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Business Controller vs. Financial Controller: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A business controller and financial controller are both responsible for the financial management of a company. While their job duties may overlap, there are key differences between these two positions. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between business controllers and financial controllers, and we provide information on what you can expect from each role.

What is a Business Controller?

Business Controllers are responsible for providing financial analysis and support to help senior management make informed decisions about the company’s business strategy. They develop and maintain financial models to forecast future business performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Business Controllers also prepare regular reports on financial performance and key metrics. They work closely with other departments to ensure that financial information is accurate and timely. In larger organizations, Business Controllers may supervise a team of financial analysts.

What is a Financial Controller?

The financial controller is a senior-level executive who is responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities and develop strategies to ensure the long-term financial security of the company. Financial controllers work closely with the CEO and other members of the executive team to make sure that the organization’s financial goals are met. They also work with the accounting department to ensure that all financial reporting is accurate and compliant with regulations.

Business Controller vs. Financial Controller

Here are the main differences between a business controller and a financial controller.

Job Duties

Financial controllers have broader job duties than business controllers. Business controllers focus on managing the financial operations of a particular department. They create strategies for increasing revenue, develop budgets and monitor performance to ensure they meet goals. Business controllers may also hire and manage accounting staff, set standards for bookkeeping and oversee financial records.

Financial controllers oversee the entire financial department, including all departments that contribute to financial reporting. They evaluate these reports, such as profit and loss statements, and use them to make strategic decisions about the company’s future. Financial controllers also help other executives understand financial data by presenting it in easy-to-understand formats and providing relevant information. They may also advise managers on how to improve their departments’ financial performance.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for business controllers and financial controllers are very similar. Both positions require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field. In addition, both controllers must have experience working in accounting or finance. Some employers also prefer candidates to have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

Work Environment

Business controllers and financial controllers work in different environments. Business controllers typically work in an office setting, where they can access the company’s data to make decisions about how to improve operations. They may also travel to visit clients or vendors to discuss business matters.

Financial controllers usually work in a more traditional office environment, but they may also spend time at banks or other institutions that handle their companies’ finances. Financial controllers often have regular hours, but they may work overtime when necessary to meet deadlines.


Business controllers and financial controllers both use accounting skills to track and report on a company’s financial performance. They also need to be able to use spreadsheets and other software programs to organize and analyze data.

Business controllers typically have more of a focus on operational aspects of the business, such as budgeting and forecasting. They may also be responsible for developing policies and procedures related to financial management. Financial controllers usually have more of a focus on compliance with financial regulations and reporting financial results to shareholders or other stakeholders.

Both business controllers and financial controllers need to have strong analytical skills to be able to identify trends and issues in financial data. They also need to be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally, to explain financial concepts to non-financial staff or shareholders.


The average salary for a business controller is $90,136 per year, while the average salary for a financial controller is $124,139 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the employee has.


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