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The job and salary of a Business Controller

Every month at Robert Walters, we highlight a popular position. This month we chose the job of Business Controller, currently a highly sought-after position within finance.  

But what exactly does a business controller do? And what does the future hold for the business controller? We listened to Chiara Van Campenhout, recruitment consultant at international recruitment agency Robert Walters.  

What exactly does a business controller do?  

Chiara: "Controlling is at the heart of an informed and well-thought-out decision-making process in many large companies. A business controller acts as a partner and assists the CFO. His or her main professional responsibilities are collecting and analysing financial data and advising on how to optimise a company's performance."  

The primary goals of the Business Controller are:

  • Reduce costs
  • Increase efficiency
  • Keeping up to date with the latest developments and advising
  • Identify and mitigate internal and external risks  


What basic skills does a good Business Controller possess?  

"The business controller ideally possesses strong analytical and strategic skills," says Chiara. "In addition, a good command of IT tools is essential to quickly collect, analyse and interpret financial information. The ability to communicate fluently with different stakeholders, including operational teams and financial managers, is also crucial. Finally, a constant drive for improvement is essential. The business controller must be proactive in finding ways to optimise financial processes, suggest improvements and adapt to changes in finance."  

How high is the demand for Business Controllers?  

Are you interested in a career as a Business Controller? Then there are plenty of opportunities. Chiara: "Jobfeed figures show that over 1,500 Business Controller vacancies have already been published in Belgium in the past six months. Most of these opportunities, 27%, are in the province of Antwerp. The Brussels Capital Region and the province of West Flanders follow with 19% and 15% of the total number of vacancies respectively."  

What does the future of business control look like?  

The business controller remains the ultimate link between finance and business, enabling organisations to positively influence their strategy and core business.

However, the complexity of the function will increase as time goes on.  

The business controller of the future will be a generalist with advanced knowledge of IT, given the shift towards automated financial processes. Digitisation also means that the ability to synthesise complex data and communicate it clearly to management will become crucial for the business controller of tomorrow.

In addition, a new challenge lies in risk management, which is still not standard practice for many organisations.

Furthermore, the demand for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) professionals is high due to mandatory ESG reporting. For financial professionals, the role of ESG controller, where the data analysed and reported is more comprehensive than strictly financial data, can be a refreshing professional challenge.  

How much does a Business Controller earn?  

A Business Controller with 3 to 7 years of experience earns between EUR 56k and EUR 90k per year, according to our most recent Salary Survey. From 7 years of experience, annual salaries run from EUR 90k to EUR 115k. For those with more than 10 years of experience, we are talking about gross annual salaries of EUR 99k to EUR 140k.


Are you ready for your next career move?

Take a look at our latest Business Controller jobs  or create a job alert to receive new Business Controller jobs directly in your mailbox.

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Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Chiara Van Campenhout

Consultant | Finance | Brussels
Phone: +32 475 60 08 94

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