The financial controller, in the business field, is the person responsible for the control and financial management of the company. Its main mission is to establish a control plan on the different projects of the company, to know what the line of action will be based on how each one of them advances.
These control plans basically consist of making a comparison of the actual results of the company (usually past results) with respect to future budgets and forecasts. It translates, mainly, into a control of the company’s costs .
This is a great help for the company, since it allows us to know if the project goes according to the forecasts, if these are worse than the real results or are better. And in this way, with the analysis of this data, the financial controller can develop improvement plans , which will be applied for the company’s future projects.
With the passage of time the financial controller has become a fundamental figure of any company, going from performing only financial tasks to performing general functions of the company.
Functions of the financial controller
The functions of the controller vary depending on the size of the company. In small companies it usually performs, in addition to those of management control, accounting and finance tasks. In larger companies, there is usually a specific department of management control.
The main functions of the financial controller are:
- Design and control accounting systems(both financial accounting and cost accounting), and then analyze them and facilitate decision making. Optimize cost management and support the implementation of accounting programs.
- Design the information and management system of the company.
- Develop and maintain updated business planning and control systems.
- Analyze and control the company’s profitability and employee productivity, detecting and communicating possible errors and improvements.
- Design work procedures and monitor their correct compliance.
- Document and communicate to both management and external agents (shareholders, auditors, etc.) the key aspects of the company’s management.
- Design and maintain the dashboards. Collaborate with senior management in strategic and investment decisions.
- Support management in the coordination tasks of the rest of the functional areas.
The financial controller in project management
On the other hand, when facing new projects , the tasks of the financial controller can be divided into three phases:
- The phase prior to the execution of the project. In this phase, the controller must develop the control plans and establish the forecasts. It is usually the most important phase, because any previous error will be dragged into the following phases and will distort the final conclusions.
- The phase during project execution. In this phase, the controller must verify and verify that the forecasts are being fulfilled, by comparing them with the first results. Depending on the deviations that occur, in this phase decisions can be taken to immediately apply and correct possible imbalances.
- The post-project execution phase. Once the project is executed, the controller must analyze the results and verify the deviations from the forecasts. Once the results have been analyzed, you must carry out the project reports or reports, where the whole process that has been carried out (control plan, forecasts, modifications, final results, deviations) will be reflected. These reports are delivered directly to the company’s Management or Management.
The importance of the financial controller in modern business
Older control systems were limited only to operational control through cost accounting systems and obviated any type of planning. In the new management control systems, in which planning and control acquire a greater importance and where there is greater integration between all the elements of the company, the existence of the financial control post is necessary.