Blog/AP Automation March 4, 2022

The 4 Attributes of Top-Performing Financial Controllers


As the roles of finance executives grow more demanding, so do the expectations of corporate controllers. Controllers must prepare the finance function for the future while simultaneously balancing the demands of daily operations. Today’s financial controller is responsible for being a catalyst for change on top of other functional duties. 

Leading businesses require that their finance teams embrace innovation to scale processes and drive expansion. In a recent Controllers Council Report, 60% of controllers stated that they are responsible for participating in or supervising their function’s corporate digital transformation. Let’s explore the attributes that top-performing controllers contribute to creating long-term financial growth. 

1. Embrace Artificial Technology and Automation 

Controllers are responsible for the workload of their accounting team and ensuring the accuracy of financial processes. Understanding that technology is a necessity for scaling the business and driving efficiency, many controllers are leveraging the power of real-time AP automation. This software accelerates high-volume, repetitive tasks in real-time and frees up AP teams. With easy-to-use automated workflows and custom rules, finance functions can save hundreds of employee hours per month. Excelling financial controllers employ the latest tech to streamline work processes, enabling them to become more efficient. AP automation eliminates human error and identifies invoice discrepancies before the AP team remits payment, strengthening work output and quality. Through automation, controllers can complete mundane tasks faster and reallocate time to higher-value, strategic work. 

2. Operate Without Spreadsheets

Top-performing financial controllers are aware of the potential risks of using manual entry systems for finance processes. According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, more than 90% of spreadsheets contain serious errors that the majority of users are unaware of. The inefficiency, error-prone nature of spreadsheets is driving finance leaders to alternative methods for data management. Leading finance functions leverage the latest cloud technology and automation to collect and process data from their ERP systems. Successful financial controllers strategically eliminate manual entry and paper processes to save time and mitigate costly errors. 

3. Leverage Integrated Systems

Streamlining collaborative processes and ensuring all parties have access to data in real-time is crucial for improved efficiency. With many accounting and finance teams working remotely post-pandemic, leveraging systems that keep everyone informed helps to maintain continuity. According to The Digital Controller/CFO: Benchmark Study, nearly all of the controllers surveyed indicated that they manage their accounting and finance systems, and a significant 63% were responsible for their technology budgeting, spending, and approval. Good controllers prioritize creating a hyperconnected finance function, and they leverage the power of software to enhance tools such as reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. Developing a single source of truth makes the transfer of information fluid and creates a cohesive relationship amongst finance teams, ultimately resulting in better financial performance.

4. Understand the Value of Predictive Analytics

Finance data and analytics are tools used within thriving finance functions to create actionable insights for the entire organization. In the Deloitte study, The Analytics Advantage, 96% of respondents felt analytics were increasingly important to their organizations by improving their decision-making capabilities. Winning financial controllers use the latest analytic tools to understand financial data and help them craft reporting they can effectively disseminate across the enterprise. With these tools, controllers can offer their CFOs insight on trends in performance, potential risks, and possible outcomes. By doing so, they help the C-suite mitigate losses and capitalize on opportunities to strengthen financial value.
Modern controllers are staying ahead of the curve by adapting to the evolving needs of business and finance. From embracing innovation and removing legacy processes to leveraging new systems, these tactics reduce costs while supporting business growth. Discover how real-time AP automation software supports controllers and accounting teams by scheduling a demo with an OpenEnvoy expert today, visit


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