Business Controller Job Description

The Business Controller oversees the business and financial operations of an institution and shares responsibility for the organization’s economic and financial performance. They perform financial analysis, develop financial planning processes and design and implement overall business plans.

Business Controllers work as partners with the financial department, sometimes working directly with the Chief Financial Officer, and play a key role in supporting them. They work in a variety of industries, both public and private. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, similar positions in financial management are expected to achieve average growth of about 7 percent over the next ten years.


Business Controller Duties and Responsibilities

In order to manage an organization’s administrative functions, a Business Controller performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Business Controllers in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Advise Financial and Executive Departments

The Business Controller serves as an adviser for both a company’s financial department and business leadership. They use their research, analysis and experience to develop business and financial recommendations, provide budget feedback, and assist leadership in key financial decisions, meaning that they play an important role in the company’s economic growth.

Advise on Budget Creation

Working with the finance department, the Business Controller uses financial analysis and forecasting to design and oversee the execution of the company budget. Following standard accounting procedures, the Business Controller ensures that the budget is properly administered and follows legal guidelines, and they provide budget feedback.

Perform Financial Analysis

The Business Controller completes regular financial analysis, identifying and managing financial risk, completing financial research, performing economic and sales forecasting, analyzing a company’s sales and overall performance, and managing financial data. This financial analysis comes together to assist the company in decision-making.

Report Financial Findings

After completing financial analysis, the Business Controller is responsible for reporting findings and working with financial and executive staff to make financial decisions. This can involve completing regular financial reviews and delivering accurate financial reports, executing sales reports and developing and giving presentations.


Business Controller Skills

Responsible for both financial analysis and business leadership, a Business Controller must possess both strong quantitative abilities and excellent written and oral communication skills. They are strategic, analytical thinkers who are driven by results and can innovate and develop creative financial solutions.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Business Controllers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Business Controller, focus on the following.

  • Showing extensive finance or accounting experience
  • Demonstrating management skills
  • Being proficient in Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word
  • Obtaining financial modeling experience

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Business Controller toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Possessing an MBA, CPA or CMA degree
  • Having experience with a multi-national firm or managing very large divisions
  • Some computer or IT experience
  • Experience managing high-level professionals
  • Industry-specific financial experience
  • SAP knowledge
  • Proficiency in a second language


Business Controller Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Business Controller. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

Business Insider – Popular business and economic news

Accounting Coach – Major accounting resource

Rortybomb – Financial and political analysis

Industry Groups

NSACCT – National Society of Accountants

AFP – Association for Financial Professionals

IMA – Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business

Business Controller Books

Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance – Highly rated book on corporate finance

Corporate Finance for Dummies – An introduction to corporate finance

The Accounting Game – Basic accounting principles


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