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What does a Financial Controller do?

Learn all about Financial Controller duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Financial Controller.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A financial controller is responsible for the financial management of a company. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies to ensure the financial health of the organization.

Financial Controller job duties include:

  • Overseeing and directing the financial activities of the organization
  • Developing and implementing financial policies and procedures
  • Preparing financial reports, budgets, and forecasts
  • Analyzing financial data and identifying trends
  • Managing cash flow and preparing cash flow statements
  • Monitoring and analyzing financial risks and opportunities
  • Coordinating audits and ensuring compliance with financial regulations
  • Negotiating loans and other financing arrangements
  • Supervising accounting staff

Financial Controller Job Requirements

A financial controller is responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization. A bachelor's degree in accounting or finance is required, and many employers prefer candidates who are certified public accountants (CPAs). Financial controllers typically have 5-10 years of experience in accounting or finance.

Financial Controller Skills

  • Financial analysis
  • Financial forecasting
  • Financial modeling
  • Budgeting
  • Variance analysis
  • Cash flow management
  • Working capital management
  • Treasury management
  • Risk management
  • Financial reporting
  • GAAP
  • IFRS

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How to become a Financial Controller

A financial controller is responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization. Financial controllers typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, and many also have a master’s degree or certification as a certified public accountant (CPA).

The first step to becoming a financial controller is to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance from an accredited college or university. Many financial controllers also have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. In addition to academic coursework, students should also get experience working with numbers and financial software programs.

After completing their education, individuals must then pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam before they can practice as CPAs. Although it is not required, many financial controllers also become certified management accountants (CMAs). To become a CMA, individuals must pass an exam administered by the Institute of Management Accountants.

Once they have the necessary education and credentials, individuals can begin working as financial controllers. Financial controllers typically work in corporate finance departments, but they may also work for government agencies or non-profit organizations. Financial controllers typically report to the chief financial officer (CFO) of an organization.

As organizations continue to grow and become more complex, the role of the financial controller will become increasingly important. Financial controllers must be able to provide accurate and timely information that helps organizations make sound decisions about their finances. They must also be able to adapt to changing circumstances and regulations. With the right education and experience, individuals can become well-qualified financial controllers who make significant contributions to their organizations.

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