Controller

Our customer is a Canadian family owned, Owner managed, rapidly growing manufacturing business in Lincoln, Ontario. Part of a larger, professionally managed, group of companies, the Lincoln manufacturing business is becoming a separate legal entity requiring its own, approved by the Group Director, Finance and the President, chart of accounts on or by January 31, 2023. 

The Controller is responsible for independently leading and managing the overall financial operations of the business, providing timely and accurate financial & inventory reporting, helping to lead budgeting/financial planning and personally performing cost accounting and analysis functions to support the company’s goals and business objectives. Further, significant, growth in the United States is occurring and eventually a US manufacturing facility may be required. And, sometime after 2023, the Controller will assist in the evaluation, purchasing of and successful implementation new accounting/financial reporting package.

The business culture is entrepreneurial, friendly, non-unionized and team and customer focused, with the immediate goals of profitably tripling production and revenue in the next 2-3 years, implementing bottom-up budgeting, implementing improved inventory and margin reporting and involving operations in the financials to a much greater degree while also delivering detailed machine, labour and overhead cost reporting. 

Reporting directly to the President/Owner and dotted line to the Group Director, Finance, with one direct report, an Accounting Associate to be hired by the incoming Controller, the salary range for this hands-on and skilled with financial reporting, cost accounting, analysis, budgeting and special project leadership Controller position is $110,000 to $140,000 (dependent upon experience), benefits, a performance based bonus of 0.5% of net income before shareholder distributionsand payment of annual CPA/CFA membership & training/P.D. fees. 

Advanced skills with Microsoft Excel (V Look Ups & Pivot Tables) for analysis and ongoing KPI/Metrics development purposes and experience understanding and effectively navigating ERP systems for data acquisition, manipulation and financial reporting purposes is required. To support longer term career growth, the candidate must have excellent oral and written communications skills (English), staff & project leadership and management experience plus a business growth leadership mindset. If you are or know of someone who is a strong fit for this special projects and financial reporting focused Controller career opportunity, please arrange for a resume to be sent to client0513@financialinterviewer.com e-mail subject line: Controller.

Please see position details below. No agencies please.

Position Behaviours:

*Microsoft Excel (V Look Ups & Pivot Tables) skills for financial analysis, improved inventory reporting, budgeting, forecasting, KPI/Metrics development and reporting purposes.

*Knowledge of how ERPs work and how to effectively navigate within them to obtain data and turn that raw information into meaningful reporting is required.

*Candidates must also have strong acumen in adapting to various types of operations-focused software. The company uses Manux as its manufacturing system and currently pulls that information into Infor Visual and ExcelUntil a new ERP is implemented in 2024, the Controllerwill need to personally develop a separate accounting system utilizing Infor Visual, where the current financials reside, and Excel for the new legal entity.

*Bring a thorough understanding of accounting procedures and practices according to ASPE.

*Take initiative to start and run your own financial department after discussing the plans/details with the President and/or Group Director, Finance and obtaining their input and then drive for positive outcomes.

*Arrive equipped with strong attention to detail, a strong customer and team focus and able to produce accurate, thorough, work. Thoroughness, process creation and developing structure and reporting from scratch are key to success as Controller. And, the senior leadership team needs a Controller who will not only deliver accurate and time financial reporting but be resolute in delivering special project results assisting non-financial professionals to run the business as efficiently as possible.

*Actively explore and work to understand the unique aspects within the business and to understand the business in general so higher level financial and business analysis, detailed costing for new machines and manufacturing processes and new product development input will be received by the President/Owner.

*Establish and maintain effective, regular and positive communications with the President and the Sales Leader for pricing, budgeting, market strategy and financial reporting communications, the Production Leader for inventory, cost accounting and improved margins reporting, the Purchasing Manager for controls and reporting development and the Group Director, Finance for accurate monthly financial reporting purposes and special project progress updates.

*Is inspirational, self-assured and has the drive to achieve results. This is the most entrepreneurial business culture within the larger group of companies and rapid growth needs to be structured into the processes, controls and methods by the incoming Controller. 

*Is self starting, competitive, imaginative in developing processes and implementing solutions, direct, communicative, influential, persuasive and self-confident without being arrogant.

*Work as part of the senior leadership team and provide professional financial and business reporting and analysis results and involve Sales and Purchasing in bottom-up budgeting, pricing and KPI/Metrics development and reporting and related process improvements. 

*Provide a high level of internal and//or external customer satisfaction within the required areas of accounting, financial reporting, cost accounting and analysis expertise.

* Bring sound judgment and discretion in handling confidential business matters. 

*Consistently work to help develop practical procedures and complete tasks through to conclusion.

*Continually seek out opportunities to help grow and improve the business, practicing and encouraging a culture of strategic excellence.

*Bring focus and drive to achieve targets, budgets and results and excellent time management skills with the ability to effectively prioritize tasks with an appropriate sense of urgency.

*Help create or enhance a business culture of continuous improvement by listening, not looking to finds fault but working hard together to find solutions.

*After hiring, set clear objectives for the department and staff, monitor progress, take corrective action and control performance levels.

*Provide the best solutions in terms of efficiency, quality and cost.

*Work to a high specification in order to improve and maintain financial reporting and analysis quality.

*Be alert to changing market situations, show flexibility in approach, adaptability in difficult circumstances and continuously strive to help the team achieve positive and profitable results.

*Retain a professional manner, reflect on difficult situations and remain unemotional in order to resolve challenges.

*Be creative and imaginative and help explore where the business can go in the future.

*Consistently work to a high specification in order to improve and maintain quality and timeliness of information delivered to the President/Owner and the Group Director, Finance.

*Enjoy the challenge of problem solving and come up with well thought through, practical, solutions. The Group Director, Finance likes to see well thought through plans, be challenged with ideas to consider and then regularly communicating about project status and outcomes.

*Be a wise and effective counsel for the President/Owner who has ambitious and realistic plans to grow the business. 

*Actively participate in team meetings and collaborate with the Sales, Purchasing and Production leaders to exchange meaningful information and improve everyone’s understanding of what’s happening within the business each month and areas of concern or opportunities for improvement.

*Experience with the planning and implementation of ERP systems will be an asset.

Position Responsibilities:

Upon arrival, analyze and evaluate existing accounting, financial reporting, controls and payroll procedures to understand the current situation. Hire a direct report Accounting Associate and work cooperatively with them to begin the process of influencing and personally implementing positive changes/improvements and additional controls under ASPE rules.

Help the President/Owner lead the annual budget preparation process – with the assistance of the Finance Team Lead currently involved in the process from a sister company and while obtaining guidance from the Group Director, Finance.

Meet regularly with the direct report (Accounting Associate to be hired by the Controller) and provide coaching and feedback and facilitate skills development and training plans. The Controller will also need to develop and personally perform the A/P, A/R and other Accounting functions to cover for the Accounting Associate during vacations and to be able to train any future staff.

Begin to establish trust-based, positive, business relationships with the President, the Group Director, Finance and the other senior leadership team members and contribute helpful business improvement ideas and actions.

Within 30 days, learn the fundamentals of the company’s Infor Visual system and the Manuxproduction software. Conclude the diagnosis of current financial structures and procedures and make a concise, prioritized, report for the President and Group Director, Finance explaining the separate legal entity reporting improvement plans/requirements. Discuss the findings with the President and simultaneously gain his perspective regarding how best to implement any agreed upon changes within the culture. 

Prepare accurate monthly financial statements – including all supporting reconciliations and schedules and share those with the Group Director, Finance. 

Analyze financial results, providing commentary on exceptions/variances and follow up on required actions to address them.

Personally present monthly financial results to the President and the other members of the Sr. Leadership Team and the Group Director, Finance who will share the information with the group CEO.

Begin to meet monthly with the Production, Sales & Purchasing leaders to discuss and compare any discrepancies between their inventory and project data/records verses what Accounting has on the system. Use that information to help formulate actionable plans, with input from the President, to increase accuracy, reporting integrity and timeliness. An initial and vital focus of the Controller position is to personally get hands-on in the detailed work and consistently deliver accurate and timely monthly financial reporting and analysis – moving Finance to regularly being proactive and involved in the effective running of the business plus strategy discussions.

Collaborate with and learn the current Accounting and Payroll functions performed by the Finance Team Lead at a sister manufacturing company where the financials currently reside and prepare to fully take over those hands-on tasks at 90 days

Collaborate with the President/Owner and Production & Sales leaders and provide forecasts, projections (P&L, cashflow), identify issues and make recommendations for corrective actions. 

Within 60 days, prepare standard recurring reports and ad hoc reports and analysis as required.

Hire and then provide coaching and direction to a direct report Accounting Associate and any other future staff.

Assist the Group Director, Finance with the legal entity corporation reorganization.

Develop cost accounting models, BOMs and standards for materials, labour, overhead, machine rates, etc. Evaluate current costing methodology of finished goods inventory and propose a new system/process driven method which can report better inventory valuation. Once approved, implement and develop related reporting. 

This is a management position, within the context that the Controller will need to mentor and manage performance of direct reports. This means collaboratively setting performance KPI’s, conducting weekly performance and issues discussions, annual reviews, advising on salary adjustments, bonuses, etc. (within the confines of the company’s performance evaluation framework). In other words, a portion of this role is “People /staff management and mentoring.”

Within 90 days, be well integrated within the senior leadership team, become an integral part of the business expansion projects and start to contribute, via effective business and financial analysis, to the larger strategic/business planning efforts of the President/Owner. 

Analyze financial information to support business decisions and make recommendations for cost savings, continuous improvement, etc.

Work with the Group Director, Finance to ensure departmental and personal targets are on track.

After 90 days, start to form positive business relationships with the external accountants, the building lease company and other suppliers not attended to by Purchasing and assume the role of primary contact and contract negotiator.

Recommend and implement internal financial controls, procedures and process improvements, in line with the Group expectations.

Begin to develop and maintain KPI (Key Performance Indicator)/Metrics and the related monthly reports and share/explain them to the other members of the Senior Leadership Team. And, develop or refine additional KPIs as needed for operations

At or before approximately 120 days, perform capital life cycle cost/benefit analysis.

Maintain fixed asset ledger, making recommendations for impairment.

Within approximate 150 days, while continuing to learn about the businesses, have become a trusted financial right-hand to the President/Owner and the Group Director, Finance by consistently providing accurate and reliable financial information, financial and business planning and other business growth strategies. 

Contribute to the annual strategic/business planning process (October 31st year-end), including establishing cash requirements to support business objectives and leading the development of the annual financial budget to be presented by the President to the Board for approval consideration and/or revision.

Lead the year-end inventory count and external audit processes.

At approximately 180 days, have the financial reporting function consistently running so efficiently that the President/Owner, the Production Leader and the Sales Leader see very few, if any, inconsistencies between their records, margins in particular, and Accounting’s.

In cooperation with staff, regularly monitor risk management policies and procedures to ensure that risks are minimized and external auditor recommendations are always implemented.

Identify potential financial risks to the business and make recommendations to mitigate them. The President/Owner needs a counterbalance financial leader to hold reign-in any tendency to be too risky.

By approximately 210 – 240 days, have fully gained the confidence and trust of the President/Owner and the Group Director, Finance by performing proactively and elevating the financial knowledge and operational performance of the non-financial professional members of the senior leadership team and actively assist with the aggressive growth plans for the business.

Within, or soon after, approximately 365 days, keep learning more about the business and contribute during all senior leadership team discussions regarding the overall business strategy, plans and best approaches to expand profitably. 

Oversee the year-end inventory count, following up on required actions and address issues.

Act as the primary liaison for external audit requirements, CRA audits, etc. to provide information and follow up on required actions. 

Other tasks and projects required of an energetic hands-on & strategic Controllerconsistently looking to add value while working cooperatively and collaboratively within a positive team environment – while also adding value as a costing and financial leader.