A company’s controller is the chief accounting officer and heads the accounting department. The controller is responsible for the company’s financial statements, general ledger, cost accounting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, tax compliance, and various special analyses.
Advancements in technology have made it possible to gain reliable and accurate financial intelligence from companies using the Internet and the cloud. Financial controllers are experts who help keep your books up-to-date and provide financial reporting and information in a timely manner to help your business make smarter decisions and grow. If the controller is outsourced, that means they are a part of an external professional outsourced financial controller organization. Companies can also hire an in-house controller which means they are a W2 employee in your organization and are subject to a full salary and benefits.
What Does an Outsourced Controller Do?
Financial controllers for smaller companies are specifically designed to suit the exact needs of growing businesses typically with a focus on businesses with a minimum of $1 million in annual revenue. Financial controllers’ rules and responsibilities vary based on the projects or services offered by the company but usually include tasks such as responsibility for overseeing all client accounts, providing timely insights and financial advice, and carrying out proactive account management. A controller may also be in a supporting role for a strategic CFO for projects such as determining cash flow issues, implementing new accounting systems, or helping raise capital.
A controller can provide the following duties:
- Management of accounting and bookkeeping processes
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Cash flow management and projections
- Accounting documentation, including processes, procedures, and operations manuals
- Job costing and inventory tracking
- Key metrics benchmarking
- Third-party accounting software selection and implementation
- Reporting and oversight of month-end closings
- Audit preparation and advisory service
- Management of accounting and bookkeeping processes
What Type of Business Needs an Outsourced Controller?
Not every small business will need an outsourced controller. If you just launched your business, or if your entire company is made up of less than ten people, your company may not benefit from outsourcing a controller. As your business continues to grow, and your business’s bookkeeping tasks become more complex, hiring a controller may become beneficial for your business.
Why Do Small Businesses Want to outsource Controller Services?
- They’re more cost-effective and often cheaper
- They can gain access to teams with the expertise they otherwise might not have been able to afford
- Receive accurate results that can be trusted
- Financial statements can be relied upon because you have systematic, consistent reconciliations
- Because it allows the CEO or owner to focus on the core business
What Does A Financial Controller Do For Small Businesses?
All businesses need financial oversight, but many business owners choose to tackle this task on their own to try to save money or keep a hands-on approach to managing the business. There could be numerous reasons a small business needs a financial controller, but an organization usually does this when they need assistance in financial data collection or in reporting. Some additional reasons include:
- Your company has trouble closing their books on time
- Your organization is experiencing cash flow problems
- Your organization’s books are a mess
- You’re raising capital or preparing for a Merger and Acquisition
- You are growing rapidly and are uncertain of the financial effect of certain business decisions
- You are spending to much time on accounting functions when you’d prefer to be focusing on business development
- You have large amounts of inventory receivables that need to be managed both accounts payable and accounts receivable person
In-House Controller vs. Outsourced Controller?
One of the main reasons organizations prefer hiring an external controller is that they may not have enough needs to justify a full-time employee with salary and benefits. Hiring a controller is an excellent stepping stone while a company grows. Additionally, companies also use part-time outsourced controllers on a project basis to help clean up your books so your team can manage them moving forward.
An outsourced controller is also pulled into an organization to help prepare for a transaction such as raising capital, a merger or acquisition, or sale. In this case, an organization may not want a full-time hire when the projection of the business is dependent on the outcome of the transaction. Outsourced controller services are typically less expensive than hiring an in-house controller. A W-2 employee means full-time salary, benefits, bonuses, and raises. When you hire an outsourced controller, however, you’re only paying for the work you need to be completed. You’re also maximizing the expertise you’re getting per dollar.
Benefits of an Outsourced Controller
Hiring an Outsourced Controller for your small business can allow for strategic business advice as well as greater flexibility for your business. An outsourced bookkeeper can help your business reach its maximum potential by:
- Accurate Financial Management Reporting: A financial controller can help to find any inefficiencies within these reports and improve the reporting process.
- Access to Advanced Technology: A controller has experience with a wide variety of accounting software systems and will be able to help implement a network that will benefit your business the most.
- Regular Internal Audits: Controllers will be able to tell you when your business needs an internal audit, and will be able to perform this task themselves. This process will improve your business’s finances and can prevent a more severe audit from taking place.
- Improved Time Management: Overall, a controller eases the workload on the accounting department, allowing time for forgotten tasks to be performed.
Limitless Investment and Capital’s Outsourced Controller Services
Our controllers will manage all of the accounting functions in your company while providing timely, meaningful, and understandable financial information and analysis. We ensure the integrity of processes, procedures, and information systems and help everyone work together in their respective roles efficiently.
Your business may want to consider hiring a controller if:
• You are growing rapidly and are uncertain of the financial effect of certain business decisions
• You want accurate and timely information on the financial condition of your company
• You are spending too much time on accounting functions
• You prefer to be focusing on business development
• You want to ensure you are in full tax compliance – state, local, and federal