How to Become a Financial Controller

Financial Controllers are mid-level managers who are responsible for overseeing a financial team in order to accomplish the task of managing all of the financial aspects of an organization or company.

These individuals have many tasks, but are mainly responsible for the financial activities within an organization.

Financial Controllers will develop, plan, monitor and report all information relating to all of an organization’s financial actions and expenditures.

This position is more common in large organizations or corporations with the most common employers being financial institutions, such as banks, government agencies and any large corporation or company with a financial department.

Education Requirements to Become a Financial Controller

Individuals who want to become a Financial Controller need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.

In addition, individuals can also seek certification to show their proficiency in the field.

Although not currently a requirement to become a Financial Controller, some companies are now seeking candidates with advanced Master’s degrees.

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Individuals pursuing their bachelor’s degree can assure that the best areas of focus include studying Accounting, Finance, Economics or Business for individuals working on their undergraduate degree.

The typical curriculum for these degrees include: international business, business law, financial management, human resources management, budget analysis and forecasting and general auditing.

Individuals pursuing a graduate degree can focus their studies on Finance, Business Administration or Economics.

These advanced programs will require individuals who want to become a Financial Controller to gain in depth training on financial analysis methods, software and develop financial analytical skills.

In addition, several years of experience will help an individual secure a position as a Financial Controller because these professionals are required to manage a financial team that includes clerks and accountants.

The final step in order to begin a career in this profession is to seek certification.

Individuals may seek certification such as a Certified Financial Controller (CFC), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Individuals may visit the Institute of Financial Consultants to learn more information on certification and the requirements needed.

Financial Controller Job Description

Financial Controllers are responsible for working with a company’s finances and assuring that they are functioning, are organized and running efficiently.

Financial Controllers are responsible for making sure that a company’s financial department is running smoothly.

These professionals also manage a team of accountants to assure daily administrative tasks are completed on time.

Financial Controllers typically work regular business hours, however, if there are deadlines related to their job, some extra hours will be needed to meet them.

The main tasks Financial Controllers are responsible for include: developing, preparation, examining and reporting information on any and all financial activities occurring at an organization or company.

Daily activities can include analyzing financial books, creating accounts, auditing, provide feedback on an organization’s financial strategy, assuring compliance is being met in all tax or other regulatory aspects, managing their department and reporting information to their management, most typically a Financial Director.

A Financial Controller will set up controls to make sure all the financial information and how it is reported is done in an accurate manner.

In addition, Financial Controllers will also set up protocols and systems to prevent the occurrence of fraud within the organization.

Financial Controller Salary and Career Path

The median annual income for Financial Managers, which includes the Financial Controller profession, was approximately $109,740 in 2014.

Exact wages will depend on experience and the industry a professional works in.

The highest paying industries are the Professional, Scientific and Technical services which pay a median income of $130,120.

The lowest 10 percent of Financial Managers can expect to earn a median annual wage of $59,630.

Job projections for Financial Managers are expected to increase by 9 percent through 2022.

This growth is considered faster than average when compared to other professions and is attributed to the economy and its growth.

However, this rate is for this profession as a whole.

Exact job growth will vary between industries.

Individuals who are interested in the Financial Controller profession will already know they are good with numbers, are detail oriented and able to analyze and read a lot of detailed information regarding finances.

Joining the financial sector will create a career path that is challenging and that pays well.

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