The Essential Controller An Introduction to What Every Financial Manager Must Know

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/10/2012
  • Publisher: Wiley

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This book is designed to give the new controller a firm foundation in the concepts of managing the accounting department, locating GAAP information, analyzing and knowing what to do with key accounting information, and setting up controls systems that reduce a company's risk of loss. These core areas are essentials to a controller's success. New to this edition will be a discussion of finance strategy; introduction of the accounting standards codification, update of the taxation strategy; and a new controller checklist will be added as an appendix.

Author Biography

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, has been the chief financial officer or controller of four companies, as well as a consulting manager at Ernst Young and auditor at Deloitte. He is the author of over thirty books primarily targeted toward controllers and their needs. Bragg received a master's degree in finance from Bentley College, an MBA from Babson College, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Maine.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Accounting in the Corporationp. 1
Importance of This Chapterp. 1
Tasks of the Accounting Functionp. 2
Role of the Accounting Functionp. 5
Role of the Controllerp. 6
Impact of Ethics on the Accounting Rolep. 8
Evolving Role of Accountingp. 12
Controller's Responsibilitiesp. 13
Importance of This Chapterp. 13
Variations on the Titlep. 14
Planning Functionp. 14
Control Functionp. 16
Reporting Functionp. 17
Accounting Functionp. 17
Additional Controller Functions in Smaller Companiesp. 18
Controller's Job Descriptionp. 22
Relationship of the Controller to the Chief Financial Officerp. 24
Future Changes in the Controller's Origins and Responsibilitiesp. 26
Managing Rapid Growthp. 28
Chief Financial Officer: From Controller to Facilitator of Changep. 31
Importance of This Chapterp. 31
Understanding What Chief Executive Officers Wantp. 32
Task of the CFOp. 32
Develop and Communicate a Compelling Finance Agendap. 33
Build a Commitment to Change within Financep. 36
Change Executive Management Practicesp. 40
Enlist the Support of the Chief Executive Officerp. 42
Mobilize the Organizationp. 44
Institutionalize Continuous Improvementp. 46
Operational Accountingp. 49
Importance of This Chapterp. 49
Create Departmental Job Descriptionsp. 50
Create a Departmental Training Programp. 52
Clear Out Excess Documentationp. 55
Streamline the Accounting Workflowp. 56
Document All Major Processesp. 58
Correct the Underlying Causes of Errorsp. 59
Use Best Practicesp. 62
Outsource Selected Accounting Functionsp. 64
Cost Accounting and Costing Systemsp. 71
Importance of This Chapterp. 71
Purpose of Cost Accounting Informationp. 72
Input: Data Collection Systemsp. 73
Processing: Data Summarization Systemsp. 77
Processing: Job Costingp. 79
Processing: Process Costingp. 87
Processing: Standard Costingp. 90
Processing: Direct Costingp. 93
Processing: Throughput Costingp. 96
Processing: Activity-based costingp. 101
Processing: Target Costingp. 103
Outputs: Cost Variancesp. 107
Ratio and Trend Analysisp. 113
Importance of This Chapterp. 113
How to Use Ratios and Trendsp. 114
A Caveatp. 115
Measures for Profitabilityp. 118
Measures for the Balance Sheetp. 122
Measures for Growthp. 128
Measures for Cash Flowp. 129
Measures for Nonfinancial Performancep. 132
Interrelationship of Ratiosp. 152
Setting Up a System of Ratios and Trend Analysesp. 154
Internal Control Systemsp. 157
Importance of This Chapterp. 157
Objectivesp. 158
Responsibility for Internal Controlsp. 159
Examples of Internal Controlsp. 161
When to Eliminate Controlsp. 164
Types of Fraudp. 167
Preventing Fraudp. 169
How to Deal with a Fraud Situationp. 174
Foreign Corrupt Practices Actp. 176
The Fast Closep. 179
Importance of This Chapterp. 179
Different Types of Fast Closep. 180
How to Achieve a Fast Closep. 181
Enhanced Closing Processp. 196
Internal Audit Functionp. 197
Importance of This Chapterp. 197
Reporting Relationshipsp. 198
Composition of the Audit Committeep. 199
Role of the Audit Committeep. 201
Internal Audit Objectivesp. 203
Internal Audit Activitiesp. 206
Managing the Internal Audit Functionp. 209
Recruiting, Training, and Supervisionp. 215
Importance of This Chapterp. 215
Recruiting Sourcesp. 216
Factors to Consider When Recruitingp. 219
Factors to Consider When Promotingp. 221
Importance of Reduced Turnoverp. 223
Importance of Developing Career Plans for Employeesp. 228
Importance of Communications with Employeesp. 231
How to Motivate Employeesp. 233
Controller's Role in Investor Relationsp. 235
Importance of This Chapterp. 235
Objectives of the Investor Relations Functionp. 236
Evolving Nature of the Functionp. 237
Communication Vehicles for Investor Relationsp. 238
Investor Relations Message Recipientsp. 239
Information Needs of the Financial Analystp. 240
Information Needs of Other Groupsp. 243
Disclosure Policyp. 243
Organization Structure for Investor Relationsp. 245
Role of the Controller and Other Principalsp. 246
Some Suggested Financial Market Objectivesp. 250
Some Suggested Methodsp. 251
Taxation Strategyp. 253
Importance of This Chapterp. 253
Accumulated Earnings Taxp. 255
Cash Method of Accountingp. 256
Inventory Valuationp. 257
Mergers and Acquisitionsp. 258
Net Operating Loss Carryforwardsp. 259
Nexusp. 261
Project Costingp. 262
Property Taxesp. 262
S Corporationp. 263
Sales and Use Taxesp. 264
Transfer Pricingp. 266
Unemployment Taxesp. 269
About the Authorp. 271
Indexp. 273
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