New Controller Checklist
A person who has been newly hired into the controller position may feel overwhelmed by the vast number of tasks to be completed and may wonder where to begin. The attached list gives some guidance about the priority of tasks.
The first few priorities are heavily stacked in favor of creating and improving the accuracy of a cash forecasting system, which requires a detailed knowledge of payables, receivables, debt payments, contracts, and capital expenditures. The new controller must have a firm grasp of this information before proceeding to any other steps, because a company without cash will not survive long enough for the controller to address anything else.
A key priority falling immediately after the cash forecasting system is a detailed review of all current contracts. The controller should read these personally, with the objective of finding any contract terms that have a potential to put the company in jeopardy or at least have a significant downward impact on its profitability.
The next group of priorities involves the establishment of measurement systems, so the controller can see what problems are likely to arise and how this can impact the priority of his or her future activities.
Next in line is a complete review of the controller staff's capabilities, work schedules, and training requirements. Although an inexperienced controller may be tempted to advance this task to the topmost priority, it is listed lower here because staff development ...