Introducing the 2021 Controller’s Guidebook: How Controllers Reacted to the Pandemic and What Accounting Teams Will Look Like in the Future

Understanding the global pandemic’s impact on the economy is relatively simple, but understanding its influence on the direction of specific job functions is a much more nuanced exercise.

Over the last several years, the role of the financial controller has evolved considerably, creating “do more with less, and faster” expectations that inevitably created more work — and more stress. But over the last 18 months, that shift changed. In addition to contingency plans, flexibility and nimbleness became mission-critical for accounting teams. 

In the past, technology solutions to achieve such characteristics were a luxury: They would allow teams to operate at a high level. But with more accounting organizations operating remotely — many times on diverging schedules — meant the luxuries of the past became necessities, and executing well-established processes became an intricate dance that required a great degree of coordination from already-overworked accounting leaders.

To understand the ways in which 2020 impacted the office of the financial controller, FloQast surveyed 250 controllers and upper-level finance professionals about how they reacted to the pandemic, how their role changed, and the overall effect 2020 had on them personally — and professionally. The results were certainly eye-opening, with long-standing workflows evolving and established mindsets being questioned in ways really only a global pandemic could facilitate.

According to the survey, 64% of respondents reported that critical accounting processes such as the month-end close were executed either at the same pace as before the pandemic or faster, something most accounting teams would have thought impossible for remote teams. As a result, a considerable majority of respondents (68%) reported their plans to expand remote work in the future. 

For more insights into 2020’s impact on the accounting function, check out the first-of-its-kind 2021 Controller’s Guidebook: Through the Eye of the Storm and Closing Faster than Before

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John Siegel

John Siegel is a Content Creation Manager for FloQast. Prior to joining the company, he wrote about Los Angeles-based tech companies for Built In LA. You can follow him on Twitter @JVNSiegel.