Lead Project Cost Controller

Wabtec Corporation

Johannesburg, South Africa


Position summary

ake yours and someone else's life better? Wabtec has been doing that for decades and we will continue to do so! Through our people, leadership development, services, technology and scale, Wabtec delivers better outcomes for global customers by speaking the language of industry.

Lead Project Cost Controller - Wabtec Freight Services South Africa

Role Summary/Purpose:

This role will be responsible for the overall operational finance execution of long-term projects and maintenance service agreements for the business, including budgeting, forecasting, controllership, and reporting. The role will serve as the finance business partner to the project management and services management team, critical to the successful delivery of customer projects and maintenance service agreements and driving profitable growth of Wabtec's Freight Services contracts in the region. The successful candidate must have a strong track record and experience working in multi-national matrixed organizations and partnering with commercial and operating project teams delivering long term projects and long-term maintenance services agreements for customers.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development, planning, forecasting, and controlling of the project budgets in collaboration with the core project team and supporting functions.

  • Lead the project structuring and set up (onshore/offshore scopes, legal entity dependencies, transfer pricing, tax structuring with Corporate Tax, ERP system set up and flows, etc.) to ensure these will support cost effective and seamless execution.

  • Detailed tracking, reviewing, and reporting of project actual financial performance monthly including variances from budget/forecasts, ensuring completeness and accuracy (sales, cost, margin, cashflows) and investigating/validating the corresponding drivers of these deviations

  • Review and Analysis of project related balance sheet accounts to ensure completeness, accuracy, and valuation (inventory levels, accounts receivables, progress and deferred balances, provisions, warranties, and contingencies)

  • Preparation, coordinating and leading business management project reviews clearly presenting transparent project financial performance, and articulating and quantifying risks and opportunities, including cost savings and price opportunities, as well as maintaining appropriate levels of contingencies

  • Leverage shared services to ensure on time and accurate project invoicing, customer collections and cash applications, supplier payments and ensure positive cash flows over the life of project

  • Manage the customer variation/change order process in collaboration with the core project team, ensuring completeness and accuracy of key inputs, appropriate controllership, and management reviews/approvals (engineering/hours, BOM, procurement/costs, profitability on)

  • Review, evaluate, and validate customer claims against contractual project commitments, and support corresponding negotiations and settlements with critical inputs and recommendations

  • Lead and manage annual price escalation workings, reviews and customer negotiations to ensure these are completed on time and accurately to protect the project economics including during hyperinflation environment

  • Review and manage FX exposure risk and related mitigation strategies including possible hedging and alternative mechanisms in collaboration with Corporate Treasury

  • Lead the setting up and tracking of project related securities as needed (down payments, letters of credit, bank guarantees and bonds, etc.) in collaboration with Corporate Treasury

  • Manage and co-ordinate intercompany project related transactions (sales and purchases, in line with transfer pricing models and ensure on time settlements)

  • Lead the monthly, quarterly, and annual financial close and reporting processes, especially with regards to the project and maintenance service agreement financials

  • Collaborate with other functions (Corporate Controllership & Tax), shares services (R2R, AP, AR), third party services providers (PWC statutory & tax filings, EY statutory audits) to ensure proactive and seamless financial execution and reporting.


  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university in Accounting, Finance

  • 7 - 10 years of experience in core Finance roles including project financial management (budgeting, forecasting, FP&A, operational project finance, controllership, reporting)

  • Understanding of industrial project and after sales services industries and markets, including turnkey project execution and long-term services contracts

  • Presentation and communication skills, fluent in English language (writing, reading, speaking, listening), advanced PowerPoint presentation skills

  • Strong project management leadership, analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Knowledge and preferably previous experience working with US GAAP and local Statutory Standards

  • Must have legal authorization to work in South Africa

Desired Characteristics:

  • CA(SA) certified or similar Certified Public Accountant qualification (ACCA, CIMA, MBA)

  • Previous work experience in multi-national matrixed organization (divisions/P&L's, functions, regions, and shared services)

  • Previous experience working with Oracle and HFM ERP systems from planning, execution, and reporting

  • Previous experience leading or working in shared services supporting multiple operations

  • Strong oral, written, and presentation communication skills

  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skill

Wabtec Corporation is committed to taking on the world's toughest challenges. In order to fulfill that commitment we rely on a culture of leadership, diversity and inclusiveness. We aim to employ the world's brightest minds to help us create a limitless source of ideas and opportunities. We believe in hiring talented people of varied backgrounds, experiences and styles...people like you! Wabtec Corporation is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or expression, or protected Veteran status. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.