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What To Look For in an Interim Controller

What To Look For in an Interim Controller

What To Look For in an Interim Controller

When it comes to senior management, the controller is one position whose title is the most literal, since they’re in control of so much. 

The top dog overseeing the accounting and financial reporting functions of an organization, a controller is the de facto financial expert of an organization, juggling everything from developing and implementing financial policies and procedures; managing the budget and forecasting process; ensuring compliance with laws and governmental bodies; and managing and mentoring the accounting staff. 

Controllers are essentially the gatekeepers of a company’s total financial accountability, in the truest sense of the term.

Given the constant functions of a controller and the need for companies to have one consistently on staff for the sake of creating long-term longevity, what should an enterprise seek in an interim controller?

Resources and Relief

You’re in between controllers and in a state of flux. A recent vacancy in a company’s controller seat might necessitate bringing an interim controller on board if there are no opportunities to promote from within the ranks. A company might also be experiencing a period of rapid growth and in need of additional support to handle the increased workload that a controller can absorb within their expected responsibilities. In these types of cases and circumstances, an interim controller can step in and provide the necessary support and expertise to help the company stay on track.


With an interim controller, companies have the chance to extend their level of expertise with someone who has specialized knowledge in their field, with the express intent to bolster certain corporate decisions that can benefit the company. For example, an organization may be preparing for their first IPO or a merger and acquisition, and they may need the guidance of a controller — even a temporary one — who has experience in these areas. (For instance, a temporary controller can assist in these operations if a current staff controller doesn’t possess the necessary skill set in this area.) Or, with the implementation of new accounting processes, an interim controller who has experience with these specific systems can provide guidance and support.

A Fresh Perspective

Interim controllers can also provide a new outlook and viewpoint on company business matters. They arrive with no preconceived notions, and can quickly identify issues that may have been overlooked by internal teams. This can be particularly valuable for companies that may have been struggling financially, as an interim controller can provide the expertise and guidance needed to turn the company around to better financial fortunes.


An additional benefit of hiring an interim controller is that they are typically available on a short-term basis. This means that a company or enterprise can bring in the necessary expertise to fill in the gaps without making a long-term commitment. Like any position where a temporary or acting executive is needed, this type of strategic move can be beneficial for companies that are unsure of their future needs or are not ready to make a long-term commitment to a new hire just yet. For the interim controller, this also creates an opportunity to prove themselves in the role in the hopes of being brought on in a permanent, full-time capacity. 

Find an Interim Controller With Unity Search

Interim controllers are professionals who can provide valuable support and expertise to help companies stay on track and achieve their goals. If your company is facing any of the aforementioned challenges, consider hiring an interim controller to help you navigate through them.

Unity Search can cast that wide net to find the best fit — someone who brings experience, industry knowhow and value to your organization. At Unity, we interview each candidate to ensure each professional we work with is qualified to work well within your organization. We conduct skill and personality assessments to ensure true relationships are fostered with our corporate clients. 

Your search for the right controller is only an email or call away. Contact us to find out more.