December 11, 2018

Controllers

5 Qualities Audit Committees Want a Corporate Controller to Possess

Open communication, face-to-face exposure, accountability: These are just some of the tenets of an effective relationship between the corporate controller and the audit committee. But after reading a couple of articles on what audit committees want from CFOs, I was curious to find out what audit committees expect from controllers. So, I asked a handful […]

Controllers Relationship Audit Committee

How Controllers Can Build an Effective Relationship with the Audit Committee

Over the past six months on Going Concern, more than two dozen corporate controllers have shared their experiences and provided practical advice to CPAs and other accounting professionals on certain aspects of the controllership, including talent retention, fraud, cybersecurity, leadership, month-end close, continuing education, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and initial public offerings. But one part of their […]

controllers IPO SOX

No Matter the Timeline, Controllers and Their Teams Must Be Ready When the IPO Window Opens

Well, looky there, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. In a perfect world, a private company that is planning to go public would take 12 to 24 months before the initial public offering launch date to make sure all of its i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. But the world we live in ain’t perfect, and certain factors […]

Controllers Supporting CFOs IPO

Supporting the CFO Through the IPO Process Is a Big Task for Controllers

During the interview process for the job of corporate controller at Borderfree Inc., Scott Paterniani, CPA, was told by the company’s CFO, Ed Neumann, that he was focused on operations, scaling the business, and other strategic initiatives, and he needed someone with recent experience with an initial public offering and the Securities and Exchange Commission […]

Controllers First IPO

10 Tips on How Controllers Can Survive Their First IPO

So far, 2018 has been a damn good year for IPOs in the United States. The U.S. IPO market is coming off a first quarter in which 44 companies, including Dropbox, went public, raising about $15.6 billion—the best quarter by proceeds in three years, according to a March analysis by research firm Renaissance Capital. That […]

University Controller

What It Takes for a University Controller to Be Head of the Class

A while back I spoke to several controllers at nonprofit organizations and asked them what tips they would give to an accounting or finance professional considering that role. Among the advice that was shared included “believe in the nonprofit’s mission and objectives” and “you won’t be rich, but the job is rewarding.” It seems that […]

university controllers

How Two CPAs Ended Up Back in College As University Controllers

Robert Kuehler and Alan West have a few things in common: both are CPAs, both started their careers in public accounting, both have accounting degrees, and both went back to college—not as a student or professor but as a state university controller. As associate vice president/university controller at the University of Colorado, Kuehler oversees a […]

non-cpa controllers

Non-CPA Controllers Offer Perspective on Choosing a Certification

Three years ago, Anne Bronchetti, CMA, had an accounting intern from a local university who had never heard of the Certified Management Accountant designation until she told him about it. “He knew he wanted to pursue a career in accounting but wasn’t at all sure what path to follow or where he should focus,” said […]

controllers no cpa

No CPA, No Problem: Why Some Controllers Opted for Other Professional Credentials

Joel Konts was told over and over again during college that if he didn’t sit for the CPA exam and work for a public accounting firm after he graduated, he wouldn’t have the best of luck making a career in accounting. “I also knew that if I didn’t go for my master’s degree right after […]

Excel

More Than 30 Years After Its Debut, Many Controllers Still Head Over Heels for Excel

When Microsoft Corp. released its spreadsheet program, Excel for Windows (Excel 2.0), in late 1987, Lotus 1-2-3 was all the rage. “Among numbers-crunching accountants, corporate planners and business school students, the program has developed the kind of loyal following usually reserved for Madonna and the Boston Red Sox,” the New York Times wrote on Oct. […]

sox compliance blockchain artificial intelligence

Controllers Say AI and Blockchain on the Cusp of Transforming SOX Compliance

When asked whether artificial intelligence and blockchain will play a role in accounting and finance teams’ Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts in the near future, Brian Christensen said, without hesitation, “Absolutely.” “The question is, how far down the road is that?” said Christensen, executive vice president of global internal audit and financial advisory at consulting firm Protiviti. […]

sox compliance

Controllers Talk About the Paths They’ve Taken Toward SOX Compliance

As we approach the “sweet sixteen” of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act later this summer, corporate controllers provided some perspective on how SOX compliance efforts have changed with the times and what challenges they continue to face. “I’ve seen quite a few SOX changes through the years and improvements to internal controls since the original COSO framework was […]

nonprofit controller

If You Want to Be a Nonprofit Controller, Be Prepared to Wear Lots of Hats

As controller and corporate compliance officer at the Akron, Ohio-based nonprofit Weaver Industries, Carla McDonald’s responsibilities include: all things financial (accounting, accounts receivable and payable, financial statement preparation, and financial presentations to the board of directors); overseeing a team of two (soon to be three) people; and maintaining regulatory compliance requirements for the organization. But […]

nonprofit controllers

Making an Impact in Their Communities Drove These Accountants to Become Nonprofit Controllers

For Denise Garcia, it was taking a course in nonprofit accounting while a student at the University of Houston. For others, like Raquel Cosio, CPA, who started their careers in public accounting, it was auditing nonprofit clients. It was experiences like these that gave Garcia, Cosio, and other accountants a glimpse into the nonprofit world—a […]

public accounting to industry

Controllers Offer Tips on How to Look Before You Leap From Public Accounting to Industry

Last week we published an article on what the transition from public accounting to industry was like for 14 corporate controllers. During my interviews with them, I asked what advice they’d give to a CPA at a public accounting firm who is looking to make the jump to an industry accounting role. And boy did […]

public accounting to industry

Controllers Talk Switching Gears From Public Accounting to Industry

If it wasn’t for Fred Butterweck, CPA, this article may not have come to be. I was introduced to Butterweck, corporate controller of New York-based Clickspring Design, who worked for six years at PwC, via email as a potential source for the industry articles I’d be writing for Going Concern. During our email conversation, he […]

controllers change industries

New Industry, No Problem: How 3 Controllers Transitioned From One Sector to Another

After spending several years as either an assistant corporate controller or corporate controller for three companies within the healthcare sector, Erik Bello, CPA, decided to make a career change. In April of last year, he became corporate controller of UniFirst Corp., a uniform rental service company based in Wilmington, Mass. And even though Bello was […]

corporate tax changes

Controllers Tight-Lipped About New Corporate Tax Changes

During an article brainstorming call I had with Caleb a couple Fridays ago, we both agreed that it would be interesting to ask corporate controllers and chief accounting officers what they thought of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the sweeping tax legislation that was signed into law in late December. Surely they must have […]

3 Controllers Reveal Tactics, and, Yes, How They Make Time, to Keep Learning

In about four months, the accounting and finance conference circuit will start to heat up, as professionals from companies of all shapes and sizes will descend upon hotels and convention centers in cities across the United States to peruse vendor exhibits, hobnob with their friends and peers at networking events, and attend workshops and seminars. […]

controllers priorities 2018

6 Controllers Share Their Most Pressing Priorities for 2018

Happy New Year! While 2018 officially began for us accounting scribes once the New Year’s Eve hangover faded away, a majority of accounting and finance departments celebrated the start of the new year several months ago. Many companies’ 2018 fiscal year first quarters began last fall, but the process of planning key accounting and finance […]

cybersecurity controllers accounting

How Controllers Can Step Up Their Cybersecurity Game

There’s a good reason why cybersecurity is ranked extremely high on the priority list of Trey White, CPA, and other controllers and chief accounting officers in the healthcare sector. According to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout, 376 (34.4%) of the 1,093 data breach incidents reported in 2016 occurred in the […]

leadership skills controllers accountants

Controllers Are Leaders Too: Here Are Tips for Being a Better One

When I was in my late 20s, I was thrown into the managing editor’s seat for a group of weekly community newspapers in the Chicago suburbs, after only having four years of experience as a beat reporter. Not only would I oversee six news reporters but also a staff of sports and arts and entertainment […]

month-end close floqast

Here’s How Thrive Market Woke Up From Its Month-end Close Nightmare

Imagine a month-end close process in which the close checklist, reconciliation schedules, and general ledger are in three different places, making it a nightmare for management to know what’s ready for review, if mistakes had been made, and what deadlines had been missed. Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? But that scenario used to be a reality […]

auditor fraud pwc colonial fdic

Controllers, Don’t Skim On These 6 Tips to Thwart Fraud

It’s not every day that you come across a controller who had worked on the Allen Stanford and Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme investigations. But Bridget Meacham Kowalski, CPA, CFE, did just that. Now the controller of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Kowalski was working as a financial and litigation consultant for FTI Consulting at the time […]

controller to cfo

The Road From Controller to CFO Is Becoming Less Traveled

When my daughters, ages 10 and 8, are asked what they want to be when they grow up, my oldest says a professional basketball player, and my youngest wants to be a chef. Both good choices. No kid in their right mind would say accountant, journalist, or chief financial officer. As children, Bill Brundage had […]

employee retention

Don’t Let Employee Retention Be a Casualty in the War for Talent

On the battlefield in the war for talent, there’s a mission that may be just as, if not more, critical for accounting and finance executives than recruiting a new crop of professionals: retaining the skilled employees they already have. I know, I know, you’re probably tired of seeing or hearing the term “war for talent.” […]

floqast partnership

Announcing Our Partnership with FloQast, the Startup Built by CPAs

Okay, some big news. Going Concern’s been at this for the better part of a decade, and one of our big goals for awhile now has been to produce more content for our readers who leave public accounting for industry. Which, let’s face it, most of you are going to do. You hear about us […]