Depending on the size and structure of their organization, their responsibilities may include hiring and managing staff, developing client relationships, monitoring the company's growth strategy and ensuring the profitability of the business, not to mention the management of daily operations.
One of the biggest challenges for many business owners is to find adequate financial and accounting support. Many fall into the trap of thinking that all types of finance professionals are the same. They may hire a bookkeeper and expect them to carry out complex accounting policies or create forecasting models, for example, or hire an overqualified person, such as a CFO, to perform data entry and compliance responsibilities. To properly execute a financial strategy and lead to the success of a company, it is necessary that business leaders have a financial controller.
What is a financial controller?
A financial controller is a must-have for any business that requires financial management. While a CFO is responsible for overall strategy, a financial controller takes the lead on the crucial activities of financial reporting, compliance, and complex accounting policies related to accruals, deferrals, and receivables.
Business owners should consider engaging a financial controller for the following benefits:
1. A financial controller clarifies your financial reporting and keeps your business on track.
Where financial structures and procedures are more complex, a financial controller can provide insight and clarity on business operations and performance. Monthly reconciliations are not enough to provide an accurate picture of your business and the risk for financial misstatements can be high. A business that is generating millions of dinars in revenue could, in actual fact, be losing money in one or more areas. By the time a business owner realizes the problem, it may already be too late to change course, and the effects can be long-lasting.
A qualified controller can implement appropriate matching principles and revenue recognition, analyze and report on established KPIs, and ensure that monthly and yearly financials align. They provide business owners with timely, high-value information to help the organization thrive.
2. A financial controller reduces your risk of fraud.
The fraud has a severe impact on business worldwide, up to $ 4.1 trillion according to "The Financial Cost of Fraud 2018". While business owners are responsible for due diligence and management, a financial controller mitigates the risks through the segregation of duties. The reporting and audit functions are managed by the controller and not by the same people with authorization authority or spending power.
3. A financial controller may ensure regulatory compliance.
In Tunisia, tax and financial regulations can be complicated and overwhelming, and many business owners do not have the technical knowledge to ensure compliance. A central element of the role of the Financial Controller is to remain in compliance with the regulations, as well as to respect the requirements defined by the financial institutions. While companies may think they can manage without this type of support, the reality is that non-compliance penalties can be devastating for your bottom line.
How can business owners find the right support?
Finding a qualified financial controller can be particularly challenging for small and medium-sized businesses. The role requires a high degree of technical knowledge and experience, and the talent market is competitive. Many organizations attempt to go without a financial controller, or they assign responsibilities to a staff member who lacks the necessary background, which in turn increases the risk of data inaccuracy and other errors.
Business owners need to engage the services of a trained and professionally certified financial controller who brings the depth of experience needed to solve problems efficiently and quickly.