Every month at Walters People, we put a popular job in the spotlight. This month, we focus on the role of Financial Controller.
Are you curious about the content and career opportunities of this role? We asked Lene Coeman, Senior Consultant at Walters People and a specialist in recruiting Financial Controllers.
What does a Financial Controller do exactly?
The duties of a Financial Controller revolve around ensuring the smooth running of a company’s financial department. “Working closely with financial systems and consolidating financial reports from all parts of the company, a Financial Controller will be required to understand and assure all financial records are accurate and legally compliant”, says Lene.
Day-to-day tasks include responsibilities such as financial reporting, managing transactions, leading the preparation of financial records, providing business plans and potentially overseeing tax and regulatory/compliance issues.
Although this function may come across as routine and process driven, it can also be challenging and interesting.
“Responsible for tracking the financial health of a business, a Financial Controller’s duties are important because the remainder of employees in the company, from workers to executives, rely on his or her interpretation of figures in order to make key business decisions”.
Which skills are necessary to become a Financial Controller?
“Strong analytical skills along with knowledge of general ledger, budgeting, forecasting, accounting standards and compliance regulations are essential. Acting as the link between finance and management, you will also need to possess good interpersonal skills and have a good understanding of business and financial issues.”
Where do you best start your career to become a Financial Controller?
“Starting your career in a ‘Big4’ environment is a good start. With a 3 to 4 years of audit experience, you have a good basis for an all-round financial reporting function and ultimately the job as Financial Controller. Professionals with previous experience in general ledger accounting and strong analytical insight can of course also grow into a controlling position.”
What are the growth opportunities for Financial Controllers?
“A job as Financial Controller is in fact a springboard to new opportunities. As the Finance Director’s right hand, it is quite natural to over time evolve into a role such as Finance Director or Group Financial Controller within a large organisation”.