Controllership is the second pillar of our CFO on Demand or Part-time CFO services. Controllership has a few key elements.
- Internal Controls & Risk Management
- Management / Financial Reporting
- Transactional Processing
Internal Controls and Risk Management
An important objective for the CFO is to safeguard assets of the organization against fraud, pilferage or loss to maintain the value of the business. Internal controls refers to a set of policies, procedures, routines and approach to running the business to ensure that company assets are safeguarded. Segregation of duties is a risk management tool where no one individual is permitted to authorize, record, hold custody or reconcile the account. With a properly designed internal control system, the potential for any individual to misappropriate assets is minimized unless there is collusion amongst multiple individuals. Documented policies and procedures for employees to follow designed with proper internal controls also provides clarity on the roles and abilities of individuals and are a good way to enforce internal controls. Annual external audits conducted by public accountants also are a form of checks and balances to ensure internal controls are working as desired. Some large organizations also have dedicated internal audit teams that validate on a test basis the transactions within the company. These controls present a good deterrence to misappropriation of assets.
Risk Management is a broader set of policy frameworks to address various areas such as credit, liquidity, currency, reputation, security, safety and various other types of risks depending on the nature of the industry and operations of the organization.
Financial Management & Reporting
The CFO is ultimately responsible to oversee the entire accounting function, software systems used and the financial reports being generated in the most efficient and accurate way possible. This includes ensuring that the right talent is in place to support the demands of the organization. The finance team must have the right tools and resources to carry out their responsibilities to satisfy both internal and external stakeholders. The data presented should be of sufficiently high quality and reliability to inspire confidence to management. Any inefficiencies and bottlenecks need to be eliminated. The recent trend in transaction processing is leaning to Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation which involves using highly sophisticated computer technology to replace repetitive data entry tasks with a higher level of accuracy. The CFO owns the finance infrastructure needs to enable efficient transaction processing, at the lowest cost possible while generating the highest benefits.
Outsourcing certain low value work has been an established trend in recent years. Many organizations have established shared service organizations internally or partner with 3rd party providers that provide scalable solutions.