You are on page 1of 8

Financial Controller

Responsibilities
Manage all accounting operations including Billing, A/R, A/P, GL and
Counsel, Cost Accounting, Inventory Accounting and Revenue Recognition

Coordinate and direct the preparation of the budget and financial


forecasts and report variances

Prepare and publish timely monthly financial statements

Coordinate the preparation of regulatory reporting

Research technical accounting issues for compliance

Support month-end and year-end close process

Ensure quality control over financial transactions and financial reporting

Manage and comply with local, state, and federal government reporting
requirements and tax filings

Develop and document business processes and accounting policies to


maintain and strengthen internal controls

Additional controller duties as necessary


A financial controller -- sometimes called a "comptroller -- is the lead accounting executive in a company.
A controllers duties can vary depending upon the size of the company, the complexity of accounting and
financial operations and the number of people employed in the accounting department. The controller
provides financial leadership and is instrumental in forming accounting strategies. A controller's role,
especially in smaller companies, can include broad visionary responsibilities as well as hands-on
management.

Accounting

A financial controller is responsible for ensuring that all accounting allocations are appropriately made and
documented. In smaller companies, the controller may also perform cash management functions and
oversee accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash disbursements, payroll and bank reconciliation
functions. Every company should maintain a separation of duties with regards to accounting functions to
insure that there are checks and balances in the system. For instance, if the controller is responsible for
preparing cash disbursements, he should not be a signatory on the account; the owner, chief executive or
chief financial officer should be required to sign all checks.

Internal Controls

A financial controller is responsible for establishing and executing internal controls over the companys
accounting and financial procedures. This includes reviewing and approving all invoices to be paid, as
well as reviewing accounts receivable aging reports. In smaller companies, the controller will often handle
collections on invoices, especially ones that are 45 days to 60 days overdue. A financial controller is also
responsible for coordinating with external tax accountants for income tax preparation and auditors who
prepare internal audits of the company. This includes keeping company records organized and readily
available for examination.

Financial Planning and Reporting

Financial controllers in smaller companies are responsible for all banking and finance
activities. This includes negotiating lines of credit and vendor agreements, as well as
reviewing all financial contracts, financing agreements and insurance policies. She is also
responsible for providing accurate and comprehensive financial information to executive
management for long-term financial strategizing. Unless a company has a CFO to provide
the leadership for long-term financial planning, the controller will be required to fulfill this
responsibility as well. In any case, she must provide crucial financial data and work with
executive management to coordinate all financial planning functions with business
operations. Financial reporting duties include preparing financial statements, balance sheets,
cash flow reports, budgets, budget-to-actuals and financial projections.
Financial Analysis

In addition to financial reporting, a controller must be skilled at in-depth financial analysis


and providing expert financial perspective and opinions. This means that a financial
controller must be proficient in spreadsheet design that is often complex. While a CFO is
responsible for finalizing financial policy, a controllers financial analysis skills are
instrumental in helping to assess risk, analyze efficiency and inform policy decisions made
by executive management.
Controller Duties
To make the job of a controller more lucid, a list of the
financial controller responsibilities is provided below:

Maintain all the necessary reporting to the banks and


backup system reports

Maintain the company bank balance and remain cognizant


of outstanding checks

Approve invoices to be paid

Read and review any documentation that is attached to


checks for approval and accuracy sake

Follow up with customers that are over 45 days old

Make sure all financial statements and tables are correct


and precise

Make sure that the owner of the company receives the


company bank statement unopened

Reconcile all bank statements and monthly financial reports

Prepare monthly sales and use tax returns

Prepare projections annually and update monthly with


actual figures

The controller must coordinate with the auditors and be


prepared to surrender documentation if called upon

Coordinate with the tax division of the company and


prepare any schedules that are required for tax returns

Maintain the renewals on company insurance


In a company of these characteristics, the financial controllers functions are
basically operational, the main and most common being:

Contribution at a basic level to the supervision of the preparation of the


annual accounts of the company.

Guaranteeing compliance with both accounting and tax obligations.

Verification of compliance with tax objectives and the organization's


standards and procedures.

Detection of errors, deviations and areas for improvementfrom a financial


perspective.

Implementation of methodological and IT tools to control activity.

Optimizationof information systems.

Treasury management and supervision of the level of funds needed for


common costs and investments.

Training and motivationof the financial and accounting teams under his/her
responsibility.

Sending of reportsto the Senior Management of the company, subsidiary or,


if applicable, Financial Director of the central or parent company.

Occasionally being responsible for maintainingthe relationship with the


external auditors and responding to their demands.

Functions in the central company


The role of financial controller is significantly modified in the case of large
companies with a parent company and various subsidiaries. In the event that this
professional controls the central company, his/her role will be less operational and more
focused on such issues as:
The supervision of the preparation of the individual and
consolidated annual accounts as well as the financial statements of the whole
Group.

Development and implementation of internal control.

Definition of thestandards and procedures of the whole company.

Organization and analysis of thereporting system.

Coordination of the Group or organizations transversal projects, which may


relate to strategy, IT, finance or accounting.

Control of the companys overall financial objectives: budgets, investments,


funding, etc.

Participation in thedefinition of the companys general business plan.