Business Consultants (also known as Business Controllers) play a key role company Finance, Administration and Control departments. Their task is to monitor the use of resources, but above all, to achieve company objectives by scrupulously and objectively evaluating business performance.
In essence, Controllers provide companies with a performance analysis system and crucially manage economic and financial departments. In fact, these are the two primary tools used by companies in order to make more informed choices and respond to competition effectively.
So what does a Business Consultant or Business Controller actually do? Individuals in this particular profession oversee how companies are managed by interpreting data and providing an assessment of business activities. They often analyse analytical accounting, documents and reports, measuring economic-financial trends and generating a management report. Business Advisers tend to support other departments in order to that business activities are appropriately and reliably managed.
Individuals in this sector are often referred to as Sales Controllers when they have specific duties related to the company’s sales policy, while Industrial Controllers tend to supervise production processes. In essence, the purpose of individuals in this key role is to provide management with all the information needed to make important decisions, improve performance and implement specific strategies that can increase productivity.
So what are a company controller’s main tasks? Individuals in this role manage and schedule the systematic collection of all company data, monitoring various activities and recording information in a management system. In order to best carry out their work, they have to collaborate with managers from various different business areas, forging effective relationships in order to to fully understand how different departments are progressing.
Once data has been collected, Business Advisors draw up a budget, applying analytical accounting methods, and presenting business financial and economic forecasts to the senior management team.
Business Controllers are often given a lot of responsibility and the role therefore requires complex professional and technical skills. Those who undertake this profession usually have a university degree in Economics, but also a knowledge of Finance and Management Control, Administration and Accounting. In any case, in order to go down this particular career path, it’s often also essential to have a high level of education that only a Master’s degree can offer.
This particular career path usually involves a starting role as a Junior Controller, who is tasked with accounting reports and document analysis. Over time, people in this role tend to take on more and more responsibility, consolidating their own experience and, more importantly, a specific set of skills.
Companies of all sizes need Management Control. That’s why Business Consultants are often viewed as vital employees. Their degree of authority and responsibility (and consequently their placement within the organisation chart) varies depending on the importance of the service being performed and the size of the company at hand.
What are the specific skills and characteristics that a Business Consultant must possess? First of all, they need to have a thorough knowledge of accounting and financial statements, and a familiarity with reporting and forecasting techniques. This is because Controllers often have to make sure that the company’s business management policy is consistent with its objectives.
A knowledge of tax and civil law matters can also be useful in order to correctly analyse financial statements. Additional skills never go amiss on CVs and ensure speedy career progression. An ability to use computer operating systems such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and SAP (System Application and Products) can be crucial. Finally, Business Consultants must have excellent interpersonal and organisational skills in order to work well in teams. People in this role must be reliable, precise and authoritative, without lacking the ability to provide concise analysis.
A Controller’s average salary depends on a number of factors, but usually falls within the range of €40,000 to €60,000 a year. This role offers individuals the possibility to grow professionally over time and to progress into more senior managerial positions over time at companies with a high turnover. With more experience and provable results comes a better salary. What’s more, Business Consultants have excellent career prospects and can advance rapidly, reaching positions of great corporate importance. With the right training and experience, Business Controllers can also choose to work independently and undertake a career path as a consultant.
How a Master’s in Finance, Control and Auditing from BBS could help you to become a Business Consultant/Controller
In order to become a Business Consultant, you need learn a set of skills on a course such as Bologna Business School’s Master’s in Finance, Control and Auditing. The course teaches students all the skills necessary to become a Controller, providing them with the ability to map out business processes, and teaching them various system planning techniques for cost planning and analysis.
The BBS Master’s degree guarantees in-depth and cross-departmental training, offering concrete professional opportunities with regard to the world of business, auditing and external consultancy. The course teaches a mix of managerial skills, providing students with a set of highly sought-after complex abilities and the means to build trusted relationships with their team and the company.
It’s no coincidence that the Bologna Business School Master’s course is accredited by ASFOR (the Italian Association for Management Education). The course itself is structured into two lesson cycles, followed by a 500-hour internship. The course lasts 12 months. Core classroom studies are combined with preparatory and practical activities, providing students with the best possible training and tools to find work quickly (responding to market needs) and to climb the career ladder.