Finance Controller job description sample

A Finance Controller/Financial Controller, or a Finance Officer manages the finances of a company. Their duties include overseeing day-to-day accounting operations, preparing financial reports and handling tax matters.


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Finance Controller duties and responsibilities

Finance Controllers ensure that accounting and financial reporting operations improve the company’s effectiveness and efficiency. Their primary duties include:

  • Supervising company investments and financial accounts
  • Managing cash flow and expenses by monitoring transactions and reviewing internal reports
  • Developing and implementing financial reporting systems to meet internal company controls and industry regulations
  • Supervising and managing the finance team members
  • Creating budgets and financial plans and monitoring their implementation
  • Analysing financial reports and related data ensuring accuracy and preventing misconduct
  • Producing financial forecasts and presenting financial reports to management
  • Carrying out financial audits in compliance with government regulations and legislation


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What does a Finance Controller do?

Finance Controllers are in charge of a company’s financial and accounting activities. They monitor the flow of income into the company and control expenses to ensure financial stability. Finance Controllers direct and coordinate budget preparation and implementation. In many companies, the Finance Controller also oversees tax payments, banking, invoices and financial forecasts. Finance Controllers typically work full-time hours. Experienced Finance Controllers can become Senior Finance Officers or Finance Managers.


Finance Controller skills and qualifications

A successful Finance Controller candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform duties and responsibilities effectively. These include:

  • Knowledge of finance and accounting principles and procedures
  • Understanding of general ledger functions 
  • Knowledge of accounting software such as Excel, Wave Accounting and Sage 50cloud
  • Ability to work with financial data and identify irregularities in financial reports
  • Strong foundation in financial analysis
  • Excellent financial projection and forecasting skills
  • Effective team coordination skills


Finance Controller experience requirements

A strong background in financial reporting and accounting are typical experience requirements for Finance Controllers. Previous experience in banking, taxation and business management is also desirable. Finance Controllers need experience in financial forecasts, budgeting and financial accounts management. Junior Finance Controller candidates need at least two years of experience. Senior roles require five or more years of accounting and finance experience. Finance Controllers may also require extensive managerial or leadership experience, especially in large organisations.


Finance Controller education requirements

A Finance Controller typically needs a university degree in finance, accounting or business studies. Some candidates who have a certificate in bookkeeping, accounting or financial studies could be suitable for entry-level Finance Controller positions. Candidates could also prove their eligibility for this role via an Assistant Accountant advanced apprenticeship. Some Finance Controllers could come from a pool of experienced Finance Assistants and Accounts Assistants. Optional certifications for Finance Controllers include a Chartered Accountant credential and training in financial reporting standards.


Finance Controller salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Finance Controller candidates in the UK is £56,498 per year. Actual pay may depend on the employer, location, industry, experience, skills and qualifications and exact job duties and responsibilities.


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Finance Controller job description FAQs


What qualities make a good Finance Controller?

Strong written and verbal communication skills to share complex financial and accounting data to management and company teams in a simple way are essential qualities for a good Finance Controller. Successful Finance Controllers are detail-oriented because they have to work with different types of financial reports and data. They also need to be trustworthy and have an impeccable character. Finance Controllers can draw valuable insights from complicated, difficult-to-understand information. Other qualities of a Finance Controller are leadership skills and the ability to motivate teams to improve organisational efficiency.


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

An effective job description helps candidates decide whether they have the experience, academic qualifications, skills and professional ambitions to fit into your company and its role. Try to highlight the specific job duties and responsibilities of the role, including the teams the Finance Controller supervises. Mention any specific tools the candidate should be familiar with, such as QuickBooks or Xero, if your organisation uses them. Describe your company’s unique culture and state the work hours, remuneration and employment benefits such as paid holidays and opportunities for professional training.


Who reports to a Finance Controller?

The Finance Controller supervises the finance and accounting teams. Usually, Finance Assistants, Account Assistants and other junior staff in the finance department report to the Finance Controller.


What is the difference between a Finance Controller and an Accountant?

A Finance Controller oversees the accounting and financial operations of a company, including supervising the staff of the financial department. However, an Accountant maintains and analyses the financial records of a business to ensure compliance with regulatory and legal guidelines. Finance Controllers also tend to have more duties and responsibilities than Accountants.

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