Assistant Controller Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Assistant Controller, or Assistant Financial Controller works with the Financial Controller to help a company manage and utilise its financial assets. Their duties include setting up a system to monitor the company’s assets, ensuring all accounting is done within legal compliance and helping make large-scale financial decisions based on past records.

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What does an Assistant Controller do?

An Assistant Controller works directly under a company’s Financial Controller. Together, and sometimes with a large group of Assistant Controllers, they work as a team to help control the company’s financial assets. They make sure all financial processes are in legal compliance with the rules of the industry and that all accounting processes are done in the best way to ensure company profits and overall effectiveness.

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Assistant Controller duties and responsibilities

Assistant Controllers must be able to multi-task in order to complete the many administrative, organisational and analysis tasks required of the position. Their main duties and responsibilities generally include:

  • Creating monthly, quarterly and annual budget reports
  • Ensuring accounting practices are in compliance with legal guidelines
  • Carrying out financial audits
  • Creating financial statements for clients as well as upper management
  • Collaborating with the IT department to create a system to maintain financial records
  • Dealing with payroll, invoices, expenses and VAT
  • Producing financial forecasts
  • Presenting reports to upper management
  • Reconciling accounts

Assistant Controller skills and qualifications

Assistant Controllers use their extensive industry knowledge, soft skills and technical abilities to help support management in assessing and improving the company’s finances. A successful Assistant Controller candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Extensive knowledge of economics, accounting, regulations and best practices
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency with industry software
  • Ability to collaborate and work well in a team
  • Thorough attention to detail and highly organised
  • Leadership and business management skills
  • Ability to problem solve and analyse data

Assistant Controller experience requirements

An Assistant Controller advises high-level financial staff within a company. They must have at least three years of experience. They may have gained previous experience from a financial service company, such as a bank, as a trainee adviser or customer service adviser, where they could start in a lower-level position and work their way up the hierarchy.

Most companies require applicants to have a level 4 qualification in financial advice recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority. The level 4 qualification can be in one of the following: Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, a Diploma for Financial Advisers or an Investment Advice Diploma.

Assistant Controller education and training requirements

Employers usually hire candidates that have obtained a bachelor’s degree in financial services, business management, accountancy or a similar field. Many applicants will have completed a higher level apprenticeship in financial services which requires four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 and A levels. In order to be considered for this position, applicants must be registered as an ‘approved person’ by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Assistant Controller salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Assistant Controller in the UK is £21,743 per year. Salary is usually dependent on experience, location and company.

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Assistant Controller job description FAQs

Do Assistant Controllers have different responsibilities in different industries?

An Assistant Controller’s primary function is to help the Financial Controller focus on improving the financial health of an organisation and it remains the same across all industries, although the specific tasks will change depending on the industry. Legal requirements and regulations will vary depending on the industry. For example, the financial aspects of a pharmaceutical company will be very different from a media and entertainment company. An applicant must be knowledgeable about the job’s specific industry for the role that they ar applying for.

What is the difference between an Assistant Controller and an Accountant?

The duties of an Accountant are generally more specific to one aspect of a company’s financial activity, whereas an Assistant Controller has broader financial responsibilities. An Accountant records and calculates a company’s financial transactions while an Assistant Controller manages the accounting operations of a company, including staff. An Assistant Controller is considered a higher position than an Accountant and they also have more influence on a company’s financial decisions.

How can you make your Assistant Controller job description stand out?

Start by highlighting the basic competitive elements such as salary, flexible work, stock options and holidays. Then explain the company’s culture and specific aspects that make the working environment unique and exciting such as networking opportunities or team lunches. Finally, describe opportunities for growth and progress within the company, such as training and development opportunities.

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