What does a process and controls specialist do?

Process and controls specialists review business processes, financial systems and data and technology management within a business. Based on a strong understanding of the commercial and risk environment in which the business operates, they provide assurance that processes and controls are operating successfully and work with management to develop innovative and effective solutions if problems are found.

Key responsibilities

  • Obtaining substantial knowledge of processes and internal controls in a range of areas including finance, HR and payroll, e-Commerce, revenue recognition and data governance
  • Ensuring that processes and controls are designed, implemented and operating in line with the relevant policies, procedures, regulatory guidance and leading industry best practices
  • Performing evaluation of existing process and controls by gaining an understanding of the control environment and performing sample tests on such basis.
  • Designing testing standardisation
  • Advising on improving business processes
  • Authorising, implementing and managing significant process changes
  • Identifying opportunities for control improvements, and create and drive solutions for remediating of any control failures, issues or gaps
  • Embedding a process improvement culture
  • Reviewing and maintaining control checklists

Why are they important?

Implementing checks and controls for business processes, systems and technology is a key factor in mitigating risks within an organisation. Process and controls specialists ensure that an organisation’s systems, processes and risk management procedures are operating effectively with appropriate segregation of duty and within a well-controlled environment.

Skills needed for this role

Specialists will need a solid knowledge base in financial processes and related controls (accounting and internal controls), preferably supplemented with a professional qualification such as an ACCA. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills are also essential as is high attention to detail.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Performance Management

Advanced Audit and Assurance

Career opportunities presented by this role

There are a variety of roles available in this field, both in industry and in an advisory capacity in practice. Career progression is excellent - junior level analysts will have the opportunity to advance up to head/director level, particularly in larger organisations.


High level competencies required include:

  • Advisory and consultancy


    A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.

    B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.

    C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.

    D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.

  • Audit and assurance

    A. Advises on and communicates effectively the role and scope of audit and assurance engagements to relevant stakeholders.

    B. Applies regulatory, legal, professional and ethical standards relating to audit and assurance engagements.

    C. Plans and prepares for audit and assurance engagements.

    D. Performs effective audit, and assurance engagements.

    E. Reviews and reports on the findings of audit and assurance engagements.

    F. Guiding efficient and effective operations.

  • Governance, risk and control

    A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.

    B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.

    C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.

    D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.

    E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.