Cost Controller Job Description [Updated for 2024]

cost controller job description

In the modern business landscape, the role of cost controllers is crucial and ever-evolving.

As businesses grow and financial complexities increase, the need for skilled professionals who can manage, monitor, and control costs becomes indispensable.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a cost controller?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to comprehend the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply curious about the intricacies of cost control,

You’ve landed at the right spot.

Today, we present a customizable cost controller job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Cost Controller Duties and Responsibilities

Cost Controllers perform a range of tasks related to financial planning, record-keeping and cost analysis.

They are responsible for managing and reducing operational costs to increase profitability.

Their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Collecting and analyzing data related to an organization’s costs
  • Identifying cost-saving opportunities and implementing cost-reduction measures
  • Preparing budget reports and financial forecasts
  • Reviewing financial transactions and cost accounting to ensure accuracy
  • Monitoring project budgets and ensuring they are adhered to
  • Working closely with management to understand and control costs
  • Providing recommendations for cost efficiency to upper management
  • Coordinating and implementing audits to ensure compliance with financial regulations
  • Presenting cost analysis results to management and making recommendations


Cost Controller Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a detail-oriented Cost Controller to join our team.

Your responsibilities will include estimating and managing the cost to produce goods and services.

You will work closely with our production and sales teams to prepare budgets and track actual costs relative to the budget, identifying strategies to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Our ideal candidate possesses a strong financial acumen with an analytical mindset, and has the ability to communicate complex financial information to non-financial colleagues.



  • Develop and implement cost standards for materials and labor.
  • Design and implement cost control procedures.
  • Prepare budget and cost estimates for business lines.
  • Coordinate physical inventory counts and cycle counts.
  • Analyze production costs and recommend changes.
  • Update standard costs in the bill of materials.
  • Review actual costs for inaccuracies.
  • Validate the cost of goods sold as part of the month-end close.
  • Work with the finance team to complete monthly closings.



  • Proven work experience as a Cost Controller, Cost Accountant, or a related role.
  • Excellent understanding of cost accounting principles.
  • Hands-on experience with accounting software, like Quickbooks or SAP.
  • Strong analytical skills with attention to detail.
  • Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong skills in mathematics and data analysis.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly with Excel.
  • BSc degree in Accounting, Finance or relevant study.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Cost Controller
  • Work Environment: Office setting with occasional site visits. Remote work opportunities available.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Chief Financial Officer or Financial Controller.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $60,000 minimum to $85,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Cost Controller Do?

Cost Controllers typically work in finance departments across various industries such as construction, manufacturing, hospitality and more.

They can also work as independent consultants providing their services to multiple businesses.

Their primary responsibility is to manage and control the budget of a business project.

This involves estimating and planning budgets, controlling costs, identifying potential financial risks, and providing cost-management solutions.

They collaborate closely with project managers, accountants, and financial analysts to ensure that a project stays within its budget.

This includes monitoring project expenses, verifying financial statements, and preparing regular budget reports.

Cost Controllers also play a crucial role in the decision-making process.

They analyze financial data to determine profitability, make financial forecasts, and provide cost-related advice to management.

In addition, they may also be involved in implementing cost-saving measures and strategies to enhance operational efficiency, while ensuring the financial integrity of the company is preserved.

Their ultimate goal is to help the company improve its profitability and efficiency by controlling and reducing unnecessary costs.


Cost Controller Qualifications and Skills

A qualified Cost Controller should possess a variety of skills and qualifications that align with the job description, including:

  • Numerical and analytical skills to understand, interpret and utilize financial and numerical data effectively.
  • Proficiency in financial software and databases to create, maintain and manage financial records and cost reports.
  • Strong organizational skills to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and ensure all financial data is recorded accurately and timely.
  • Problem-solving skills to identify discrepancies in financial data, and devise and implement effective solutions.
  • Communication skills to clearly and effectively communicate financial information to stakeholders, team members, and management.
  • Detail-oriented and precision in handling financial data, as well as in preparing cost control reports.
  • Understanding of cost control procedures and principles, including budgeting and forecasting.
  • Ability to work in a team and collaborate effectively with other departments to achieve financial objectives.


Cost Controller Experience Requirements

Cost Controllers typically need several years of experience in a related field, such as finance, accounting, or business administration.

Entry-level candidates may have at least 1-2 years of experience in a similar role, often gained through internships, part-time roles, or full-time roles in cost control, accounting or financial planning.

Candidates should have experience in analyzing financial data, preparing financial reports and budget development.

They are also expected to have proficiency in financial software, often gained through on-the-job experience or specialized training programs.

Individuals with more than 3-5 years of experience are often well-versed in cost control strategies, project budgeting, and financial reporting.

They will have developed critical analytical skills and a deep understanding of the financial aspects of project management.

Those with over 5 years of experience often possess leadership skills, having managed teams or overseen large-scale projects.

These candidates are typically ready for managerial or team-lead positions, overseeing the cost control operations of a company or large project.

It’s also beneficial if they have experience working closely with project managers and other departments to ensure cost efficiency and budget adherence.


Cost Controller Education and Training Requirements

Cost Controllers typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field.

They need to have strong analytical skills, familiarity with cost accounting, and a solid understanding of financial principles and strategies.

Knowledge of cost control software and systems is also critical for this role.

Some positions, especially those in large corporations or specialized industries, may require Cost Controllers to have a master’s degree in finance, business administration, or a relevant discipline.

Cost Controllers can also benefit from professional certifications like Certified Cost Professional (CCP), Certified Cost Engineer (CCE), or Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Acquiring such certifications not only enhances their expertise and credibility but also demonstrates their commitment to the profession and continuous learning.

Experience in budgeting, financial analysis, and project management can also be beneficial for a cost controller role.


Cost Controller Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Cost Controller is approximately $75,000 (USD) per year.

However, the actual earnings can significantly vary depending on factors such as industry, years of experience, qualifications, and geographical location.


Cost Controller Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Cost Controller need?

Cost Controllers need to have strong analytical skills to interpret complex financial data and make sound decisions.

They should have excellent attention to detail to spot any discrepancies in data.

Proficiency in software programs like Excel and other financial software is essential.

Furthermore, they should have strong communication skills to present financial information and interact effectively with various departments.


Do Cost Controllers need a degree?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration, or a related field is usually required for a Cost Controller role.

Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree or professional certifications such as Certified Cost Professional (CCP) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


What should you look for in a Cost Controller resume?

A Cost Controller’s resume should include a degree in a finance-related field, along with experience in cost control, budgeting, forecasting, and financial analysis.

Proficiency in financial software and Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Excel, is essential.

Look for evidence of strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work well with various departments.


What qualities make a good Cost Controller?

A good Cost Controller is highly analytical and has a keen eye for detail, which enables them to spot any discrepancies or potential cost overruns.

They are proficient in handling financial data and are comfortable using financial software.

A good Cost Controller has strong communication skills, which allow them to present financial information effectively to different stakeholders.

They are also proactive, able to anticipate potential cost issues and recommend solutions.


Is it difficult to hire Cost Controllers?

The difficulty in hiring Cost Controllers can depend on various factors such as the location, industry, and the specific requirements for the role.

While there are many finance professionals available in the job market, finding someone with specialized cost control skills and experience can be a challenge.

An attractive compensation package and opportunities for professional growth can help attract qualified candidates.



And there you have it.

Today, we have demystified what it really means to be a cost controller.

Guess what?

It’s not just about crunching numbers.

It’s about shaping financial success, one budget at a time.

With our definitive cost controller job description template and real-world examples, you’re prepared to make your next career step.

But why end here?

Delve further with our job description generator. It’s your ideal resource for creating meticulous job listings or refining your resume to perfection.


Every financial decision contributes to the larger fiscal landscape.

Let’s shape that future. Together.

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