Hire a Financial Controller: a comprehensive guide

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Whether you’re a small business experiencing growth or a large corporation needing to improve efficiency and compliance, choosing to hire a financial controller is a strategic step. They play a vital role in managing day-to-day accounting operations and ensuring financial accuracy. A skilled controller can also provide valuable insights, helping to drive your business forward.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about hiring a financial controller. From understanding their role and responsibilities to identifying the signs it’s time to bring one on board, we’ve got you covered.

What Is a Financial Controller?

A financial controller is a senior financial executive who’s responsible for overseeing a company’s accounting operations. They ensure that the day-to-day accounting activities and reports are accurate and compliant. They can also offer valuable insights based on the accounting data to help with decision-making.

The Role of a Financial Controller

Whether you are running a major corporation or small business, a financial controller has an important role to play in your company. They ensure your accounting operations are accurate, compliant, and efficient.

Here are some of their key responsibilities:

How a Financial Controller Differs from Other Financial Roles

Financial controllers fill a unique role in your business. They are more than just accountants because they oversee the entire accounting process, ensuring compliance and accuracy. If you need someone to handle basic bookkeeping and daily transactions, you will hire an accountant, not a controller.

The controllers also differ from finance directors. While controllers focus on managing daily accounting operations and ensuring accurate financial reports, finance directors set the overall financial strategy and goals for the company. The controllers will manage the day-to-day, while the finance directors will manage the broader financial direction.

They also play a distinct role compared to finance business partners. Finance business partners are deeply integrated with different departments. They use their financial insights to guide strategic initiatives and ensure collaboration between finance and operational teams.

Signs Your Business Needs a Financial Controller

Knowing when to hire a financial controller is crucial. Here are some of the sure signs that your business needs to recruit a controller:

Rapid Business Growth

If your business is experiencing rapid growth, it can become challenging to manage finances effectively. A controller can help ensure that your accounting operations scale with your business. They provide the expertise needed to handle increased financial complexity and support sustainable growth.

Increased Regulatory Requirements

As your business grows, so do the regulatory requirements you must comply with. A controller ensures that all financial practices meet legal standards and internal policies, helping you avoid any costly penalties.

Inaccurate Financial Reporting

Frequent errors or inconsistencies in your accounting reports are clear signs that you are relying too heavily on your accountants. Financial controllers bring the necessary skills to improve accuracy and reliability in financial reporting, ensuring you have the precise data needed for making informed business decisions.

Qualifications and Skills to Look for in a Financial Controller

If it’s time for your business to hire a financial controller, you need to know what to look for in potential candidates. All candidates should have a strong background in accounting and finance, demonstrated by a relevant degree and professional certifications.

To suit this role, the candidate should also have strong analytical skills, proficiency in accounting software, and reporting capabilities. Candidates with experience in your industry will mean they are familiar with industry-specific financial challenges and regulations, making them a great fit.

How to Hire a Financial Controller

Using finance recruitment agencies can streamline the hiring process. These specialised agencies will quickly identify your specific needs and match you with the right candidates. They can also help you with creating the perfect job description, screening, and securing your ideal candidate, saving you time and effort.

If you want to do it yourself, follow our step-by-step process:

1. Identifying Your Needs

You first need to identify your business’s needs for this role. Consulting with your accountancy team can provide valuable insights into what is required. They can highlight areas where additional support is needed and identify specific skills that are crucial for the role.

You can then use this information to create a detailed job description. A well-crafted job description will attract candidates who are well-suited to meet your business’s specific requirements. Make sure to clearly outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and skills needed for the role.

2. Finding Potential Candidates

A finance recruitment agency is one of the best ways to find potential candidates. They have extensive networks and resources to connect you with highly qualified professionals. This can speed up the hiring process and ensure you find top talent.

You can also place the job description online on various job boards, network within your industry, and use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates. Attending industry events can help you meet professionals who might be looking for new opportunities. These methods can help you reach a broad audience and find the right fit for your business.

3. Evaluating Financial Controllers

Start by assessing candidates’ CVs and resumes to identify those with the right qualifications and experience. Look for relevant certifications, such as CPA, and experience in accounting management. Pay attention to the industries of their previous roles and any accomplishments to determine their suitability for your role.

Conducting interviews is the next crucial step in the evaluation process. You will need to prepare a set of questions that cover both technical skills and their problem-solving abilities. Make sure to ask about their experience with reporting, compliance, and how they have handled any financial challenges in the past.

You can also use assessments, such as practical tests or case studies, to gain insights into a candidate’s capabilities. These assessments help ensure you choose a candidate who can effectively manage your accounting operations.

4. Making the Decision

It’s now time to decide who you will bring into your business. Before making an offer, it’s always best to check the references and background of your potential candidate. This ensures the person you choose will be the best fit for your company’s culture and future success.

Once you have narrowed it down to one candidate, you can make them a formal job offer. This should clearly state the terms of employment, including salary, benefits, and any other relevant details. With a well-structured offer, you are set to secure the top candidate.

Check out our finance and accounting salary and benefits review to ensure you are making a competitive offer that will attract and retain your ideal candidate.

How a Financial Controller with Tiger Finance

At Tiger Finance, we’re ready to help you hire a financial controller. We have years of industry experience and access to an extensive network of both active and passive candidates, ensuring that we will always find the right fit for your role. Our team will support you throughout the hiring process, from sourcing candidates to aftercare.

Fill in the request form so that we can make your recruitment process easier and faster.

Author Jane Leese Tiger Recruitment Team
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