The controller is a high-level position taking a long time to achieve. How is it like being a Financial Controller? What are the mission and job descriptions for controller?

The financial controller (FC) is powerful in a company with a broad influence on almost all departments. The feeling of impacting which project to go ahead with is alluring. More often than not, you might be stuck at climbing to that influential position despite all your efforts, hard work, and constant learning. 

What might go wrong? You possibly wonder. Perhaps, it’s just a matter of time to accumulate experience and skills and you are just a few steps away from realizing your dream. Don’t give up!

Today, our post will empower you with well-rounded aspects and speed up the process of turning into a professional FC! Stay close!

Role of a Financial Controller – What Does a Financial Controller Do?

Job Descriptions For Controller

What is a controller job? Controllers monitor the company’s entire accounting activities, and this is a senior position. Controller positions are appointed to experienced accountants who have gone through various levels of accounting. They often cover a broad range of tasks in different accounting branches. 

In small companies, controllers are often the ultimate decision-makers for all financial issues like reports, investment, risk management, and budgeting. Meanwhile, in large businesses, each controller is specialized in specific financial branches in large businesses. 

Is It Really Worth Pursuing: Financial Controller Jobs?

In small companies, controllers are often the ultimate decision-makers for all financial issues. Source: jasamanagement

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Specific duties of a controller may vary based on companies’ requirements, yet the most common duties and responsibilities consist of:

  • Plan, manage and coordinate all operational accounting functions.
  • Consolidate financial information for accounting purposes.
  • Prepare external and internal financial statements.
  • Coordinate external auditors’ activities.
  • Provide management with important information for decision-making.
  • Control of the budget process.
  • Evaluate and offer recommendations on current accounting practices, internal control systems, and implementation of new methods.
  • Assess the software’s and data supply’s effectiveness when required.
  • Develop and monitor performance metrics of businesses.
  • Regularly report tax and compliance issues.
  • Recruit, train, and retain qualified accounting personnel.

How about a corporate controller job description? What is the difference between normal controllers and corporate controllers? Emerson Galfo, CFO (Chief Finance Officer) of C-Suite Services, revealed that the fundamental roles of both positions are quite similar. Yet the scope of decisions they make may be slightly different based on the structure, regulations, and size of each company.

Income Range

When the accounting professionals reach their control position, their salaries are relatively high – above the average of all professions in the United States. According to The 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals, the annual income of the Financial Controller is $132,000. Nonetheless, this is just the midpoint wage, and 50% of the controllers earn much more than that.

Income Range

How much would a financial controller earn each year? Source: timviec

Qualifications And Skill Requirements

Controllers generally require solid technical, communication, analysis, and management skills, particularly understanding the broad accounting principles (GAAP). They also need to understand the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations and provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Also, candidates applying for controller positions might as well have an undergraduate degree in Business Management (MBA) or certified public accountant (CPA), certified management accountant (CMA), or chartered global management accountant (CGMA).

Of course, the controllers should have all the experience of a qualified accountant’s skills: numerical calculation, problem-solving, logical thinking, and teamwork to manage effectively. Moreover, they have influence over the final decision-makers and normally possess a big-picture mindset in evaluating different options.

Typically, it’s pretty hard for most graduates to take up controller positions. The controller is a position that requires an extremely high level of experience, expertise and therefore, years of practical execution to gain those requirements.

How Long To Become A Financial Controller?

To become a FC, you may progress through a career path from low to high. Overall, you will start as a junior accountant and might as well accumulate knowledge of financial management, cash flow management, financial analysis, and financial planning during the process. When being qualified enough, you could get promoted to the Accounting Manager, Assistant Controller, and then gradually become a Financial Controller (considered the Chief of Accounting).

The average time to turn into a FC ranges from 12 years to 20 years depending on each company’s size and requirements or your ability, experience, and effort.

Job Prospect

Job Prospect

This industry may increase by about 15% in demand (2019-2029) – Job Descriptions For Controller. Source: nowcfo

BLS states that the employment of controllers from 2019–2029 is expected to increase by approximately 15%, especially for services such as planning, directing, and coordinating investments. The employment demand rises much quicker than the average of all occupations’ in the U.S.

During Covid time, many big companies in the U.S. have collected more cash on their balance sheets and are focusing on risk management, particularly among those with operations in foreign countries. And this will increase the need for financial supervisors – controllers.

In addition, a large number of controllers are needed for credit intermediaries, commercial banking, and related organizations. These companies tend to carry out online customer transactions. The number of transactions is reduced, while demand for financial management professionals tends to rise.

Compare To Other Similar Jobs - Jobs Descriptions For Controller

Getting promoted to controller position – Job Descriptions For Controller. Source: talententerprise

Compare To Other Similar Jobs – Jobs Descriptions For Controller

This table shows a list of relevant jobs of financial controllers. Let’s catch a glimpse of these data:

OccupationJob DutiesRequired Education2020 Midpoint Pay
blankFinancial ControllerMonitor the company’s entire accounting activities.Bachelor’s degree$132,000
Accountants and auditorsAccountants and AuditorsPrepare and examine financial records.Bachelor’s degree$73,560
Budget analystsBudget AnalystsPlan and forecast yearly/quarterly/monthly budgets.Bachelor’s degree$78,970
Financial analystsFinancial AnalystsProvide financial insights to support high-level executives make managerial decisions.Bachelor’s degree$83,660
Insurance sales agentsInsurance Sales AgentsContact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance.High school diploma or equivalent$52,180
Insurance underwritersInsurance UnderwritersEvaluate insurance policy applications and decide whether to release the insurance policy and under what terms.Bachelor’s degree$71,790
Loan officersLoan OfficersEvaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications.Bachelor’s degree$63,960
Personal financial advisorsPersonal Financial AdvisorsProvide advice to help individuals manage their personal finance and wealth.Bachelor’s degree$89,330

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistic

Wrapping Up – Jobs Descriptions For Controller

Like other jobs, those who follow this career path need a tremendous effort to overcome thousands of troubles and challenges. You may progress gradually—being a brilliant accountant, then a senior controller. Be strong!

We’ve given you essential job descriptions for controller and more details. Good luck!

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By Ellie Cora

Ellie Cora Dawn is a former writer of JobandEdu covering career advice. She began working in the writing and career consulting field since 2016. Cora was a teacher for several years until she found out her passion is to help and consult others in finding their passion. She is currently a full-time researcher, writer for JobandEdu. Cora writes articles that provide counseling to people who are going through career transitions or are having a hard time deciding. She helps them with career decisions and transitions, workplace struggles, and the application process. Sometimes she also writes about her interests and things she finds intriguing and helpful.

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