(Note: Salary figures based on glassdoor.co.uk and may differ based on industry, experience, etc.)
Financial Controllers can expect to make anything from £40,000 per year to £100,000 based on the total (relevant) years of experience under their belt. The number varies greatly based on how generous the employer is with compensation as well as the candidate’s work experience. For example, it’s possible that salaries for financial controllers in banks, big consulting firms or Fortune 100 companies might go up to £120,000 or even higher.
Financial controllers are senior-level executives who usually report directly to the CFO and in case of smaller companies, might perform the duties of the CFO themselves. The compensation for the financial controller must, therefore, match the overall responsibilities that they have to perform. This is another reason why salaries can often be quite variable between companies.
The total compensation for financial controllers will also include a variable component. This, of course, depends on the performance of the individual, their department and the company but a minimum expectation of 10% might be considered fair. Again, if the individual is assuming multiple responsibilities within the finance department, his bonus would reflect that and would go proportionally higher. Often, the salary for the financial controller would be second only to the CFO in the finance department.
(Note: Salary figures based on glassdoor.co.uk and payscale.com)
Choosing the right sector for maximum growth
Financial controllers focus mostly on the handling of financial data and the preparation of financial reports, audits and other such responsibilities related to financial management. This means that they do have a fair bit of flexibility in moving from one core sector to another, unlike someone who is a product specialist, for example.
Therefore, to achieve optimum career growth, it might make sense to choose a rapidly growing or at least a stable sector. Healthcare, banking, IT/ tech, engineering, consulting are all good examples of sectors which continue to grow, although the situation may vary from country to country.
Another high risk, high reward option are start-ups. These companies can experience explosive growth and when that happens, it usually benefits the entire workforce especially if ESOPs (or something similar) is a thing. But the catch is that such roles are more suited for experienced professionals since they would have to do the heavy lifting in a start-up environment without much guidance.
An obvious advantage of a career in this field is the flexibility of moving from one sector to another. Career-oriented professionals looking to maximise their salary potential should always be on the lookout for moving to a better position even if it means switching to a different core sector that the candidate doesn’t have experience in or even to another EU country.
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