Interim Financial Controller/ what to look for when hiring

A financial controller is a senior-level executive who acts as the head of accounting and oversees the preparation of financial reports, such as balance sheets and income statements. The person in this role has input and influence on the company’s important financial decisions and can have a strong hand in determining the overall health of the company.

With so much riding on this controller position, it’s critical to make sure you hire the right person for the job. There’s no magic alternative to taking time to find someone who’s skilled, qualified and has the right personality for your team. But realize that doing so will pay huge dividends in the end and taking the time to find the right financial controller is worth it. With the right hire, you’ll be able to focus on the activities you need to grow your business instead of pushing numbers around.

If you are looking for an outsourced financial controller, there are a number of factors you need to keep in mind when hiring one.

1. Professional knowledge

First and foremost, a controller must have a strong understanding of all functions of the typical accounting department, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll and clearing. He or she should be someone who knows the in and out of finance and should help you make the right decisions.

2. Deep Knowledge of the Finance Function

Your outsourced financial controller needs to have the expertise necessary to main tail all financial aspects of your company. Your top candidates should feel very comfortable negotiating contracts, insurance policies, reviewing invoices, and meeting with tax advisors and auditors.

Additionally, finding an experienced outsourced controller that is able to establish and execute internal financial controls will ensure this person is less intimidated if he or she is asked to step in and help with the administration of financial planning and reporting.

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3. Positive Improvement

The best outsourced financial controllers should make positive changes in the organization. They are always searching for ways to manage the responsibility of the team and to help things run smoother and cost-effectively. An excellent candidate will constantly monitor the progress of the business and help resolve issues.

4. Soft Skills

Intangible traits are also crucial to consider when you are hiring a controller. Controllers need to be skilled in how they deal internally with the board and externally with bankers, auditors and insurance companies. Most importantly, the controller needs to be good at giving feedback and should be honest since he will be dealing with the finances of the organization.

5.  Leadership

Managing, mentoring and directing a team takes talent and experience. The controller should take necessary action to keep the team motivated, engaged and should be able to meet the deadlines. He should be happy to train his team and chart the path to success.

6. A Passion for Details and the Ability to Explain Them.

An essential skill for a financial controller is organization. Outsourced financial controllers are responsible for keeping up with so much information often tracked in complex spreadsheets, and that orderliness is vital.  A financial controller must have the ability to relay difficult and dense information to upper management in an easy-to-understand way. Controllers who are good communicators have the ability to help the company grow and provide valuable analysis and expert opinions on financial topics.

An outsourced financial controller should have a strong work ethic and a commitment to grow the business. Controllers with high energy and motivation take the company to its potential.

Finding a controller that is eager and ready to tackle challenges will only benefit your small business

Final Thoughts

When faced with hiring for a key position, you’ll logically start with a job description. You can find sample lists of general duties and responsibilities online, and your outside CPA firm undoubtedly can weigh in. The list should cover the basics:

  • Handling transactions
  • Operations of the accounting staff and software system
  • Able to produce monthly financial statements, income statements, balance sheets and cash-flow statements that are complete, accurate and timely, as well as any other reports you need to make business decisions.
  • Compliance-related responsibilities and whether they involve the government or audits.
  • Payroll and payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, insurance and other requirements.

When hiring a controller for your organization and take your own time. Do not rush this decision since it can have a negative impact on the business if you make the wrong choice.

Limitless Investment and Capital Outsourced Financial Controller Services

At Limitless Investment and Capital, we recognize that many growing businesses need the advice and support of a financial professional from time to time without the additional expense of hiring a full-time CFO. That’s why we offer outsourced financial controller services to businesses in need of support with issues like strategic planning, financing, oversight of accounting, budgeting and other needs.

We will work with your unique business to customize our CFO and controller services/packages so you will only pay for the services you need. With the guidance and support of a professional financial manager, you will begin to make better business decisions, clarify your business plans and free up valuable time to grow your business, all for less than hiring a full-time in-house CFO.

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