THE TITLE OF The Essential Controller: An Introduction to What Every Financial Manager Must Know clearly specifies its purpose; a person newly hired into the controller position needs this book in order to understand the demands of the position and to succeed in the role.
The book describes the role of both the controller and chief financial officer within the corporation, as well as how these roles vary between companies of different sizes. These issues are addressed in Chapters 1 through 3. Chapter 4 describes a variety of efficient practices for managing the accounting department. Chapter 5 turns to internal accounting, also known as cost accounting; it takes the new controller through traditional costing concepts, such as job and process costing, as well as the most recent costing systems, such as throughput, target, and activity-based costing.
Chapter 6 shows the new controller how to analyze information through the use of ratio and trend analysis, which is also a good way to pinpoint the control problems that can be resolved through the control systems changes noted in Chapter 7. It is also useful to understand the process required to issue reliable financial statements, which is covered in Chapter 8. The new controller may work with an internal audit department; Chapter 9 describes the composition and role of the audit committee, as well as the general functions of the internal audit group.
The book then moves on to more general management topics. Chapter 10 turns ...