It’s not always easy to manage your finances and keep them on track. For small businesses or larger enterprises it can be helpful to get a fresh perspective on your financial activities. Bringing the services of a qualified financial controller, as opposed to an unqualified bookkeeper or a practicing compliance accountant to your business could allow you to pre-empt any future challenges and also plan for growth.
The skills that a financial controller brings to a company are hugely valuable. They are not ‘just senior managers with accounting experience’ but provide financial leadership as well as being instrumental in forming accounting strategies. Their responsibilities fall into four broad areas that focus on accounting, internal controls, financial planning and reporting and financial analysis.
Accounting – making sure all accounting allocations are made and recorded. And in smaller companies the financial controller may well manage and perform cash management functions (increasingly a key frontline person in helping SME’s being caught out by payment fraud), overseeing accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash disbursements, payroll and bank reconciliation functions.
Internal controls – instigating and implementing controls over the company’s accounting and financial procedures, so reviewing all invoices to be paid as well as the accounts receivable aging reports. A financial controller also liaises with external tax accountants for income tax preparation and with auditors preparing the company’s annual audit.
Financial planning and reporting – negotiating lines of credit and vendor agreements as well as reviewing financial contracts, financing agreements and insurance policies. The provision of accurate and comprehensive financial information to enable long-term financial strategies to be prepared also falls to the financial controller. Financial reporting duties include preparation of financial statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports, budgets and financial projections.
Financial analysis – financial analysis skills are instrumental in helping to assess risk, analyse efficiency and inform policy decisions made by executive management so, being able to provide an expert financial perspective and opinions are crucial.
These uncertain economic times have forced businesses to reassess their need for reliable and current financial information which is why the expertise of a financial controller can prove invaluable. Of course, for many SMEs employing such a person is simply not an option as they don’t have the resources available but insourcing this function can bring a wide range of experience and insight to a business at a fraction of the cost of employing such resource.
Insourcing can be as relevant to a small company as to a larger one, sometimes more so as it offers more flexibility and less financial and employment risk. There are financial advantages in increased revenues generated by more focus on commercial requirements. Other benefits can be found in risk-reduction, better controls, greater flexibility and improved processes.
EFM’s financial controllers offer a service that focuses on the application of strong financial reporting procedures at a critical stage of business growth.
Take advantage of the experience and expertise of some of its most specialist members on a part-time basis by requesting this service now.
Day rates, monthly rates and annual rates are available. Contact us for more information.
Whatever level of financial expertise your business requires, we are ready to help you achieve what YOU need to run YOUR business.