Job description: management controller

14 Nov 2022


Do you love working with numbers? Have you heard of budget forecasting and accounting analysis? If so, then the profession of management controller may be for you. The role of a management controller is to help executives choose the right growth strategy while optimising costs. To prepare you for the job of management controller, the business school IPAG runs various courses that will enable you to develop all the necessary skills.

What is management control?

Management controllers have a steering function within an organisation. From setting up steering tools to budget monitoring, they help managers achieve greater efficiency as they go about their company management duties. Their aim is to optimise performance levels by using fewer resources to produce improved results.

What is the role of a management controller?

Defines management procedures and the various necessary tools to optimise profitability.

Based on the company’s data, they make forecasts and control the various results coming in from all areas of the organisation, including production, stocks, sales and investment profitability.

They are in a position to analyse the company’s situation and produce reports on the organisation’s activities for the chief executives. Management control provides management indicators that enable monitoring of costs, budgets and margins. Management controllers are able to deploy steering tools that effectively monitor set targets.

This position also requires various skills for the supervision of accounting-related activities, including year-end closing, budget preparation, cost breakdown and financial analysis.

Management controllers are tasked with analysing discrepancies between budget forecasts and results achieved, in order to recommend solutions that will address difficulties encountered. The aim is to develop the company’s performance levels by optimising flows.

Abilities and skills needed to be a management controller

Management controllers must have a range of technical skills in the areas of accounting, finance, corporate law and taxation. They must also be at home using computer tools for analysis, such as spreadsheets, databases and accounting software.

Analytical, organisational and planning abilities, as well as an attention to detail, are required for this profession. Management controllers must also have strong interpersonal skills in order to build trust with colleagues and partners, and get their voice heard.

How to become a management controller?

It is possible to enter the control management profession with a masters-level qualification. It is also possible, with a vocational qualification in management and accounting, to access accountant, management control assistant and junior management controller positions.

There are several educational pathways open to you if you want to work as a management controller, in both business schools and universities. You can take a bachelor’s in management, followed by a masters specialised in finance, management control or even auditing.

The IPAG business school runs a Masters in Corporate Finance that prepares students for positions in financial management and auditing, as well as financial consultancy and management control. This course offers a chance to specialise (in areas such as advanced accounting, financial auditing, legal and fiscal management) to develop the skills needed for your future career path.

You may also be interested in our Masters in Finance and Markets, which will teach you how to devise a financial strategy, manage risk and assess financial risks. This course prepares future professionals by focussing on risk management, financial analysis, portfolio management, applied mathematics and financial markets.

At IPAG, we ensure that future graduates have all the knowledge they need to open up a range of job opportunities in large companies, consultancy firms and asset management companies, as well as in many other sectors.

A management controller’s salary

How much a management controller earns depends on their profile, experience, the size of the company and the business sector. The salary for a freshly graduated junior profile is generally around €28 K. The average salary for a management controller with a few years of experience can be up to €44 K, while a more experienced profile will earn at least €60 K.

In terms of career development, depending on experience and abilities, management controllers can aim for positions with greater responsibility in the finance department (such as CFO and internal audit manager) or move into other areas like purchasing and human resources. To guide you towards jobs in management and finance, find out about our MBA and courses in the Grande École Programme.