What does a financial controller do?

Financial controllers work in the finance department of organisations, where they are responsible for quality control of accountancy and bookkeeping, reporting, analysis and formulating plans and recommendations. If the CFO or CEO of an organisation has a financial issue, then the financial controller will help them to resolve it.

What are the main duties of a financial controller?

As a financial controller, you will be responsible for accounting, external reporting, bookkeeping and advising upper management.

The financial controller’s duties include, among others:

  • Management of bookkeeping and accounting.
  • Compiling reports.
  • Preparing and examining annual financial statements.
  • Examining financial reports and ensuring they are compliant with all applicable rules.
  • Optimising internal control.
  • Budgeting of projects and activities.
  • Formulating cash flow budgets.
  • Management of liquidity.
  • Adapting and managing the administrative organisation.
  • Selecting, measuring and interpreting KPIs.

In which sectors do financial controllers work?

Financial controllers can work in any sector in which medium-sized and large businesses are active. For example, you could work for a local, regional or national government body or for larger businesses in the non-profit sector.

What education level does a financial controller require?

Financial controllers are HBO (higher professional education) or WO (research university) graduates in the fields of accountancy, business administration or management. These courses can vary in length from seven months to four years.

In addition to holding these qualifications, employers often require you to have several years of experience working in a financial department.

What does a financial controller earn?

The average gross monthly salary for a financial controller is around €4,000. For junior financial controllers, the average salary is €2,878. Senior financial controllers earn an average gross monthly salary of €4,711. The more advanced your qualifications and the more experience you have, the higher the salary will be.

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.


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