Be an Effective Controller

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The Role of the Controller

Why is it when you Google the role of the Controller it only reveals that hard skills that a Controller completes?  Quite honestly skills anybody with a goal of reaching that level could build up and hone over time to become a Controller.

As a Financial Controller you will always be expected to provide accuracy of the numbers and trial balance.  Governance and controls will continue to be at the forefront of your role.  These are the skills you build throughout your career and continue to build on until the day you retire.

Yet, all finance people work on these skills through a variety of roles within their career but not all of them become Controllers.  Why not?

It is the soft skills or also known as the business skills that make the difference.  Communication is key, you need to communicate clearly and concisely what the numbers are telling us.  You need to be able to tell the story of the business and support it with what the numbers reflect.  Beyond telling the high-level story, you also need to describe the drivers that are moving the numbers in the direction they are going.

Understanding the drivers will move you from just an accounting commentator to the role of business partner.  When you understand the drivers, you will be able to make recommendations to the business on aspects that could help change its trajectory or increase its trajectory if the current course is where you want to be.

As a business partner you open of the communication between you and the business that allows you to act with questioning the business and what is going on.  You want to be able to challenge and support decision making as a part of the key team. 

The role of the controller is so much more than just transactions and reports.  The role of the controller is to be a fully well-rounded individual in all aspects of the business and to be a relied upon, important resource.