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The role of a financial controller

The financial controller role is a core financial position within a commercial organization, SME, or multinational company.  Almost all companies will employ a professional in this capacity. 

It is a popular role amongst accounting and finance professionals, and such candidates with strong experience are highly sought-after by employers. Gemma Rodriguez, senior recruitment consultant at international recruitment agency Robert Walters, shares her insights on the role of financial controller.

The truth about being a financial controller

Gemma: “A financial controller's role may come across as routine and process driven, particularly for tasks such as month-end or statutory reporting. However, it can also be challenging and interesting.

Reporting is just a small part of the role, and a financial controller can also be responsible for treasury, tax, financial planning and growth of commercial business partnerships."

To get the job

“Employers often seek experienced professionals who hold a senior position within a finance team,” says Gemma. “You will also have to be technically astute with sound knowledge of financial fundamentals. Knowledge of general ledger, budgeting, forecasting, accounting standards and compliance regulations are essential, and you will have to demonstrate the ability to see not only the micro, but also the macro side of things. In Belgium, finance professionals with a strong grasp of local and US GAAP and IFRS requirements are also highly valued.”

Getting ahead of the competition

Given the competitive nature of the market, a classic accounting background with ‘Big 4’ and controlling experience are highly regarded and preferred by most employers. “Three to four years of auditing experience with a ‘Big 4’ will give you a huge head start to moving into an all-round financial reporting role, and eventually, a financial controller role,” confirms Gemma. “Candidates without the necessary qualifications should consider acquiring accreditation from a professional body, or accumulate substantial experience in a commercial environment.”

Job responsibilities and progression

Gemma: “The core responsibilities of the position will include financial reporting, business budgeting and forecasting, business development projects, treasury management, risk evaluation and business analysis. Financial controllers can evolve in their career to become finance directors or CFOs, depending on the profile or sector of the company.”


“A financial controller with 5 to 7 years of experience earns between 60k and 84k gross per year,” knows Gemma. “With 7 to 15 years of experience, the gross yearly salary is 85k to 105k. From 15 years of experience or more, the gross annual salary can rise to 125k.”



Check out our latest financial controller jobs and apply today.


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Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Gemma Rodriguez

Senior Recruitment Consultant | Finance & Accounting | Flanders
Phone: +32 478 98 03 36

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