Why a Financial Controller Makes Sense For Your SMB
As the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you need to make financially strategic decisions if you want to achieve financial growth.
In order to make these decisions, you need an employee who understands your corporate finance and accounting and can create reports that help you analyze current performance, future scenarios, and trends. For most small- and medium-sized businesses, this means a financial controller.
What’s the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and a Financial Controller?
Many small or medium-sized businesses employ only a bookkeeper. bookkeeper’s job is to keep up with the general ledger, or debits and credits, and produce basic reports.
Comparatively, a financial controller manages the bookkeeper and other accounting employees, as well as oversees financial reporting, compliance, and more complex accounting issues. A controller is generally responsible for financial statements, business plans, taxes, and budgets. Controllers often help provide financial support for special projects, such as setting business strategies, analyzing mergers and acquisitions, and securing financing.
Why Hire a Controller?
As a small or medium-sized business owner, you might not want to devote the resources to hire a full-time controller. Consider employing a part-time controller or using an outsourced controller at an accounting firm that provides other accounting services for your company.
No matter how you employ a controller, here are four main reasons your business needs one:
- Manage financial reporting – controllers analyze and report on key performance indicators and ensure weekly, monthly, and annual financials align. They help with revenue and expenses matching, and they can generate a multitude of reports to evaluate all aspects of the business.
- Identify profitable areas of business – controllers are a valuable role in analyzing the profitability of products or service areas. In job costing, labor, material, and overhead costs are broken down and assigned to specific products and services. Controllers compare these costs to budgets and goals, then help management analyze data to make important decisions about prioritizing certain products or projects, adjusting production or changing sales strategies.
- Reduce risk of fraud – controllers are involved in setting up a company’s internal control policies and procedures and are in charge of monitoring their effectiveness and recommending updates. One of the goals of these procedures is to prevent fraud. Separation of duties, regular reconciliations and standardized documentation are a few basic internal controls that help reduce the risk of fraud.
- Ensure regulatory and tax compliance – one of the central roles of controllers is to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, as well as making sure a business is in compliance with financing conditions. These duties would include meeting bank reporting requirements, preparing tax filings, and responding to agency requests.
Rialto Accounting can serve as your outsourced financial controller. Our experienced accountants can manage financial reports, make sure you comply with regulations, help maintain internal controls, and analyze data to help in strategic business decisions. When you work with Rialto Accounting, we put your needs first
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