10 Things a Controller Should Do

Pencil Posted by Richard Veltre on January 4, 2018

A controller is an important member of your company’s management team. In large companies, the CFO is responsible for the overall financial strategy while the controller manages the day-to-day aspects of your accountants, payroll managers, tax managers, credit managers, etc. The controller’s role in smaller companies, however, can include the broad strategic responsibilities of a CFO in addition to hands-on management.

Here are the ten things a controller should do:

Accountingthings a controller should do

Controllers ensure that all accounting distributions are appropriately made and documented. In small companies, controllers also oversee accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash disbursements, payroll, and bank reconciliation functions.

Internal Controls

Controllers are responsible for reviewing and approving all invoices and monitoring accounts receivable aging reports. In small companies, the controller often manages collections on invoices as well.

Cash Flow

Controllers oversee bank accounts and manage cash flow to ensure your business has the resources it needs to operate daily.

Financial Planning and Reporting

Controllers are responsible for all banking and finance activities, including negotiating lines of credit and vendor agreements as well as reviewing all financial contracts, financing agreements, and insurance policies.

Controllers also provide accurate and comprehensive financial information to the executive team to inform long-term financial strategizing. Financial reporting duties include preparing financial statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports, budgets, budget-to-actuals, and financial projections.

Critical Reporting Cheat Sheet

Financial Analysis

Controllers provide in-depth financial analysis and expert financial perspective and opinions. While a CFO is responsible for finalizing financial policy, a controller’s financial analysis skills are instrumental in assessing risk, analyzing efficiency, and informing policy decisions made by executive management.


Controllers work with the marketing team, especially product managers, to set pricing policies for the company’s products and services.


Controllers coordinate with external accountants for income tax preparation and auditors who prepare internal audits of the company, including keeping company records organized and readily available.


Controllers set financial targets and objectives for divisions within the company.

Due Diligence

If you decide to expand via mergers or acquisitions, controllers are responsible for ensuring that the potential purchase is a good investment.


Controllers handle employee salaries/wages, including bonuses, paid vacation, sick leave, and taxes.

Although successful small and medium-sized businesses will reach a point in their growth where dedicated financial leadership is necessary, many such businesses either can’t afford a CFO or controller or don’t need their services full-time.

Luckily, outsourced CFOs and outsourced controllers are available to fill the void – they provide the desired financial expertise at a fraction of the cost.

The Benefits of Outsourced CFO Services

For more information, please contact Harbour Rock today – we have the outsourced services you need.


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About Harbour Rock
Our outsourced CFOs are experienced professionals who offer expertise to business managers, including detailed insight into financials that allow you to make better business decisions; we also guide you through financial issues so you can spend time on growth instead of administration and overhead. By taking a proactive approach, together we can identify risks, evaluate options, and implement solutions at a cost that is well below the benefit. Learn more by visiting our website.

Topics: Controller

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