How to Effectively Integrate an Accounting Controller into Your Finance Team

, | September 13, 2022 | By
How to Effectively Integrate an Accounting Controller into Your Finance Team

3 Steps to Integrate a Qualified Accounting Controller

You can't throw a controller partner into the pool and ask them to swim. While they are absolute rock stars at their jobs, even the best controllers need to get acquainted with how your business operates in order to help it succeed. 


1. Review Overall Financial Goals

Did you know that controllers spend 70 percent of their time on traditional tasks? That means they focus heavily on closing the books and ensuring compliance with accounting standardsbut they're meant to do so much more. 

To better integrate your accounting controller into your operations, consider making them more of a strategy partner. With this approach, you get more value from their role and provide them with bigger challenges. Work together using information on what drives value for your organization so your controller can act as your resource for financial planning and analysis.


2. Provide Training on Critical Processes

You have accounting processes to follow for your industry, your business in particular, and your stage of growth. Your accounting controller needs to know how to best support your businessand only you can answer that question.

Start by training your controller partner on the necessary processes that make your business function properly and hold them accountable along the way. By setting a certain standard and sharing vital knowledge, you'll be better able to avoid issues with your part-time controller designing their own accounting processes that contradict your own or even lead to inefficiencies.

Bonus! By following a single documented process, you can reduce errors and avoid disagreement on how to apply internal controls designed to catch errors.

Beyond processes alone, take the time to train your accounting controller on core skills, such as:

  • Strategic thinking and execution

  • Communication

  • Financial planning and analysis 

  • Data governance 

By going the extra mile, you can help your controller become an even more effective member of your team.


3. Get Them Synced with Accounting

Your accounting controller shouldn't operate in a vacuum. In fact, they're the glue that holds accounting together! Make it easier for your controller to lead the pack.

The controller should hold regular check-ins with other accounting teams. As your "lead accountant," they're responsible for facilitating operations between bookkeeping and accounting, coordinating all of your financial efforts. In doing so, your accounting controller checks off several boxes, ensuring that each function is: 

  • Keeping up with timelines

  • Adhering to financial expectations

  • Compiling reports to reach the company's goals

Think of your controller the same way you would a baseball catcher to their pitcher. Just as the catcher calls the game from behind the dish, your accounting controller provides a layer of accountability for bookkeepers and accountants, monitoring budgets, margins, and vital accounting activities.


Get to Know Ignite Spot's Controller Services

When you're looking for outsourced controller services, you need to know that your partner isn't a one-trick pony because your needs could change at any time. Ignite Spot has been in the game for years, helping businesses like yours in six key ways:


1. Day-to-Day Financial Operations

What does your cash flow look like? Do you need help with financial reporting? Our accounting controllers support you in the daily grind by:

  • Keeping a pulse on your financial outlook 

  • Managing bookkeepers and accountants


2. Budgetary Oversight

Accounting is like a well-choreographed dance, and your financial activities must happen at the right time and in the right wayotherwise, the ballerina wipes out. Controllers set you up for a curtain call by:

  • Creating effective policies and procedures

  • Signing off on financial reporting


3. Accounting Compliance

Compliance isn't the same across the board, and controllers know how to keep you in step with requirements. Your controller will ensure that you follow processes for tracking revenue, expenses, assets, and liabilities based on one or all of the following:

  • Local laws

  • Taxes 

  • Industry

  • Financial regulations


4. Deadline Management

One thing you never want to be late with is money. Luckily, with an accounting controller, you can put this worry in the rearview. They get your reports and other accounting tasks done accurately, on time, and within company processes.


5. Financial Accountability

Did something go wrong with your finances? Controllers do the heavy lifting to determine what happened when a financial discrepancy occurs. As a result, you can course correct and stay accountable to management's financial goals.


6. Accounting Process Design

Accounting can't be a roll of the dice. We're talking about your business's financial future here! Your controller can position your business to scale financially by gathering metrics and building processes for:

  • Accounting

  • Bookkeeping

  • Reporting


Discover the Perks of Outsourced Services

Need expert financial assistance? An accounting controller may be the key. Be sure to integrate your controller the right wayfrom partnering on strategy to aligning their role with other accounting functionsto help your business thrive. 

But is in-house or outsourced your right fit? Discover the benefits of hiring an accounting controller. Download our outsourced services e-book for ideas to help guide your decision.

In-house or Outsourced ebook