If you are running a small business, dealing with financial admin yourself can be a headache. There comes a stage in any business where more administrative support is needed so the Owners or Directors can focus on strategy and running their business. A financial controller or bookkeeper could be a great solution, but their skill sets can be very different, so choose wisely…

A financial controller is a good all rounder for a business, helping with strategy and commonly in small businesses carrying out the bookkeeping function too.  A financial controller can produce cashflow forecasts, management accounts and set budgets helping you each month to analyse the performance of your business and offer insights to meet your overall targets.  Of course all of this knowledge and experience comes at a price with the annual salary of a talented financial controller sometimes being around £50k per annum

A bookkeeper is more of a number cruncher helping you amongst other things, to process your data, deal with suppliers and credit control.  Depending on the size and nature of your business having a bookkeeper to deal with day to day accounting issues could save you a lot of time and keep you on the right side of your suppliers.  Typically bookkeepers pay can start at more like £20k per annum and a business could consider combining the role with office administration duties.

In a large Companies the bookkeeper typically reports to the financial controller (with a Finance Director overseeing the financial controller).  So if you are at a stage where you need an accountant who is forward thinking, it is common for businesses to find a full time bookkeeper to take care of the day to day accounts and also a part time Financial Controller to offer help with strategy and forecasting, as well as answering any questions the bookkeeper may have and training them up.