What is a Financial Controller?
A Financial Controller is a senior-level manager who directs and plans the preparation of reports that summarize and forecast business activities and financial positions in areas of income, expenses and earnings based on past, present and expected operations. Sometimes called the “company historian,” Financial Controllers run the accounting function and are responsible for the company’s books and records.
The role of the Financial Controller varies with the size of the business. Controllers in small companies are mostly involved in detailed accounting tasks that are beyond the skills of the company’s bookkeepers. In midsize enterprises Financial Controller duties are likely to include project management, technology, insurance and compliance functions. In large enterprises, Financial Controllers work with chief financial officers (CFOs), chief accounting officers (CAOs), finance managers and treasurers to control the finance and administration function.
- Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, math, economy or a related field
- At least 15 years of direct experience in an accounting, auditing or finance role
- Master’s or other advanced degree is preferred.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license can set you apart in this highly competitive field
Financial Controller Essential Skills
- Communication skills
- Basic understanding and acumen
- Leadership skills
- Ability to influence management
- Technical accounting expertise
- People skills
- Ability to commission, deploy and monitor effectiveness
- Efficiency and time management
Financial Controller Roles & Responsibilities
- Ensure that an organization meets the necessary tax, permit and licensing requirements
- Collaborate with an executive team to establish more effective processes and controls to ensure the integrity of a company’s ledger
- Oversee all financial control activities, including the review and analysis of monthly and quarterly numbers and disclosures
- Provide executive management with accurate and comprehensive financial information to guide effective policy making and financial strategizing
- Summarize budget trends, analyzing deficiencies and reporting variances to executives
- Provide external auditors with the necessary documentation and support
- Take care of tax preparation duties or collaborate with external tax accountants for tax preparation
- Prepare financial reports
- Analyze financial data
- Monitor internal controls.
- Oversee and prepare income statements
- Participate in budgeting
- Manage financial transactions
- Streamline accounting functions and operations