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Business Controller


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Administrative support
    • Banking and Finance
    • Sustainable Business Development
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-01


Vacancy in the Directorate of Navigation.


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  



You will report to the Head of the Business Control Support Unit and be responsible for consolidating, maintaining, monitoring and reporting on the Directorate’s business unit resources and activity plans short-, medium- and long-term, as well as the associated business management and controlling processes. Fulfilling these responsibilities involves having multiple interfaces with ESA corporate entities (Corporate Control, Finance, Procurement, HR, IT), project controlling, Directorate management, delegate bodies and representatives of other funding parties.


As Business Controller you will exercise key responsibilities in supporting the Directorate's management in preparing and maintaining sound activity (business) plans while optimising resources. You will play a key role in supporting the Directorate's decision-making processes regarding programmatic, resource deployment and business management processes.


  • Ensuring the development, consolidation and maintenance of Directorate resources and activity plans short-, medium- and long-term, including commitment, budget, cost, cash, workforce and procurement plans; 
  • Supporting the definition and implementation of measures to correct deviations from plans; 
  • Supporting Corporate Control and Finance with Directorate financial data (planning or actual), e.g. long-term financial plan, budgets, cost accounting; 
  • Supporting Directorate risk management processes; 
  • Providing inputs for periodic reporting to Directorate management, corporate functions and delegate bodies, including on Key Business Performance Indicators; 
  • Supporting HR with staffing plan data; 
  • defining, maintaining, coordinating and monitoring Directorate management and controlling processes and their correct implementation in corporate systems; 
  • Supporting the Directorate’s interface with delegate bodies, Corporate Control, Finance, HR and IT corporate functions.


In addition:

  • Ensuring the implementation of future corporate IT solutions, i.e. the data lake through the development, maintenance and improvement of Tableau reports and Power BI reports related to the finance and controlling domain, thus preparation, maintenance and improvement of the Directorate’s internal and external reporting, with a special focus on efficient preparation, involving multiple system sources, as well as on presenting reports;
  • Controlling and administration of the Service Level Agreements with support directorates and planning, control and administration of contractors frame contracts including service contractor personnel. Follow-up and implementation of the related procurement activities in the agency ERP System, financial reporting, and recruitment activities. Cost and cash disbursements control, including cash/cost reconciliations;
  • Contributing to the financial mid-year and end-of-year accounting closure in the Directorate, support for the planning and monitoring of NAV Analysis Centre and preparation of the Directorate rates and cost centre control activities across the Directorate;
  • Periodical monitoring of the commitment ceiling for the Directorate’s programmes and contribution to the preparation of the industrial statistics and geographical return reports;
  • Preparing and revising cost-at-completion (CAC) and multi-year resource plans, maintenance of related tables at project, programme and directorate level and quarterly and yearly related report preparation for external stakeholders and entities;
  • Validating financial parameters in industrial proposals, i.e. their compliance with IPSAS, and SAP implementation and administration and follow-up of procurement activities and their implementation in the Agency ERP system, including the creation and follow-up of the approval cycles of the respective transactions as per Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Process;
  • Preparing the Cost audit trail and providing support to internal and external audits including the preparation of the required documentation;
  • Contributing to the ESA Asset Management process for Fixed Assets verification and administration of attractive items inventory and follow-up of the activities related to asset accounting management (coordinated by the Directorate Assets Coordinator) and contribution to related reports.


You will carry out these tasks in coordination with the other team members and with the project controllers assigned to the Navigation projects. You will in particular support the EGNOS project.

Technical competencies

Budgeting, cost control and resources and activities planning
Project and risk management
Cost and financial regulatory framework, including accounting standards and auditing
Expert knowledge of a SAP based ERP systems and related queries
Strong analytical skills and proficiency using ad hoc query and analytical tools (Excel, Tableau, Power BI…).
Understanding of the relevant ESA/EU procurement regulations
Understanding of space system architectures

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A master's degree in business administration, corporate finance and accounting or economics is required.

Additional requirements

Experience in financial/management accounting as well as a thorough knowledge of accounting standards IPSAS and/or IFRS is required.


You will have previous professional experience as a controller of a project or programme preferably at Agency or industry level. Experience in another function in finance, controlling and auditing will be considered a (key) asset.


An accounting qualification such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), certified financial analyst (CFA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is desirable.


You will have strong analytical and reporting skills, enjoy working in a team and be customer focused.


Some knowledge and/or understanding of space systems architecture will be also considered an asset.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

For further information please visit: Professionals,What we offerand FAQ  


The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.     


The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email [email protected].


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.


According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented or balanced Member States*.  (


In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service. 


Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.