4 Reasons Why Large Businesses Hire Controllers
If you own a smaller business, you might be all too familiar with the hassle of dealing with all of the necessary bookkeeping and finance-related work at the end of a long work day , while juggling all of the other extra work that needs to be done.
An article from Robert Half states that as your business grows, you will start to realize that there are more financial duties your business requires including tax accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, etc. This is when you start looking to hire your own bookkeeper or accountant or for outside assistance by outsourcing these tasks to an accounting or bookkeeping firm.
However, a bookkeeping or accounting firm isn’t always the right answer. Bookkeepers tend to do more data entry, where accountants are typically the “heavy hitters” of the accounting world – with an appropriate cost.
This is when and why larger businesses tend to hire controllers – someone who doesn’t just observe and report their finances, but rather, someone who takes an active role in supporting the leadership’s financial management plan. While the controller tends to be expensive than a bookkeeper, they provide the firm with a great deal of value and will act as the liaison between the leadership or owner and the accountant.
As your business organization increases in complexity, whether you simply need to focus your energy on management and leadership, you have opened multiple sites or other business divisions have been added, your finances and operations become segregated. According to Gene Marks, President of The Marks Group, in an article from Entrepreneur.com, a controller comes in to help with:
1. Cost Savings
It is a controller’s job to improve your company’s profitability by reading your financial data. Your controller will know if your sales are adequate and in line with your expenses. It is the controller’s responsibility to find effective and efficient cost-cutting methods for your business whether with regard to your products and services, human resources, or other areas of the business, your controller will be able to determine the best practices you can put in place to cut costs, and save money.
2. Financial Ownership
When it comes to everything financial, your controller is the go-to person. Your controller owns all of your financial data coming in from every aspect of your business, interprets that data, and makes recommendations for major decisions based off that data. Your controller can build a budget for your business that can be measured against the results from other financial data such as sales and costs of sales. If you’ve got questions about your numbers, there’s no one better than your controller.
3. Data Entry Management
The controller should be able to work with your finance team of accountants and bookkeepers to ensure that the data entered into the system is secure and accurate. It is not part of the controller’s job to do data entry itself, but rather to oversee how data entry is being done and how it can be improved.
4. Decision Making
With your controller knowing all of your financial data, they should know the best direction your business should take — financially. In this regard, a controller will have a vital part in major decision-making processes involving large transactions. This includes finance decisions made with the purchasing department, operations expenses, overhead costs for hiring new employees, and whatever you, as the owner of the company, are thinking of using the money for. Your controller will be there to assess every little step and every tiny detail to make sure you are on the right path.
All of these are great but if you own a small to medium-size business, you might be thinking that getting a controller can be a little bit too much on the overhead cost, considering you might already have an accountant, or a bookkeeper, or maybe both on your roster.
If this is the case, then you can choose to hire a Finance Manager instead. While a finance manager’s role is not that different from that of a controller, the finance manager is easier on your overhead, and won’t have to juggle as much data if you were handling a bigger business.
A financial manager can assist your business with monthly business reporting, cash flow forecasting and budgeting, as well as strategic planning, while also working with your in-house or outsourced team of accountants and tax professionals, as specified in an article from managementstudyguide.com.
You know your business is growing when you don’t have time to work on your business financials yourself, and would need to bring someone else in, whether that is a financial manager, or a controller. This is something that we, at WistBooks can help you with. Get in touch with us by filling out the form below and we can recommend a financial management plan to keep your business growing.
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