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What is a consultant controlling/interim controller?
The job of a consultant in controlling can either be permanent, i.e. permanent, or required by a company for a certain period of time. In permanent positions, controlling consultants work primarily in medium-sized to large companies; External consultants or interim controllers, on the other hand, are booked across all company sizes either through a consulting company or as freelancers.
This job description is about the externally purchased expertise of controllers. Their use often involves the implementation of the latest software tools or the support of change processes. Any kind of project support is conceivable, or simply the establishment/expansion of operational and strategic controlling.
Analytical thinkers with an affinity for numbers and team spirit
In principle, consultants work on-site at the customer’s site, so their willingness to travel should be correspondingly large. In addition to technical expertise, a high degree of personal initiative, creativity and commitment are part of the basic framework in consulting. Getting involved with customer needs, understanding them and transforming them into a project framework and successfully completing this with all those involved within the specified time frame: This is not only the overarching goal and therefore desirable; in the best case, this will result in further orders from the customer himself or from recommendation marketing. Especially in controlling, an analytical and conceptual way of thinking is also required, which is also reflected in a certain affinity for numbers and technical understanding.
These character traits are needed, for example, to optimize ERP systems, introduce reporting tools or process structuring through the latest cloud providers. Thematic overlaps with Business Intelligence are also possible, so that programming or database skills are also welcome additional qualifications.
Controlling/interim controller consultants will not be able to cover everything thematically or conceptually on their own; The ability to work in a team and a good self-assessment are all the more important. Even as a freelancer, you can only analyze the customer’s problems by interacting with them. Like all consultants, they have to manage to get employees enthusiastic about their suggestions for improvement so that they can be implemented over the long term.
The most important things in 5 seconds
- Education: Completed degree in business administration with a focus on controlling or accounting, commercial training with further training to become a certified controller (IHK)
- Starting salary: €45,000
- Top salary: €76,500
- Opportunities for advancement: Management of your own team of consultants, takeover in the consulting company as a permanent controller with further opportunities for advancement
What does a consultant controlling/interim controller do?
- strategic, operational or project-related controlling activities, ranging from individual target/actual analyzes to holistic cost accounting and controlling solutions
- Introduction of controlling tools or optimization of the existing controlling structures using ERP software, cloud services or self-developed dashboard solutions, for example in Excel
- Development and presentation of business plans with common MS Office applications or stand alone software providers
- Consulting, implementation and successful completion of the initiated projects using project management tools
- Sparring partner both in your own team and at the customer’s site on professional and technical topics
- Ad hoc analyzes of any kind, budget planning, support in the preparation of annual financial statements, securing liquidity by creating plan scenarios
- possibly coaching within and outside of his team
How do you become a consultant controlling/interim controller?
- Completed studies in business administration with a focus on controlling or accounting, commercial training with further training as a certified controller (IHK)
- several years of professional experience in the field of accounting/controlling
- Knowledge of common ERP software, controlling tools such as LucaNet or Corporate Planning, cloud solutions such as Trello or Slack
- Programming or BI skills are also welcome
- independent and agile way of working, ability to work in a team, high willingness to travel and commitment, (stylish) confident and at the same time approachable appearance
- mostly good to very good knowledge of English
How much does a Controlling/Interim Controller consultant earn?
up to €76,500
A consultant controlling/interim controller can count on a starting salary of €45,000. Depending on professional experience, the location of the company and your own negotiating skills, the annual salary can be up to €76,500. Freelancers are billed on an hourly or daily basis.
What do you expect from the consultant controlling/interim controller?
Controlling sees itself as an intermediary between accounting and management: controllers evaluate the data provided to them, prepare them in an understandable way and plan with them over a medium to long-term horizon. Controlling independently designs various scenarios and creates proposals for action. Trends in this area are not only progressive digitization, but also the intersections with business intelligence and agile working methods.
On the one hand, consultants controlling/interim controllers have an affinity for numbers and are technically versed, on the other hand they work purposefully on the projects assigned to them – either in a team of consultants or as freelancers. They attach great importance to the sustainable implementation of the solutions they propose and develop further expertise in all conceivable areas of finance and accounting from project to project.
Opportunities for advancement as a consultant controlling/interim controller
A controlling/interim controller consultant is usually part of a team of consultants, so that, as with any team constellation, it is possible to assume leadership. A permanent position as a controller with the customer to be looked after with further opportunities for advancement there is just as conceivable as climbing the classic career ladder in a consulting company.
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