Why Businesses Need Financial Controllers


A financial controller helps a business navigate its economic challenges, coordinates finance strategy, and establishes business leadership. This role is often multifaceted and can be instrumental for many companies requiring it. Controllers focus on both accuracy and efficiency within an organization. As these two concepts can sometimes compete, a financial controller's role requires expert balance and dexterity in switching between both focuses.

This article will cover the following topics:

  • What is a financial controller?
  • What are a controller's roles and responsibilities?
  • How do businesses benefit from controllers?
  • What tools do controllers rely on?

What is a financial controller?

A financial controller is the lead accountant within a company, overseeing all accounting-related activities. The controller guarantees that the books are balanced and that they correctly demonstrate the flow of funds within the company. Financial controllers also play a significant role in influencing the strategic decision-making process within a company. They affect budgeting, forecasting, and decisions related to accounting and other financial concerns.

A financial controller works as the head accountant within an organization. They handle most of the accounting processes while ensuring that the company runs efficiently. Additionally, they manage the tasks centered around creating financial budgets and reports and work from a more strategic angle in the finance department. They also have the ability to pinpoint opportunities for growth as well as highlight any weaknesses that need to be corrected.

What are a controller's roles and responsibilities?

A financial controller's role is multifaceted and involves many of the nuances of a head accountant and financial expert combined. The position is a hybrid of the practical day-to-day accounting tasks and the policy-making and strategizing of finance department heads. Below are some of the primary responsibilities of financial controllers:

  • Maintaining organized and precise financial records
  • Creating financial budget plans
  • Publishing reports which comply with financial regulations
  • Overseeing all accounting tasks and responsibilities
  • Managing the accounting staff
  • Assembling monthly financial statements
  • Streamlining operations by developing accounting policies
  • Spearheading debt collection and cash flow initiatives
  • Ensuring tax filing regulations are adhered to

Controllers wear many hats, but the most critical part of their job is the management of accounting duties. Overseeing and managing the accounting operations within a company is a complex and multi-layered task, often including accounts receivable, accounts payable, billing, cost accounting, inventory accounting, general ledger, and revenue management.

Additional duties of financial controllers can include:

  • Rolling out software while guaranteeing accurate data migration.
  • Completing accurate business forecasting using various forecasting models.
  • Completing risk evaluation by analyzing events that could harm the company.
  • Performing due diligence with mergers and acquisitions.

Oftentimes, the finance team will have a Chief Financial Officer responsible for most of these tasks. However, it is helpful for the controller to take on these tasks, especially in smaller companies that do not have a designated CFO.

How do businesses benefit from controllers?

Financial controllers offer many benefits to businesses across a variety of different industries. Controllers play a pivotal role in both the accounting and finance departments and offer their unique skill sets to aid the company in continued growth and expansion. A financial controller helps shape business decisions through access to accounting data analytics and financial strategies. Combined, these two approaches help create accurate financial projections, which greatly aid the business in moving forward toward greater profitability.

In addition to strategic decision-making and developing accurate financial predictions, financial controllers also help to save the business money. They do this by ensuring accounting accuracy and eliminating errors that can cost the company excessively. This is especially important for smaller businesses that cannot afford any financial mistakes.

The benefits of hiring a financial controller include the following:

  • Maintaining accurate records for the business
  • Effective accounting management which helps avoid late fees and penalties
  • Facilitates the creation of business partnerships with other small business owners
  • Assistance with managing daily operations
  • Access to comprehensive reports
  • Excellent financial data, analysis, and recommendations
  • Better risk management
  • Enhanced asset preservation
  • Assistance with strategizing effectively to shape the company's future positively

What tools do controllers rely on?

One of the critical aspects of a controller's job is accuracy, and there is no better way to ensure accuracy than with automation. Automation is no longer a luxury but is, in fact, a necessity for today's progressive companies. As accounting and finance teams look for more accuracy and precision in their tasks, software has become available that enables them to have just that. The automation offered through software provides finance teams with the accuracy they need to proceed with confidence.

Automation eliminates the errors associated with manual entry processes and enables enhanced data collection for greater visibility and enhanced decision-making. One of the most effective tools available is the cloud-based finance solution called PayEm. PayEm offers a practical, cloud-based platform that financial controllers can depend on, the benefits of which include:

In essence, PayEm automates and connects every finance process while offering complete visibility and control. It is one of the essentials in a financial controller's toolbox, offering both accuracy and efficiency in the accounting and finance processes. So, if you're curious to learn more about how your finance team can benefit from PayEm, contact PayEm's experts for a commitment-free, no-cost demo of the platform.

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