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What is a Head of Accounting and Controlling?
The head of accounting and controlling is a real financial all-rounder – together with his team of employees, he not only checks how the financial situation of the company has developed over the year in terms of the past, but also analyzes future-oriented company-relevant key figures (KPIs) and can thus competently advise management on strategic decisions.
He is responsible for the preparation of the mostly complex company financial statements and is available to tax consultants, auditors and banks to answer any questions they may have. As part of his controlling function, he is responsible in particular for the development and regular review and analysis of meaningful KPIs. In this way, the head of accounting and controlling recognizes opportunities and risks in business development in good time and can submit well-founded proposals for appropriate measures to the company management.
Manager with diverse team
Another big topic is budgeting – here he controls and monitors the planned and real costs of the operational business units. He is also their consultant for all commercial issues.
Due to his broad field of activity, the team of the Head of Accounting and Controlling consists of mostly diverse personalities – specialists from both areas with very different skills and requirements. These are to be managed, motivated and developed both professionally and personally.
In addition, the Head of Accounting and Controlling is responsible for the development and optimization of all processes and structures in his two fields of activity. He is usually located in the second management level and reports directly to the management or the board of directors.
The most important things in 5 seconds
- Education: Completed commercial training with further training, e.g. B. to the accountant or economic studies
- Starting salary: €70,000
- Top salary: €170,000
- Opportunities for advancement: Managing Director, Board of Directors
What does a head of accounting and controlling do?
- professional and disciplinary management and further development of specialists in accounting and controlling
- responsible for the preparation of the monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements and the maintenance of the main and sub-ledgers associated with this
- Development of meaningful key figures (KPIs), comparative figures, profitability calculations and analyses
- Further development and optimization of all processes and structures in both areas
- Participation and, if necessary, control of the budgeting processes
- Participation in corporate planning and the preparation of strategic decisions
- Contact for tax consultants, auditors and other external service providers such as banks
- Continuous advice to the management / board of directors
How do you become Head of Accounting and Controlling?
The head of accounting and controlling has successfully completed a commercial apprenticeship and, ideally, further training as an accountant. However, a degree in business administration can also be the starting point for this position. Several years of professional and management experience are an absolute prerequisite for being able to lead a team professionally and disciplinary.
- Completed commercial training with further training, e.g. B. to the accountant or business studies
- several years of professional and managerial experience
- confident handling of MS Office
- Profound knowledge of common accountingsoftware (SAP, Navision, Datev etc.)
- fluent knowledge of German and English
What does a Head of Accounting and Controlling earn?
up to €170,000
Depending on length of service, size of the company and industry, the annual salary ranges between € 70,000 and €170,000. Additional influencing factors are, for example, the number of employees to be managed, the extent of travel, or the region in which the company is located. A company car/mobile phone and allowances for old-age security are often offered as non-cash benefits for this position.
What do you expect from the head of accounting and controlling?
This position in finance requires a very wide range of skills: on the one hand, accounting accuracy combined with a comprehensive understanding of accounting options, and on the other hand, the ability to assess the future of the company with strategic foresight through precise analysis of relevant KPIs.
Therefore, a head of accounting and controlling needs a hands-on mentality for the operative business and at the same time a certain amount of abstraction and visionary imagination. In this way, he becomes a reliable sparring partner for the management – and for this he should not only be able to interpret figures excellently, but also appear convincing and confident.
He must be able to communicate complex issues clearly and to the point. His job is very demanding and quite stressful; he must therefore be able to set priorities correctly and keep a cool head under pressure.
He should also enjoy leading and developing diverse characters. The demanding tasks in his two areas require a wide variety of skills, which go hand in hand with different employee personalities, behaviors and demands.
Opportunities for advancement as Head of Accounting and Controlling
The position of Head of Accounting and Controlling is an ideal springboard for promotion to the first management level – to the position of managing director or board member. A change to the same position in a larger company with a correspondingly more extensive area of responsibility can also represent a worthwhile career step.
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