By Shoni Priyanka
Staying on top of one’s finances and working the way through budgetary restraints and defined deadlines can be one of the most daunting challenges for startup companies and other organizations. While taking care of all the issues concerned with the nature of the business, owners and management officials often find themselves at their wits end as they go about controlling all the documentations connected with financial transactions, banking formalities, accounting and taxation procedures, budget planning and other conciliatory activities which require time, energy and knowledge resources.
Under the circumstances, it certainly helps to have an external controller who takes over the responsibilities of managing the basic as well as advanced functions and processes and helping the organization work in smoother fashion.
Who exactly is a virtual controller and what is the periphery of his services and scope of work?
Well, if you do not want to employ a full time controller in house for reasons connected to finance restraints or work culture prevailing in the organization, you would consider going in for the services of a virtual controller – who works online and guides you by providing valuable management insight, customized and well prepared financial reports and value added services in the field of business decision making.
Some of the common ways in which an external expert can assist in controlling the different aspects and functionalities of your business organization are as follows:
• He / she is an experienced agent who can hold your hand and guide you through all the formalities of setting up your accounting system and package and set up the same as per your customized needs and requirements.
• As your business accounting procedures may go through certain changes after the employment of an external controlling firm or agent, they help the existing in house staff get used to the changes in the processes and also train them to use the same.
• If you already have a bookkeeper in house, then the controller co-ordinates the various processes of recoding and reporting financial transactions and makes sure that the work is done accurately and in a timely fashion. He also helps the bookkeeper in the event of any unprecedented problems or issues arising in the course of account management.
• They give adequate time to discuss the various ongoing and other pipelined projects and share their knowledge ad ideas on the department’s profitability as well as the feasibility of the various activities going on in the organization.
• Apart from fixing the asset depreciation schedules for equipments, taking stock of all the assets and liabilities and keeping a close eye on the current purchases, accounts receivable and payable, a controller also helps in tax preparation and filing of returns.
• They go a long way in planning out the strategies, helping in the documentation of procedures and policies, assisting with mergers and acquisitions and planning solutions for various issues connected with any unprecedented events which may arise in the course of the business.
The services of a virtual controller are exhaustive and cover a wide gamut ranging from the basic to most advanced functions. Cost effective and highly experienced, they help businesses get a controller function without locking up any infrastructural and other in house resources.
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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA
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