CFOs of today are required to work closely with controllers to ensure the office is operating at its highest level and that the controller’s knowledge is being fully utilized.
Asking your controller these five questions can help to initiate a conversation account best practices for any SaaS organization.
Q.1) How many journal entries are we making during the closing process?
An excessive number of manual journal entries needlessly extend a closing period—and can also be a leading indicator of lurking problems.
Q.2) Have you reviewed compliance with local jurisdictions?
As one of the few people with a direct role in virtually every transaction that flows through the corporate accounting structure, the controller can—and should—play a central role in identifying and minimizing the company’s risk exposure.
Q.3) How long does it take to close our books? What is holding things up?
The best measure of controller efficiency is how quickly and accurately the team closes the books.
Q.4) Are we still using Excel? If so, why?
While there are many reasons to limit Microsoft Excel use in corporate accounting—such as its inherently breakable models, security issues, and lack of shareability——it can still be useful to controllers in certain situations.
Q.5) Can we integrate our financial information and our operating metrics?
Because many financial systems can now accommodate analyses of operating metrics from statistical accounts to create a richer, fuller picture of the business, the controller is assuming a role as the provider of financial visibility—once the domain of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams or the CFO.
Exploring the answers to these five critical questions can help you to create a more effective and stronger financial structure.
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