A company’s financial controller (“FC”) is the heartbeat of a Business’s financial activity. Although their specific duties are many and varied, they focus around ensuring the smooth running and management of the accounting department, and making sure the accounting transactions are accurately recorded, properly collected if sales and paid if purchases. They also ensure proper reconciliation of the key controls in the financial system including bank, payroll and taxes. This control will enable the FC to ensure the financial reporting is accurately completed, presented and explained effectively to the company’s management board and that the business is compliant with reporting and its regulatory requirements.
The FC is more than just a financial control check though. They are in a position to make valuable changes and improve processes for you, your team, and the company in its entirety. Here are four ways an FC can add value to your business.
- Analysing Data & Providing Better Insight
With systems and processes continuously changing in the workplace, data analysis is becoming more innovative. Financial data is becoming more strategic and the analytical tools designed to help assess the data is helping companies save time in the process. The financial controller can add value by not just assessing the data, but by also interpreting it and analysing and communicating trends. It’s not just about closing the books and producing financial reports for management, it’s important to truly understand the details and then add their own personal insight and experience, truly becoming an integral component of the decision-making machine.
- Recruiting & Nurturing Talent
Another vital contribution that the financial controller handles for the business is recruiting new financial staff and ensuring existing staff understand their role in the team. It’s important to hire talented and experienced individuals that understand where the company is heading and how the finance team will play their part in getting there, but it is also key to get the best out of current employees. When recruiting new talent, the FC will ensure that the applicant understands that the finance role is forever changing and becoming more strategic. This will therefore call for candidates, who can think analytically and easily adapt to new working environments.
- Collaborating with Other Departments
So you have the numbers and are working on the analysis report for management, but how do you know what the numbers truly mean? To help you identify what you should be looking for and the KPIs to monitor, it’s important to reach out to the other departments, within the company, to help achieve that better understanding of the data. This is where the FC can help by both project managing this process and bringing their detailed analytical skills to the fore.
The head of each department can help provide the financial controller with greater insight into their business operations and what success truly looks like for them. This will help you to identify more meaningful trends and also capture the KPIs that need to be reported on and assessed on a more regular basis.
- Improving Data Quality
Having a data capture process can prove to be efficient, but just how time consuming is it during the average working day? FC’s will analyse the methodology to capture and process data throughout the company, and look to streamline the processes. Many business rely too heavily on excel spreadsheets for example, sending spreadsheets back and forth which can wreak havoc on your data consistency. This will not only affect your team and the time it will take to gather the data, but it could impact the entire company and therefore risk the overall quality of the data captured.
The reporting generated by the finance and/or accounting department can help other departments across the company make more strategic decisions, but this won’t happen if your processes are slow, out or place and if the data provided is inconsistent. This brings us back to point one, where new and innovative systematic processes & tools can help the financial controller fully automate and optimise the financial data capture routine.
Want to find out how our team of experienced part-time financial controllers and directors can help add value to your company. Get in touch today or call 01442 8176.