A financial controller ensures that within the organisation strategic decisions are based on accurate financial information. He or she works proactively and focuses on the relationship between strategy and financial management. In addition to traditional management control, a controller keeps an eye on new elements such as KPI management and the creation of shareholder value.
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Duties of a controller
- Plans, directs, coordinates and optimises all operational bookkeeping positions.
- Manages all financial data needed to map the consolidated business results.
- Keeps an eye on fiscal planning and compliance.
- Prepares internal and external financial reports and establishes periodical reports.
- Coordinates the activities of external auditors.
- Determines budget, planning and facilities.
- Carries out variance analysis and all kinds of financial analyses, as well as performing cost calculations within production enterprises.
- Provides management with crucial information for decision processes.
- Evaluates internal control systems.
- Evaluates the efficiency of the bookkeeping software and the data management.
- Develops measurement systems to monitor business performance.
- May in some cases act to recruit and train bookkeeping employees and/or financial analysts.
Competencies of a controller
A (financial) controller has a Master’s degree in the field of finance or economics, or has come up through the ranks from a bookkeeping background. Previous operational experience in another company or in external audit is a plus.
Required competencies are:
- Knowledge of all aspects of generally accepted bookkeeping principles (BE GAAP, US GAAP, IFRS, etc.). For USA companies, previous knowledge of SOX regulation (Sarbanes-Oxley) can be a bonus.
- Ability to comprehend complex structures and system interactions.
- Solid communication skills and fluency in multiple languages.
- Strong analytical ability.
- Knowledge of accounting, reporting and ERP packages.