Five Skills That Make a Great Financial Controller

To hire a top-notch Financial Controller (FC), you need to understand what makes a great senior finance professional.

This is especially the case in today’s dynamic and rapidly evolving workplace where FCs now wear many hats. From acting as a chief accountant and financial strategist to being able to analyse data and manage teams, it’s critical that your new hire has the capabilities required to succeed in their role.

To help overcome the daunting task of identifying the right hire, we’ve highlighted five top skills that make a great FC.

They have a way with numbers

 It’s a given that an accountant should be good with numbers. FCs are expected to do more than simple number crunching however. In order to help businesses understand where they are now and how they’re going to get to where they want to be, a great FC should be able to accurately interpret, analyse and record data.

They also need to be able to communicate this information to other employees, managers, CEOs and stakeholders – many of whom may lack financial literacy.

They know how to improve and influence business strategy

Reporting is a fundamental aspect of an FC’s job. As well as producing accurate reports, your FC should know how to act on these insights and use them to influence your business’s overall strategy.

They may for example identify specific trends within the organisation or be able to advise on more non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs).

They know how to be a team player and act as a leader

As a senior finance professional, FCs are often responsible for leading teams. This means they need to be able to command the respect of others, inspire them to act and ensure that these actions are being carried out in a way which aligns with your organisation’s overall vision.

If you’re a small organisation and have a small accounting function, your FC still needs to be able to work well with and communicate to other departments, freelancers if you outsource tasks, CEOs and stakeholders.

They’re calm under pressure

The role of an FC can be a stressful one. Month, quarter and year-end reporting periods are often stressful and chaotic. As well as impending deadlines, they also need to think about accuracy and compliance. A great FC needs to be able to work well under pressure whilst maintaining the ability to listen actively and communicate precisely.

They can think outside the box

 An FC should be able to analyse a business’s internal processes and determine if there’s a better way to manage them.

The ability to think outside the box means they will be able to use their reporting to optimise business processes, reduce expenses and increase profitability.

While qualifications are easy to identify, a CV can’t tell you how a candidate is going to respond to a chaotic year-end. As a standard part of our recruitment process, we use an assessment tool called The Acuity Measure.

This tests candidates on their skills and capabilities, all of which are highlighted in a report before interview stage.

We only put forward candidates who have achieved a top 25% score compared to their peers so you can feel confident that you’re only interviewing those who have the capability to perform and excel in their role.

To find out more about how The Acuity Measure can help you to identify candidates with the skills that matter, get in touch with Acuity Associates today.

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