Financial Controller: Job Description, Salary, and Career Path

Financial Controller

Being a financial controller is a multi-faceted, challenging job position that requires excellent organizational skills, financial know-how, and the ability to solve problems on the go. As a financial controller, you’ll have a wide range of duties that involve important aspects of the business you work for, such as budgeting, forecasting, tax matters, and the financial stability of your organization.

In the rest of this article, Links Recruitment will be providing you with a complete overview of what it’s like to work as a financial controller. In addition to discussing what the work will involve on a day-to-day basis, we’ll also be going through what kinds of qualifications you should have, what your primary responsibilities will be, and what your career path could look like. At the bottom, you’ll find a table comparing the different salaries you can expect working as a financial controller in various locations.

What is Working as a Financial Controller Like?

Working as a financial controller is enjoyable and rewarding, thanks to the many different areas of influence you’ll have in your chosen company. You’ll have a list of daily responsibilities over a large number of different sectors, but you’ll also have some more time-intensive projects, such as managing budgets and forecasts, that will require you to be able to coordinate your activities in a long-term framework.

Here are some of the job duties and responsibilities you can expect to be tasked with throughout the course of your work as a financial controller. 

  • Researching and developing financial reports
  • Monitoring different internal control measures and ensuring they perform their tasks efficiently
  • Presenting financial reports to upper management and briefing them on the details 
  • Overseeing the creation of income statements
  • Being in charge, overall, of the financial transactions that are made by your company
  • Creating strategies for long-term financial growth based on your own research and financial knowledge
  • Analysing and overseeing risk
  • Taking an active part in the drafting and creation of the various budgets your company will need
  • Coordinating audit processes and ensuring everything runs smoothly
  • Streamlining current operations and accounting measures with a view to making them more efficient
  • Evaluating financial data
Job Duties

In order to be a successful financial controller, here are some of the main skills and qualifications you’ll need.

  • You’ll most often require a Master’s degree in Accounting, or an equivalent such as business studies, given that the role is so complex and information-heavy
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as you’ll be working with a wide range of different people and groups within your organization
  • Analytical abilities, including demonstrable proficiency in accounting and business software
  • Familiarity with compliance and auditing practices and procedures
  • Strong leadership attributes, as you’ll be directing different groups of people in a coordinated effort to better your company’s financial situation
Man Working at Computer

After you’ve graduated from university with a master’s degree in Accounting or an equivalent subject, it’s possible to get a job right away as a financial controller. However, this isn’t always the best way to proceed, as in order to be really successful, you’ll need prior experience in financial management positions. For this reason, climbing up the ladder by beginning as an accounting manager or a similar role will provide you with vital experience and make you a much more appealing candidate for whichever financial controller job you end up applying for. 

A proven track record of successful results in a financial controller position is one of the strongest assets you can have when you start to think about upward mobility. Many current CFOs or similar C-level executives have spent time working as a financial controller, as not only does the job teach you to keep everything organised and efficient, it also provides you with the kind of real-world interpersonal skills that you’ll require to be successful at one of the top positions in your firm. Companies are always on the lookout for new financial controllers, given that it’s such a prominent position, so there’ll be no shortage of jobs for you to apply for once you’re ready to take on the role.

Man in Suit in City

The salaries of financial controllers vary dependent on the number of years spent working in the job. Because it’s a challenging position to hold in a company, experience is prized particularly highly for employers who are looking at taking on a new financial controller. Here’s how your salary might look in a few different countries, depending on your experience.


PositionHong Kong Monthly Salary (HKD)Singapore Monthly Salary (SGD)China Monthly Salary (RMB)
Experienced FC55K – 80K8K – 12K21K – 50K
Early-Career FC30K – 54K4K – 7K14K – 20K

For more insights on salary and employment trends in Asia, Links International’s 2020 Asia Salary & Market Insights will provide an overview of the Asia employment market in 2020 and also insights into how HR leaders across Asia are developing streamlined and agile HR functions that excel in uncertain times.

Download the Salary Guide Now!

Jar of Currency Coins

Looking for a Financial Controller Job?

As an award-winning recruitment agency with 20 years of recruitment experience across Asia regions, our specialist can offer professional career advice and consultation for you. Find financial controller roles on Link’s job board today!