Financial Controller 2.0 – are they out there?

What factors do you consider when hiring a Financial Controller? We all know that the role is rapidly evolving and has moved away from just ‘number crunching’ as EY’s classic 2008 report “The changing role of the Financial Controller” highlighted. Today, leading a smoothly running finance department is a given. In addition to traditional accounting and cost centre management roles, the modern-day Financial Controller is increasingly becoming a catalyst for change, working with the CFO and other departments in the analysis and origination of strategic solutions. As a consequence, the role is more three dimensional than it was in the past and factors considered in hiring decisions are increasingly complex and varied. When discussing the appointment of a Financial Controller with our clients, two of the biggest themes that come up are the impact of technology on real-time data and the changing relationship between the Financial Controller and the CFO.

These days, investors and business owners increasingly have the expectation of thorough and real-time information and Financial Controllers are ever more working alongside operational managers to provide this. Blockchain technology and the rise of Artificial Intelligence have the potential to revolutionise both the automation of transactional processes and corporate reporting, enabling transactions to be recorded and reported in real time. Therefore, it is no longer enough to find someone who is simply competent in assimilating and reporting information. Instead, the modern-day Financial Controller must work critically with technology and identify, analyse, interpret, and communicate data in the right language at the right time.

The second factor that has had a significant impact on the role of Financial Controller in the last decade or so is the shift in the role of the CFO. Today’s CFO is expected to sit alongside the CEO and take a strategic role in guiding key business initiatives traditionally aligned with other C-Suite positions. This has had a knock on effect on the Financial Controller function as responsibilities previously held by the CFO have been passed down. As a result, Financial Controllers are increasingly at the heart of the business, applying their analytical and business skills to more strategically orientated issues.

Because of these changes, the factors one must consider when hiring a Financial Controller are more complex than in years gone by. This complexity, paired with fierce competition for top performers, means it is often hard to find candidates with the unique set of skills needed. As a result, we are hearing from a large number of clients who are failing to appoint Financial Controllers through direct advertisements, internal talent teams, and contingent recruiters. Norman Broadbent Solutions’ omnichannel approach ensures that clients’ brands are managed carefully. No stone is left unturned identifying the best talent and this helps our clients outperform their competitors when it comes to hiring the best in class Financial Controllers and senior finance professionals.

If you would like to discuss this topic in greater detail or find out more about how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial and confidential conversation. For more details contact Wayne Poulton  on+44 (0) 20 7355 6941 or wayne.poulton@normanbroadbentsolutions.com