There’s been an evolution in the responsibilities of the FC. Financial Controllers (FCs) are moving past the traditional financial controller remit and are playing a more strategic role in their company’s operations. According to a recent study by Ventana Research, roughly one in five FCs have a strategic influence in their companies, and that number is steadily increasing.
The FC is increasingly being called upon to weigh-up the more strategic decisions of the company, including providing assessments of emerging markets and analyses that goes far beyond looking at the books and determining whether there will be enough cash to support investment.
Here are five reasons why you should talk to your financial controller:
- The Financial Controller knows how much it all costs
You may budget and forecast everything down to the penny, but how often do you compare the actual figures to estimates? The financial controller does. Regular conversations with your company’s FC will help ensure that you know exactly where your company is regarding income and expenditure so that you don’t overestimate your cash flow.
- Financial Controllers know which efforts are most profitable
Your financial controller knows which of your products, services and clients are most profitable. The same way that they look at actual income and expenses compared to estimates, the financial controller can look at actual versus estimated income and expenses on a per project basis. This involves job costing and you can use it to see which projects earn your company the most money.
- Financial Controllers know when it’s time to change
The finance controller at your company knows when it is time for your company to change its operations. While this includes job costing for existing initiatives, your financial controller can also tell you when it is a good time for a new initiative.
FCs can stimulate and drive the timely execution of change in your enterprise. Using the power of their financial control, they can selectively drive business improvement initiatives such as improved procurement, pricing strategies and other process improvements and innovations that add value to the company.
- Financial Controllers know your funding structure
Your financial controller knows the funding structure of your company. They can provide analysis of your current financing strategies, to ensure these are in line with your company’s goals. However, there will be more than one approach to reach your goals, and your FC can provide you with reports with these different approaches illustrating the risk and return of each.
Your FC will know the cash balance of your company, the commitments your company already has on this cash, and therefore the balance available to deposit elsewhere, making better use of your money. To decide where to make the deposit, your FC will provide reports on the options available. You can then make informed decisions of where to invest, to receive the best return for your company’s money.
- Financial Controllers know what needs to happen next
Financial controllers are more than just an accountant. They also make sure your company stays within compliance of government regulations, adheres to tax statutes – protecting your company from penalties, and maintaining capital expenditure schedules (the fixed asset register).
With the continued demand from your consumers for high quality goods and services, it is essential for continued investment into your capital assets. FCs know your depreciation schedules and can advise when it is time for you to reinvest in your capital expenditure. This continued investment ensures your company has reliable assets with increased productivity and efficiencies.
Whether you use an in-house or outsourced FC, they can contribute more to your company than simply balancing the books and filing your quarterly and annual returns. Their knowledge of the financial side of your company’s operations can, and should, help to inform management decisions and overall company strategy, as well as give you the competitive edge in your industry or sector.
By engaging a part time financial controller, you only pay for support as and when it is required. This allows you to invest more of your funds in activities which will directly benefit your bottom line.
Get in touch with EFM Ireland to book your free 1 hour consultation with one of our professional finance experts.