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Possibly useful qualities/interests:

A predisposition towards technical problems, such as puzzles or machinery. An interest in the nature of how things work, such as the desire to disassemble machinery/gadgetry to unlock its inner workings.

An inventive side; one who uses the parts of other gadgets, to make a new personalised gadget. Interested in high tech gear: gadgetry of all forms.

A capacity to learn processes for oneself e.g. seeing a puzzle solved and then repeating it.

Skills: Technical subjects such as Maths or electronics. Programming is very accessible to anyone with a basic home PC and some internet connection so try it out and see if you like it.

Values: If you value the solving of an intricate, convoluted problem, for it's own sake and find that rewarding, then any engineering job will come easily.

Education: Firm basis in Maths and the sciences. People are hired into engineering positions here from backgrounds such as science and computing primarily.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Occupation Details

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Financial Controller

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€50k > 85 
Financial Controller
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€50 - 85 
Related Information:
A financial controller is deemed to be a senior role in any organisation so the salary is also high.

The rate of pay typically varies according on the turnover of the company concerned. For example, a financial controller working in the Dublin area for an organisation with an annual turnover of less than 30 million is likely to receive 65,000 a year.

This rises to 75,000 when working with companies in the 30-99 million annual turnover range and 85,000 a year when working for an organisation with an annual turnover of over 100 million.

This rate drops by 5,000 a year if you work in the Cork region and financial controller working in Limerick, Galway and other regions in the West of Ireland tend to earn 15,000 a year less than their Dublin counterparts.

Make the move to financial director and the salary can jump to 130,000 a year.
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2016

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Oversees accounting and the implementation and monitoring of internal controls in the business.

The Work header image

The Financial Controller, sometimes called Financial Control Officer (FCO), is an accounting and audit expert in a business whose role is to oversee the accounting process and the implementation and monitoring of internal controls, independently from the Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) or the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The Financial Controller is the chief accounting officer and heads-up the accounting department. The controller is responsible for the company's financial statements, general ledger, cost accounting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, tax compliance, and various special analyses.

The Financial Controller must deliver accurate monthly reports and maintain rigorous control over the finances of the business, adding value and running efficient business processes.

Becoming Financial Controller is a role that only ambitious, career-driven individuals are likely to achieve. It is also typically just a promotion away from being top of the financial decision making chain.

This is a senior role, so it comes with a high salary, a bonus package and also with respect. You could get the chance to work in some of the world’s largest companies.

Financial Controller roles are available in the hospitality industry for example, in high class hotels or restaurants. A Financial Controller role in the banking sector can be especially lucrative.

Duties vary depending on the size of the company, the complexity of accounting and financial operations and the number of people employed in the accounting department. The Financial Controller provides financial leadership and is instrumental in forming accounting strategies. The role, especially in smaller companies, may include broad visionary responsibilities as well as hands-on management. 

Tasks and Responsibilites


  • Ensures that all accounting allocations are appropriately made and documented.
  • In smaller companies, may also perform cash management functions and oversee accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash disbursements, payroll and bank reconciliation functions.
  • Ensures separation of duties with regard to accounting functions to insure that there are checks and balances in the system - i.e. if the controller is responsible for preparing cash disbursements, s/he should not be a signatory on the account; the owner, chief executive or chief financial officer should be required to sign all cheques.

Internal Controls

  • Establishes and executes internal controls over the company’s accounting and financial procedures.
  • Reviews and approves all invoices to be paid, as well as reviewing accounts receivable aging reports.
  • In smaller companies, the controller will often handle collections on invoices, especially ones that are 45 days to 60 days overdue.
  • Coordinating with external tax accountants for income tax preparation and auditors who prepare internal audits of the company. This includes keeping company records organized and readily available for examination.

Financial Planning and Reporting

  • In smaller companies the Financial Controller isresponsible for all banking and finance activities. This includes negotiating lines of credit and vendor agreements, as well as reviewing all financial contracts, financing agreements and insurance policies.
  • Providing accurate and comprehensive financial information to executive management for long-term financial strategising. Unless a company has a CFO to provide the leadership for long-term financial planning, the controller will be required to fulfill this responsibility as well.
  • Provides crucial financial data and works with executive management to coordinate all financial planning functions with business operations.
  • Financial reporting duties include preparing financial statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports, budgets, budget-to-actuals and financial projections.

Financial Analysis

  • Must be skilled at in-depth financial analysis and providing expert financial perspective and opinions.
  • Proficient in spreadsheet design that is often complex.
  • Must havethe Financial analysis skills instrumental in helping to assess risk, analyse efficiency and inform policy decisions made by executive management.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

There is a huge amount of maths involved in this role - those who love number crunching are likely to succeed. Financial Controllers also need to demonstrate proven research and analytical skills and should be proficient in MS Word and Excel.

Efficiency is a key skill required for the role, which comes with  a lot of responsibility. When a business is experiencing a tough time, it will be down to the Financial Controller to make some difficult decisions. Problem solving skills and ability to be solutions-focussed are vital.

It is rare for a Financial Controller to work only the standard office hours, and part-time roles are generally unavailable.

Entry Routesheader image

The first step to becoming a Financial Controller is to become a Qualified Chartered Accountant (QCA).

You must be ACA, ACCA, QFA, CFS or CIMA qualified. 

5 years of post-qualification experience with at least one years’ experience as a financial controller elsewhere is typically required. Experience with Multinational companies, or with the Big Four firms is highly valued for this job role.

Top jobs seek 7-8 years’ experience managing an accountancy or finance function. 

To become an apprentice you must be a minimum of 16 years-old and have a D in five Junior Certificate subjects, or the equivalent.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you may still be able to register as an apprentice with an employer if you satisfactorily complete an approved preparatory course. You can also be eligible if you are over 18 years-old and have three years of relevant work experience.

For more information look at the SOLAS page on eligibility and assessment.

It’s worth noting that employers may require additional minimum qualifications to those specified by SOLAS.

Last Updated: March, 2016

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  Address: Chartered Accountants House, 47 - 49 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 637 7200
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Accountancy & Taxation
Banking, Insurance & Financial Services

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