Top 15 Cost Controller Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

By | July 18, 2023
Cost Controller Skills
You can increase your effectiveness as a cost controller and succeed in your career by developing certain skills and qualities.

This post provides detailed information of the major cost controller skills and qualities you need to have to improve your job performance and succeed in your career.

Please, read on:

A business or organization exists to make maximum profit while limiting or minimizing cost.

When there is a mismatch, the expectation and profits become slim compared to the cost, then there is a need to have the services of a cost controller in the organization.

Who is a Cost Controller?

A cost controller is an executive in an organization whose jobs is to control the cost of executing projects in the organization.

He/she ensures that sufficient funds are allocated to projects without waste or mismanagement of resources in the course of executing those projects.

Top 15 Cost Controller Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Here are important skills and qualities you need to have as a cost controller to be effective in your job and succeed in your career:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Judgment and decision making
  3. Problem solving skills
  4. Reading skills
  5. Communication skills
  6. Resource management
  7. Mathematical skills
  8. Active listening
  9. Active learning
  10. Coordination
  11. Monitoring
  12. Time management
  13. System analysis
  14. Learning new strategies
  15. Personal management.
  1. Critical thinking

Thinking things through over and over again is good in the long run. Critical thinking is a process that takes time and concentration.

It demands that you be patient with what you are considering to spot out some minutes details, which might likely make the difference in your job.

As a cost controller, you have to give yourself to critical thinking.

It is necessary that you should be able to think deeply and analytically about issues surrounding your job and probably the challenges you are faced with.

You need to take your time and think of what to do.

It is important to be a critical thinker because you will not do yourself any favor if you are impatient and rash in your decision making due to your inability to think things through.

It could be catastrophic and may result to unwanted incidences.

  1. Judgment and decision making

The basis for judgment should be good and critical analysis of issues affecting your job description.

It is from your findings and conclusions that you are able to make sound judgments as well as reasonable decisions that will benefit you and the organization you are working for.

Judgment entails discernment and this could have to do with both your findings and your natural intuitions.

Though the latter is good but you should be more careful with making your decisions from it.

Your findings should basically be the basis for your decisions.

If you are faced with difficult situations in your job, then it calls for you to make your judgment from your research or findings though intuitions can help sometimes.

So brace yourself up and always be ready to make decisions when needed.

  1. Problem solving skills

Providing solutions to the problems of the organization in regards to cost related issues remains the number one thing your employer had in mind before employing you.

It is simple to understand that your worth is a combination of your certification and your ability to provide solutions to problems.

Challenges or problems in the organization are not totally avoidable. This is because as long as changes continue to take place within the organization, there is bound to be challenges emanating from the changes that are being made.

Also, these challenges could be external, meaning that the general changes in the industry can bring with it some brand new challenges which may alter the way things are being done.

However, be it internal or external, your worth can be proved to the organization when you are able to combat these challenges.

  1. Reading skills

Reading is one of the basic ways we assimilate information. It is a way we understand written communication.

Reading has skills and these skills will be needed by you to be able to assimilate information passed on to you in the organization.

In this context, we consider the basic reading of words in general which are stipulated using the language that is official in the society.

Remember that though you are in the organization, yet there are times you will have to communicate with people out there.

We also consider some of the languages or jargons associated with your job.

Every industry has some basic terminologies that anyone who is in it needs to understand.

So, be sure to have the basic understanding of the terminologies associated with your industry.

  1. Communication skills

Communication is a must in every organization. At all levels, communication will always play a vital role in the conveying of information round the organization.

So, it is fair enough to say that to be part of an organization as a cost controller, you have to be adept in communication.

Communication comes in different forms and should be known by any professional in the organization.

Sometimes, most conflicts arise due to problematic communication within the organization. This breeds disorganization.

The two basic forms of communication you should be good at are the oral or the written forms of communication.

Oral has to do with what you can say verbally while the written form of communication has to do with conveying information through writing.

  1. Resource management

It is a true saying that there is no job satisfaction anywhere. This is owing to the fact that everything may not be in place to make you comfortable in your job.

However, you should be able to work with or manage what you have at your disposal to achieve maximum results.

This calls for you to have resource management as a basic skill in your job as a cost controller.

As stated earlier, you may not have everything you might want at the moment but the truth still remains that that should not be an excuse for not achieving satisfactory result in your job.

With proper planning and financial shrewdness, you should be able to do more with little.

This is the principle of cost control. You should be able also to work with other factors of production which involves other employees as part of your team.

  1. Mathematical skills

Safe to say that mathematics is the basics for anything that has to do with money or financial matters.

You just can’t rule mathematics out of your job as a cost controller.

You should embrace it and use the skills to enhance your job and ensure clinical execution of your job.

With this said, it all boils down to the question, “How good are you in mathematics?”

It is important to know that though errors might occur from time to time, yet some of the errors can be avoided if only you can sharpen your mathematics skills.

Again, though you need to be advanced in mathematics and statistical subjects, however, having basic mathematical knowledge is a good way to go.

Knowledge of BODMAS or BEDMAS as some might prefer calling it remains a great mathematical skill you can kick off your career with.

  1. Active listening

This is one of the things that make communication effective and complete.

You should not just be a good talker or writer but also a good listener.

You need to hear what people inside and outside the organization are saying in regards to your job and probably how you carry out your job.

The opinions of people out there really matter as opposed to what some fellows believe.

Though this is not to say that everything said to you is necessary, but you can really learn from some of them and make yourself better in the job.

Also, it is through active listening that you gather some relevant information you will need to guide you in your job.

In your job as a cost controller, you need guidance and for you to be guided, you must present yourself to be not just an active listener but also an excellent listener.

  1. Active learning

Learning they say never ends. This is true because with progress in the assimilation and processing of the knowledge we acquire, we become better.

However, there is passive learning and there is active learning.

These two forms of learning are important but don’t achieve same result.

Passive learning has more to do with the knowledge you acquire without actually being intentional about it.

There are some things we have learnt in life that were mere accidental learning.

Though this good, however, it is not so effective in the long run.

The knowledge you will need to really succeed in your job as a cost controller is through active learning.

This is because you are intentional and purposeful about what you want to learn.

This is also known as selective learning.

You only choose what you think is necessary for you and your job description.

  1. Coordination

This has to do with your ability to set activities in motion while maintaining stability and smooth execution of your job.

Your job must be executed and rightly so must be done in a way that it does not affect other activities in the organization.

This is why you need to learn the coordination skill.

Before you leave your house in the morning to get to your workplace, there should be a clear roadmap of what you want to do for the day and how to line up your activities to ensure that things go according to plan.

“Planlessness” is one sure way that you can disorganize your activities in the organization.

You cannot be disorganized if you have plans on ground which caters for all your activities and how they are to be carried out.

So to be coordinated means to have your working plan in place.

  1. Monitoring

Supervision as some might prefer to call it is necessary in every job, including that of a cost controller.

You oversee the activities of other people in the department and also your activities.

This means that there is a need to be intentional about your job.

The first thing for you to monitor is your personal activities.

You should be able to take note of your activities to be sure that they are in line with the job description that has been given to you.

Through monitoring, you should be able to rate your success at that point.

Also, as an executive or leader in the department that you oversee, you should be able to keep tab on the activities of the people under you.

The employer may not bother checking on the individual employees under you but can assume that the failure or success of the department is down to your monitoring abilities.

  1. Time management

Those who understand the critical importance of time and its management stand a lot of chance of succeeding in their jobs.

This is because time is a non-renewable resource. Meaning that a minute lost or misused can’t be gained back.

This is why in your job description, time management is one of the skills you need to possess.

You should be good at making most out of every minute available to you in the workplace.

You should be able to apply speed and caution in your job to manage time.

The biggest enemy of time management remains procrastination.

This is the reason a lot of projects and jobs are left undone because of the impression that there is still a lot of time left to do them.

This happens in the organization and in the society at large. So you should avoid it entirely.

  1. System analysis

Analyzing how things work in the organization should give you a clue as to what you should expect from the organization and what the organization expects from you.

It is a two way movement for you the cost controller of the organization.

This directly implies that for you to be realistic about your expectations financially in that organization, you should take your time to study the system of the organization and know how to align yourself to bring about the necessary changes in the organization within your powers.

Also, the knowledge of the system should give you an idea of what is expected from you in the organization where you are working.

Though you have your job description spelt out for you, yet there are other expectations which you can only know through systems analysis.

  1. Learning new strategies

Strategies are different ways or methods employed to solve problems or bring into existence what is not there before.

Strategies are meant to keep the company’s nose in front and keep it afloat in the industry and in the marketplace.

So strategies are necessary working tools for any organization to succeed in the marketplace or industry.

Some of these ideas might have been over the years and as such are becoming stale and outdated.

There is need for a change in this scenario.

This leads us to having knowledge of new strategies. The best ideas of yesterday may serve well today and that is the fact.

So the more of knowledge and ideas (current ideas) you are able to get, the more potent you are in solving contemporary organizational problems.

  1. Personal management

You can’t give what you don’t have and you can’t perform beyond your capacity.

This is why you should know yourself totally and operate within your ability.

You should be able to work with your strength and not drawn to some unnecessary methods, especially if you have not tested them.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t look out for better ideas, but work with what you are familiar with while you still keep learning new strategies.

This is called self-management. Manage yourself well and you will be able to manage your job.

Also, understand the principle of delegation. It is important because if you don’t learn to delegate duties sometimes, you may suffer burnout both physically and mentally and that won’t be good for you.

Preserve your physical and mental health if you really want to last in your job.

Cost Controller Skills for Resume

If you are writing a resume or CV for the cost controller position, you need to add a compelling Skills section to it.

You can apply the cost controller skills and qualities discussed above in making an effective Skills section for your resume/CV.

By showing that you have some of the important skills and qualities required for success on the cost controller job, you chances of being hired for the job are brighter.


In every organization, there is much attention paid to how expenditures are made for every event or project.

This is because if money is mismanaged, there are repercussions for that which may lead to liquidation of the organization entirely.

That is why you should see your job as a cost controller to be very sensitive one.

To help you remain top of your job and career, the above skills and qualities have been emphasized.

All you need to do is to work with them and give yourself leverage.