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What is a junior controller?
In many companies, junior controller is the term used for career starters or young professionals in the field of operational controlling. The junior controller does not yet have in-depth practical experience, which is why his tasks are focused on providing content-related support to colleagues in the controlling department.
For example, the junior controller is responsible for the creation of ad hoc or standard evaluations, proposes recommendations for action based on the key figures determined and supports the creation of reports for internal and external contacts.
Junior controllers are found less in the strategic than in the operational areas of controlling and can therefore provide analytical support to a wide variety of departments in a company, such as sales, purchasing, marketing, production and financial controlling. Junior controllers are rarely used in strategic controlling, as relevant professional experience is required to participate in the development of corporate strategies.
The exact range of tasks of the junior controller ultimately depends on what job-related experience he already has – for example through activities as a working student or intern – and how the controlling processes are organized.
The most important things in 5 seconds
- Education: Degree in economics, ideally with a focus on controlling or accounting and finance
- Starting salary: €37,000
- Top salary: €45,000
- Opportunities for advancement: Controller, Senior Controller, CFO
What does a junior controller do?
- Support in the creation and optimization of existing analyzes and reports
- Preparation of key figures according to internal and external requirements
- Support in the preparation of annual accounts and forecasts
- Creation of ad hoc analyses, provision of data for presentations
- Taking on project tasks
- Ensuring data quality
How does one become a junior controller?
- Degree in economics, ideally with a focus on controlling or accounting and finance
- Completed commercial training with further training as a controller(e.g. IHK) or part-time studies
- practical experience in controlling, also through internships or working student activities
- Very good MS Excel skills
- Knowledge of using presentation tools
- Knowledge of ERP systems
- good English knowledge
What does a junior controller earn?
up to €45,000
The gross annual salary of a junior controller ranges from € 37,000 to €45,000. The amount of the job budget for a specific position depends on various factors: the job-related experience, the practical industry knowledge required for the position, the university degree and the required skills and knowledge. The more extensive and, above all, the more specific the requirements for a position, the fewer qualified candidates there are on the market and the higher the salary.
A second factor influencing salary levels is the industry in which the hiring company operates. For example, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as mechanical and plant engineering pay higher salaries than, for example, companies in shipping and production or media and service companies.
Since these sectors are represented to varying degrees within Germany, the location of the company also allows certain conclusions to be drawn about the salary level.
What do you expect from the junior controller?
- An affinity for numbers and enjoyment of dealing with numbers
- analytical thinking skills so that report results are interpreted accordingly and business decisions are derived from the key figures determined; if questions from other departments cannot be answered using existing reports, new interpretations of figures or reports must be developed
- Communication skills to understand inquiries from a wide variety of contacts within the company by listening carefully and asking for the background and thus developing a common perspective. In addition, the results of key figure analyses, their implications and corresponding recommendations for action must be prepared in an understandable way and communicated to the recipient
- Resilience, as controllers often have to answer urgent and unplannable ad hoc inquiries under time pressure
- Solution-oriented and structured way of working to organize and prioritize inquiries in order to complete them on time. The urgency and relevance of evaluations must be correctly assessed; to organize their own tasks accordingly
- High willingness to learn, curiosity and initiative to actively question and understand the tasks and processes in other departments and derive well-founded recommendations for action
Opportunities for advancement as Junior Controller
A wide range of development and career opportunities are open to junior controllers: from taking on tasks independently and prospective development to become a senior controller, to managing a team, to managing controlling or even a position as CFO – i.e. overall management of finance and accounting.
Depending on their interests and personal strengths, the experienced junior controller can qualify as a controller in a specialist area (e.g. sales, purchasing, marketing, production and financial controlling) and thus become a sparring partner for executives and management over time. This goes hand in hand with the development of the content of the activities away from operational to strategic controlling, i.e. participation in the development of corporate strategies and the support and control of their implementation. Assuming managerial responsibility (e.g. for the employees of a controlling sub-area) is the next important step on the career ladder and gives the controller the opportunity to take over the management of the company in the long termto take over controls.
In the course of career development, a wide variety of framework conditions play a decisive role. Promotion may be faster because a colleague is leaving the company, the company is on a growth course, or projects have been completed particularly successfully. Changing employers can also shorten the time it takes to take the next step in your career.
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