New financial controller explains her role on the Hill

Mrs. Tyler brings years of experience to the position

Business managers and chief financial officers have been around for years on the Hill, but recently the school has opened its doors to a new position: controller.

Chief financial officer Mrs. Colleen O’Brien-Teasley, said, “We actually have always had a business manager and basically we changed the title last year when Mrs. Belinda Speck left Cathedral in early November of 2022. She was here for 30 years. When we posted the position again we changed the title to controller.”

In a follow-up email after an initial interview, O’Brien-Teasley said, “The title was changed from business manager to controller because the connotation of controller better describes the responsibilities of this position.”

In response to a question regarding what a controller/business manager does, newly hired controller Mrs. Angela Tyler said, “A controller helps with a segregation of duties such as tuition checks and our accounting system to make sure there’s no fraud, and that the internal controls help guard against fraud.”

Following this, O’Brien-Teasley added, “The controller is in charge of the general ledger and all of our accounts and reconciling all of those accounts, either on a monthly or quarterly basis. It also focuses on internal controls, such as general accepted accounting principles. We get audited every year to make sure we’re doing things right, authorizing and posting entries and the like.”

The main role the controller carries out involves supervising everything coming in or out of the school to make sure there’s no chance of fraud. Faulty payments — the majority being accidental — when it comes to donors and federal funds are all kept in check by the controller.

O’Brien-Teasley said, “Basically, the controller is managing every transaction that gets reported into the accounting system. Tuition deposits and tuition revenue (are) 80% and contributions and athletics (make up the majority of the rest). All of those inflows are being managed by the controller, and all of the outflows such as payroll are overlooked by the controller (as well). Basically, when we have an audit, every single number on our financial statement is tested to make sure it’s accurate.”

Tyler said, “The controller (also) evaluates, say, how we take in ticket sales and if there’s a better software system to be used in the ticket process. That is an example of something that the controller suggests.”

Before becoming a member of the Cathedral family, Tyler worked as a chief financial officer of a not-for-profit, where she spent most of her career. “It’s a job I’ve done but coming here gave me the opportunity to focus on my career while still having time for my kids. My husband attended (Cathedral), and it’s nice to express your faith at work. It allowed me to take a step back from a higher level position and still focus on my kids and career at the same time.”

Before Cathedral, she took accounting in high school at Warren Central, graduated from IUPUI with an accounting degree, got her Certified Public Accountant license in Indiana, and has to take multiple professional education courses to keep her certified licensure. “I like it because I like problem solving. Accounting is like puzzles, and I love puzzles and brain games like that. I also really enjoy trying to find solutions in accounting to really help the organization (I’m working for) succeed.”

Though new to the Cathedral family, O’Brien- Teasley and Tyler get along like old friends. When asked if they had anything to add, O’Brien- Teasley quickly turned and said “Do you like it here?”

Tyler’s response was quick. “I do like it here. I think what I’ve enjoyed out of my two and a half weeks here is that there is such a positive environment and it’s very faith- and student-focused. That kind of makes your day go nicely when the work that you do has a greater focus and purpose. Most of my career has been in not-for-profits and I did it for a for-profit once (as well). I’ve found that the more work you do, the more you know it has a better outcome.”

To end the interview, Tyler said that at Cathedral, “(I wake) up coming to work like, ‘Hey, what am I going to do today?’”