Start the Year Strong: 5 Things to Ask Your Controller
By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA
The start of the year is the perfect time to pull out the magnifying glass and take a look at your financials to support the goals your teams set into motion to boost productivity and scale company growth.
To be sure you’re lined up to make 2018 your most productive year yet, here’s five questions to ask your controller to make sure your financials are on track:
1. How many journal entries do you create during closings?
Too many journal entries can extend closing times and often means there are financial process problems under the surface which can lead to bigger audit problems later. They often are indicators of complexities in your processes and automation that could use some revising.
2. Is our company meeting the compliance of local jurisdictions?
You and your controller can look at your risk potential with current processes, and create a schedule for ongoing and regularly scheduled risk reviews. Focus on your policies, contracts sizes, and client subscriptions to be sure you’re meeting standards and adhering to compliance changes.
3. How long does it take us to close the books each period?
Closing times are a great measure for how efficiently your controller works. It pays to have a reviewing system in place to spot any potential errors, early and often. Try these tips:
- Track manual entries, and measure accruals to help to identify potential productivity bottlenecks.
- Automate as much as you can. You naturally execute your policies by automating them. Automation increases efficiency and reduces errors by eliminating manual entries and workarounds.
- Use forecasts to your advantage. Get a sense of next quarter’s numbers, to more easily pick out errors, and give your controller a head’s up to take care of them before closing the books.
4. Is Excel still our go-to for closing? If so, why?
Excel is great for some ancillary reporting, sub-ledgers and unique expenses and revenues, but it comes with a price. Manual entries make it prone to errors that can have a cascading effect on your other data, it’s limited in its shareability, and it can present security issues.
If your controller is still heavily relying on Excel to close at period-end, it’s time to start looking into more efficient and innovative options.
5. Can our company integrate our operations metrics and financials?
By integrating processes, you streamline productivity, protect data integrity, unify teams to collaborate between finance and operations, and give your controller a clear view into company performance.
Meet with your controller to discuss strong integration software options like Sage Intacct to bring innovation, compliance and streamlining to your closings.
If you could use some more pointers on how to collaborate with your controller to streamline your closings and boost financials, reach out and give us a ring! We want to help make this your best year yet!