What's it like to be a Financial Controller?
A Financial Controller holds a key position in an organization as their primary responsibility is to ensure a company's financial stability and growth. They ensure that monetary transactions are accurately recorded and reported, as well as oversee the preparation of financial statements, manage budgets, analyze financial data, and monitor compliance with financial regulations. Financial Controllers are also responsible for managing financial risk and ensuring that the company's financial systems and processes are efficient and effective.
Tasks and duties
- Monitoring financial performance and making recommendations for improvement.
- Preparing financial reports and presenting them to senior management.
- Managing the budgeting and forecasting processes.
- Overseeing the accounting and bookkeeping functions.
- Ensuring compliance with accounting and tax regulations.
- Operating cash flow and making investment decisions.
- Assessing and managing financial risks.
- Collaborating with other departments to meet financial goals.
- Providing financial analysis and guidance to management and stakeholders.
How to become a Financial Controller
Becoming a Financial Controller usually requires educational and professional credentials in accounting or related fields. In addition to these qualifications, hiring managers value job seekers with strong mathematical and accounting skills, as they are crucial in leading a financial team and making sound business decisions.
Complete a bachelor degree in accounting, finance, business, or other relevant fields.
Begin a career in Finance or Accounting; starting at an entry-level position like Accounting Clerk, Accounting Assistant, or Accounting Staff is recommended. This will allow you to gain experience applying the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and familiarize yourself with corporate practices in your chosen industry.
Get additional finance or accounting certification. Some certifications you may want to consider are Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
Aim to move up the corporate ladder, consider pursuing a role such as Finance Manager. This position involves more than just Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) and transactions, as it may also require expertise in risk management. Developing additional skills and knowledge can prepare you for the increased responsibilities that come with advanced positions.
Aim for higher education by completing a master's degree, such as a Master in Business Administration (MBA), finance, or economics.
With significant and applicable experience, you could advance to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role, the highest-ranking position in a company's financial department. Although CFOs typically have the same educational qualifications as Financial Controllers, they usually possess more extensive experience in management.