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What Does a Financial Controller Do?

Financial controllers are just as important as the accountants and financial managers of any company. Financial controllers take on responsibilities that cover the managing of financial documents, budgets and the like. Their name might not be mentioned as often as that of the accountant’s but they practically have responsibilities that are equally as important, specifically in maintaining the financial stability of a company. But how important are financial controllers and what are the basic aspects of a financial controller job description?
what does a financial controller do
Part of the financial controller job description is the budgeting function. As what the name suggests, they are controllers that keep an eye on and monitor access to corporate funds. This is one of their most important responsibility. Oftentimes, financial controllers are the final signatories that have the authority to approve or reject certain company expenses. It is also stated in the financial controller job description that he will be directly reporting to the company’s finance head, known as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). But in the case of small companies, there are responsibilities that are shared by both the controller and the CFO.

In other organizations, financial controllers are tasked to create reports that are critical to the business. Aside from that, they are also responsible in measuring and examining the profitability of the organization and they work hand in hand with the marketing people in setting the prices of the company’s products and services.

The financial controller job description varies in different companies, depending on the industry and the organization’s size. Aside from budgeting and setting prices for the company products, the job description may also include product development, forecasting business results, market research, financial data analysis and the like. Bigger companies tend to provide a more detailed financial controller job description since they normally have a broader field.

It is an advantage in terms of promotion and career progression if a financial controller holds a CPA. But of course, this varies, depending on the company.

It is a different world when financial controllers enter the technology specialist companies. Both the controllers and the CFO should create a fundamental apprehension of information technology concepts and trends. With this, evaluation of IT projects and proposals will be more thorough, producing smarter financial strategies. Indeed, familiarity of concepts is a must for the controllers.

Aside from the mentioned tasks of a financial controller, it is also important to be aware of the skills needed in order to become an ideal controller or CFO. Here are some insights from Luke Johnson, columnist of the Financial Times.

-Discernment and conservatism.
-Attention to detail. Controllers should possess the ability to master the financial standing of the company.
-Hands-on.
-Hardworking, yet a smart worker.
-Grace under pressure. Performing effectively when under pressure is a thumbs-up.
-Have the guts to stand up to superiors if you believe there are better strategies
-Clarity. The ability to expound on financial issues without using any jargon.
-Expertise. One should have the expertise or at least some experience on the industry.

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