As a result of the 2020 pandemic, the way we do business is changing rapidly. More and more positions are becoming remote and businesses are seeking professionals who can do their job virtually. Finding a high quality virtual controller that can do their job virtually can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you navigate finding a high quality virtual financial controller for your business.
Even before the pandemic, the landscape of the business world was changing. Technology and automation were and are revolutionizing accounting. Certain software automates repeated, recurring tasks like payroll and bookkeeping. These types of software can often integrate other software and systems your company is using. This will give you comprehensive reporting and quick task completion.
These technologies allow the executive team to make faster decisions based on more accurate data. This allows your accounting and finance department to compare your company’s financial data to operational data and outside industry data in simple reports. These reports take the tech a fraction of the time it would take a human to compile the same report. To ensure that your software is effectively serving your business, your controller would verify the content of the report and pass it on.
When looking for a virtual controller, you will want to find someone with experience using the software your business already uses. Your controller should be approving and reconciling the financial data and reports the software synthesizes before passing them onto the executive team. A virtual controller would likely do this using a cloud-based reporting software that they can use to access your company’s financial data in real time from anywhere in the world. They will be able to fill this role most effectively if they already have experience with the systems you are using or a similar one.
Changing the Job Profile of Virtual Financial Controller
In the past, a financial controller has filled the role of a traditional accounting manager. This included creating generic insight reports for other department managers to ensure their department was meeting operational expectations. However, it also included transforming large data sets into comprehensive financial reports by hand using Excel or another spreadsheet software. The financial controllers of the past focused only on in-house processes and data to create these reports.
The modern controller and the controller of the future serve as a right hand to the CFO. They use the financial data synthesized by your software to give strategic insight about big decisions or business challenges. A cloud-based software allows them to use predictive analytics to visualize both internal and external market data to create cashflow forecasts and other decision making tools for the executive team. This requires experience with transferring large amounts of data using a data sharing software or a cloud-based accounting software with a document sharing feature. Again, your virtual financial controller will need to have expertise with both strategic planning and the software required to share this data from their home office.
Save Your Business Money
Virtual financial controllers do not necessarily have to be employees of your business. You can hire an outsourced financial controller to work with your company remotely as well. An outsourced virtual financial controller will be experienced in many types of accounting software and processes. They will also have experience with working remotely, ensuring that your business has the offsite support it needs. Many outsourced accounting companies also maintain professionals with experience in each industry. These companies will match you to an outsourced virtual controller with the experience and expertise that best matches your business’ needs.
An outsourced virtual controller is a significantly cheaper option for your company as well. By hiring a full time virtual controller on as an employee, you have to pay their salary, their benefits, their vacation time, equipment costs and more. With an outsourced virtual controller, you only have to pay their hourly rate for the hours you use them. Often, the firm will offer discounts on cloud-based software as well. At NOW CFO, we offer professionals on a full-time, part-time or by-project basis. You can hire one of our controller-level consultants to help you with any sort of specific project. However, you can also hire them to work with your company for a set number of hours.
Embracing Change as a Virtual Financial Controller
It is possible that an experienced virtual financial controller will bring processes and software suggestions with them. These may be unfamiliar to your business, however they will help make your accounting and finance department and your entire company more efficient and effective. When seeking a virtual financial controller, most importantly find someone who is innovative and embraces change. New technology and the flexibility of a wider range of virtual positions, including that of a virtual financial controller, will help your business stay salient in the face of massive changes in the business world.
The world of business accounting changes fast. A high quality virtual accountant meanwhile can help your business embrace technology. In addition, the cognitive software will make your business run more efficiently. A virtual controller dedicated to curating financial data in real time above all will help the executive team make big decisions. Your business will be an even bigger competitor in your market and industry. The job profile of a controller is changing, and your business will benefit from the progress.