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The Institute is doing its part to help ensure that more members
have the all-round skills required. Financial controllership will be
the subject of a new Institute course, to be rolled out in 2014 (see In-
stitute course to help careers on page 19).
Pathways to prosperity
Former and current financial controllers – as well as those who train
and hire them – say a number of factors have made the position a
more vital one. They include:
• Regulation: The financial controller began to assume greater im-
portance a decade ago, according to research by EY, with the impo-
sition of post-Enron legislation designed to promote transparency.
• Globalization: The desire for access to Hong Kong and China by
multinational corporations has created more financial controller
roles at the regional and group senior levels.
• Delegation: As the CFO role becomes increasingly complex – es -
pecially in the field of fundraising – more strategic work is being
handed off to financial controllers.
• Information: Accounting roles have moved closer to the heart of
businesses, requiring the employment of more skilled financial
controllers to oversee and disseminate financial data.
Auditors who end up working for an audit client often set out on
the path to financial controllership. Thomas Tse, financial control-
ler of MMG, a Hong Kong-listed metals company and a subsidiary of
China Minmetals Corporation, followed this typical route.
Tse worked for KPMG before becoming senior finance manager
at Haier Electronics Group Co. From there, he was headhunted to
MMG after completing a master’s degree in business administration
at City University of Hong Kong.
An Institute member, Tse stresses the importance of being able to
talk among various levels of employees within a company. “A finan-
cial controller needs to communicate upward with the board and
downward with his team,” he says.
In recent years, Tse adds, financial controllers have had to learn
more sophisticated information technology analysis and reporting
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