How to Hire a Financial Controller

Does your growing business need a financial controller? A financial controller is in charge of the overall management of all accounting and financial transactions and aligns it with the regulatory framework of the organization.

Here are some tips to help you find great financial controller candidates and choose the right hire for your business.

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Financial controllers searching for jobs on Indeed*

78,393

Job seekers that clicked financial controller jobs

6,295

Resumes for job seekers with financial controller experience on Indeed

1,344

Financial controller jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring financial controller?

  • Common salary in US: $86,940 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $26,000$181,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, financial controller jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 58 job seekers per financial controller job.

Why hire a financial controller?

Hiring an expert financial controller will ensure formulating a robust financial framework, keeping in mind the corporate and regulatory environment. Key activities include financial forecasting and budgeting, developing risk management strategies and preparing and publishing monthly financial reports. They also:

• Constructively manage all key accounting and revenue operations, such as billing, accounts receivable and payable, and revenue modeling
• Prepare financial forecast and budgeting, keeping in mind company goals
• Produce monthly financial statements

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance financial controller

There are not a lot of reasons a company might consider hiring a freelance financial controller. Typically, a company would want a full-time hire in that position because a full-time hire becomes more accustomed to the company and has lower hourly costs than a freelancer. However, companies that have recently dismissed their financial controller or had them quit may be looking for a freelancer to fill the position in a temporary capacity. While it isn’t the best fiscal decision, hiring a temporary freelance controller would allow the company time to find a suitable replacement. 

What are the ranks of financial controllers?

A financial controller is almost at the top of the chain when it comes to the hierarchy in the financial world. Some positions in this industry include:

  • Chief financial officerThe only position higher than a financial controller, a chief financial officer is responsible for evaluating past financial decisions made by the company, building presentations about the company’s current financial status and identifying which products and services are performing effectively or badly. 
  • Financial controller: Financial controllers help auditors gather required documents for an audit, create financial reports about the company’s spending and profits and manage the accountants below them. Controllers are often more involved in day-to-day tasks than CFOs. 
  • Accounting managersIn large businesses, accounting managers are often in control of one specific aspect of a company’s financial standing. They might manage accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. 
  • AccountantsAccountants typically perform many of the regular duties of the accounting field, such as analyzing spending, reporting and invoicing.
  • Accounting clerk or assistant: Accounting clerks are the entry-level employees in the accounting industry. They often assist accountants with their daily tasks. 

Where to find financial controllers

To find the right financial controller for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Analyze the performance of your current mid-level accounting managers. If any of them seem to be ready to move up to the controller position, set up an interview with them to gauge their level of interest in the job and see if they’re a good fit. 
  • Maintain relationships with other large corporations. Other companies may give you leads to find a financial controller. Established financial controllers may also be looking for a position in a new company. Reach out to any potential candidates and conduct interviews with them.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your financial controller job on Indeed to find and attract quality financial controller candidates.

What are the ranks of financial controllers?

A financial controller is almost at the top of the chain when it comes to the hierarchy in the financial world. Some positions in this industry include:

  • Chief financial officerThe only position higher than a financial controller, a chief financial officer is responsible for evaluating past financial decisions made by the company, building presentations about the company’s current financial status and identifying which products and services are performing effectively or badly. 
  • Financial controller: Financial controllers help auditors gather required documents for an audit, create financial reports about the company’s spending and profits and manage the accountants below them. Controllers are often more involved in day-to-day tasks than CFOs. 
  • Accounting managersIn large businesses, accounting managers are often in control of one specific aspect of a company’s financial standing. They might manage accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. 
  • AccountantsAccountants typically perform many of the regular duties of the accounting field, such as analyzing spending, reporting and invoicing.
  • Accounting clerk or assistant: Accounting clerks are the entry-level employees in the accounting industry. They often assist accountants with their daily tasks. 

Writing a financial controller job description

A detailed job description helps in finding the right candidate for the role of financial controller. The job description should include the critical responsibilities with a comprehensive list of job duties and essential skill set.

When writing your financial controller job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on financial controller jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Controller
  • Accounting
  • Accounting manager
  • Accountant
  • Finance
  • Director of finance
  • Financial controller
  • Controller accounting
  • CPA
  • Finance director

Interviewing financial controller candidates

Hiring the right person as financial controller prevents the company from any adverse financial outcome. An experienced financial controller manages and mitigates the financial risks and ensures long-term financial success for the organization. They should be confident answering questions concerning:

• Risk management strategies
• Financial forecasting and budget preparation
• How they’ve ensured quality checks and control on financial reporting

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of financial controller interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a financial controller

When should I hire a financial controller?

If your company is suddenly experiencing rapid growth or you have a large amount of funds that need to be managed, it may be time to look into hiring someone in a financial controller role. 

What does a financial controller do in a small company?

In addition to the tasks that are often ascribed to a financial controller, in a small business, they may take on some of the day-to-day accounting tasks, such as managing accounts payable and accounts receivable, overseeing daily cash flow and processing payroll. 

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