What Is A Financial Controller? [Fully Explained]

Want to be a financial controller in the future? Or want to hire a financial controller?

Let me brief you with all the eligibility criteria, duties, responsibilities, and complete information about the designation.

As the name itself suggests, the financial controller.

In simple words the financial controller is an executive or the person who manages the accounts, keeps an eye on the transactions made, and who looks & handles all the financial matters.

You must have a thought that the functioning and the responsibilities are the same as an accountant. Let me clear your confusion. The accountant and the financial controller both are different designations & have different job responsibilities. Let’s dive deep into the financial controller, which will make it more clear and easy to understand.

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What Is Financial Controller?

These days, there is a huge scope of Financial Controller. The financial controller is an executive who performs several tasks and is the head of the accounting department. The financial controller makes sure that the correct & legitimate information is updated in the balance sheets, annual reports, financial statement, and also plan & take care of the business benefit strategies.

The financial controller directly reports to the Chief Financial Officer and also informs about the performance of the business & discusses the strategies as well. Financial Controller is just not exposed to the responsibilities of the Manager; instead, there are many decisions & responsibilities that an individual has to perform.

Financial controllers just do not operate and control the accounts of the firm or company, instead, they also need to work upon the strategies that will work to improvise their place in the market, also they need to establish & maintain business relationships, and the controllers are also needed to set an estimated budget for every deal they crack.

Eligibility Criteria to become a Financial Controller

To acquire the designation of the financial controller requires good experience. The job profile of the financial controller demands relevant experience in finance and management. Most of the companies or firms also demand accountancy degrees from ACCA, CIMA, or ICAEW.

These are the top three reputed and renowned institutes for account studies. Most of the companies prefer or select the candidates of these institutes only as financial controller for their firms or companies.

The basic requirements for being the financial controller are as follows:

  1. Advanced degree in Accounting.
  2. CPA or CMA is preferred.
  3. Deep knowledge of accounting principles and procedures.
  4. Experience or good knowledge is required for creating financial statements.
  5. Administration skills.
  6. Applicant should be friendly with the accounting software.

Job Responsibilities & Duties of Financial Controller

The major duties or responsibilities of a financial controller are as follows:

  1. Gathering and organizing accounting operations.
  2. To manage & monitor accounting operations and staff.
  3. Observing and inspecting the purchasing & selling of the products or services.
  4. Regularly maintain & update the balance sheet of the company.
  5. Approve payments and outstanding bills of the company.
  6. The financial controller is also responsible for the preparation of monthly sales sheets, prepare economic bumps, and to keep an eye on tax returns.
  7. The financial controller also needs to maintain and manage the bank statements of the company’s account on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.

Apart from the above-mentioned responsibilities, there are many more duties that a financial controller needs to fulfill, to make a noticeable difference in the company’s profit. These duties are:

  • Business analysis, budgeting, developing, and forecasting.
  • The financial controller also needs to manage the flow of a company’s cash.
  • Business partnership growth and risk evaluation.
  • Customer relationship management is also part of the financial controller’s responsibilities.
  • The payroll section is also maintained and managed by a financial controller.

The expectations and job responsibilities of each company are different. It also depends upon the size and manpower of the company.

Skills Required to become a Financial Controller

Knowledge and skills go well together. When you have sufficient knowledge and the skills to operate and manage all your responsibilities efficiently, you are always rewarded. There is a certain set of skills that is important if you want to become a financial controller. These are:

  1. Good financial management.
  2. Decision-making capability.
  3. FC should motivate others and also make them realize that how every team is important.
  4. Strong leadership skills.

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Keys for becoming an Effective Financial Controller

There are many locks and keys, but only the appropriate key fits in the lock. Same way, knowing well about the responsibilities and duties of the financial controller is not enough to become the best one. There are some strategies through which the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial controller can be increased. These are:

  1. Automate the expenses.
  2. Good and effective communication skills.
  3. Teamwork is important. Assign the tasks to different teams according to their roles and responsibilities.
  4. The financial controller of the company should be prepared to make several strategies, so the things work out smoothly.

How do you become a Financial Controller 

If you want to become a financial controller, then you need to plan it accordingly since your graduation. There are several steps that you need to take one after another to become a financial controller for any firm or company. The simple steps which you need to follow to become a financial controller are as follows:

  1. Complete your bachelor’s degree either in accounting, business, economics, or finance from any deemed & reputed institution.
  2. After finishing your bachelor’s degree you have 2 options either you can pursue an MBA in finance, economics, or accounting or you can directly go ahead with the master’s degree in accountancy.
  3. After completing this, there are certain certification programs that you need to attempt and should clear to become a financial controller. The certification programs could be CFA, CMA, or CPA.

As the role of the financial controller is vast and the duties which a financial controller needs to accomplish demands a lot of experience and understanding. To become a financial controller you must have a minimum of 8-10 years of experience in accountancy and auditing. If you have some of the little experience then that works, but only in the case only when you have relevant experience as an accountant or auditor with some reputed, renowned and big companies.

To become a financial controller the maximum and relevant experience is the only key to success.

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