What Is a Financial Controller?

A financial controller’s job can be fairly diverse. It balances the line between pure accounting, financial strategy, and leadership. As with many current job descriptions, this one is always developing. Big companies hire financial controllers and want them to have a more strategic vision than they did a few years ago. If you’re thinking about starting your own company, you can always turn to Payday Depot for financing.

Let’s take a closer look at financial controllers’ roles, responsibilities, and aims. Let’s start with a clear description of the position.

What Does a Financial Controller Do?

A financial controller is a senior-level manager who oversees a company’s day-to-day financial operations and accounting. They are in charge of the company’s books and records and perform all accounting duties. They also influence corporate decision-making, forecasting, and budgeting based on accounting data.

The scope of a financial controller’s duties might vary substantially depending on the company’s size. While the controller’s work revolves around financial data, it is becoming increasingly strategic.

This role’s main duties and responsibilities include:

Financial Budgeting and Reporting

Financial controllers oversee all banking and finance activities, which involve examining all financial documents. The controller must also make timely choices, offer critical financial data, and collaborate with executives to organize business financial decisions. They should also prepare financial statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports, and budgets.

Financial Analysis

The financial controller must perform financial analysis and provide professional opinions and suggestions along with reporting. The financial controller also assists in detecting risks, analyzing efficiency, and implementing executive policy decisions.

Accounting Supervision

A controller is in charge of accurately accounting for all accounting activities. Accounting, cash management, payroll, and bank clearance are all responsibilities of the financial controller.

Internal Controls

A controller also initiates and implements internal accounting and financial controls. This entails reviewing and approving all statements. In smaller businesses, the controller is often in charge of collecting past-due invoices. They must also organize and maintain strong records for inspection.

When Does a Company Require a Controller?

As a business grows, its founder may find themselves spending too much time on the accounting books rather than running the company. Following are the three most common reasons a firm hires its first controller.


When a company’s bookkeepers can no longer keep up with its growth, they hire a controller. Having a financial controller on staff can speed up the closing of the books, enforce internal controls, and ensure compliance with industry regulations.


A financial controller’s knowledge is required by organizations with revenues greater than $5 million. Financial controllers have the necessary credentials to manage responsibilities such as coordinating with external auditors and tax professionals and spotting fraudulent activity.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) Compliance

Regardless of turnover level, most financial controllers are employed when a firm must generate financial statements per GAAP to fulfill the requirement set forth by bankers and investors.

Qualifications needed for a financial controller

A bachelor/Master’s degree in finance is required to operate as a financial controller. Many financial controllers also hold CPA, CFA, and CMA credentials; however, they are not essential to be hired into the position or succeed in it.

The following soft skills are required to be successful in the field:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership qualities
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Problem-solving abilities