Interim Controllers: Who They Are & How They Help

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Building a successful accounting and finance organization in today’s volatile economic environment requires specialized knowledge, a continuous focus on market ongoings and an ability to support long term strategy as well as ensuring streamlined and scalable day-to-day processes are in place.

Rather than overload your existing team and impact their ability to do what they do best, it can often be more beneficial – and cost-effective – to turn to a skilled interim controller to help you proactively address these issues and develop a more strategic approach to scaling your business in an ever-changing environment.

As experts in driving successful business transformations for our clients, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about interim controllers – and some of the signs it’s time to hire one.

Important things to know about Interim Controllers:

  1. What is an Interim Controller?
  2. What kinds of projects do Interim Controllers typically work on?
  3. What are the benefits of hiring an Interim Controller?
  4. When should you hire an Interim Controller?

What is an Interim Controller?

An interim controller is an expert who supports the management of an organization’s accounting and finance function. They can work on either a project basis or over a specified period of time to support the needs of your organization.:

Financial controllers have expert knowledge regarding process improvement, compliance requirements, financial systems and more which they utilize to bolster an organization’s financial performance and set the stage for future growth and scale. 

Common skills & duties of Interim Controllers:

  • Streamlining day to day and month end accounting functions and operations
  • Managing financial transactions
  • Overseeing and preparing financial statements
  • Supporting quarterly and annual budgeting and forecast processes.
  • Integrating and monitoring internal controls
  • Analyzing financial data

What kinds of projects do Interim Controllers typically work on?

The exact ways in which an interim controller will step in to support your organization depends largely on the unique organization needs and goals; however, the right interim controller will begin with an assessment of your current business state, so they’re properly prepared to identify where support is most needed.

For example, let’s say your organization is running into issues related to cash flow.

An interim financial controller will begin with a careful analysis of cash inflows and outflows, forecasting and reporting processes, financial models, AP/AR and more so they can assess the impacts these issues are having on your organization and identify any irregularities within your processes and/or systems.

Next, they will work closely with your team to develop and implement strategies that help support effective cash flow management and forecasting.

Whether your organization needs support for managing day to day operations, integration of better processes and systems for accounting, technical accounting support, developing timely and more accurate reporting, or other duties, financial controllers help identify and support execution of the solutions you need most and are there to guide your team every step of the way.

What are the benefits of hiring an Interim Controller?

  • Having an expert support strategic decision making that guides the overall direction of your organization.
  • Managing your organization’s data to ensure optimized financial processes, cash flow management and financial reporting practices are established.
  • Having a valued business partner, which mitigates risks associated with compliance and ensures financial data and reporting is in line with the associated governing accounting guidelines and standards.
  • Building relationships across teams and with relevant stakeholders.

When should you hire an Interim Controller?

As there are many ways in which an interim controller can work with your organization, making the decision to engage one requires careful analysis of available resources, budget constraints and your ability to achieve your goals.

However, whether you need support for one-off projects or continuous advisory, interim financial controllers provide a strategic yet cost-effective approach to growth and scale.

Signs it’s time to hire an Interim Controller:

  • Your company is growing rapidly, and you need support with financial strategy and decision making, for example M&A activity or audit readiness.   
  • You don’t have anyone on your current team with the right expertise or you aren’t sure how to attribute your current resources to drive financial success.
  • You’re running into issues related to cash flow and need other regular and consistent reporting on your organization’s financial position.
  • You don’t have the right resources to ensure your organization follows the associated governing accounting standard.
  • You recognize that you need to rework your financial management processes but aren’t sure where to start.

Looking for a Trusted Interim Controller?

At Bridgepoint Consulting, we solve complex challenges through creative thought and innovative solutions. Our partners include organizations in transition, whether that means they are experiencing hypergrowth, transformation or turnover. We help companies of all sizes understand their current state and visualize their limitless future so we can help them navigate the road ahead.

Contact us today or learn more about how we can help at the link below.