So you want to be an FP&A controller

finance professional working on a graph

FP&A Controller roles can be extremely interesting and offer great career development potential. We take an in-depth look at what the role involves and the skills you’ll need to succeed.

Competition is tough for these jobs

FP&A Controller jobs are a natural step for all analysts looking to progress their careers. Competition is fierce though so employers can afford to be picky.

To make yourself stand out, you’ll need the ability to thrive in a business partner environment and have proven experience of explaining financial figures to stakeholders from a non-finance background. You’ll therefore need to be personable and have strong communication skills.

A highly commercial role

It is commonly underestimated just how commercial these jobs are – people tend to think it’s just about providing the numbers but they are actually very forward-looking. Controllers are essential in building five-year plans and KPIs, influencing change, building the business case for new product launches and analysing the viability of expansion into new territories.

How can I land myself one of these jobs?

To secure an FP&A Controller job, you’ll need to tick all the boxes and have added extras. You’ll have strong planning and analysis skills and experience in a blue-chip environment. You also need to really sell your achievements and focus on what value you have added to your business, over and above the role duties. If you can get exposure to bids and pitches you will also stand out. Our clients also look for specific systems requirements – most commonly Excel, Cognos, Hyperion and SAP.

Great future prospects

For successful FP&A Controllers, the future can be very bright – typically the good ones spend three to four years in the role, before potentially progressing to an FP&A Director. From there, they can move on to either manage a larger P&L or become a Finance Director.

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