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What Does a Financial Controller Do?

When you reach a certain level of startup success — things move fast. Like really, really fast. One day, you’re grabbing lunch for your loyal team of six people, and all of sudden, you’re looking for an office space to hold 20-plus. Now you have to worry about a whole new set of things you didn’t have to when the team was much smaller.

One of those things is finances. As your startup grows, so does your income and expenses. Unfortunately, you can’t really hit the pause button and tell the taxman you need a minute to organize yourself. Your accounting efforts must be continually on point to ensure your startup can sustain the rapid growth it’s experiencing financially.

This is also the perfect time to get some seasoned help on that front. Overseeing your startup’s financial situation is critical to its success. But instead of putting that giant burden on yourself or another employee, a financial controller can take that additional stress off your plate. To highlight how, we’re here to tell you what financial controllers do and how they can help your startup’s financial situation. 

What is a Financial Controller?

Generally speaking, a financial controller is a management-level executive who’s responsible for day-to-day operations in a finance department. Some of their biggest duties include managing accounting and preparing financial reports and statements. A financial controller’s scope of duties can also extend to performing audits, assessing company budgets, and analyzing various financial data.

In companies where an acting CFO is present, financial controllers generally serve as a second-in-command of sorts. They report directly to the CFO or finance head of that company. In companies where there’s no acting CFO present, financial controllers are usually the top financial officers in the business. 

While there’s some overlap in the duties of a financial controller and company accountant — they’re not the same roles. A company accountant will generally work individually at a smaller company where there isn’t a finance team already in place. A financial controller, on the other hand, often works at a company that already has a finance team. However, financial controllers aren’t bound to working with large companies only; they can also work with smaller and medium-sized businesses with no finance teams.

How Do Financial Controllers Help Startups? 

The most obvious benefit of having a financial controller work for your startup is that they provide overall finance and accounting support. As your startup grows, your financial situation naturally becomes more complex with a multitude of moving parts. A financial controller helps keep your startup financially on track amid this growth stage and beyond.

Financial controllers can also help keep your startup out of trouble with the law. They can help you manage taxes and other crucial financial compliances. Having a dedicated professional who’s sole responsibility is to ensure all your financial compliances are met can be a massive asset for startups that are laser-focused on developing their product or service.

Are you a startup in need of CFO or virtual controller services? Get in touch with us, and we’ll work with you to help guide your business to the next level of financial success.

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