Controller

The Controller is responsible for independently leading and managing Westbrook Trailers’ financial operations, providing timely and accurate financial reporting, leading budgeting/financial planning and performing cost accounting and analysis functions to support the company’s goals and business objectives. Significant US growth is underway and eventually a US manufacturing facility may be required.

The business culture is entrepreneurial, friendly, non-unionized and team and customer focused, with immediate goals of profitably tripling production and revenue in the next 2-3 years, implementing bottom-up budgeting, improved inventory and margin reporting while also delivering detailed machine, labour and overhead cost reporting.

Reporting directly to the President (dotted line to the Finance Director), with one direct report, an Accounting Associate (to be hired by the incoming Controller), the salary range for this hands-on position is $110,000 to $140,000 (dependent upon experience), company paid group benefits, a performance based bonus and payment of annual CPA/CFA membership/PD fees.

Advanced MS Excel skills (Vlookups, Pivot Tables, etc.) for analysis, KPI development, ERP data extraction and financial reporting purposes are required. To support longer term career growth, the candidate must have excellent oral and written communications skills (English), staff & project leadership and management experience plus a business growth leadership mindset.

POSITION BEHAVIOURS

Advanced Microsoft Excel skills for financial analysis, inventory reporting, budgeting, forecasting, KPI/Metrics development and reporting.

Knowledge of ERP systems and how to effectively extract data for reporting.

Strong acumen in adapting to various types of operations-focused software (currently using Manux, exporting data into Infor Visual and Excel). Until a new ERP is implemented in 2024, the Controller will personally develop a separate accounting system utilizing Infor Visual (where current financials reside), and Excel for the new legal entity.

Thorough understanding of accounting procedures/practices per ASPE.

Initiative to build and run your own financial department (with input/guidance from the President and/or Finance Director).

Strong attention to detail, customer and team focus to deliver accurate, timely financial reporting and special project results, assisting non-financial professionals to run the business as efficiently as possible.

Understanding of the unique aspects of the business to support the President in decision making.

Effective, regular and positive communication with President, Finance Director and leadership team.

Inspirational, self-assured and has the drive to achieve results. This is the most entrepreneurial business culture within the larger group of companies and rapid growth needs to be structured into the processes, controls and methods by the incoming Controller.

Self-starting, competitive, imaginative in developing processes/implementing solutions, direct, communicative, influential, persuasive and self-confident without being arrogant.

Collaboration with Sales, Production and Purchasing re: bottom-up budgeting, pricing, KPI development/reporting and related process improvements.

High level of internal and/or external customer satisfaction in accounting, financial reporting, cost accounting and analysis expertise.

Sound judgment and discretion in handling confidential business matters.

Focus, drive and time management skills to effectively prioritize and complete tasks with an appropriate sense of urgency.

Desire to create/enhance a culture of continuous improvement.

Ability to set clear objectives for department/team, monitor progress, take corrective action and control performance levels.

Alert to changing market situations, show flexibility in approach, adaptability in difficult circumstances..

Professional manner, able to reflect on difficult situations and control emotions in order to resolve challenges.

Creative and imaginative and help explore where the business can go in the future.

Work to a high specification to improve and maintain quality/timeliness of information delivered to the President and the Finance Director.

Desire to solve problems and develop practical solutions. The Finance Director values well thought through plans, new ideas and regular updates on project status/outcomes.

Wise and effective counsel for the President who has ambitious and realistic plans to grow the business.

Active participation in team meetings with the Sales and Operations leaders to exchange meaningful information and improve understanding of the business each month, identifying areas of concern and opportunities for improvement.

Experience with the planning and implementation of ERP systems will be an asset.

 

POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES

Upon arrival:

Analyze/evaluate existing accounting, financial reporting, controls and payroll procedures to develop understanding.

Help President lead the annual budget preparation process – with the assistance of Finance Team Lead currently involved in the process from a sister company.

Begin to establish trust-based, positive, business relationships with President, Finance Director, and other leadership team members to contribute helpful business improvement ideas and actions.

Within 30 days:

Learn the fundamentals of Infor Visual system and Manux production software.

Conclude the diagnosis of current financial structures/procedures and prepare a report for the President and Finance Director re: separate legal entity reporting improvement plans/requirements. Discuss findings/proposed changes with President.

Prepare accurate monthly financial statements (including supporting reconciliations, schedules).

Analyze financial results, providing commentary on exceptions/variances and follow up on required actions to address them.

Personally present monthly financial results to the President, Finance Director and leadership team.

Hire a direct report (Accounting Associate) and meet regularly with them to provide coaching/feedback, facilitate skills development and training plans. The Controller will also develop and personally perform A/P, A/R and other Accounting functions to cover vacations and train future staff.

Meet monthly with Production, Sales & Purchasing to review any discrepancies in Manux data vs. accounting system, formulating actionable plans to increase accuracy, reporting integrity and timeliness. An initial and vital focus of the Controller position is to personally get hands-on in the detailed work and consistently deliver accurate and timely monthly financial reporting and analysis – moving Finance to regularly being proactive and involved in the effective running of the business plus strategy discussions.

Collaborate with and learn the current Accounting, Payroll functions performed by Finance Team Lead at a sister company where the financials currently reside, preparing to fully take over those hands-on tasks at 90 days.

Collaborate with the President and leadership team to provide forecasts, projections (P&L, cash-flow), identify issues and recommend corrective actions.

Within 60 days:

Prepare standard recurring reports, ad hoc reports and analysis as required.

Assist the Finance Director with the legal entity corporation reorganization.

Develop cost accounting models and standards for materials, labour, overhead, machine rates, etc.

Evaluate current costing methodology of finished goods inventory and propose a new system/process to report inventory valuation. Once approved, implement and develop related reporting.

Mentor and manage performance of direct report, collaboratively setting performance KPI’s, conducting weekly performance/issues discussions, etc.

Within 90 days:

Become an integral part of business expansion projects and start to contribute to the larger strategic/business planning efforts of the President.

Analyze financial information to support business decisions and make recommendations for cost savings, continuous improvement, etc.

Work with the Finance Director to ensure individual/departmental targets are on track.

After 90 days, start to form positive business relationships with external accountants, building lease company and other suppliers not attended to by Purchasing, acting as primary contact and contract negotiator.

Recommend/implement internal financial controls, procedures and process improvements, in line with Group expectations.

Begin to develop/maintain KPIs and related reports, and review them with leadership team. Develop or refine additional KPIs as needed for operations.

At or before 120 days:

Perform capital life cycle cost/benefit analysis.

Maintain fixed asset ledger, making recommendations for impairment.

Within 150 days:

While continuing to learn the business, have become a trusted financial right-hand to the President by consistently providing accurate, reliable financial information, financial and business planning and other business growth strategies.

Contribute to annual strategic/business planning process (October 31st year-end), including establishing cash requirements, leading financial budget development for presentation by the President to the Board for approval and/or revision.

Lead the year-end inventory count and external audit processes.

At 180 days:

Lead the financial reporting function effectively, eliminating any inconsistencies between accounting records and Manux data.

Regularly monitor risk management policies/procedures to minimize risks and implement external auditor recommendations.

Identify potential financial risks to the business and recommend actions to mitigate them.

By 210 – 240 days:

Have gained full confidence and trust of President and Finance Director by elevating the financial knowledge and operational performance of the non-financial members of the leadership team and actively assisting with aggressive business growth plans.

 

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