controller vs treasurer finding the right fit for your company

Controller vs Treasurer: Finding The Right Fit For Your Company

Both treasurers and controllers are responsible for crucial financial activities within a corporation, yet their roles are very different. In a sense, financial controllers lead the accounting department because they supervise accountants and handle the company’s books. They ensure that financial reports are completed on schedule and accurately for management review. 

Treasurers, on the other hand, serve as financial counsellors to the company’s management. They investigate the industry’s economic climate and advise management on how to deal with potential economic shifts.

But, which one does your business really need? To determine the answer to that question, you need to understand what each role’s individual functions are, which we have covered in this article. 

An Introduction To The Treasurer 

A modern treasurer is a financial risk management specialist. They’re also in charge of a company’s liquidity and payment tracking. At the same time, a treasurer’s work is done with financial data securities, rather than actual firm funds. 

The chief financial officer of the company is in charge of keeping track of budget expenditures and issuing payments in accordance with legal requirements.

Duties and Responsibilities of A Treasurer

Mentioned below are some of the most prominent duties and responsibilities of a modern treasurer: 

  • Perform financial analyses and oversee the company’s cash flow; 
  • Control project funding and keep track of potential investors’ offers; 
  • Keep track of bank accounts; 
  • Keep track of all payments; 
  • Perform cash flow and accounts receivable and payable financial reporting; 
  • Assemble a lending portfolio. 
  • Reconcile the accounts of credit firms; 
  • Create safeguards to protect the company from financial risks, such as currency swings. 
  • In addition, this expert aspires to raise equity financing

In general, the scope of a modern treasurer’s responsibilities extends much beyond those of a “currency master” or a finance manager.

In fact, having a corporate treasurer, you can expect a lot of responsibility because money is the bloodline of all businesses. The treasury’s job is to keep this bloodline circulating so that adequate energy is available not only for survival but also for development. 

Required Qualifications of A Treasurer 

The financial responsibilities outlined above necessitate certain abilities from the treasurer. It is critical for a CFO, a financial management, or another professional to: 

  • Have leadership characteristics; 
  • Be alert;  
  • Maintain cash management and be audit ready

Previously, these experts may have been limited to simply tracking financial records, but today’s treasurer should be well-versed in macroeconomics. In addition, this position necessitates frequent collaboration with the company’s CFO, vice president, and other important analysts. 

An Introduction To A Controller

A financial controller is a professional who keeps meticulous records of all of a company’s activities. Surprisingly, in major corporations, the extent of a specialist’s responsibilities is quite limited (much less than those of a treasurer). On the other hand, the smaller the company, the more detailed the job description.

Duties and Responsibilities Of A Controller 

It’s crucial to explain the scope of each specialist’s responsibilities when comparing treasurer vs. controller. If an employee joins the controllership sector, the following are the primary responsibilities:

  • Managing all staff involved in the budgeting and accounting process, including accounts receivable and payable, payroll, and compliance with regulators; 
  • Keeping track of subsidiary accounting; 
  • Examining financial report preparation; cost accounting through disbursements, purchases of products, and so on.

If the specialist primarily deals with tax returns and risks adhering to local legislation, a controller may be mistaken for a tax manager. Forecasting and strategic planning are also part of the controller’s job description. Any company’s decision-making process addressing outside sources is critical to its success. The controllers’ sector often consists of numerous specialists (analysts, financial managers, and accountants) who can appropriately extrapolate all incoming data.

It’s critical to remember that the main controller isn’t always expected to handle all of the mentioned responsibilities on their own. It is, nevertheless, their obligation to monitor the quality of subordinates’ performance on these tasks.

Required Qualifications For A Controller 

To be accepted to financial reports, only a fully qualified specialist with a suitable amount of work experience is required. However, even without a master’s degree, it is theoretically possible to work as a controller. However, the phrase “theoretically” is crucial: large and medium-sized businesses still want narrowly focused professionals with at least 5-7 years of experience following college or university.

It’s also worth noting that the controller requires certain abilities. The following are the most important professional criteria to consider: 

  • Possessing leadership characteristics in order to delegate responsibility quickly and appropriately; 
  • Self-discipline and excellent time management; 
  • An analytical mind; the capacity to choose the best approach to various tasks.

Unfortunately, when it comes to treasurer vs. controller, it’s important to note that both positions necessitate a steady ascent up the corporate ladder. Workers typically begin in entry-level employment, performing minimal accounting or sector auditing. The specialist is promoted to the desired position after successfully completing tasks and demonstrating potential.

The Similarities Between a Treasurer and a Controller 

Aside from having similar educational backgrounds, both the controller and the treasurer must be able to read and analyse financial statements. When issues impacting their departments develop, they will be expected to advise management on the best course of action. 

The controller, on the other hand, offers facts where the treasurer recommends. The controller is more involved in financial statement presentation, whereas the treasurer is in charge of money management.

The treasurer establishes ties with investment banks in order to agree on the greatest projects for the company’s money to develop, while also negotiating the best interest rates for loans. The controller is more active in the company’s resource expenditures than in the creation of reserves.

Hence, in most cases, a company usually needs a treasurer and a controller as they both compliment each other, instead of being able to replace the other. However, if you’re still confused about hiring, monitoring and managing a treasurer and controller, you could consider using our outsourced Virtual CFO and Controller services at CharterCPA

Feel free to write to us with your questions at info@chartercpa.com or Schedule a call today.

Thanks & Regards,
Knowledge Base Team
CharterCPA Inc.
Your virtual accountant

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