Country Controller - Kao Corporation
What do you do?

You might have Kao products in your bathroom without even knowing it. The Consumer Care Business features high quality hair and skin care brands such as John Frieda®, Guhl, Bioré, JERGENS®, Curél and MegRhythm. Molton Brown’s collection of signature fragrances, bath and shower gels, home and hand care luxuries have claimed iconic status. The Kao Salon Division with its master brands Goldwell, KMS, Oribe and VARIS is the fourth biggest salon hair care business in the world. From Finland to South Africa, from France to the Czech Republic, more than 2,200 people at Kao committed to contributing to a more sustainable world and to offering high quality products to their customers and consumers.

To strengthen the country control team, we are looking for an ambitious controller. You report to the Director Accounting & Tax EMEA and work closely together with 2 other country controllers. The designated region for this position is determined based on your affinity, experience and preference. You will have full ownership of assigned regions/entities, but you will support each other.

As Country Controller, your first focus is managing and optimizing the periodic financial and statutory close and reporting for the regions/countries you are assigned with. In close collaboration with Kao’s FSSC GL team, you make sure the reports are (continuously) compliant with global corporate policies, internal controls and local regulations, e.g. GAAP/IFRS, tax and statutory belongings. During the period end you have a reviewing and coordinating role, you discuss all finance related matters with country management. Both on country and regional level, you perform the analytical review of the P&L and balance sheet, investigate variances and validating their numbers yourself. It is your responsibility to deep dive into every variance and ad hoc issues, so you will be able to explain and argument them in the monthly, quarterly and year-end reviews.

Thirdly, optimizing current processes has a high priority on Kao’s agenda. As such, you actively participate and act as a business partner for all projects and issues related to financial accounting, compliance and reporting processes. These projects range from improving existing controls (e.g. month end procedures, reporting dashboards and other finance and business procedures), the implementation of S4HANA and improving the tax control framework. As business partner for these projects you are responsible for steering and managing cross-functional project teams.

Good to know

Most importantly, you are the linking pin between Management and the local business. As such, you are a member of the Management Committee and represent the FSSC towards the operations. You are also expected to  proactively manage relationship with local consultants, external auditors as well as close partnerships with country management (GM’s and Sales director) and other business stakeholders (e.g. Sales, Customer Services, Operations and FP&A).

Who are you?

You are an ambitious and entrepreneurial financial with a strong technical accounting background. You are eager to learn, thrive in an international setting and drive continuous improvement.

“We are looking for a financial who thrives in the middle of a multinational and multi-cultural organization. Aside from in-depth, technical accounting skills, you are required to have exceptional communication- and stakeholder management skills. For this position we are looking for somebody who is curious, flexible, can create solid structures and who likes to be the go-to person for all sorts of different finance matters. Even if it is something you never encountered before.”   

  • Master or Post-Master degree in Accounting or Finance
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in Accountancy. Experience with Group audits and/or in group structures and consolidation procedures in working with foreign components auditors is advantageous.
  • Excellent communication skills in English
  • Ability to influence at all levels, build bridges and valuable relationships
  • Experience working in a multinational environment, interacting with geographically dispersed and culturally diverse stakeholders
  • Solid technical finance background; able to understand the core financial processes, do the financial sanity check and build mature, scalable processes
  • Able to maintain a helicopter view with a vision on how to continuously improve process and systems

More about Kao Corporation

Founded in Japan in 1887, Kao is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives with their high quality products and services that make the life of consumers and customers more beautiful.

Kao made the first steps into expanding its business operations to Europe in the 1980s with its acquisitions of Swiss hair care brand Guhl and the German professional hair care brand Goldwell. Since then, Kao has strengthened its footprint not only by additional acquisitions but also by bringing new innovation to the markets, including some of its iconic Japanese brands such as Curél, Bioré or Megrhythm.

Business operations

Kao is organized in a matrix structure. Their three business sectors (Consumer Care Business, Kao Salon Division and Molton Brown) operate across regions and are supported by their regional Functions Operations Teams of R&D, Supply Chain, Finance, HR, Legal, IT and Communications. Amersfoort is the headquarters in the Netherlands for local operations and also an expert hub for their EMEA Finance Shared Service Center.

Kao’s ESG Activities in the EMEA region 

Being a beauty company in EMEA, their ESG Mission of making life beautiful is especially close to their hearts. It is their passion to create products that will make people not only look more beautiful but give them confidence and self-esteem. Kao puts a lot of care into the development of their formulas and the manufacturing of their products to ensure they deliver products of the highest quality that are safe to use for both the consumer and the environment.

Kao commits to enhance their contribution to society through a renewed focus on ESG. And their ESG Strategy is in service to their consumers’ needs, behaviours, and desire to live sustainable lifestyles that contribute to a more sustainable world.

Based on the global ESG Strategy, Kao has identified actions for its EMEA operations that it commits to realise by 2025: from reducing Kao’s carbon footprint and waste during the production, supply chain and operations processes to invest in sustainable packaging and products to be made of recycled, reusable or bio-based materials.

Kao’s culture

Kao in the EMEA region is a unique place to work. At Kao, their Japanese heritage with its strong set of values meets a modern, flat and agile organisation that puts its people first offering an inclusive place to work where everybody can have a voice. Kao is both entrepreneurial and driven by integrity – but above all great fun. With a hybrid working model Kao offers a flexible working environment in which everybody can deliver their best. 

(+31) 6 39 62 92 93