As the person in charge of the financial and accounting functions of their organization, the corporate controller must constantly keep up with professional standards, changes in federal regulations, and developing policies such as ESG reporting and DEI initiatives. 

To address those challenges, a panel of corporate controllers from some of the largest U.S. corporations shared their insights on how to operationalize key management concepts during Financial Executives International’s Current Financial Reporting Insights conference on Nov. 7-8.

We do a lot more than accounting,” said Paramount controller Katherine Gill-Charest. “You’re policing your companies, but you’re also supporting them strategically, helping them grow in good times, helping them transform or cost manage when times get a little bit tough.”

She participated in a panel session alongside Merck global controller Rita Karachun, and Moody’s corporate controller Caroline Sullivan where they discussed the obstacles and expectations for the future of finance and accounting. During an hour-long roundtable, they shared their perspectives on day-to-day management and interconnectivity of technical accounting, financial reporting, technology, service delivery, people and transformation.

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Panel moderator Jazmin Gamboa (left) of Financial Executives International talks (from left to right) with Katherine Gill-Charest of Paramount, Rita Karachun of Merck and Caroline Sullivan of Moody’s.

“The compliance that we all focus on is really important, but we are communicators,” added Karachun. “I think making sure that you’re continuing to help tell your company’s story through what you disclose, and how you say things is important, something that controllers are in a unique position to be able to do because they see everything. They see the whole company, and they understand how the data and the numbers are really helping to tell the story.”