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Life as a financial controller

The financial controller position is a key component within financial services. All organisations and banks require a professional in this capacity.

It is a popular role amongst accounting and finance professionals, as these candidates often possess the relevant experience to be a successful financial controller.

The truth about the role

This position may come across as routine and process-driven due to its nature of having monthly and statutory reportings. However, it can still be challenging and interesting. Reporting is just a small part of the role and a financial controller can be responsible for treasury, tax, financial planning as well as growing commercial business partnerships.

Key responsibilities and progression

The core responsibilities of a financial controller include financial reporting, business budgeting and forecasting, business development projects, treasury management, risk evaluation and business analysis. Finance controllers often move on to become finance directors, CFOs, or even COOs. Overall, financial controllers remain highly sought-after in Vietnam. There will be abundant opportunities to grow in this career path.

Getting the job

Employers hiring financial controllers usually look for senior professionals with past experiences of managing a finance team. As a candidate, you are also required to have technical skills and sound knowledge of financial fundamentals. Knowledge of general ledger, budgeting, forecasting, accounting standards and compliance regulations are essential. You will have to demonstrate the ability to see both micro and macro side of various issues. Potential employees with a strong grasp of Vietnam’s regulations and GAAP requirements are also highly valued.

Getting ahead of competition

Given the competitive nature of the market, a classic accounting background with the Big Four companies and commercial finance experience are highly regarded and preferred by most employers. Three to four years’ auditing experience with the Big Four will give you a head start to moving into an all-rounded financial reporting role, and eventually, a financial controller role. Candidates without the necessary qualifications should consider acquiring accreditation from a professional body, or accumulate substantial experience in a related commercial environment.

For more career advice, and information on how to switch careers, contact us at hochiminh@robertwalters.com.vn

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