A controller oversees the accounting operations, including financial reporting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cost accounting and more.

The controller also helps guide a company’s strategic financial decisions, and is a key part of the management team.

A part time controller typically works 40 to 60 hours per month.

Typically there would be:

  1. a bookkeeper(s),
  2. a part-time or full-time controller
  3. and a CPA firm for year end and company tax returns.

Every business would have its own unique requirements but typically this is what each role does:

Bookkeeper Functions

These are the usual functions of a bookkeeper:

  • Issue invoices to customers
  • Collect sales taxes from customers
  • Ensure that receivables are collected promptly
  • Record cash receipts and make bank deposits
  • Prepare payroll
  • Pay supplier invoices in a timely manner
  • Take discounts on supplier invoices
  • Pay any debt as it comes due for payment
  • Remit payroll and sales taxes to the government
  • Monthly reconciliation of bank accounts
  • Maintain an orderly accounting filing system
  • Reconciliations of all accounts to ensure their accuracy
  • Purchase supplies and equipment

Controller – Full or Part Time

Typical controller functions:

  • Recommending and Installing accounting software
  • Company formation and Chart of Accounts creation
  • Develop and implement internal controls
  • Hiring and training bookkeeping staff
  • Financial statement preparation—monthly, quarterly, annually.
  • Provide files and data to the CPA firm for income tax returns
  • Assemble information for external auditors for the annual audit
  • Develop internal accounting policies and procedures
  • Business plans and loan applications
  • Maintain the annual budget
  • Assist with office management
  • Financial advisor to senior management

 CPAs In Public Practice

What a CPA firm provides:

  • Start-up counselling
  • Purchases and sales of businesses
  • Business valuations
  • Business planning and financial projections
  • Developing strategies for securing financing
  • Corporate and personal income tax planning
  • Information technology need analysis
  • Assurance (audits and reviews)
  • Preparing and analyzing financial information
  • Developing management controls
  • Management consulting
  • Forensic accounting and litigation support

CPA section excerpted from: www.cpacanada.ca/

End Notes: Comptroller vs Controller

Years ago in the 1800’s, the term “comptroller” arose from a careless misspelling of the term “controller.”

From then on, the spelling, along with the duties of a regular controller, stuck and the term “comptroller” became a similar term referring to a financial officer.

A controller or comptroller manages the accounting department and provides management with timely and accurate financial reporting.

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