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Financial Controller

A financial controller ensures that the accounts of a business are correct, and meet regulatory and tax requirements. They work directly with the finance director of a company and are involved in the day-to-day financial activities of a business, including bank and balance sheet reconciliations, and VAT returns.

A financial controller is responsible for setting and monitoring targets while keeping an eye on the performance of company departments to ensure they meet their set goals.

If you are interested in a career as a financial controller, visit Qualifax ( to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role

  • Credit Controller
  • Financial Analyst
  • Management Accountant
  • Financial Director

What the job involves

  • Financial modelling and analysis
  • VAT return preparation
  • Duties relating to cash management and the company treasury
  • Taking charge of the payroll process
  • Preparation of cash flow statements, budgets and forecasts
  • Overseeing the financial team and managing the finance function
  • Ensuring financial ledgers and accounting processes are maintained

How your career can develop

Opportunities for progression in all areas of an organisation are plentiful and varied, depending on individual interests, aspirations and abilities. Progression to financial director is possible with experience.

Why it matters?

Financial controllers are a vital component in any business operation, responsible for ensuring the financial stability and viability of the entire operation.


  • Leadership
  • Self-motivation
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to reflect on one's own work as well as the wider consequences of financial decisions
  • Business insight and a genuine interest in the wellbeing of the business
  • Organisational skills and ability to manage deadlines
  • Team working
  • Client-facing (customer service) and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in IT
  • Crisis management skills
  • Analytical ability
  • A methodical approach and problem solving skills
  • Numeracy

Typical employers

  • Professional accountancy firms
  • Commercial organisations
  • Industry
  • Government departments
  • Regulatory bodies

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting      €65,000
  • Senior/Potential        €85,000+

Typical qualifications

Initial entry into this sector involve a degree in business or accountancy. Subsequently, Qualified Chartered Accountant (QCA) and most organisations will only consider candidates with multinational experience or experience with top accountancy firms, with at least five years of post-qualification experience and at least one years’ experience as a financial controller elsewhere, and 7-8 years’ experience managing an accountancy or finance function. You must be ACA, ACCA, QFA, CFS or CIMA qualified.

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at

Further information