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Spotting a good Controller; How to Save Time and Money!

April 3, 2013

world in hand

To be successful for you a Controller or Financial Director needs to have  a somewhat different profile than simply an accountant.  Spotting the difference and getting the right one can be quite a challenge!

Your accountant ensures the figures are accurate and you get the best tax deals possible, but the controller guides the overall direction you take to ensure viability long term.

Once you have ascertained the skills and experience, turn your attention to the person behind the degree.  The blend of that and these attributes will serve you well.

Do you know the best qualities to look for?  


Finance Directors must be able to operate with a high degree of certainty.  They need to be able to set up and follow a set procedure or system, and not be tempted to change things too frequently, or without due warning.

Procedures are important in this profession, but not everyone has the ability to stick to them. WHO needs an impulsive CEO or Controller!! On the other hand, you do not want someone who is so rigid they cannot accept reasonable and necessary change.  Make sure you have a system that can identify all of these attributes, and give you the certainty that you are not hiring someone who will destroy your whole system, based on some impetuous decision or whim!

Range of Vision

The next attribute to look for in a senior finance person is their ability to perceive the overall view of a situation. They have to be able to see how the money flows, without getting caught up in the minor details of one small accounts problem, when there are large glaring problems in other areas.

By their very nature, finance executives tend to be somewhat “perfectionistic.” While attention to detail is considered a good thing in this profession, balance is necessary between spotting the small errors in an account on the one hand and on the other, being able to see the big picture.

The ability of an applicant to see the overall view of things must be clearly evident to you before you make that decision to hire.


It goes without saying that a Finance Director should be orderly in handling the myriad of details required in the job description.

Keeping many different things under control, and the ability to perceive any one of a number of complex activities at a moments notice, are all a part of this attribute. Some people do this much better than others, and it is important to know what you are getting here.

Orderliness is another of the important aspects the U-MAN Evaluator can easily assess in an applicant for a senior financial position.

Accurate Assessment

Some people can look at a situation and clearly see what is actually happening. Others do not so easily see what is going on – they superimpose their own view of things onto reality, and thus come up with wrong answers. One should never have a preconceived idea of what the problem consists of before looking.

In a Finance Director, this failing could lead to wrong assessment of a situation, which could be quite unacceptable (not to mention, costly). The U-TEST, once again, is very accurate in highlighting this area.

Production Capability

A Finance Director’s job is less active than other occupations, so look for applicants who do not need to have lots of motion and energy in their environment.

On the other hand, it is important to have someone who has enough drive to get the job done effectively.

A Controller is a key position in all For all attributes you need, they can definitely be ascertained from the results of the U-TEST.  Use it in all your hires.


From → Hiring

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