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How to Hire a Controller for Your Company You need a number cruncher, but you want to figure in the right qualities and qualifications. Here's what to do.

By Joe Worth

This story appears in the December 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »


Q: How should I go about replacing my controller?

A: When faced with hiring for a key position, you'll logically start with a job description. You can find sample lists of general duties and responsibilities online, and your outside CPA firm undoubtedly can weigh in. The list should cover the basics: handling transactions and the operations of the accounting staff and software system, and being able to produce monthly financial statements -- income statements, balance sheets and cash-flow statements -- that are complete, accurate and timely, as well as any other reports you need to make business decisions. You should specify compliance-related responsibilities and whether they involve the government or audits. Depending on the level of outsourcing used, these could include payroll and payroll taxes, workers' compensation, insurance and other requirements.

Finding a person with QuickBooks experience is easy. If you use higher-level packages, look for someone who has worked with similar advanced accounting software and is comfortable with its complexities, especially on the reporting side. If the job involves upgrading the company to a more robust accounting system, experience with such an installation is a must.

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