Controller Services: Is Your Business Ready to Recruit One?

Controller Services: Is Your Business Ready to Recruit One?

Controller services, the accounting department is the eyes and ears of the company.  You are asking "What does a controller do?".  In this article, you will learn the key functions of this role.  Why you shouldn't confuse it with a CFO or a bookkeeper. 

The saying goes “I’m feeling like I’m flying blind”. Personnel with less qualification and experience could lead to:

  • tax oversights
  • compliance, and
  • poor financial outcomes

Having a fractional controller to extend and to enhance the work done by bookkeepers. Many small and mid-sized businesses don’t have the budget to hire a full-time controller. Yet, you need a controller!

It is possible to get the higher-level skills and experience – on demand and when you need them. That’s by hiring a fractional controllerfractional controller (also known as a part-time controller) on a part-time basis.

What does a fractional (part-time) controller services do?

As your business grows and scales, the complexity of the bookkeeping also grows. Having a part-time (fractional) controller can find insights in your financial information.

A part-time controller is a very cost-effective way to manage your growing business. When you're larger, you can hire a full staff controller.

The fractional controller can work with you on a 
• single project, 
• an on-going contract, or
• as a single or part of an outsourced accounting package.

Fractional Controller vs. Bookkeeper vs. Fractional CFO

Fractional Controller vs. Bookkeeper

There are differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant. A bookkeeper's strength is in processing information and keeping them organized. Handling the computerized accounting system. They also do monthly reconciliations. 

A fractional controller is different from a bookkeeper. A controller focus on business accounting functions. Tying them to match financial to operational performance. A controller helps and supports business leaders with forward thinking ideas. Ideas backed up by financial proofs along with pros and cons.

Fractional Controller vs. Fractional CFO

CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and a Controller are different roles. CFOs play a key role in accounting by being more focused on business strategy, being tactical. CFOs bring a wealth of experience and contacts to projects. If your business has a strong fractional controller, you often won’t need a fractional CFO.

Is your business ready for outsourced controller services?

Businesses with annual revenues between $500K to $1M should consider hiring a fractional controller.

The fractional controller assist complex bookkeeping transactions to preparing and interpreting financial reports.

If the company gets to $10M in revenues, having controller services is a must-have. That's to ensure internal controls, maintaining, overseeing of the monthly books closing process.

Besides, a fractional controller can help in targeting growth opportunities. It's true in growth companies where there are mountains of opportunities.

A controller can help assess:

  • The financial viability of the market or growth opportunity
  • The ROI (return on investment)
  • Estimate the timeframe on ROI
  • Project if there’s enough cashflows to start the project

A controller can help you take a confident step forward back by numbers. It can also instill confidence to banks and debtors and investors.


The benefits of working with a fractional controller

These includes: 

  • Ensure that your statutory remittances to the
    • CRA
    • WCB/Worksafe/OSHA
    • Provincial, state and city are current and up-to-date
    • Communicating on your behalf in the event of an inquiry

Controller also help by

  • Quarterbacking year-end and to ensure that it’s a breeze 
    • A fractional controller will be valuable resource for year-end accountants and in-house bookkeepers.
  • Meet debt covenants
    • Early warning system. Anticipating and communicating in advance when things don’t go according to plan.
  • Leverage experience in decision making
    • Ensure the financials are accurate. It allows the fractional controller to provide better insights. Enable even better decision making.
  • Effective cashflow planning 
    • Cashflows is the lifeblood of any business. A fractional controller can expect “dry and wet seasons” of cash.

The number one reason many businesses fail is because they run out of cash. Next, is failure to find product-market-fit. With the help of a fractional controller, you will understand your financial data -- in good times and bad.

Contact us today to find out how you can take advantage of Forte Innovations’ flexible fractional controller services. We can help navigate your growth challenges!


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Forte Innovations specialty is in crypto tax accounting, including bookkeeping, controller and CFO services in Canada.