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What are the functions of Treasurers and Controllers?
Treasurers and Controllers are designations essentially related to the US and the UK corporate. In those markets, the roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Although some Indian companies also have them, the number of such companies is very limited.
The duties in the US context
The major responsibility of the treasurer usually is to manage and look after the funds of the company. the duties of the treasurer include managing the cash flow, credit management, forecasting financial needs, and maintaining relationships with financial institutions, etc. the treasurer also looks after protecting securities and cash, etc.
The duties of controllers include management and supervision of assets of a company. The controllers need to provide financial information for formulating costing and accounting policies, preparing financial reports,budgeting, control of inventory, and tax handling, etc.
Note − The treasurer is involved in the liabilities side while a controller is involved in the asset side of the balance sheet.
The treasurer and controller functions are not as clear in India and in the case of the US and UK. The company secretary does some of the duties but in most companies, there is no employee with the designations of controller and treasurer. The duties of company secretaries involve the protection of assets, managing and preparing reports for both the company and the government, etc.
In India, the responsibility of managing money is on the accountant. In the US the management of finance is a separate function. The financial function is usually performed by the treasurer. The treasurer has not been as popular in India as the controllers have in terms of their duties.
Note − Company Secretaries perform some of the duties of controllers in India.
American Context Vs. Indian Context
Finance Manager or Finance Director designations are used more in India.it has some advantages as the titles clearly show the functions the persons are involved in. The main function of a finance manager in India is related to fund management. This is usually done by the entire finance team and the finance director is the head of the team.
Not tying up the finance manager's duties with anyone else has its own advantages and specialty. Business management of funds is a very important activity and it requires extraordinary skills on part of the financial manager. Therefore, he or she should be dealing with the money part only and additional duties should not be assigned to him/her.
Note − In India, the equivalent designations of Controllers and Treasurers are Finance Manager and Finance Director.
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