Q&A: Ask a Controller


Let us introduce you to Matt Newman. Matt is a controller for Kessler Consulting, and has an extensive background working as an auditor, business financial consultant, and staff accountant for manufacturing companies. Here’s what he has to say about working as a controller, and the value he provides to businesses every day.

Q: What originally sparked your interest in the accounting field?

A: Accounting runs in the family! My father and grandfather were both accountants, and I developed an interest in their work as a kid. After discovering that I also had good math skills and the right detail-oriented personality for accounting, I decided to pursue my own career in business accounting and finance.

Q: What motivates you in your work as a controller?

A: I like the challenge that comes with problem-solving as a controller. Controllers not only identify accounting issues, we have to strategize and ask “why” those problems are happening. Typically, I investigate bookkeeping irregularities such as accounting errors, jumps in expenses, and dips in revenue. From there, I am responsible for coming up with better systems and preventative solutions. The creativity I exercise in developing those solutions is an especially motivating part of my work.

Q: What do you like about working as a controller for Kessler Consulting, specifically?

A: At Kessler Consulting, I’m able to work with multiple different businesses each week, and that has made me a more effective controller. After seeing so many different kinds of situations play out, I can come up with solutions faster than I otherwise would have.

Q: What types of businesses do you enjoy working with the most?

A: I really enjoy working with machine shops and manufacturing companies. I’ve always been intrigued by machinery, and I like to learn how manufacturers and machinists make all the different parts and equipment we tend to take for granted. Getting inside exposure to the technology behind so many different components is fun for me, and I like helping manufacturing businesses improve and become more successful.

Q: What is the greatest value that controllers bring to a business?

A: Given that controllers fall somewhere between regular accountants and a CFO, we offer a unique combination of strategic alignment, business financial regulation, and analysis. We can work independently to oversee accounts, direct resources, and analyze total expenses and revenue, while digging deep into the books to uncover problems and formulate solutions. That takes a lot of pressure off of management and existing accounting staff, particularly when a business is experiencing growing pains.

Controllers can also act as an essential partner to the CFO by helping to come up with new methodology for improving accuracy in accounting and inventory. Their ability to describe why problems occur also helps the CFO communicate to the rest of the executive team and advocate for the necessary changes. This ensures that the solutions implemented by the controller are also in alignment with the larger business strategies coming from the CEO and the board.

To learn more about Matt Newman, check out his bio. Kessler Consulting’s team-based approach provides businesses with a wide range of expertise on a flexible and reliable basis. Visit our Contact page to get in touch with one of these experts.