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Growing companies eventually reach a point where the financial complexities of the company out pace their Bookkeeper's capabilities.   Read on for signs of this tipping point. 

- Ann Clifford, President

Dos & Don'ts    


"Can I run a credit history report on Controller candidates to make sure they don't have past personal bankruptcies?"


                       (Answer provided at the end of the newsletter.)

4 Signs You Have Outgrown Your Bookkeeper

Businesses may operate adequately for years with a bookkeeper. Yet as the business grows, business owners may need more financial information to help guide their companies. Bookkeepers are good at daily transactional work, yet, often fall short on the ability to report meaningful financial data and analysis. Four signs your business has outgrown your bookkeeper:

  • Untimely monthly financial statements
  • Lack of financial "dashboard" indicators
  • Poor forecasting and budgeting
  • Revenues are up, yet profits are down

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask yourself how is the lack of relevant financial data affecting your profitability? What information do you need, but aren't getting? Is it time to elevate the financial talent in your company? 

5 Factors Affecting Controller Compensation


When hiring a controller, "you get what you pay for." Match the experience to the key accountabilities. Yet, be careful not to "over hire" the first time you hire a controller. It's easy to be enamored with the credentials of a CPA with public accounting experience, but not every business needs these credentials. Assuming you have a closely held business, below are the five (5) most important factors that affect the level of competency needed and thus, the resulting compensation. 


1. Loan requirements: Would your banker prefer a CPA? 

2. Complexity of transactions: Product or job costing required? 

3. Accounting software: QuickBooks vs. enterprise level software 

4. Financial analysis: Planning/forecasting vs. compilation. 

5. Management: Will they manage others?

Safari Interview Tip 

As part of the interview process, ask your accounting firm to assess the technical qualifications of your final Controller candidate. They will be working together, so it is helpful that your accounting firm has confidence in your controller's ability.

Answer to Today's Dos & Don'ts  


"Can I run a credit history report on Controller candidates to make sure they don't have past personal bankruptcies?"



Yes, checking the credit history of a controller candidate is acceptable. If a candidate is in the middle of financial despair, do you want that person managing your money? Probably not. Yet, the fact they have a bankruptcy should not be an automatic knock-out. If the bankruptcy was a long time ago, does it really matter now? Take all factors into consideration before hiring or passing on a viable candidate. 
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Safari Quiz

What percent of small businesses declaring bankruptcy cite problems with the financial structure of the company as the main cause of failure?  


A.     7 percent 

B.     13 percent

C.     28 percent

D.     35 percent



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Safari Solutions' (RPO) services help companies hire better. Acting as a corporate HR partner, we help companies make educated hiring decisions by sourcing, screening, and evaluating candidates with a high level of due diligence. Hundreds of business owners have improved hiring results using Safari Solutions' Tiger Eye Hiring™ process.