Top 15 Financial Controller Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Top 15 Financial Controller Skills to Stay Top of Your Career.
To improve your work performance and succeed in your career as a financial controller, you need to have certain skills and qualities.

Top 15 Financial Controller Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

This post provides exhaustive information on the skills and qualities the financial controller needs to have to succeed on the job and career.

Please, read on:

These days, there has been an increase in the number of staff of many organizations due to the need for more manpower as well as brain power.

This is geared towards gaining more expertise to help the organization achieve its goal of existence.

Transactions happen every day in the organization that involves money and other financial activities.

These transactions are documented and kept for future reference.

This becomes the basic work of the financial department of the organization of which one of the executives involved in this department is the Financial Controller.

Who is a Financial Controller?

This is an executive in an organization who serves as the head of accounting, overseeing financial reports and making sure that other accounting jobs are done with utmost expertise.

The role of the Financial Controller is quite a sensitive and interesting one which demands some good skills to effectively perform the responsibilities attached to it.

Top 15 Financial Controller Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Here are important skills and qualities a financial controller need to excel in his/her career:

  1. Knowledge of the field
  2. IT skills
  3. Efficiency
  4. Accounting skills
  5. Administrative skills
  6. Strategic planning
  7. Cost analysis
  8. Oral/written communication skills
  9. Integrity
  10. Management skills
  11. Leadership skills
  12. Reliability
  13. Excellent mathematical skills
  14. Analytical skills
  15. Research skills.
  1. Knowledge of the field

The accounting field is a very sensitive one because of its relevance in the fortunes of organizations and the society.

So, it is a field that is expected to deal with transparency and accuracy. This is what the accounting field tends to accomplish.

As a financial controller, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of what the accounting field entails and know if you have what it takes to succeed in it.

If there are areas you will need to adjust, you have to work towards it and make sure it happens as soon as possible.

Working on your accuracy and proficiency when working with figures should be your major concern.

Working to be more proficient and efficient in your job is something that should bother you every day.

  1. IT skills

The knowledge of computer and other IT gadgets should be a good start to your career as the financial controller of your organization.

It should be at your fingertips and you should be skilled enough to apply it to your job, to make your job easier and more efficient.

IT skill is a skill for everyone due to its importance in the modern business world.

You have to sharpen this skill to be able to increase your efficiency and effectiveness on daily basis.

This brings us to the use of Microsoft Suite, which contains word processing, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, etc.

These are some of the software tools you should be able to use daily in your job as a financial controller.

  1. Efficiency

Efficiency in your job is your ability to fulfill the duties associated with it.

You cannot be paid for not being able to do the job assigned to you by your employer, it is not possible and it is unthinkable.

So you have to device means to carry out your job description.

Also, efficiency has a lot to do with your ability to beat deadlines given to you to do certain jobs.

Time is always at the center of everything being done within and outside the organization.

So this should be something you should work on if you want to improve your efficiency in your job.

The combination of your job description and time management is what produces efficiency in your job.

Some employees find it difficult to work with their job descriptions while other battle to manage time but if you must succeed in this role, you must manage the two well.

  1. Accounting skills

Financial controllers are expected to be adept with financial accounting issues.

It is not to say that this is your primary duty or job description but a skill you need to have if in deed you want to have all round success in your job.

Financial accounting skills entail knowledge of credit and debit recording to create clarity of transactions.

Though this is basically the duty of the organization’s chief accountant, yet it is not out of place if you acquaint yourself with this skill.

Also, it is assumed that before you come into the role of a financial controller, you must have worked in an organization in the capacity of an accountant.

So those abilities and knowledge will be needed by you to be able to carry out your job excellently.

  1. Administrative skills

This is with the assumption that there are people working under you or with you in the department or the organization as a whole.

You are their leader or manager and are expected to guide them into the right things to do in the organization to maintain the financial transparency of the organization.

So this means that you are an administrator who is expected to organize and plan financial activities or exercises of the company or organization.

A lot lies on your shoulders to maintain the smooth transaction of your company with clients out there.

You have to learn about some administrative skills which will help you succeed in your job.

It is necessary that you have the skills and be sure to improve where necessary.

Once again, remember that this job demands that you are clinical in whatever you do.

  1. Strategic planning

As a financial controller, one thing should be at the back of your mind and that is the financial prudence of your organization.

This is what will show that you are an expert and you are capable of managing the financial affairs of the organization.

Your employers may be dependent on your suggestions or advice to make some financial decisions as it will affect the organization.

It means that you are expected to think well and make your analysis before popping up with any suggestion or advice.

This brings us to the focal point of this point, which is strategic planning.

Financial plans by you should be strategic to be able to cut costs by your organization while maximizing profit both in the short and long run.

It will need you to be strategic in your planning.

  1. Cost analysis

Every business venture wants to minimize cost while maximizing profit.

This is what every business exists to achieve and anything short of that is not an acceptable result for the business venture.

Cost analysis is one way to watch out for losses in the business venture.

As earlier stated, your employer may need your advice or suggestion to sanction some deals or decisions in regards to the finances of the organization.

This is believed to be thoroughly thought of by you the financial controller.

So, during your strategic planning sessions, two things should be of concern to you: increasing profit and minimizing cost.

You should also understand that the profit margin increases if there is reduction or minimization of cost.

So work on this to be able to give workable advice to your employer to work with.

  1. Oral/written communication skills

This should not come as a surprise to you or something you dread. Communication is part and parcel of what you have to be good at if you want to do well in your job as a financial controller.

You have to be excellent in communication to be able to succeed in your capacity as a financial controller in your organization.

To disseminate ideas demands communication.

To build lasting and strong team spirit demands effective communication and a whole lot depends on effective communication.

Most importantly, relating your ideas to your employer should demand intelligence in communication to be able to persuade your employer to think along your line of thought.

This should make you work on your oral and written communication skills.

  1. Integrity

In the first point/skill discussed, we were able to establish that the accounting/financial field demands a lot of transparency and accuracy to ensure that financial goals of the organization are met.

This can only be possible through integrity.

One thing you will need to have in your job is the trust of your employer.

And as you know trust is not given but earned.

It is not possible to be trusted with the financial affairs of the organization if you are not straightforward or trustworthy with money.

You have to build that integrity of unquestionable character and personality to be able to gain the trust of your employer.

You should be known to be a sincere person with no subversive agenda of any kind.

  1. Management skills

Remember that you are not working alone in this job. There are people or employees you are meant to control, monitor, or supervise to ensure that there are no discrepancies in the services they render in the financial department of the organization.

This means that you need basic managerial skills as a financial controller to be able to manage the employees under your control.

You should be able to manage them, organize them, and push them towards achieving the organizational goals set before them.

As a manager, you are directly responsible for the outcome of whatever happens in your department.

So, avoid oversight and errors that may dent your personality and cast doubt on your ability to manage the department put under your care.

  1. Leadership skills

You will also need leadership skills to be able to control the affairs of the department put under your watch as well as achieve success on the job.

As a financial controller, there is no way you can organize your team without being a leader to them.

Being a leader to your team entails that through your financial prudence and activities, you are able to teach and coach your team on what their work ethics should be.

It is not out of place to say that what they see you do is what they will assume to be the acceptable standard in the organization.

You are like a pacesetter and someone that is expected to lead the team to achieve specific goals.

You have to develop your leadership skills to be able to lead a better team with the right motivation to succeed and produce amazing results.

  1. Reliability

Each day you show up at work you should have one thing to prove, and that is that you are the best person to handle the job given to you.

If you don’t know this, then you are not doing yourself any good. You have to know this and be ready to prove yourself every day.

Also, your employer is always interested in knowing how reliable you are on the job.

In other words, your employer is very keen to know how you can handle the job owing to the fact that financial matters are not issues to joke with at all.

So, you have to brace up and tighten up the loose ends of your job to prove to your employer that you are the best bet for the job.

  1. Excellent mathematical skills

Anything that has to do with finance or money will always demand a high level of proficiency in mathematics.

No matter the role you find yourself in the organization, as long as you have a role to play in the financial transactions of your organization, you should be good at mathematics.

Mathematical skills are needed by the financial controller to avoid mistakes.

Remember that as little and insignificant digits are, they are able to make a whole lot of difference in accounting and other finance related issues.

Therefore, you have to always keep your brain sharp in mathematics so as not to get into errors due to misplacement of digits, which can alter the results of some transactions.

As simple as the errors may look, it can reduce the confidence your employer has in you.

  1. Analytical skills

Your analytical skills will be highly needed in your organization to figure out why some financial issues persist.

It is good for you to know that this is part of the problem solving skills your organization will need from you. You have to think deep and think thoroughly.

On your own, you should be able to analyze the financial habits of your employer or organization and advice either for improvement or total abolishment of some financial practices as they affect the organization negatively.

For you to grow into this stature, you should be able to think deep and compare your findings with what is obtainable in other organizations.

This will give you a well-rounded analysis and place you on the pedestal to making meaningful contributions to your organization.

  1. Research skills

Research skills are also what you need to have as a financial controller.

You can’t run away from research if you really want to be a good financial adviser to your employer.

Research is not just restricted to the organization where you work. It also extends to other organizations in the same field or industry with your organization.

You should be able to know a thing or two about their financial habits and know if it is worth learning by your organization.

Through this top notch researches, you should be able to find some relevant solutions to the financial problems your organization is facing.

With this, you can make your recommendations and see to it that some expenses or costs are cut off from the organization.

Financial Controller Skills for Resume

If you are writing a new resume or CV for the position of a financial controller, you can make a compelling Skills or Competence section by applying the skills and qualities discussed above.

By learning that you have some of the above skills and qualities, recruiters/employers will be more likely to give you an interview and possibly hire you.


Certainly, there is a need to have leadership at every department of the organization, especially the accounting department.

The sensitivity of this department is the more reason why there is a need for strong leadership to sustain the vision of the organization.

In having a leader in the accounting department, the above skills and qualities will be needed in order to ensure that the financial controller delivers an excellent job in the organization and help the department achieve organizational goals.