What is the job of a financial controller?
Today we tell you all about the role of the financial controller, its relevance for companies and the scope of its responsibilities. In addition, we address the importance of automation when it comes to reconciliation.
Table of Contents:
- What is a financial controller and what does he/she do?
- The main functions of an administrative controller
- The benefits of automation in the controller’s job
The figure of the financial controller is primarily associated with the tasks of control and supervision, although its relevance in companies has grown significantly to move towards strategic decision making and occupy a prominent place in corporate teams.
In this Conciliac blog post we will address in detail the functions of these professionals and, subsequently, we will delve into the importance of automated systems that streamline and add efficiency to their tasks.
What is a financial controller and what does he/she do?
A key figure in businesses, companies and commercial organizations, this is the person in charge of controlling and supervising finances. A first answer to the question “what does a controller do” is to link management and accounting in companies.
The person in charge of controlling takes over the tasks and responsibilities that used to be shared between the financial and economic departments and the general management of a company.
- In this sense, the importance of this role lies in the following aspects:
- It is in charge of the strategic planning of the business.
- Its purpose is to meet business goals.
- Currently, it is a position that is considered hierarchical.
Before moving on to the detail of the main functions of these specialists, the following explanation is worthwhile. What does financial controller mean in English? Simply put, we can translate it as “financial controller”.
On the other hand, what do you have to study to become a financial controller? To apply for the position, it is necessary to have a degree in economics, accounting or business administration. In addition, postgraduate and master’s degrees in finance are valued.
The main functions of an administrative controller
The functions of a controller have expanded in recent years, transcending the financial departments of companies, as he or she brings his or her knowledge to bear in making decisive decisions in organizations.
Let’s take a closer look at what a controller does.
Designing control strategies and management tools
A rhetorical question: what does the controller control? Its primary purpose is to provide validated information to support decision making in the company.
An annual plan is strategic for companies, this being one of its main activities. The budget, as data, functions as a horizon that directs the activity of the firm and the controller himself. It must also provide quarterly and monthly reports.
Production of management reports
These are essential documents to guide the steps to be taken in pursuit of the proposed objectives, which are delivered to the company’s management, its owners and/or shareholders.
When we ask ourselves what a controller is, we must also point to the implementation of internal controls to protect the company’s assets. The purpose is to have reliable data to reduce risks and optimize productivity, leading to increased profitability.
Integral management of management
The controller must not only manage the personnel directly under his or her responsibility, but is also in charge of “pivoting” with other departments of the company that are related to his or her activities. In this regard, it is important that he/she has leadership skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
Identification of key performance indicators
These variables should be included in the aforementioned reports. They are those indicators that are relevant for the optimization of resources and the growth of the organization.
In order to understand what a controller is in a company, it is key to consider that his tasks are not strictly limited to finance, but radiate towards the various practices that influence them. For example, he/she must participate in product development and launching strategies, new investments, participation in different markets, and so on.
Which steps to take, which not to take and in which cases to do so with caution. These are also functions of a financial controller, who must manage and evaluate possible crisis scenarios, anticipating contingency plans to provide the organization with the necessary economic resources in such circumstances.
Assembling the different teams and sectors of the company.
Following an image we used earlier, the controller plays a role similar to that of a pivot in basketball. By this we mean that he operates as a link, a member of the firm who receives information and also distributes it. In this sense, his or her social skills are relevant, and he or she must also become a profile of trust for managers, who through this figure will channel and “spill” a good part of their decisions to the whole company.
Keeping up with technological advances
The controller needs a 360-degree view, which is not restricted to the scope of the company in which he or she works, but must also contemplate the local and international panorama. Being aware of the digital solutions available is one of the variables on which he focuses, with the aim of facilitating agile, efficient and secure platforms that lead to increased productivity and profitability.
The benefits of automation for the controller’s work
Automated reconciliation is a key support for these professionals. As we explained earlier in this blog, these are procedures that allow them to know the state of finances, review inventories, identify errors in accounting, and validate the reliability of records in operations.
Keep in mind that reconciliations are not only financial, nor are they exclusive to a particular sector or industry. They are useful (and recommended) in companies and organizations in various industries and areas.
The automation of this task brings important benefits, among which the following stand out:
- The agility of the process.
- The reliability of the information, which is validated and avoids the possible errors of manual reconciliations.
- The complete knowledge of the cash flow and the general state of the company.
- Errors are quickly detected and possible solutions addressed.
- The availability of validated data, which is known to enable better decision making.
Automated reconciliation software, such as Conciliac EDM, handles all data processes on a flexible and unified platform. The good controller knows: it is essential to rely on the available information to decide the strategies of a company.