What does a business controller do?

EA business controller helps an organisation’s management team to achieve a variety of objectives. He/she creates plans based on the organisation’s ambitions. The business controller analyses the current position and devises methods to achieve the established goals based on this position.

The business controller also makes suggestions regarding how to optimise the financial accounts, administration, marketing strategy and organisational structure in the widest sense of the term. The business controller creates plans focusing on the medium to long term.

What are the main duties of a business controller?

The main duties of a business controller are analysing the current state of the organisation, analysing the market and the position of the organisation within it, and creating long-term plans in order to achieve goals.

The business controller’s duties include, among others:

  • Providing support with project budgeting.
  • Formulating multi-year plans.
  • Anticipating a range of scenarios and issuing advice on how to deal with them.
  • Optimising financial and accounting processes.
  • Analysing the market and identifying new and valuable trends.
  • Writing business cases for the CFO and CEO.
  • etermining and enabling measurement of KPIs in order to measure progress.

In which sectors do business controllers work?

Business controllers are predominantly active in the financial sector, although they sometimes also work in medium to large companies. Business controllers also work in the government sector, e.g. for municipalities, provinces, central government or the Tax and Customs Administration.

What education level does a business controller require?

Most organisations require business controllers to be HBO (higher professional education) or WO (research university) graduates in fields such as business administration, business economics or management. The best degree to hold for the function of business controller is the HBO degree in Finance & Control. This course trains students to be fully-fledged business controllers.

In order to secure your position in the job market, it is advisable to complete supplementary training and gain work experience. This experience can be gained by working as an analyst, bookkeeper, accountant, etc.

What does a business controller earn?

Business controllers earn an average gross monthly salary of €4,400. Junior business controllers earn slightly lower gross salaries, with an average of €3,220 per month. Once you are a senior business controller, your gross monthly salary can increase to around €5,000.

What is the difference between a business controller and a financial controller?

Although a degree of overlap exists between the duties performed by the two professions, there are several key differences. For example, a financial controller has more responsibility for the accuracy of the accounting and the reports, while the business controller largely makes decisions regarding the organisation’s long-term strategy. A business controller has a broader knowledge of marketing, production and logistics.

Within organisations, business controllers and financial controllers work in close conjunction with each other. The financial controller’s analyses often serve as input for the business controller’s analyses.


Want to know more? Let's get in touch