Comptroller refers to the person who oversees the accounting and financial records of the company and is usually is a senior-level position most preferably the CFO of the company. The main role is to manage the Accounting staff and do the general administration of the Office.
Roles & Responsibilities of a Comptroller
- Apart from the daily routine work, he also undertakes the financial matters of the company concerning the funding plans, budgets, and variance analysis.
- Comptroller duties also include the internal audit of staff and ensuring that the financial statementsFinancial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels. are prepared according to the generally accepted policies and accounting standardsGenerally Accepted Policies And Accounting StandardsGenerally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are the minimum standards and uniform guidelines for the accounting and reporting. These standards prohibit firms from engaging in unethical business activities and enable for a more accurate comparison of financial reports to investors..
- Generally, in business organizations, they are referred to as “Controller,” but in government, they are called “ Comptroller.”
- They are expert in financial matters and controls the treasury as well.
- They report directly to the CEO and the management of the company and is expected to put forth his report on a quarterly basis in order to have a proper view about the financials of the company and to understand the business-level performance as well.
- Their duties also include fundraising for the company via debt and equity route under the guidance of the CEO.
Examples of Comptroller
In the United Kingdom, there are various posts. Below are some of the examples :
- Comptroller of the Household: This office was established in the 13th Century to maintain Check on the accounts of the treasurer of the household.
- Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office: He arranges ceremonial affairs rather than financial affairs.
- Comptroller of the Navy: is the royal position in the US Defence, who will be responsible mainly for the procurement.
- Comptroller & City Solicitor of the City of London: One of the high officials responsible for legal services.
- Comptroller General of Patents: is the head of the UK intellectual patent or the patent office.
- Comptroller and Auditor General, who is the head of the national audit office.
They take care of the entire financial framework of the company or government. Below are some of the advantages :
- A single point of contact for all the financial matters to the business owner or the government, which makes it very easy for decision making.
- He takes full responsibility for the finance and accounting functions of the organization.
- Does the variance analysis and suggest measures to improve the financial performance of the company or the government in the near future.
- A most important person in the decision-making process where there is going to be a huge outflow of money from the Company or the Government or the later is going to suffer heavy losses by taking a particular decision.
- The only person in charge of the financial & accounting matters; This raises a doubt in other people’s minds with regards to the loyalty to the organization.
- He is solely responsible for taking any kind of business or financial decisions for the betterment of the organization, which can be slightly Risky.
- Since it is a senior-level position, there are chances that the management may lay off such a person who has full control over the treasury of the company and is not adhering to the principles and values of the organization.
- The Comptroller alone is responsible for making any kind of payments outside the Company, which can be a little threat since the money can go to the wrong people via wrong routes.
- A huge amount of power in one single hand may lead to danger as he may become a dictator dictating terms to his junior staff to perform.
- Limited to Finance Role
- Not good in presentations
- Inherent RiskInherent RiskInherent Risk is the probability of a defect in the financial statement due to error, omission or misstatement identified during a financial audit. Such a risk arises because of certain factors which are beyond the internal control of the organization. in giving power to a single person;
Comptroller is one of the most important and senior-level positions in any company which decides on the company strategies in the future and tries to execute the same along with the CEO for the interest of the company and its employees. Thus it is a senior or a management level position in any organization that takes part in the decision-making process and suggests various measures to the management to make an informed decision.
Since he is in control of all the financial matters of the company without the Comptroller, it will be very difficult to put forth the views and opinions of all the senior management since he is the only person who is in control of the company’s finances and is answerable to its shareholders and investors as he will be signing the balance sheetBalance SheetA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders' equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner's capital equals the total assets of the company..
In the United States, they will continue to enjoy a higher salary job been a managerial role, and will always be in demand in the future.
This has been a guide to What is Comptroller and its meaning. Here we discuss the duties of Comptroller along with examples, advantages, and disadvantages. You can learn more from the following articles –