In an era where business continuity is paramount and talent shortages are prevalent, Paro’s market research has revealed two major pain points: the immediate need for skilled professionals and the fear of a single point of failure. Businesses often struggle to fill crucial positions quickly, especially in the accounting and finance department where qualified talent is scarce. Additionally, lean teams, while agile, face the risk of disruption and loss of institutional knowledge when a key member, such as a financial controller, departs.

Paro offers a swift and efficient solution by providing experienced interim controllers who can seamlessly step into crucial roles. Businesses can expect a rapid transition, ensuring continuity of financial operations and preserving institutional knowledge during periods of growth or restructuring. With Paro’s fractional staffing, companies can address their immediate talent needs while mitigating the risks associated with lean accounting teams.

Why Hire an Interim Controller?

Fractional staffing fills the immediate need for a controller in the interim and eliminates the possibility of a single point of failure. An interim controller can implement accounting and reporting guardrails on an ad hoc basis, or quickly fill an absence to ensure your business maintains compliance and accounting accuracy while you scout for a permanent replacement.

Types of Interim Engagements to Choose for Your Business

Businesses can choose how to engage with an interim controller: full-time or part-time; ongoing or project-based; at a regular fixed rate or on an hourly basis, while ensuring all your deliverables are met. 

Consider how different engagements fit your needs and budget:

Full-time

  • Benefit: Dedicated support and full attention to your business needs
  • Drawback: Higher cost compared to part-time engagement

Part-time

  • Benefit: Cost-effective solution for businesses with limited needs or budget
  • Drawback: Less time for the interim controller to fully immerse in your business

Recurring

  • Benefit: Consistent support and long-term stability for your financial operations
  • Drawback: Requires a longer commitment and may be less flexible

Project-based

  • Benefit: Targeted assistance for specific initiatives or short-term needs
  • Drawback: Limited scope and may not address broader financial concerns

Fixed-rate basis

  • Benefit: Predictable costs and easier budgeting
  • Drawback: Less flexibility to adjust services, risk of underutilization

Hourly basis

  • Benefit: Pay only for the time you need, allowing for greater flexibility
  • Drawback: Costs can be less predictable and may require more oversight

What Deliverables Can Interim Controllers Provide?

Interim controllers often fulfill more than daily accounting responsibilities. With minimal lead-up time, Paro interim controllers can offer higher-level support, including: 

Most importantly, the role can expand to meet regular ongoing duties or be structured to fill a temporary, one-time need.

Our auditors require detailed memos with respect to things like revenue recognition and lease accounting. From the get-go, our Paro controller supported that, which took a lot off my plate.”

Jess Jankowski, CEO, Nanophase Technologies

How to Find High-Quality Controllers

Paro’s goal is to tailor-match financial experts with company needs, including niche specialties and regulatory expertise. The process begins with finding the right applicants. Qualified controller experts are carefully vetted to ensure they can hit the ground running from the first days of their engagement in a rigorous, multi-step process.

  • Application: Applications narrow the field to the most qualified candidates.
  • Review: In addition to industry qualifications, applicants are reviewed for communication skills and experience.
  • Expert Interview: Skilled recruiters formally examine applicants.
  • Skills Assessment: Candidates are tested on their areas of expertise.
  • Background Check: Education and employment history are comprehensively verified.

Only the top 2% of applicants are accepted into the Paro network. The qualifications of our high-caliber experts are regularly monitored and evaluated so businesses can be assured of the most customized and personalized fit.

3 Important Steps for Onboarding an Interim Controller

Onboarding an interim controller involves three concurrent steps to ensure your expert can quickly slot into place. 

  1. Firm onboarding introduces your interim controller to the work environment, culture and team so all expectations are understood. Experts should be briefed on working style, communication needs and client-facing protocols. 
  2. Tech onboarding gives access to the appropriate tech stack to align procedures, schedules and workflows. Interim controllers require access to all the financial, tax and accounting software used in-house, as well as project management and communication platforms.
  3. Paro onboarding concretizes the nature of the engagement, billing procedures and potential challenges.

Financial controllers handle sensitive financial information: a thorough onboarding process establishes best practices from day one, for secure and seamless workflow through the entire length of the engagement.

Putting expectations and routines in place at onboarding also makes offboarding a smooth process. When the engagement wraps up, cross-team knowledge transfer can be handled in the same manner, with the interim controller still available for support. 

What to Expect in the First 30 Days 

In the first month of the engagement, your interim controller will dive deep into your business to gain a thorough understanding of your financial operations, processes, and goals. Expect them to:

  • Review current accounting practices and policies (e.g., revenue recognition, etc.), financial statements and reporting procedures.
  • Assess your tech stack or software to determine operational opportunities or bottlenecks.
  • Analyze cash flow, budgets and forecasts.
  • Identify workflow improvements in terms of efficiency, compliance and risk management.
  • Establish a working relationship with your team and stakeholders.
  • Begin implementing necessary changes and optimizations.

To ensure a smooth start, provide your interim controller with access to all relevant financial data, systems and documents. Be open to their questions and recommendations, as they bring a fresh perspective and extensive expertise to your business.

Best Practices for Working with an Interim Controller

  • Clearly communicate your expectations, goals and challenges upfront.
  • Schedule regular check-ins to stay aligned and address any concerns promptly.
  • Encourage collaboration between your interim controller and key team members.
  • Be receptive to their insights and suggestions for improvement.
  • Provide timely and accurate data to support their work.

Offboarding and Continued Engagement 

As the initial engagement comes to a close, your interim controller will ensure a smooth transition. They will:

  • Complete any outstanding projects and deliverables.
  • Document processes and best practices for future reference.
  • Train your team on any new systems or procedures implemented.
  • Provide recommendations for ongoing financial management.

Many businesses find their interim controller to be an invaluable asset and choose to continue the engagement on a full-time or recurring basis. With Paro, you have the flexibility to extend the fractional relationship as needed, ensuring consistent financial expertise and support for your growing business.

Fill Your Need, Fast

Paro’s expert matching technology is 20x faster and more efficient than traditional staffing methods and can match your business with an appropriate interim controller within 72 hours. If your business needs help to fill this vital role, schedule a free consultation with us.