Financial Control - What Does a Financial Controller Do?

Financial Control is the work performed by a Financial Controller and is primarily concerned with managing, analysing and reporting financial information within an organisation. Financial Controllers play a key role in ensuring that the organisation's financial processes and reports are accurate, efficient and in line with applicable laws and regulations.

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Duties of a Financial Controller

Financial Control focuses on continuously reviewing and analysing an organisation's finances. Financial Controllers prepare key financial reports, manage monthly and annual accounts, and provide valuable financial information to management and other key stakeholders.

Financial Controllers are essential to maintaining financial accuracy and integrity within an organisation, and the position usually requires an academic degree in finance.

It is a critical and often senior role in a company's finance department. A Financial Controller has a wide range of responsibilities that include overall financial management and often works on the company's financial planning and analyses. The related and sometimes overlapping role of Accounting Controller focuses mainly on the accounting process.

Financial Controllers are typically placed in a central staff position, reporting to a CFO or Head of Controlling, and are responsible for managing and analysing the company's accounting and financial reporting. The work requires strong analytical skills, precision, and knowledge of financial reporting and accounting, which is essential to the financial functioning of the company.

Unlike Business Controllers, who tend to concentrate on monitoring and improving business processes and strategic planning, Financial Controllers focus more on actual financial reporting and accounting. Although these roles can also overlap.

In the public sector, the title of a Financial Controller may vary, but their main tasks are similar, with less emphasis on profitability compared to the private sector.

A Financial Controller's role is to develop and maintain financial systems and controls (such as budgetary control), and to provide management and other stakeholders with accurate and timely financial data essential for decision-making.

Duties also include monitoring and improving budgetary processes, performing performance analysis, and contributing to Strategic Planning, Financial Forecasting/Scenario Planning, GRC and Risk Management, supporting decision-making and promoting the financial well-being and growth of the organisation.

Examples of Tasks Involved in a Financial Controller's Job

  • Performance Analysis: Financial Controllers review and analyse the company's financial performance to ensure accuracy and provide insights into the company's financial situation.
  • Current Status Assessment and Target Fulfilment: They monitor and report the company's current financial position and its progress towards set targets.
  • Quality Assurance of Financial Information: As a central part of the finance team, they ensure that all financial information and data generated is of high quality and reliable.
  • Internal and External Support: They address the needs of both internal and external stakeholders, which means communicating financial information in an understandable way to different audiences.
  • Consolidation and Reporting: They are involved in compiling financial reports from different departments or subsidiaries to present a coherent financial overview.
  • Systems Expertise: Financial Controllers often need to have a good knowledge of financial systems, reporting tools, budgeting tools, and databases to effectively manage financial data.
  • Financial Statement Work: They play an important role in preparing and conducting the company's financial statements, which is a critical process in financial reporting and auditing.

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