Controller For Small Business – Who Are They & How They Work?

Picture of Gary Jain
Gary Jain

Founder, Ledger Labs

Controller For Small Business

Table of Contents

Starting a business is not about the outcome, it is about the journey that one follows to achieve the objective or reach the destination. Running a company involves taking care of different aspects, especially maintaining financial records for effective decision-making. When a business is small, even a one-man army works, but as it grows with time, the procedures are more complex and that’s where delegating responsibilities come in. And when it’s a growing business, having a centralized financial source of information becomes a must. A controller for small business or big is that centralized go-to personnel.

Who Is A Controller?

A controller, also known as a financial controller, is the one to refers for any finance-related queries of an organization. The person is the central point of all the details that everyone from the owner to the employees to other stakeholders needs from time to time. When a business starts, the owners can be the sole responsibility takers, looking into different business matters. However, with the gradual growth of the company, complications increase. The volume of data to be consider is huge, which makes it difficult for one person to handle everything. Hence, the companies appoint a controller to look after the financial section of their business.

What Are Controller Services?

Businesses depend highly on their finances. While many small business owners think that they can manage to record the movement of the business funds, it is quite difficult to be accurate no matter how small the business is in size. Hence, owners look forward to having someone who keeps track of all cash flows to and from the company along with maintaining financial statements to give the stakeholders a crystal clear view of the finances and the financial health of the firms. The companies cannot afford to make mistakes in accounting for the inflows and outflows of the monetary resources as these details ultimately help the owners realize the gains, profits, net income, retained earnings, etc.

One wrong piece of information would lead to major ineffective decisions, which is no option for any business that intends to flourish. If you are someone who has managed to take care of the financial affairs of the business perfectly for so long, the expansion requires a central source of finance management, and having a controller for a small business or a big one with advanced services is a must to achieve accuracy in recording and utilizing financial data.

Controller Checklist – A Quick Glance

When a controller takes up the responsibility of looking after the financial department of a company or organization, they become open to multiple roles at a time. Here is a list of internal control checklist for small business that a financial controller must feel accountable for:

Record Daily Flow of Finances

A controller must take care of the daily financial activities of a business. They are the ones who need to record the day-to-day cash entering and exiting the business. As a result, the owners will remain updated on the finances they have to be utilize for carrying out further business activities. A financial controller for small businesses is responsible for keeping a watch on the preparation of invoices, processing of payrolls, accounts receivables, accounts payable, etc. In short, any fund moving to and from the company must be recorded by controllers so that they ensure the book of accounts reflect the cash flow details correctly. 

Review Accounting Principles & Policies

Every business should have specific guidelines to follow to ensure the accounting professionals working under the financial departments are on the same page. Different organizations follow different accounting principles and the controller needs to check if the functions are being undertaken per those rules. Reviewing these regulations and policies from time to time ensures accuracy and leads to effective decision-making, given the accounting procedures are reliable.

Conduct Staff Training

Besides being a financial professional who looks into the different aspects of a small or big business, a controller possesses basic HR skills as well. Yes, he could be your go-to person for conducting training for staff, who may be freshers or need to upgrade their skills to be promoted further. Plus, they are also the best people to manage the payroll of the employees working in their department.

Have A Separate Department

In a small business organization, the owners may not think of having a separate department for finance. Controllers have complete liberty to ask for an individual section to carry out the finance-related functions. They are the ones who can establish their separate division and function as separate sections of the business. This way, the financial controllers ensure the finance-related procedure are more organized and efficient to be used by stakeholders for making fruitful decisions.

Undertake Annual Audits

Conducting audits at regular intervals to make sure the accounting principles and other related rules and regulations are properly follows at each step of the business functioning is yet another important point on the small business accounting checklist of controllers. Internal audits by internal controllers are necessary before things come to the notice of external auditors. This is because these audit sessions focus on the loopholes in the system and rectify the missing internal controls before the same gets notified to an external auditor. In short, undertaking annual audits help manage and maintain the company’s reputation in the market.

Include Software Solutions

Apart from the small business accounting checklist elements mentioned above, there are a few other things too that require taking control of. This includes looking into the technological needs of a business. This, in turn, lets them decide on deploying required software solutions for carrying out the accounting and payroll functions with ease.

Monitor Business Performance

Depending on the accounts books manage and to be present to the internal and external stakeholders. A financial controller for a small business can have a look at the records to figure out the financial health of the business. Monitoring the performance of the company from time to time makes them the most reliable professionals in the organization. This is due to their accountability towards the business. They keep owners informed at every stage, which helps the latter take important decisions as and when required.

Final Words

The above details about internal control checklist for small business. Makes it clear that the role of a controller is not limited to ensuring proper accounts reporting and management. But it includes everything that a finance department has to work on. If you think you need someone to lend their hands for handling your company finances with all accountability, hiring a controller is highly recommended.

With rapid growth comes huge responsibilities, leading to the lack of availability for basic functions. Well, you can always have us standing by your side to handle what you are likely to miss out on. We can be the best controller of your finances. Don’t believe us? Connect today to know more.

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