In the last months I was approached multiple times with the same question – what is a divisional finance controller doing in his/her job in the real life? How is it to be in charge with the financial management of a line of business for a multinational complex organisation, for a specific geography? What are the responsibilities of a divisional finance controller? What are the bosses or the peer expectations from a division finance controller? How should a divisional finance manager or controller approach his new appointment when they are nominated for such a job?
I tried to search the web and well… I was disappointed. A simple web search for the expression “divisional finance controller job description” returned no meaningful matches on multiple search engines (google, bing) etc. Then I refined my search and went directly on the websites of the recruitment agencies which specialize in commercial finance (Michael Page, Robert Half, Manpower – to name just a few). And again, I was disappointed, as these recruitment agencies had some basic information (short job description, salary ranges, some minor points from the interviews), but nothing so comprehensive.
The question from a novice asking what is a divisional finance controller doing and what is he/she doing in the daily practice remained unaswered. Which is a bad thing, because the regional/commercial finance management jobs are not only well paid (usually 60,000 to 80,000 USD or Euros in salary, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are – US or Europe), but also in high demand. Looking at the websites of the major recruitment agencies, around 10-30% of their finance recruitment jobs are for such divisional finance controlling jobs. This is a very high percentage, considering that the divisional controlling roles are in the middle senior management range and involve quite complex interactions with many other business leaders or functional stakeholders. And from my rare conversations with the recruiters from several advanced economies, they also struggle in finding the right talent for such complex and hard to describe jobs. No wonder, since the job descriptions are unclear and the professionals doing the regional finance manager roles are few and very busy with their jobs!
Therefore, I put together a presentation of the divisional finance controller or manager role, containing:
– the divisional finance controller’s job responsibilities and job description;
– the finance manager’s technical skills needed to successfully run the finance function for a geiographical area in a multinational company’s division;
– what are the expectation of the bosses, peers and headquarters from the divisional finance manager’s peers (other geographies or other functions, such as HR, supply chain etc);
– how the finance manager should approach his initial job in the first few months – a few bullet points.
The below presentation is in a .pdf format and built initially as an executive presentation. It can be used unlimitedly for individual reasons, but not for commercial reasons – so if you need permission (to share it or use it for commercial reasons) or support in designing a divisional finance controller or manager role please be so kind and drop me an email (a few lines) to the following address: financecontrollerrole AT gmail.com. Thank you!