routinely analyzing and monitoring a company’s financial standing. Without a controller, it doesn’t matter how foolproof a business’s strategies are; what matters most is having the capability to carry them out. 

What Does a Controller Do?

The role of controller is considered to be one of the most important in a business, as their insights are invaluable to the CFO in meeting financial goals. Without a controller, the CFO’s role would become overwhelming, as they would be responsible for all of the little details of financial organization as well as developing an overarching financial strategy. Simply: the controller ensures accurate reporting as the CFO works toward a business’s continued financial growth.

On a daily basis, a controller’s duties include:

  • Advising or assisting with the accounting process (i.e. accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, inventory, and compliance);
  • Managing cash flow;
  • Creating budgets;
  • Assessing risk;
  • Ensuring that financial systems are efficient and running smoothly.

The average corporate controller is 40+ years old, and holds at least a Bachelor’s degree in Finance or an MBA in accounting and finance. His or her average salary is $85,260—a substantial amount of money for any company, but in particular for a fledgling enterprise.

Accounting Software: A Controller’s Secret Weapon

No matter how good a controller is at his or her job, it will be extremely difficult to carry out daily financial operations without the proper means. For example, if an end-of-year strategy involves increasing sales by 20% in the following fiscal year, accurate forecasting and real-time data accessibility will be necessary to bring this goal to fruition.

A strong accounting software can help a controller set strategies, oversee the business’s financial details, and keep all relevant information consolidated and organized. Basically: a controller will perform the responsibilities of their role, and a suitable software will support him or her in executing those responsibilities.

A few characteristics of a best-in-class accounting software are:

  • Seamless integration with related solutions, such as Salesforce and American Express;
  • Cloud accessibility and flexibility to keep business organization agile;
  • Deep accounting capabilities, such as payroll management, tax filings, and inventory tracking to make processes more efficient;
  • Innovative features that turn data into insight by analyzing real-time business performance;
  • Top-quality financial reporting;
  • Optimal visibility and organization with centralized dashboards.

The role of a seasoned financial controller is critical for driving business success, and he or she can only perform as well as the technology they are given to work with. Reach out today to learn more about more about why accounting solutions are vital for smooth financial management.


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