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Must-Have Qualifications to Seek in an Interim Financial Controller

When an organisation is abruptly left without continuous financial leadership, whether due to the departure of the financial controller or during a transition time, the consequences can be severe. The financial controller is responsible for managing a company’s financial health and stability by overseeing critical operations such as financial reporting, cash flow monitoring, budget management, audits, and financial analysis. Having someone trustworthy and qualified in this role is critical.

Rather than trying to find a permanent successor, hiring an experienced interim financial controller to fill the hole can be a successful solution. During times of transition or emergency, an interim provides businesses with numerous distinct advantages. Let’s look at why hiring an interim financial controller can be right for you, as well as how to go about finding the ideal candidate.

Why hire an interim financial controller?

Filling an unfilled financial controller job with an experienced interim expert, even if only for 3-12 months, ensures stability and continuity during difficult times. Rather than other employees suddenly taking on unexpected financial oversight obligations on top of their regular responsibilities, an interim controller effortlessly comes in to oversee critical activities.

An interim financial controller delivers cutting-edge knowledge of current accounting standards, financial management best practices, and data analysis trends to the organisation, resulting in immediate benefits. Organisations benefit from the interim’s fresh ideas gained through recent industry experience at other organisations.

Given their transitory function, an interim financial controller maintains a neutral stance when making financial suggestions or addressing difficulties. With no long-term stake in the company, they ignore internal politics in order to focus on critical financial leadership.

Interim financial controllers are also less expensive than hiring a permanent full-time controller, especially for short-term covering. The cost savings minimise the financial risks connected with changes.

What to Look for in an Interim Financial Controller?

When considering interim financial controller candidates, consider both technical qualifications and the interpersonal skills required for a leadership position. Search for an intermediate with:

● 5+ years of experience as a financial controller or in an equivalent financial oversight job.

Master’s degree in accounting, finance, or a similar field.

● CPA or similar accounting credential.

● Familiarity with accounting concepts and regulations, both general and industry-specific

● Demonstrated expertise in overseeing financial management processes.

● Proven ability to create clear and accurate financial accounts and reports.

● Ability to deliver data-driven financial advice and strategy.

● Excellent communication abilities, both vocal and written.

● Demonstrates consensus-building skills with executives and departments.

While a permanent hire may require a greater understanding of your unique business, an interim candidate’s breadth of expertise across multiple firms and sectors is equally valuable. Seek out interims through FD Capital who are comfortable working in a variety of accounting situations.

Where to Find Top Interim Financial Controller Candidates

So, where should you begin your search for the greatest temporary financial controller for your needs? Posting to generic online employment sites often attracts unqualified individuals, making it time-consuming to vet each prospect. Instead, use specialised interim recruitment firms.

Reputable recruitment firms maintain extensive networks of well vetted interim accounting and finance specialists. The recruiters have direct access to exceptional temporary controllers with specialised knowledge in your specific industry and organisational requirements. Rather than taking a scattershot approach through job boards, recruiting companies allow for targeted vetting and placement.

Before collaborating with a recruitment agency, consider their track record of securing financial leadership positions across a variety of industries. Request 2-3 sample interim candidates who would meet your interim controller requirements. This helps you to determine whether the agency’s network meets your requirements before paying recruitment fees.

Clearly communicating your requirements allows the agency to promptly supply you with top-matching interim financial controller solutions. Share information about your industry, company size, internal accounting systems, required qualifications, leadership skills, and anticipated controller responsibilities. The more open you are about your temporary needs, the easier it will be to locate the ideal fit.

Onboarding Your New Interim Financial Controller

Once you’ve found a promising interim financial controller, spend time training them about your company’s accounting processes, internal financial systems, industry-specific requirements, special projects in the works, issue areas that need to be addressed, and the role’s leadership responsibilities. Provide whatever training or resources required to quickly onboard them.

Define success by establishing specific targets and important results to assess their performance and fit. Set up regular check-in sessions to provide interim real-time feedback, facilitate the transition, and promptly handle any problems on either side.

An interim financial controller who fills a leadership deficit can be quite useful during times of transition. Using a specialised accounting and finance recruitment firm makes it easier to locate and onboard qualified candidates who are ready to address your company’s current needs. Investing in an experienced interim ensures consistent oversight and strategic financial management during critical periods of uncertainty.