A business unit controller is an executive tasked with overseeing the operation's financial accounting and reporting. They typically have the entire accounting department of a company under their supervision and are expected to manage it in a manner that conforms to standard practices. Additionally, business unit controllers sign off on the financial reporting of an organization and must make sure that all reporting is as accurate and reliable as possible. Additionally, the controller normally sets up routine auditing systems to ensure everyone adheres to organizational standards.
The business unit controller maintains or implements all systems regarding the accounting in a company. They normally have oversight on payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. They carefully monitor cash flow and handle budgeting and forecasting as required by their operation.
The business unit controller also work with external financial institutions in reporting of a company’s financial situation. They work with regulators and auditors to find the most efficient, accurate method of assessment of a company’s accounting and reporting processes. The controller typically has various accounting and financial department managers and supervisors as his direct reports and deals directly with the hiring or promotion for these positions.
The normal education requirements for this position includes a bachelor's degree in business or a related field. Larger organizations may also prefer a person to have a master’s degree in administration as well. A controller also must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Business Unit Controller Tasks
- Work for organization-wide compliance with financial controls and audits.
- Gather, analyze, and reconcile financial data, communicating, and disseminating results.
- Lead financial planning and analysis for the business unit, reviewing balance sheets for accuracy and correctness.
- Model financial performance and goals to inform strategic plans.