Controllers, also called comptrollers, are senior financial officers in companies. They are mainly responsible for managing the company’s budget, particularly expenses. In most cases, the controller’s signature is needed for money to be disbursed, especially if the expenditure involves a substantial amount of money.
One of the other usual functions of controllers is to audit the company’s financial statements. This does not mean that an external audit will not be conducted. It means the controller will audit everything first on a regular basis before the statements undergo external edit. This practice is sound since mistakes are caught before the external audit takes place, which if unnoticed could lead to serious reprisals.
Big companies usually have multiple controllers in charge of overseeing the financial condition of different departments. Aside from audit and expense control, responsibilities of a controller may include, but are not limited to, market research and analysis, product development and pricing, corporate strategy, business forecasting, and employees’ benefits package approval.
Another very important responsibility of controllers is seeing to it that the company does not end up with any legal liabilities. It is the controller’s job to see to it that fraud is not committed by any member of the company under the company’s name and that the company itself be innocent of any such charges. This means that the controller should not only signs disbursement vouchers but be privy to all financial matters in order to oversee the company’s operation properly.