Accounting Recruiters, What Makes a Great Controller?

Accounting recruiters, the role of a financial controller can be challenging to define. For one, controllers have to juggle between accounting, leadership, and financial strategy. Like most job descriptions today, this is a constantly evolving role. One overarching truth is that a great financial controller needs to have a strategic vision.

Accounting Recruiters

The size of your organization is one of the key factors that determine the role of a controller. There are different levels of controller. This means that their scope is quite flexible and tends to vary from one company to another.

Essentially, your controller will be the link between the accounting department and upper management. As such, the person you choose should not only be an expert in their field but also showcase good leadership skills. The work of a financial controller is technical, so there is no substitute for expertise in accounting, but you should not overlook the importance of interpersonal skills.

You’ll need a controller who can effectively pay attention to detail while keeping the big picture in mind. A great controller needs to be charismatic and enthusiastic enough to drive and motivate people in a stressful field. Financial controllers are tasked with decision-making and forecasting, meaning you’ll need someone with a zeal for improvement and a passion for business growth.

Seven Key Qualities of a Controller

Since this position is crucial to your company’s success, you need to ensure your accounting recruiters ensure the candidates are the right person for the job. Some of the most vital qualities to look for in a controller are highlighted below.

1. Strong Accounting Background

This is the number one factor you need to consider. Above all, your controller must have a working understanding of all the ins and outs of the accounting department. While they won’t be crunching the numbers, they must know how it’s done because it is their job to supervise general ledger compilation to ensure that everything is done properly.

Your controller should have relevant experience in a managerial or senior accounting role. This way, you know they have the business insights they need to guide their decision-making in the future. The size and nature of your organization will determine the specific requirements in terms of experience, but the bottom line is that your controller must be competent in the accounting department.

2. Passion for Details

Attention to detail is another important quality of a controller. Their job includes keeping up with a great deal of information, data that is essential and cannot be overlooked. In most cases, a controller has to track complex spreadsheets, so it is vital to hire an organized person skilled at self-management.

All your financial data must be recorded accurately. This means that the right person for the job must be detail-oriented and capable of keeping the books in order. Moreover, your CFO needs to look at these numbers for decision-making. Therefore, they must be keen enough to spot any errors or inconsistencies that need to be corrected before this information is relayed to upper management.

3. Ability To Translate the Numbers

This trait goes hand in hand with a passion for details. Your controller’s job doesn’t stop with compiling books. They need to have the skills necessary to analyze the numbers and communicate this dense information clearly and precisely to upper management and stakeholders who might lack financial literacy.

You need a controller with excellent communication skills because they can give you valuable, actionable insights and expert opinions on financial topics. This will go a long way in ensuring business growth because their insights impact your business strategy.

4. Leadership and Interpersonal Skills

Your controller will be in charge of an extensive financial and accounting team, meaning you need someone with the ability to negotiate effectively and solve any issues that may arise. Depending on your company’s size, the controller might be the head of the entire financial department, so you need someone competent enough to handle the pressure.

The controller’s job tends to be very demanding, with tight deadlines that need to be met while still ensuring accuracy and compliance. For this reason, you’ll need a leader who can face adversity and coordinate all the moving parts to ensure harmony.

5. Optimization Skills

Your controller should be passionate about growth and efficiency. They need to look at internal business processes and come up with better ways of handling them to minimize expenses and maximize profit. A great controller is innovative and open to new ideas on streamlining the company to drive efficiency.

6. Drive and Enthusiasm

Your controller must have a strong work ethic and exemplary work commitment. You’ll need someone energetic and enthusiastic because their job requires them to put in the hours day in, day out. Your controller needs to be excited by the challenge that comes with the job and eager to use their position to advance the company.

They will be in charge of various teams where they’ll need to motivate team members who are sometimes under pressure. People respond to good leadership, so having a dedicated and charismatic team leader will undoubtedly positively impact the entire company.

7. Adaptability

This is a quality your accounting recruiters can interview for. Your controller must be willing to learn continuously and make the necessary changes to achieve success. Businesses cannot afford to be rigid in the world we live in today. The key to growth is adaptability and innovation.

This means you need someone ready to learn and enhance their leadership and technical skills because their job is demanding and dynamic. Your company must also support this by creating an enabling environment and providing whatever is needed in terms of resources.


Any hiring decision requires thought and consideration, and this is especially true when it comes to hiring a controller. Your company’s needs should guide the hiring process to increase the odds of onboarding top talent. All the qualities discussed above, in addition to a few others, will go a long way in helping you select the right candidate.

You stand to gain from working with experts, so feel free to contact Ghost Mountain today about any accounting recruiter needs you might have. We also offer business consulting services, so you can get in touch with us to confidentially discuss any issues in your company that you’re looking to overcome.

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