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How much can you earn as Controller?

Are you working as a controller and wondering if your salary is competitive with the market? Or are you looking for a job in control but have no idea what salary to expect?  

Marie Parmentier, manager at international recruitment agency Robert Walters and specialised in recruiting controllers, gives an overview of the current salaries for controller positions in Belgium, following our recent salary survey.

Financial controller salary 

Marie: "Are you almost or just graduated and interested in a career as a controller? If so, starting in a "Big4" environment is ideal. With 3 to 4 years' experience in audit, you will have a good foundation for a versatile financial reporting position, allowing you to advance to a financial controller position. Also, professionals with previous experience in general accounting and strong analytical skills often progress to a financial controller position."

After 3 to 7 years of experience, you can expect a gross annual salary of between €56,000 and €90,000. Your exact salary obviously depends on the size of the organisation and the sector in which it operates. In most organisations, this salary is supplemented with fringe benefits such as a company car and fuel card, group and hospitalisation insurance, meal vouchers, a mobile phone and a laptop.

If you have more than 7 years of experience, your gross annual salary is around EUR 90,000. Depending on the sector and the size of the organisation you work for, this salary can go up to €115,000. " "Again, you can count on a range of fringe benefits, often supplemented by net compensation and a bonus. Senior financial controllers with more than 15 years' experience can count on a gross annual salary of around 99,000 euros, and in exceptional cases up to around 140,000 euros."

Business controller salary 

"A business controller acts as a partner and supports the CEO, COO and CFO. His or her duties - unlike those of the financial controller - are more focused on operational matters than compliance, taxation and accounting," Marie explains.

Demand for business controllers has never been higher: Jobfeed data show that more than 1,500 vacancies have already been published in Belgium in the past six months.

Good news for business controllers looking for a new professional challenge: they are in a strong position to negotiate their salary.

"For example, a business controller with 3 to 7 years of experience can count on a gross annual salary between 56,000 - 90,000 euro. After 7 years, this salary rises to 90,000 -115,000 euros and those with more than 15 years' experience in business control can expect a gross annual salary between 99,000 - 140,000 euros. But 140,000 euros is exceptional," says Marie. As with financial controllers, this salary is supplemented by a large number of fringe benefits.

Plant controller salary  

As a plant controller, you work at an organisation's production site and ensure that the entire site operates according to set budgets, schedules and standards. You also collect and analyse financial data and costs and prepare financial statements. The duties of a plant controller also include conducting audits and risk assessments across the site. Marie: "In terms of remuneration, we see plant controllers advancing faster in their salaries. For example, a plant controller with 5 to 7 years' experience earns on average between EUR 60,000 and EUR 84,000 gross per year. After 7 years, this gross annual salary rises to around EUR 104,000 and senior plant controllers with 15 years of experience or more can earn up to EUR 134,000 gross per year. This salary is complemented by a package of fringe benefits."

Group Controller salary  

"When it comes to the Group Controller position, we need to make a little nuance. In some organisations, people describe a Group Controller as the person who acts as 'Head of Controlling', supervising the entire controlling team at group level, i.e. in different entities. But often this job title refers to a classic Business or Financial Controller position of a person working at group level, in the headquarter of an organisation. In terms of remuneration, a group controller with more than 7 years of experience can expect a gross annual salary of EUR 100,000-125,000. Those with more than 15 years of experience can expect a gross annual salary of EUR 120,000-175,000, plus fringe benefits. "

Controlling Manager / Director salary 

The head of the controlling team is the Controlling Manager or Controlling Director, who supervises the team. Marie: "This person usually reports directly to the CFO and will work on very operational projects directly with the business, and act as a leader to optimise financial systems. Excellent people management skills are essential in this role, as are strong communication skills and a very solid business acumen. After all, the Controlling Manager or Director is expected to communicate fluently with various stakeholders within the organisation." On an annual basis, a controlling manager with more than 15 years of experience earns between €120,000 and €175,000. However, this salary cap only applies if you work at the headquarters of a large group, have an international reach and lead a large team. This salary naturally includes fringe benefits.


Find out more 

Discover the controller positions we currently offer or contact one of our offices for a personal interview. Find out how much you're worth with our salary guide. This digital tool provides an overview of the latest salary trends for controllers and other finance roles, the skills required and the latest market trends for finance professionals.  

Looking for a controller to join your finance team? Send your vacancy to Robert Walters and one of our consultants will be happy to help.

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Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Marie Parmentier

Manager | Finance & Accounting | Brussels
Phone: +32 474 54 00 29

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