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Financial Controller Job Description

Financial Controller jobs are ideal for those with strong technical accountancy, monitoring, analysing and reporting knowledge, who have the ability to lead a department of skilled team members. You will also need the relevant qualifications and accreditations and a minimum of 5 years’ experience.

Financial Controllers have a large remit and key responsibilities towards a business’s current and future stability and growth. It takes professional skills and experience to take control and be accountable for leading financial strategies, evaluations and cost-reduction opportunities.

What does a Financial Controller do?

Financial Controllers work across all industries in the public and private sector, and in a range of companies, including Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industries, technologies companies, not-for-profit organisations, financial services and the entertainment industry.

As a Finance Controller, you will oversee the extensive duties undertaken by the finance team, while setting targets and supporting other departments to create and maintain their budgets. You will also be liaising with and working alongside, a diverse team of skilled professionals in departments across the business, supporting them in their financial planning. Therefore, you must be able to balance key technical, statistical and numerical abilities with your managerial responsibilities.

In this role you will supervise the maintenance of all financial systems, whilst identifying aspects that can be improved and implementing any necessary changes to support business development.

Your problem-solving and analytical skills will be put to good use managing the financial accounting systems, carrying out research, and reporting on factors critical to business performance.

It is vital that you’re able to evolve fluidly with any changes in the financial landscape. For example, with the onset of the pandemic, many Financial Controllers had to advise on newly formed business strategies, sometimes with limited information available to them.

Is a Financial Controller job a good fit for you?

A Financial Controller job could be a great step into a leadership position that calls on your professional accounting knowledge and expands your responsibilities. You must have at least 5 years’ experience as an Accountant or a Finance Manager and have an accountancy qualification through a professional body.

You will need meticulous analytical skills and outstanding management abilities to effectively draw out measurable and quantifiable data that can influence business decisions. You must be capable of leading the finance team in order to maintain the company’s day-to-day financial duties.

Your duties will include:

  • Develop and supervise the implementation of internal financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems.
  • Oversee the management of accounts receivable and accounts payable ledgers.
  • Provide key contributions to the company financial strategy and decision-making processes.
  • Analyse, prepare and present monthly and quarterly financial, budgeting and forecasting reports, and present your findings to the board.
  • Lead the end-to-end audit process of current systems, while acting as a point of contact for external auditors.
  • Take overall responsibility for the management of financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met.
  • Manage, mentor and motivate the finance team.
  • Review the financial reports and seek ways to reduce company costs.
  • Find expansion opportunities and maximise profits though the analysis of market trends.
  • Propose solutions to identified risks, and effectively manage stakeholder expectations.
  • Lead the team members responsible for accounting, payroll, VAT and HMRC processes.
  • Supervise the research into factors influencing business performance and report on these.
  • Control the preparation and interpretation of statutory accounts and present your findings.
  • Drive the continuous improvement of end to end accounting practices.

Are you a good fit for a Financial Controller job?

To succeed in a job as a Financial Controller you will need more than just accounting experience, this role will challenge you to strategise and problem solve, using complex data to maximise profitability. Your day-to-day duties as a Financial Controller will include:

  • The capability to turn complex data into logical formats.
  • Thorough and methodical attention to detail.
  • Be commercially savvy and have business awareness.
  • The ability to prioritise and have good time management skills.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.
  • Have an analytical approach to your work.
  • Possess sound technical skills and a high level of numeracy.
  • Use your initiative, problem-solving and negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrate positivity, approachability and have an investigative nature.
  • Adaptable to change and possess a willingness to embrace innovative ideas and new processes.
  • Enthusiasm to obtain new skills and knowledge.
  • The ability to accept criticism and to be challenged on your advice.
  • Be able to make quick but rational decisions under pressure.
  • Proficiency in I.T. skills.
  • Excellent team management skills and strong leadership qualities.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and to build strong working relationships.
  • Be capable in managing the work of others and to delegate where needed.
  • The ability to resolve conflicts or issues that arise between team members.

Qualifications, Licences and Certifications

The requirements needed to become a Financial Controller can vary depending on the company. You will need to check what is specifically required for each role that you apply for.

The essential qualifications required to become a Financial Controller are:

  • A minimum 5 years’ occupational experience in a Finance Manager or Financial Accountancy role and,
  • Fluent level of both spoken and written English and,
  • Fully qualified Accountant with a qualification from an institution such as:
  • Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA)

In addition to the essential qualifications, employers will be looking for those who demonstrate:

  • Exceptional technical accounting knowledge.
  • A high-level of presenting skills and interpretation of financial information.
  • The ability to advise co-workers and stakeholders of any financial changes affecting the business.
  • Assertive analysis of market trends and competitors.
  • Experience in conducting reviews and evaluation of cost-reduction opportunities.
  • Highly competent in managing financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems.
  • The ability to develop external relationships with appropriate contacts, such as Auditors, Solicitors, Bankers and Statutory Organisations such as the Inland Revenue.
  • The ability to produce accurate financial reports to specific deadlines.
  • Extensive working knowledge of financial regulations and legislation.
  • Be able to predict future trends, monitor cash flow and maintain budgets.
  • The ability to use main accounting and office software packages competently, including Microsoft Excel, Access and Word, QuickBooks, Sage, Zoho, Wave and Oracle.

Where can a Financial Controller job take you?

The expertise offered by a Financial Controller is extremely versatile. The knowledge and experience you gain in this position can be applied in other environments across many industries. Setting your sights on larger multi-factor organisations or varying industries to bolster your success is a good career plan.

There are always opportunities to gain new qualifications as a Financial Controller such as this Advanced  Performance Management course, or the Advanced Financial Management (AFM) course both from the ACCA.

To succeed in the competitive financial industry, you will need to gain qualifications that set you apart from other candidates and have 5 to 8 years’ experience as a Financial Controller. With these under your belt, you can set your sights on the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the highest-ranking financial position in any company.

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