Do you love working with finances, numbers, and business? Do you enjoy the prospect of strategizing for a company to create a successful financial future? If so, you may want to consider a career as a financial controller.
Financial controllers are more involved than accountants
There’s nothing wrong with being an accountant. It’s a great career, and many people find it’s perfect for them. However, if you’re forward-thinking, you’ll probably be happier with a career as a financial controller.
Financial controllers perform some of the same duties as accountants, but while accountants only focus on current and past finances, financial controllers create financial strategies to support an organization’s future. Future planning is vital for making sound financial decisions.
Requirements to become a financial controller
To become a financial controller, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance. You’ll also need to pass the CMA certification exam.
While the certification exam is difficult to pass by studying on your own, passing becomes monumentally easier by taking a CMA prep course. Specifically, a prep course will help you retain the information and prepare you with practice exams that mimic what you’ll encounter on the real exam.
Once you have your degree and certification, you can start applying for jobs that will support your career as a financial controller. You may need to start with entry-level positions in finance to gain enough experience to become a financial controller. It’s worth the wait and the effort.
More education, degrees, and experience often means a higher salary
You’ll find that organizations often have different requirements for financial controller positions. Some will require a basic finance degree and CMA certification, while others will require multiple degrees along with professional certification.
To increase your salary potential, continue to pursue your education to meet additional requirements. Companies requiring further education and work experience usually pay higher salaries to their financial controllers.
You can work in a variety of industries
What industry do you find appealing? Industrial machinery? Clothing? Cosmetics? Packaged food? Restaurants? In whatever industry you like, there’s a financial controller.
Some people think financial controllers are only for banks and other financial institutions. However, all companies need financial oversight. Without the expertise provided by a financial controller, a company won’t get far. Any large and successful organization — regardless of industry — will have a financial controller.
You’ll be part of the foundation that creates success
As a financial controller, you’ll be part of your organization’s foundation of success. Organizations need financial controllers to:
- Strategize finances for the future
- Oversee internal financial records and bookkeeping processes
- Execute financial strategies for finance teams
- Create custom strategies to help an organization achieve set financial objectives
- Oversee internal audits to identify errors and fraud
- Manage payroll
- Manage accounts payable and accounts receivable
- Facilitate communications between company departments
All of these tasks are big responsibilities, and that’s why high levels of education and experience are required for the position.
A career with high-level responsibility is extremely rewarding
There are plenty of careers you could pursue in the financial industry. The most common career is becoming an accountant or a CPA. These are both perfectly acceptable careers for those who are satisfied with having low-level responsibility in a company. In fact, you’ll need to work in these fields to get the experience required to become a financial controller.
For example, as a controller, you’ll need a firm grasp on business and accounting, along with years of experience performing detailed accounting and auditing. Being a controller is a highly analytical position and expertise depends on extended, direct experience in accounting and auditing.
If you’re driven to take on high-level responsibility where you are directly responsible for a company’s financial success (or failure), you’ll find that as a financial controller.
How you can become a financial controller
To begin your career as a financial controller, get your educational requirements in order. If you already have your degree, pursue CMA certification. If you’re already certified, search for a position as an assistant controller. Last, if you don’t have a master’s degree, continue your education to get an MBA.
While you’re searching for an assistant controller position, take some online courses to learn financial management software in-depth. You may have gotten by with the basics until now, but as a controller, you’ll need to know your software inside and out.
You won’t become a financial controller overnight. In fact, it takes between 12 and 20 years to earn the title. However, if the position calls to you, then it’s worth every ounce of effort.
The Best Destinations for a Road Trip during COVID-19
The road trip is a great way to see so many places, but this has never been more relevant than during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With planes and trains becoming increasingly dangerous as the virus spreads, hopping in the car is a perfect alternative for a getaway. When you use your own transportation, the options multiply. Plus if you’re comfortable getting on a plane, there are plenty of places you can hit the open road to relax and take on some adventure while enjoying lower numbers of the virus. Here are some of the best destinations for a road trip.
Not only is the tiny island country of Iceland a short flight from Europe or the East Coast of the United States, it is one of the best countries for a road trip. It only takes eight days to drive around the entire country, and spreading the itinerary out can make for a leisurely and immersive trip through one of the most beautiful places in the world. With glorious green hills, ocean views, waterfalls, and more, Iceland has it all for those who love the outdoors. Camp or stay in small inns along the way. While you will have to do the mandatory 14-day quarantine, when you are able to hit the road you will enjoy a small population and low COVID-19 numbers.
With the highest numbers of the COVID-19 virus in the world, few international travelers will want to come to the United States. But if you already live in the US and want to take a road trip, the Southwest is a great option. You’ll want to avoid California but with Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Texas, you can have wide open space and room to drive to great sites and parks. You have the option to camp or stay in hotels where they’re open. If you don’t have a car, now might be the right time to invest in one with a used auto loan. Then you will be able to enjoy the gorgeous vistas of the Southwest in your new car.
Canada has a fraction of the US population and a ton of land to work with, which makes it a great option for road tripping. It depends on where you want to go, but there is no shortage of options. You can even take a trip from Montreal to Vancouver and see the whole bottom belt of the country in style. Canada has so much to offer in the way of natural beauty and sites, you won’t have a hard time avoiding people. The travel restrictions are tight, but if you can make it in the country and do the obligatory quarantine, you will have less to worry about.
Both Australia and New Zealand have strict COVID-19 regulations, which make it a safe place for a getaway. After the 14-day quarantine, you will enjoy low numbers of the virus and wide open spaces. There is a lot of room in these countries to spread out. However, to get into Australia you will need to spend at least two weeks in New Zealand if you’re not a citizen, resident, or immediate family member. Still this provides a variety of avenues to visit Australia and stay safe by driving around the country instead of using public transport. When you follow the rules and be safe, you will have a great opportunity to enjoy these two countries and all the natural beauty they have to offer.
While you may think it isn’t appropriate to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, life will have to continue at some point. There is no avoiding a return to relative normalcy. If we don’t, the world economy could be in danger of collapsing. Make your travel plans ahead of time and do your best to be safe. If we don’t live our lives and enjoy it while we’re here, what are we doing? It is completely possible to be safe and moral but enjoy yourself. If you feel comfortable traveling, these road trip options provide the ability to stay away from people and enjoy the natural world. It will do all of us a lot of good.
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