Career Development

16 Business Controller Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Business Controller skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Business controllers are responsible for the financial management of a company. They use their skills to oversee the financial operations of the business and make sure that it is running smoothly and efficiently. If you are interested in a career as a business controller, it is important to understand the skills that are necessary for the job. By understanding the skills required, you can better prepare yourself for a successful career in business management.


Forecasting is the ability to predict future trends and outcomes. As a business controller, you may be responsible for forecasting financial information such as budgets, sales projections or cash flow. This requires analyzing historical data and current conditions to make accurate predictions about the future. Effective forecasters can help businesses plan ahead and take action before any issues arise.

Financial Statements

Financial statements are the records of a company’s financial status. They include information about revenue, expenses and assets as well as other details that help business owners understand their company’s performance. Controllers use these documents to make decisions about how to allocate resources and whether to approve certain transactions.


A business controller often supervises a team of accountants and finance professionals. Effective leadership skills allow you to motivate your employees, set goals for the department and encourage collaboration between members. You can also use your leadership skills in supervision roles when interviewing for new positions or applying for promotions.

Variance Analysis

Variance analysis is the process of examining a company’s financial data to identify trends and deviations from expected results. Business controllers use variance analysis to evaluate their organization’s performance, determine if any changes are needed and predict future outcomes. This skill involves analyzing large amounts of data and requires proficiency in mathematics and statistics.


Budgeting is the process of creating and maintaining financial plans for organizations. Controllers use their budgeting skills to create budgets, monitor expenses and ensure that companies are making a profit. To be successful in this role, it’s important to understand how to create and maintain budgets effectively. You can also help your organization save money by identifying areas where they may be spending too much.

Financial Reporting

Financial reporting is the process of creating and distributing financial statements. Business controllers use this skill to create monthly, quarterly and annual reports for their company’s board of directors and shareholders. They also analyze data from these reports to make informed business decisions.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As a business controller, you may need to solve complex problems that require creative solutions. You might also use problem-solving skills when reviewing financial data to determine if there are any errors in the records or anomalies in the numbers.

Business Process Improvement

Business controllers often work with other members of a company’s leadership team to improve business processes. They may suggest ways to streamline operations, reduce costs and increase revenue. For example, if the controller notices that employees take too long to complete certain tasks, they can propose changes to make those tasks more efficient. This helps the company save money by reducing unnecessary expenses and increasing productivity.


Communication is the ability to convey information in a way that others can understand. As a business controller, you may need to communicate with employees and managers at all levels of an organization. You also need to be able to explain complex financial data in ways that non-financial professionals can understand. Effective communication skills are essential for success as a business controller.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is a skill that can help business controllers perform their duties effectively. As a controller, you may be responsible for reviewing and approving financial transactions, which requires paying close attention to the details of each transaction. For example, if an employee submits a request for reimbursement for travel expenses, it’s your responsibility as a controller to review the expense report thoroughly to ensure all necessary information has been provided.

Cost Accounting

Cost accounting is the process of tracking and analyzing a company’s expenses. Controllers use cost accounting to ensure that their organization is spending money wisely. For example, if an organization has high utility costs, a business controller might recommend ways to reduce those costs.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is the process of creating a plan for how you can achieve your organization’s goals. As a business controller, you may be responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans that help drive company success. Strategic planning requires effective organizational skills so you can keep track of all relevant information and data. It also requires attention to detail as well as an ability to analyze large amounts of data quickly.

Risk Management

Risk management is the ability to identify and mitigate risks that may affect a company’s success. Controllers use risk management skills when evaluating financial data, making investment decisions and developing budgets. They also use these skills when creating contingency plans for unexpected circumstances. For example, if an organization needs to make a large capital expenditure, a business controller may create a plan detailing how they will pay for it over time if necessary.

Analytical Skills

As a business controller, you must be able to analyze data and interpret information. You may also need to identify trends in financial data or make predictions about future outcomes based on past performance. Your analytical skills allow you to review large amounts of data quickly and accurately so that you can make informed decisions for your company.

Project Management

Project management skills are important for business controllers because they often oversee multiple projects at once. This means that they need to be able to manage their time and resources effectively so they can complete all of their tasks on time. They also use project management skills when creating budgets, as they have to create a plan detailing how they will achieve the goals they set.


Organization is the ability to keep track of files, records and other information. As a business controller, you may need to organize financial data for multiple departments or projects. You also might be responsible for maintaining company databases and software programs. Having strong organizational skills can help you stay on top of your responsibilities and ensure that all necessary information is available when needed.

How Can I Learn These Business Controller Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a business controller. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in business administration or accounting that can give you the theoretical knowledge you need to succeed in this role. Alternatively, you can gain practical experience by working in an accounting or finance position in a company. This will give you the opportunity to learn firsthand about financial statements, budgeting, and forecasting. Finally, it is important to develop strong problem solving, leadership, and communication skills, which can be learned through a variety of experiences, such as taking on leadership roles in extracurricular activities or taking courses in communication.


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