New Survey Finds Financial Controller Evolving into Strategic Risk Manager Role

Controller’s Job Dramatically Shifts to Internal Controls Oversight
and Strategic Planning; 9 Out of 10 Controllers Report Role is More

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#accountinglt;/agt;–FloQast,
, a provider of close management software created by accountants
for accountants to close faster and more accurately, just released its
2019 survey “The Modern Controller: A Survey of Financial Controllers.”
The research which includes survey results from more than 300 accounting
and finance professionals, including over 200 controllers, reinterprets
the controller’s role within a company as one far more complex and
strategic than ever before.

Sponsored by FloQast and conducted by Dimensional Research through
January 2019, the survey sought to identify the impact of controllers
within today’s accounting vertical as well as understand how and why
their roles have evolved. As new technology and business outcomes add to
the stressors of maintaining a company’s financial health, the
controller’s responsibilities now overlap with those traditionally given
to the CFO.

“The modern financial controller does not fit the stereotype of the
number-cruncher who hides in his office with his or her spreadsheets and
ledgers and sends incomprehensible reports to the CFO who interprets
those for the C-suite,” said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst of
Dimensional Research. “As the role of the CFO and the overall finance
team has expanded, the controller understands how good data about
business operations — both financial and non-financial — directly
impacts the quality of decision making.”

Key finding in the report include:

  • The role of the controller has expanded to include risk management
    and internal controls:
    Almost all (95 percent) of respondents say
    their role is more strategic; while 69 percent characterize the
    controller as a risk manager that oversees internal controls.
  • The CFO requires the controller to be more strategic: With the
    CFO taking on a more strategic role themselves as the right hand of
    the CEO, the controller has to backfill a lot of traditional CFO
    responsibilities and aid the CFO in planning. 73 percent say the
    controller’s role is changing because the CFO role has changed, while
    90 percent report controllers are spending more time on strategic
    planning — a job historically done by the CFO.
  • Advancements in technology mean required software competency:
    Given how core accounting is to most ERP systems, the controller now
    has to manage many IT systems. 78 percent of respondents say
    controllers now spend more time on IT management. Controllers say
    close management software is the innovation with the greatest
    potential to positively impact controllers, even when compared to
    cloud ERP or online accounting software.
  • Job stressors have changed…and increased: 89 percent say the
    controller’s job is more stressful. Top stresses include management
    demands for speed (67 percent), higher volume of work (64 percent) and
    compliance demands (63 percent). More concerning, 64 percent have
    experienced pressure to “cook the books.”
  • The controller is no longer a lone wolf: According to the
    survey, only a small number (31 percent) of controllers view
    themselves as the individual that prepares necessary financial
    reports. In midsize (74 percent) and large enterprises (82 percent),
    respondents were much more likely to view the controller as a risk
    managers with oversight of internal controls.

“There’s a lot resting on the controller’s shoulders now. As complex
software becomes more integrated into the accounting department’s daily
lives and executives expect a faster month-end close, the controller is
forced to get out of the nitty gritty and figure out how to manage a
team that can perform a really fast close,” said Mike Whitmire, CPA*,
co-founder and CEO of FloQast. “Leveraging close management software and
other cloud-based financial tools allows them to be more efficient and
strategic, providing more time to spend on planning.”

That said, despite the rapid transformation and steep expectations in
maintaining satisfactory job performance, very few controllers are
dissatisfied with their job. While 88 percent of the survey respondents
have been offered outside job opportunities in the last year, only 11
percent of controllers are actually looking for jobs.

Receive a complimentary copy of the report by visiting
To learn about cloud-based close management software and how it helps
controllers and their accounting teams streamline and improve the
month-end close, visit
and follow on Facebook
and Twitter.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by Dimensional
in January 2019. A total of 306 accounting and finance
professionals participated in the survey included over 200 controllers
from the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

About Dimensional Research

Dimensional Research® provides practical market research to help
technology companies make their customers more successful. Our
researchers are experts in the way technology organizations operate to
meet the needs of their business stakeholders. We partner with our
clients to deliver actionable information that reduces risks, increases
customer satisfaction, and improves business results. For more
information, visit

About FloQast

FloQast is award-winning close management software, created by
accountants for accountants to close faster and more accurately. On
average, accounting teams who rely on FloQast close three days faster.
Seamlessly integrated with ERPs and leveraging your existing checklists
and Excel, FloQast provides a single place to manage the month-end close
and gives everyone visibility. The cloud-based software is trusted by
hundreds of accounting departments, including those at DoorDash, AdRoll,
Indeed, Shopify,, Twilio, Dollar Shave Club, Zillow and The
Golden State Warriors. To learn more, visit
and join the conversation on Twitter at @FloQast.



Sasha Quintana
Chatter Republic for FloQast