How to Become a Financial Controller

Becoming a Financial Controller 

A financial controller is in a position of considerable responsibility. They are responsible for overseeing the preparation and dissemination of the regulatory financial statements of a corporation. They also manage other functions performed by the finance and accounting departments. These include but are not limited to budgeting, planning, cash flow management, maintenance of bank accounts, cost and inventory accounting, etc.

To perform all these responsibilities and more, a financial controller requires a lot of experience and professional qualifications; see the article in the job description; you can learn more about these academic and professional requirements in our article on qualifications and skills.

There are several ways to become a financial controller; see the steps below.

Step 1 – Gain Some Accounting/Finance Experience

Financial controllership positions almost always require 5 to 15 years of work experience. Even for smaller companies, some prior work experience in the financial accounting function is considered mandatory. Therefore, candidates looking to join the financial controllership position must plan and spend some years in the finance or accounting department learning the requisite skills.

These skills include preparing financial statements, including the balance sheet, profit and loss account, cash flow statements, etc. It would also require skills such as budgeting, cost accounting, managing cash flows, managing receivables and payables, managing the company’s bank accounts and so on.

Step 2 – Get a Professional Accounting Qualification

Unlike many other job roles, professional certifications for a financial controllership position are often necessary. Various organisations offer these certifications in different countries. Candidates should choose one of these certifications based on their preferred country of employment. Of course, many of these qualifications are global or applicable across multiple countries. To learn more, please visit the following link on capabilities.

Please note that steps one and two above can be interchangeable depending on specific circumstances.

Step 3 – Display Leadership Potential

Financial controllers have huge responsibilities placed on their shoulders. To achieve their work-related objectives, they have to rely on large teams of professionals they directly manage while also interacting with other groups making management and leadership skills a prerequisite. Additionally, financial controller roles can be stepping stones to the CFO or Finance Director positions, the top positions in the finance division. Considering all of this, it becomes self-evident that those looking to become financial controllers need to possess leadership skills and demonstrate those skills repeatedly to decision-makers.

Search other articles to learn more about financial controller careers:

Job Description & ProfileSalary & PayQualifications, Skills & Requirements, etc

Search Jobs to find out about the financial controller job roles we currently have available.

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