Controller – future VP, Finance

Our customer is a dynamic yet established; supportive of staff, profitable, $15 million and growing, Canadian manufacturing company located in Aurora/Newmarket, Ontario. To assist the company with its growth plans the senior team is looking for a skilled, reliable and highly competent financial professional leader to come on-board as Controller, get involved within the entire business, consistently contribute accurate and meaningful financial reporting and business analysis services within a multi-currency/multi-tax environment and positively contribute to the controls and companywide business process refinements required to enable greater efficiency and further profitable growth. Once sufficient, profitable, growth is achieved and the Controller is considered by the President and the CEO to be a reliable business colleague/leader who contributes beyond financial reporting, cash management, controls and effective staff management, the Controller will progress to become VP, Finance.

This Controller position is focused on working cooperatively with the President and the rest of the leadership team, while maintaining the three day period-end close, effectively monitoring and reporting on established KPIs, refining those KPIs utilizing Microsoft Excel (Pivot Table & V Lookup skills required), enhancing controls and effectively managing and developing the two Clerk level Accounting staff. Reporting directly to the President, with a dotted line to the CEO, the Controller – future VP, Finance will also effectively manage banking, external accounting firm, insurance and government audit relationships and assist the Plant Manager with enhancing the quality of inventory management and costing.

The salary range for this hands-on Controller position is $100,000 to $130,000, (dependent upon experience)comprehensive benefits, including a matched % of salary RRSP program, reimbursement of all CPA membership and ongoing professional development fees and a 20% personal and corporate performance-based bonus. 

If you are or know of a hands-on with financial reporting, skilled with Microsoft Excel for financialand business analysis, results-oriented, Chartered Professional Accountant business leader who can effectively and personally deliver positive, timely, financial reporting and analysis, manage and develop staff and also contribute meaningfully at the senior leadership table, please arrange for a resume to be sent to e-mail subject line: Aurora/Newmarket Controllerby April 19. Please see position behaviours and responsibilities details below; no agencies please.

Position Behaviours

*Continually seek out opportunities to add value and practice and encourage a culture of strategic excellence. Discuss ideas, improvement suggestions, concerns immediately with the appropriate Manager(s) and share information with the President.
*Provide the best solutions in terms of quality and cost while always focusing on information accuracy.
*Always be on the lookout for cost saving and greater efficiency opportunities and add positive financial strength at the leadership table.
*Bring and consistently maintain a continuous improvement mindset. Proactively find, communicate and help to address opportunities for improvement throughout the entire business.
*Consistently prove that you reliably ‘Own the Finance function’.
*Focus and drive to achieve deadlines and targets, budgets and results.
*Lead, encourage, train and support staff and others so the Finance team meets its objectives and builds team competencies.
*Communicate effectively (oral & written) and, through example and expertise, create a participative and involved work/team atmosphere.
*Consistently bring a sense of urgency to situations by demonstrating an active approach and be willing to get involved in order to increase the pace and achieve goals and objectives.
*Develop trust in and from people and be willing to smooth relationships when necessary and advise and assist other department leaders.
*Have drive to achieve results in a friendly manner but at the same time maintain quality and standards.
*Have the ability to absorb and impart factual information to others and work within standard operating procedures.
*See, understand, anticipate and communicate the bigger picture and use a positive perfectionist approach to problem solving.
*Be positive, participative, self-confident, friendly, self-starting, competitive, inquisitive, imaginative, factual, consistent and self-disciplined.
*Be active, mobile, flexible and able to switch focus and yet still deliver accurately on core function deliverables.
*Actively and effectively assess the skills of and manage, supervise and train staff. (2 Clerks)
*Respectfully assert quality thinking and financial wisdom into all senior management business discussions. Courteously push back whenever potential actions are likely to hinder profitable business growth, create unnecessary risks and/or may stray from the companies stated goals.
*Be a life long learner who remains on top of best practices within the CPA profession and remain current regarding what is happening within the industry/sector.
*Make decisions in a timely and appropriate manner while keeping the President and CEO involved and appropriately informed.
Bring a sense of urgency to situations, demonstrate an active approach, be willing to get involved in order to increase the pace and achieve goals and objectives.
*Be firm and persistent, yet respectful, when expressing views and provide thoughts and ideas to help overcome problems within Finance, Sales and Operations.
*Maintain confidentiality of pertinent data. Always protect operations by keeping financial information and business plans confidential.
*Liaison with company lawyers, the bank and the landlord as required.
*In co-operation with HR, manage the company’s group insurance plan – remitting monthly premiums, ensuring enrollment forms are complete and addressing employee questions as required.
*Accurately perform Payroll functions and ensure that everyone is paid accurately and in a timely manner. If errors occur, fix them immediately so as not to jeopardize quality relationships with the affected employees.
*Openly communicate. This is a communication, financial reporting, hands-on financial and business analysis Controller – future VP, Finance leadership position. Silo thinking and/or non-collaboration or non-co-operative behaviour will not fit within the business’ culture – a culture where support is given along with autonomy and encouragement.
*Creatively problem solve and come up with well thought through, practical, solutions.
*Always and only be honest, ethical, up-front and respectful during all verbal and written communications with everyone inside and outside the organization. 
*Stay current on and drill down into industry data, compare it to the company’s and share your analysis on industry trends.
*Be health and safety conscious and ever mindful of the environment and finding ways the company’s can reduce its impact.

Position Responsibilities

Upon arrival, learn the ERP system, explore current policies and procedures and enable a positive continuation of existing reporting procedures and timelines. 

Meet with the Accounting staff (2 Clerks – A/R & A/P). Understand their current work tasks, assess their skills and interest in growing their career contributions and form positive, professional, relationships as the team manager/leader. Then start to provide and/or organize training, coaching, guidance and support to meet the department’s service enhancement objectives

Begin to form positive business relationships with the other senior management team leaders and begin to understand their financial and business information needs and future expectations. 

Invest time, attention and listening skills to learn about the business – what the existing customer categories are and the fundamentals of what the products are and how they are designed and manufactured. Begin to get to know the people involved throughout the business by inquiring about the current processes, controls, policies and procedures and thereby start to develop positive, trust-based, companywide, business relationships.

The Controller needs to be knowledgeable regarding ASPE and know enough about corporate tax to effectively manage the basic reporting. Ensure that all government remittances are completed in an accurate and timely manner (WSIB, GST and annually the corporate tax information – which is ultimately managed by the external accounting firm).

Hands-on, until staff are trained and become competent with journal entries etc., the Controller will personally perform all accounting functions, including journal entries and detailed reconciliations of all GL accounts, within the ERP system.

Within 30 days, personally administer the Payroll functions and upload to ADP and always ensure that confidentiality is maintained and people are paid accurately and on time. 

Monitor, analyze report and make recommendations regarding cash flow management. 

Manage and maximize cash flow on a daily basis through enhanced controls on inventory, credit and collections, disbursements, deposits and remittances.

Personally perform all banking transactions and liaisons with the bank as required. 

Prepare monthly financial statements and prepare a narrative as required.

Within 60 days, have formed cooperative relationships with the President & CEO and the other senior team leaders, clarify their information needs and with input from the President, prioritize and start to deliver on addressing the information and service improvement required enhancements.

Actively participate and contribute during strategy meetings and start to bring greater financial acumen and experienced-based financial professional knowledge and solutions to the table.

After 60 days or two period-end cycles, examine the Chart of Accountants, discuss any changes/adjustments with the President/CEO and work to streamline and make improvements where appropriate.

Create and present a plan to address the most apparent opportunities for improvement in controls, methods and procedures within Accounting and throughout the company.

Inventory management will likely be the most apparent opportunity to facilitate efficiency enhancements outside of Finance. Begin to work with the Plant Manager to address inventory control issues and thereby optimize the policies and procedures.

Perform proactive analysis on the inventory, find out what the best in class benchmarks are for the industry and work with the Plant Manager to help reduce inventory turns accordingly.

Utilizing the existing Excel budgeting template, work with the function managers, co-ordinate and to lead the annual budget process. 

By 90 days, hands-on and with input from operations, regularly perform cash forecasting and planning functions and effectively report needs/concerns to the President and CEO.

Focus on forecasting and planning and variance analysis to rapidly assist the executives run the business more efficiently and clearly see and understand issues. Help the executives to take information based, wise, corrective action and thereby optimize the business.

Know and understand the numbers and stay on top of them so the President’s questions about variances or potential errors are anticipated and/or quickly and accurately addressed. Work to help solve the underlying problems rather than just simply making corrective journal entries.

After approximately 90 days, with the approval of the CEO and President, form more independent working relationships with the bank, insurance company and landlord. Further clarify their information and/or covenant requirements and actively work to ensure positive communications, negotiations, ongoing compliance and positive relationship management.

By 120 days, maintaining positive connections and communications throughout the business and with senior management, assemble the 1-5 year corporate plan. The plan should recommend specific actions to take in order to reach the stated goals and by when.

At approximately 150 days, refine the annual budget template and processes in preparation for greater efficiency the follow year(s).

As a result of getting involved in product costing, purchasing, operations and with the aid of the President’s bigger picture perspective, help the Plant Manager develop tier pricing structures for the entire purchased materials.

By 180 days, have earned the confidence of the CEO the President and the other members of the senior management team so they correctly perceive that you are closer to the numbers than they are and are very comfortable that the financial stewardship and leadership requirements are being met.

With input from the VP, Sales in particular and the Plant Manager, utilizing Microsoft Excel, work to refine the existing KPI analysis and reporting. Further reduce the buckets of data into refined data points which efficiently clarify issues and variances compared to plan.

After 180 days, working cooperatively with the Plant Manager, add further value toward the profitable growth of the business by effectively clarifying product costing.

Work with Purchasing to address supplier price increases that will have arrived by this time and plan ahead for cost and customer pricing adjustments. All-the-while, stay in close communication with the VP, Sales and the President and, where possible, work to find alternative suppliers and/or ways to negotiate volume discounts to help offset the impact. Your analysis may show that even more vertical integration makes sense for the company.

Enhance the commission reports by giving more details so the Sales Reps grow their confidence in the accuracy of the reporting. And, also improve the inventory and the receiving reports. 

By thinking like an Owner, find opportunities to take advantage of saving opportunities via improved contract and pricing negotiations and wisely forecasting and planning as new business is acquired.

Work closely with the VP, Sales on ROI and other client presentations and as things relate to new partnership and distribution opportunities. 

Utilizing Microsoft Excel, perform ad hoc financial modeling to assist with new customer acquisition initiatives.

At or prior to approximately 210 days, under the supervision of, or in cooperation with, the CEO, demonstrate proactive, competent, leadership over the foreign exchange job requirements. And, become someone who also suggests effective ways to avoid foreign exchange negative consequences, etc.

Via effective, accurate, hands-on, financial analysis, meaningfully assist the CEO and President with strategic thinking which contributes towards shaping the direction and focus of the business. Always help steer the business in the financially correct direction and thereby help keep things on a fiscally responsible path. 

Wherever possible, share information with senior management and openly discuss ideas and options that are perhaps not already under consideration.

Annually liaise with and provide accurate and timely financial information to the external accountants for their formal review and corporate tax services. 

Under to supervision of the President and CEO, effectively attend to insurance contracts and banking/financing relationships and landlord negotiations. And, start to become a valued business partner to Sales by being another profit focused set of eyes regarding new business contracts.

Act as the lead on any government audit requirements.

Other tasks, projects and reporting requirements required of a Controller looking to serve as a highly effective financial leader within an privately owned, profitable and growing manufacturing business and preparing to progress with the growth of the business to become VP, Finance.