How I transitioned from audit to controlling

5 years ago I made 4 changes in my professional and personal life:

– I changed country (moved from Luxemburg to Germany).
– I changed language (French to German).
– I changed industry (Financial Services to aerospace, transport and defence).
– I changed job (audit to controlling).

In this post I am sharing with you:

1) The skills I developed from my audit experience and used as strength to change to controlling
2) What I had to learned to transition to controlling
3) The different fields of controlling
4) How I continue to grow

1️⃣ The transferable skills:

I always believed that an auditor has a good base to work in the controlling/FP&A. And here is why:

– An auditor has a strong accounting knowledge which is the base for all finance jobs.

– Working for audit and consulting companies teaches you to be structured, efficient and goal oriented.

– Being in an audit team and working under pressure is a good accelerator for improving his communication skills at work.

– Jumping from one assignment to another and having to gain trust and knowledge from your client will help you be quickly operational in any new job.

2️⃣ What you need to learn when you transition:

As a controller (or FP&A), you need to learn new concepts as your focus will be to provide value to your business partners.

– Deeper understanding of profitability, price sensitivity, cost accounting

– Learn the key KPIs

– Get the most out of the ERP and reporting tools to deliver efficient & valuable reporting/analysis

– Budgeting, forecasting, modeling

– How to improve processes to be more efficient as a finance function

3️⃣ The different fields of controlling/FP&A:

Once you dive into the controlling/FP&A world, you discover that depending on the company and the industry (automotive, ecommerce, retail, industry, services…), there are many roles to learn:

Commercial controlling, project controlling, cost controlling, industrial controlling, financial planning & analysis, reporting…

You can continue developing yourself by changing roles and tracing your own career path.

4️⃣ How I continue to grow:

The last 5 years I already experienced different roles (head of controlling, business partner, business controller, finance transformation, ad hoc controlling work..) and each time I get to learn more about controlling and how I can bring more value to my organisation.

I also recommend exchanging best practices with your colleagues but also with people in your professional network like here on LinkedIn.

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