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Every business will experience some sort of financial complication. After all, finances can be difficult to keep track of, considering the different expenses and taxes that companies have to account for.

Fortunately, one person who can help smoothen all financial operations is a controller. Controllers are an indispensable part of any organization as they are the go-to people for anything finance-related.

Continue reading this article to learn more about this role, the duties that come with it, and the necessary skills and requirements needed to hire or outsource one.

What is a controller?

A financial controller (or simply controller) is a finance professional who acts as a company’s lead accountant. This specialist is in charge of overseeing all financial operations and ensuring the correctness of all financial statements, documents, and ledgers.

Some of the tasks of controllers include tracking money coming in and out of the company and coordinating with other finance and accounting officers to ensure financial accuracy.

Duties of a controller

A controller has a wide range of financial duties that keep a company’s finances in check. Listed below are some common day-to-day tasks for financial controllers:

Financial planning and analysis

Financial controllers are responsible for assessing the company’s current financial state and creating strategies to ensure long-term and short-term financial health.

They work with other departments to determine financial goals and specific plans of action on how to achieve them. This function includes looking at trends and patterns from data and coming up with actionable insights and recommendations on how to improve.


In addition to looking at old or current finances, controllers come up with budgets and new financial plans. They create plans that detail a company’s expenses over a specific period of the year, usually the fiscal year. 

Part of their role is ensuring the company has the right amount of funds needed for various operations and preventing misuse or spending more than what is allowed.


A financial controller contributes to making predictions and foreseeing future financial performance. This involves scenario analysis and looking at market conditions and industry trends. 

Controllers accomplish this by drawing conclusions from data and reports and coming up with estimations of future revenues and expenses. These forecasts are then reported to upper management in order to put preparations in place.

Financial reporting

Financial controllers take charge of reporting various financial findings and data to the authorities. This includes financial audits, reports, and summaries of the amounts spent for the month or increases or decreases in expenses throughout the year.

They provide a comprehensive view of the quarterly, monthly, and annual financial data, which helps the company come up with ideas and insights on how to tackle the following months or years.

Skills and requirements needed in a controller

Listed below are some important qualifications to look for when hiring or outsourcing a financial controller:


Financial controller certifications are proof of the candidate’s competency and expertise in the field. Some certifications include Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Attention to detail

Controllers are meticulous about numbers and statistics. They must have keen attention to detail to ensure the information they gather is correct.

Accurate data ensures that everything gets processed sooner, which means less trouble for the company. Financial controllers play a big part in preventing mistakes and inaccurate data.

Accounting skills

Controllers will have to do a lot of math and computing to make sure the right numbers add up. Any mistake in calculations could lead to setbacks and delays in operations.

Ideally, they must have some sort of accounting background or experience in the same or similar field.

Analytical skills

These experts must be able to analyze data and draw patterns and conclusions that will help the company succeed. They must possess a deep understanding of current trends and market conditions, and come up with solutions to financial problems.

Communication skills

Not everyone in the company is going to be well-versed in finances, meaning financial controllers must be able to communicate well with all stakeholders.

They must be able to conduct presentations and reports and relay important information to keep everyone in the company on the same page.

Where to hire a controller

Here are a few ways you can find the right financial controller for your company:

1. Financial recruitment firms – Financial recruitment firms are the best place to find finance professionals with a wide range of financial skills.

2. Job posting sites – May financial controllers can be found on popular job platforms, such as:

3. Recommendations – You can consult your connections and ask if they can refer you to a reliable financial controller.

Salary comparison

According to Glassdoor, a financial controller in the US makes around $164,505 per year. To compare, Salary Expert reports that financial controllers in the Philippines make around ₱3,165,007 yearly. 

The table shows a rough breakdown of the annual salaries of a controller:


On-site vs. Remote setup for a controller

Financial controllers can work either in a physical office or remotely from home, depending on what the company needs at that moment.

On-site financial controllers have direct access to the necessary tools to perform their jobs more efficiently. They can also collaborate with their team members more easily.

Meanwhile, remote work offers the convenience and flexibility needed to achieve work-life balance. Controllers can easily do their tasks from home on their computers. 

Controller job description template

Feel free to edit this controller job description template according to your current hiring specifications.

You may also consult this list of controller interview questions to learn more about your potential candidates. 

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