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Is the controller at a subsidiary or the parent company?

Financial control timer 2 min.
Carol Bernard

If you are a controller, the type of company, subsidiary or parent, defines your functions. Sometimes these are only nuances and sometimes much more. Discover the difference below.

The job of controller, a professional profile on the rise, contains in its very DNA the activities of controlling, planning and making decisions regarding company finances. However, it is true that the work of the controller is also closely linked to whether it takes place at the subsidiary or the parent. In the case of a subsidiary, the main tasks are:

Supervising the preparation of the financial statements of the subsidiary and guaranteeing compliance with accounting, tax and social obligations at the local level.

  • The controller may occasionally oversee a merger, if it centralises the accounts of several subsidiaries in a particular geographical area.
  • Verifying compliance with the rules and procedures of the Group. Controlling the subsidiary's budgetary process.
  • Establishing control tools for the activity. Optimising information systems and participating in all new implementations.
  •  Treasury management and supervision of the level of need for funds, if treasury processes are not centralised.
  • Training and motivating the financial and accounting teams for which they are responsible.
  • Reporting to the Managing Director of the subsidiary or, if applicable, directly to the Controller or CFO of the parent company.
  • Sometimes they will manage the relationship with the company's external auditors.

Is the controller at a subsidiary or the parent company?

The role is substantially different when the Financial Controller at the Parent Company or Headquarters. In fact, the job becomes much less operational and focuses more on:

  • Supervising the preparation of the Individual and Consolidated Annual Accounts of the entities under their control. Developing internal control.
  • Defining the rules and procedures for the Group.
  • Organising the reporting system and its subsequent analysis along with corporate financial management.
  • Coordinating the various transversal projects in the Group whether strategic, computer-related, financial or accounting-related.
  • Preparing the group budget by consolidating the individual budgets of the subsidiaries.Monitoring and control.
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