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Become A Finance Controller

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Working As A Finance Controller

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $75,100

    Average Salary

What Does A Finance Controller Do

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.

Duties

Financial managers typically do the following:

  • Prepare financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts
  • Monitor financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met
  • Supervise employees who do financial reporting and budgeting
  • Review company financial reports and seek ways to reduce costs
  • Analyze market trends to maximize profits and find expansion opportunities
  • Help management make financial decisions

The role of the financial manager, particularly in business, is changing in response to technological advances that have substantially reduced the amount of time it takes to produce financial reports. Financial managers’ main responsibility used to be monitoring a company’s finances, but they now do more data analysis and advise senior managers on ways to maximize profits. They often work on teams, acting as business advisors to top executives.

Financial managers also do tasks that are specific to their organization or industry. For example, government financial managers must be experts on government appropriations and budgeting processes, and healthcare financial managers must know about topics in healthcare finance. Moreover, financial managers must be knowledgeable about special tax laws and regulations that affect their industry.

The following are examples of types of financial managers:

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are accountable for the accuracy of a company’s or organization’s financial reporting, especially among publicly traded companies. As head of a company’s entire financial department, they manage the lower level financial managers. They oversee the company’s financial goals, objectives, and budgets.

Controllers direct the preparation of financial reports that summarize and forecast the organization’s financial position, such as income statements, balance sheets, and analyses of future earnings or expenses. Controllers also are in charge of preparing special reports required by governmental agencies that regulate businesses. Often, controllers oversee the accounting, audit, and budget departments of their organization.

Treasurers and finance officers direct their organization’s budgets to meet its financial goals. They oversee the investment of funds and carry out strategies to raise capital (such as issuing stocks or bonds) to support the firm’s expansion. They also develop financial plans for mergers (two companies joining together) and acquisitions (one company buying another).

Credit managers oversee their firm’s credit business. They set credit-rating criteria, determine credit ceilings, and monitor the collections of past-due accounts.

Cash managers monitor and control the flow of cash that comes in and goes out of the company to meet the company’s business and investment needs. For example, they must project cash flow (amounts coming in and going out) to determine whether the company will have a shortage or surplus of cash. 

Risk managers control financial risk by using strategies to limit or offset the probability of a financial loss or a company’s exposure to financial uncertainty. Among the risks they try to limit are those that stem from currency or commodity price changes.

Insurance managers decide how best to limit a company’s losses by obtaining insurance against risks, such as the need to make disability payments for an employee who gets hurt on the job or the costs imposed by a lawsuit against the company.

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How To Become A Finance Controller

Financial managers typically have a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of experience in another business or financial occupation, such as an accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.

Education

A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration is often the minimum education needed for financial managers. However, many employers now seek candidates with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, finance, or economics. These academic programs help students develop analytical skills and learn financial analysis methods and software.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Professional certification is not required, but some financial managers still get it to demonstrate a level of competence. The CFA Institute confers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to investment professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of work experience, and pass three exams. The Association for Financial Professionals confers the Certified Treasury Professional credential to those who pass an exam and have a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Financial managers usually have experience in another business or financial occupation. For example, they may have worked as a loan officer, accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst. 

In some cases, companies provide formal management training programs to help prepare highly motivated and skilled financial workers to become financial managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial managers increasingly are assisting executives in making decisions that affect their organization, a task which requires analytical ability.

Communication skills. Excellent communication skills are essential because financial managers must explain and justify complex financial transactions.

Detail oriented. In preparing and analyzing reports such as balance sheets and income statements, financial managers must be precise and attentive to their work in order to avoid errors.

Math skills. Financial managers must be skilled in math, including algebra. An understanding of international finance and complex financial documents also is important.

Organizational skills. Financial managers deal with a range of information and documents and so they must stay organized to do their jobs effectively.

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Finance Controller jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Controller 5.0 years
Plant Controller 4.6 years
Chief Accountant 4.5 years
Accounting Manager 4.3 years
Finance Controller 4.0 years
Finance Director 3.9 years
Finance Manager 3.7 years
Group Controller 3.7 years
Accounting Officer 3.7 years
Unit Controller 3.5 years
Finance Supervisor 3.5 years
Finance Officer 3.5 years
Cost Controller 3.1 years
Finance Executive 3.1 years
Finance Leader 3.1 years
Reporting Manager 3.1 years
Finance Auditor 2.8 years
Finance Analyst 2.8 years
Interim Controller 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Controller 11.8%
Accountant 7.2%
Manager 3.1%
Consultant 2.1%
Top Employers After
Controller 13.9%
Consultant 5.6%
Accountant 4.1%
Director 1.8%

Finance Controller Demographics

Gender

Male

61.9%

Female

35.4%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

71.6%

Asian

12.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Unknown

3.7%

Black or African American

1.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.5%

French

13.5%

Chinese

8.4%

German

6.8%

Portuguese

6.1%

Mandarin

5.8%

Arabic

4.2%

Russian

3.5%

Cantonese

2.9%

Italian

2.6%

Ukrainian

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Hindi

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Turkish

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Greek

0.6%

Czech

0.6%

Persian

0.6%
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Finance Controller Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.6%

University of Houston

6.7%

New York University

5.7%

University of Texas at Austin

5.5%

DePaul University

5.0%

Michigan State University

4.8%

University of Chicago

4.8%

Villanova University

4.5%

Florida Atlantic University

4.5%

Northern Illinois University

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

Pace University - New York

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Georgia State University

4.3%

Hofstra University

4.3%

Temple University

4.0%

Fordham University

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

Wayne State University

3.8%

Brigham Young University

3.8%
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Majors

Accounting

39.2%

Business

28.2%

Finance

19.4%

Management

3.2%

Economics

2.2%

Business/Commerce

1.0%

International Business

0.7%

Law

0.6%

Computer Science

0.6%

Project Management

0.6%

Real Estate

0.5%

Marketing

0.5%

Business Economics

0.5%

Health Care Administration

0.5%

Computer Information Systems

0.5%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.4%

Hospitality Management

0.4%

Management Information Systems

0.4%

Education

0.4%

Political Science

0.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.2%

Masters

40.2%

Other

10.3%

Certificate

2.0%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.1%
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Real Finance Controller Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Financial Controller Amni International Petroleum Resources, LLC The Woodlands, TX Mar 29, 2016 $250,000
Financial Controller Westpac Banking Corporation New York, NY Apr 14, 2016 $192,250
Financial Controller Eis Group, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 27, 2016 $178,100
Regional Financial Controller-Americas Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc. Newark, CA Feb 06, 2015 $176,000
Financial Controller Primary Services LP Houston, TX Nov 12, 2015 $173,805
Financial Controller, U.S. Masters Residential Property Fund Dixon Advisory USA Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 01, 2015 $160,524
Finance Controller Namaste Laboratories, LLC Chicago, IL Aug 01, 2015 $158,330
Finance Controller Iris Software, Inc. Edison, NJ Mar 18, 2016 $155,000
Project Financial Controller-Americas GHD Inc. Santa Rosa, CA Jun 26, 2015 $150,675 -
$230,000
Financial Controller Wix.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 15, 2016 $150,000
Financial Controller Eis Group, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 20, 2016 $150,000
Senior Financial Controller Infilco Degremont Inc. Richmond, VA Nov 01, 2016 $150,000
Financial Controller APOS Us Management, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $150,000
Finance Controller Philips Lighting North America Corporation Rosemont, IL Aug 23, 2016 $112,455
Financial Controller AJ Property Management NYC, LLC New York, NY Feb 09, 2016 $112,364
Financial Controller ABB Inc. Boulder, CO May 05, 2015 $112,258 -
$159,700
Financial Controller ABB Inc. Boulder, CO Sep 30, 2015 $112,258 -
$159,700
Finance Controller, Product Dvlpmt & Proj Mgmt Group* ABB Inc. Boulder, CO Mar 10, 2015 $112,258 -
$159,700
Financial Controller Ny Tennis at Mill Pond, LLC New York, NY Aug 26, 2015 $111,154
Financial Controller, Services & Projects Schneider Electric USA, Inc. Nashville, TN Aug 08, 2016 $109,554 -
$111,769
Financial Controller Doorkraft Products Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 29, 2016 $94,515
Financial Controller Doorkraft Products Inc. Atlanta, GA Aug 09, 2016 $94,515
Finance and Controlling (Fico) Configuror 2 Fossil Partners LP Richardson, TX Feb 03, 2015 $94,000
Financial Controller 665 Bush Street, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 05, 2015 $93,642
Financial Controller Archimedes Banya-Sf San Francisco, CA Aug 06, 2015 $92,976
Financial Controller, Private Banking Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC New York, NY Mar 25, 2016 $92,000
Controller, Financial Sollers Inc. Edison, NJ Sep 15, 2016 $90,701
Product Controller, Finance RBC Capital Markets, LLC New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $90,000 -
$110,000

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Top Skills for A Finance Controller

MonthlyFinancialStatementsPayrollProceduresExternalAuditorsEnsureComplianceAssetsInternalControlsGeneralLedgerBalanceSheetHumanResourcesMonthlyFinancialReportsAnnualBudgetA/PGaapAccountReconciliationsIncomeFinancialControlBusinessUnitFinancialAnalysisJournalEntries

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Top Finance Controller Skills

  1. Monthly Financial Statements
  2. Payroll
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared and analyzed monthly financial statements.
  • Compile and maintain all records needed to prepare monthly and quarterly payroll taxes.
  • Reduced working capital level 10% by strengthening working capital analysis procedures and maintaining close working relationships with internal businesses.
  • Provided exceptional level of support to external auditors concerning quarterly reviews and annual audits.
  • Document and ensure compliance with accounting policies and procedures.

Top Finance Controller Employers

Finance Controller Videos

A Day in the Life of a Financial Controller at ANZ

A Day in the Life of a Finance Manager at eBay

3 Things Role of the CFO YouTube

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