what is a finance controller?
As a finance controller, you oversee your organisation's finance team or teams. You oversee the budget-setting process and assist various departments in the organisation with maintaining their budgets and general financial planning. To meet these needs, you utilise your experience with accounting software and practices. You also perform a supervisory role for the accounting team.
One of your core responsibilities as finance controller is to ensure your organisation's financial stability, both in the present and future. You will be decisive and prepared to make important decisions regarding your organisation's financial strategies, with cost reduction and opportunity growth being high on your list of goals.
Your role as a finance controller could take you to any number of industries in both the public and private sectors. This is because organisations of all kinds are in need of this role, which is largely independent of the nature of the business. That means you can transfer your skills and experience to other industries without needing to retrain for that industry specifically. However, the size of the organisation you work for can affect your role.
Would working as a finance controller suit your strong organisational and critical thinking skills? If so, read on to learn more about this role, including the competencies and educational requirements needed.finance controller roles
average salary of a finance controller
According to Payscale on average, finance controllers in India earn around ₹19,16,800 per year. This number falls quite centrally in the pay range for this profession. Entry-level finance controller positions can expect to make upwards of ₹590,000 per year. Conversely, the most experienced and successful finance controllers in the country can earn as much as ₹40,00,000 per year.
factors that affect finance controller's pay
Possibly the single most significant factor determining your potential pay as a finance controller is experience. It is unlikely that you will be hired into this role straight out of education, and you need to get some relevant experience working in accounting first. Finance controllers with more experience are likely to command a larger salary.
Location is also a factor in your compensation package. The difference between finance controller pay in New Delhi, Delhi and Bengaluru, Karnataka, is, on average, around ₹8,00,000 per year.
types of finance controller
The role of the finance controller can be broken into four main aspects, which are as follows:
- operators: as an operator, you oversee the accountancy operation in your organisation, ensuring it remains effective and efficient. That means you oversee the accounting process and ensure that everything is accurate and up to date.
- strategist: strategic finance controllers work with the executive team with the shared goal of driving company growth. In this role, you will help with the development of business strategies to achieve that growth.
- stewards: as the name suggests, a finance controller steward's main role is to protect the company's resources. You provide accurate reports on the company's financial position while managing risks and preserving the organisation's assets.
- catalysts: in the role of a catalyst, you provide the relevant information at the appropriate time to stakeholders and assist them in the decision-making process.
working as a finance controller
Finance controllers work with their organisation's finance and accounting teams to ensure smooth administrative functions and robust finance control. This role can be broken into more specific duties, which we will take a look at below.
duties and responsibilities
The specific duties of a finance controller include:
- control financial accounts: you manage the various financial accounts in your organisation, from monthly to quarterly accounts. You also oversee a range of accounts, such as accounts payable and receivable.
- manage audits: you finalise internal audits in your company and oversee the teams administering internal audits. You also present the final audit reports to senior management.
- analysis: you conduct financial analysis on many areas of the business with the purpose of advising management. Your analysis may include investigating a potential investment or performing a risk evaluation on a planned venture.
- oversight: you are responsible for overseeing accounting distribution and ensuring all monies are properly accounted for. This aspect of your job will cover many areas, including departmental budgets, payroll, and more.
Your immediate environment will be an office setting, and you will likely work with your colleagues in the same space. On a larger scale, your environment will depend on the industry you are working in. For example, if you are working in the financial sector, your environment will be financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies. Almost all industries need finance controllers, however, so the environment beyond your office door could be of any type.
who are your colleagues?
Your colleagues in this role will depend on your industry as you work closely with departmental heads. You will likely work with accountants and auditors regardless of your industry, but you could also find yourself working with other professionals, such as mortgage brokers, project managers, and more.
The schedule of a finance controller is mostly a typical office schedule, meaning 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday. However, there will be occasions when you work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines, particularly during tax periods. Finance controller is generally a full-time role, though there can be opportunities for part-time work in this profession.
As most—if not all—finance controllers have extensive experience in accounting before taking the role of finance controller, there is always the possibility of moving back into a career as an accountant or auditor, should that be more appealing. If you have loftier goals, a finance controller is a step on the ladder towards senior finance roles, such as finance manager or chief financial officer. As for the outlook for the role itself, it is estimated that the average finance controller salary will increase as much as 40% over the next five years.
advantages of finding a finance controller job through randstad
Finding your finance controller job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as a finance controller is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through Randstad too!
education and skills
Unlike some jobs, it is not possible in most cases to get hired as a finance controller straight out of education. The typical path for this role is to become an accountant first, which will require a bachelor of accounting degree or similar. The next step is to become a Chartered Accountant or a Certified Practising Accountant.
Once you have gained experience working as an accountant, you will be in a good position to apply for a role as a finance controller. The more experience you have, the better. It can also be beneficial to pursue postgraduate education in business administration or finance.
skills and competencies
Some of the qualities of a finance controller include:
- communication: excellent communication skills are needed for both relaying information to your accounting teams and reporting to senior management.
- computing: a large portion of your work will be done using computers and the various technologies that are the primary tools of your trade. You will be adept at using database software, spreadsheet applications, accounting software, and more.
- leadership: strong leadership skills enable you to keep your accounting teams on track and motivate your team members to optimise their performance. Leadership skills will also serve you well if you intend to move on to a more senior role in the future, such as CFO.
- analytical skills: strong analytical skills are essential to a good finance controller. From accounting data to internal audits and investment analysis to risk management, you use your analytical skills throughout your duties.
FAQs about working as a finance controller
FAQs about working as a finance controller:
how can I become a financial controller in India?
To become a finance controller in India, you will need extensive experience in accounting. That means you will need at least a bachelor of accounting degree or similar before going on to become a chartered accountant. Postgraduate education in a related field is not essential but can help your chances of being hired.
is controller higher than CFO?
The chief financial officer (CFO) is ultimately the head of the finance department in an organisation. As such, they are senior to all those who work in that department, including finance controllers. A finance controller is a common step on the path to becoming a CFO.
what is the role of a finance controller?
Finance controllers are responsible for overseeing an organisation's accounting and finance processes and providing accurate and timely records when needed.
can a controller become CFO?
Finance controllers can move into the role of chief financial officer. Indeed, this is one of the more common routes into the role of CFO.
how do I apply for a finance controller vacancy?
Applying for a finance controller job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!