The position of financial controller, or comptroller, involves managing financial departments of a company. These departments can include the accounting department, budget department, audit department, and any other finance-related departments. Financial controllers have many responsibilities, such as producing critical financial reports, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and financial prospectuses. They must also prepare reports that predict the financial performance of a company over time. Any paperwork that needs to be done for federal and state regulatory agencies is completed and submitted by the financial controller.
A financial controller should have a good grasp of financial reporting, as well as high-level mathematical and problem solving skills. Because they need to submit and often explain complex financial concepts to executives and people without a financial background, superior communication skills are necessary. Typically financial controllers have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business, although it is not uncommon to find someone with a liberal arts background in this role. They also should obtain a license as a certified public accountant, certified financial manager, or certified management accountant. Most companies hiring for this position will look for a master’s degree in business administration or financial accounting, as well as seven to 10 years of progressive accounting experience and previous supervisory experience.
Financial Controller Tasks
- Ensure policies and procedures are in compliance with professional standards, state and federal regulatory requirements.
- Establish and maintain internal controls to support the financial infrastructure.
- Present financial reporting and potential risk areas to senior management.
- Oversee accounting, financial reporting, analysis and preparation of the consolidated financial statements, including schedules for tax compliance.