Controller: Job Description & Average Salary

what is a controller in a company

Financial controllers are often the head financial position in charge of overseeing that historical, actual financial transactions are being reported properly. This may range across all finances departments including accounts payable, purchasing, vendor management, treasury, financial reporting, and financial planning. A financial controller organizes and manages all aspects of a company’s financial and accounting operations. In more senior positions, financial controllers use financial and accounting data to develop a company’s strategy, minimize its risks, and forecast for opportunities.

Tools and Programs Controllers Use

Strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to interpret complex financial data are essential in this role. A controller is a high-ranking financial officer responsible for overseeing an organization’s accounting and financial management functions. Their primary role involves managing the company’s financial reporting, budgeting, and auditing processes to ensure accuracy, compliance with regulations, and overall fiscal responsibility. Controllers work closely with senior executives, providing them with crucial financial insights to support strategic decision-making.

what is a controller in a company

Controller Salary and Job Outlook

Most assistant controllers need to demonstrate strong competency in the use of financial management software. As businesses continue to evolve, the role of controllers may expand to encompass new responsibilities related to financial technology, data analysis, and strategic planning. Additionally, obtaining certifications like CPA, often required for controller positions, can also be pursued alongside or after online degrees, further enhancing qualifications for the role. This timeframe is standard for earning a Bachelor’s degree, providing students with the essential accounting skills, knowledge of financial laws, and practices needed for roles such as controller. Obtaining a degree in accounting typically requires four years of full-time study to complete the curriculum, which includes both general education and specialized accounting courses.

  1. A controller serves as a financial steward within an organization, overseeing its accounting functions and ensuring the integrity of its financial reporting.
  2. Deciding to become a controller is not merely about understanding the role’s technical aspects but also requires a holistic consideration of your interests, skills, and long-term goals.
  3. The controller is a management position within a company’s finance department.
  4. A CFO or VP of Finance are often higher-level positions that are on the executive team.
  5. The controller may reports material budgeting variances or expenditure variances to upper management.

How to Become an Assistant Controller

This senior position generally requires years of proven experience in various levels of accounting. Generally speaking, in smaller companies, the controller must take on more duties. In a small business, it is common for the controller to have the final say on every financial decision, such as budgeting, reporting, investing and risk management. In larger companies, the duties of the controller are often more specialized, with certain financial decisions shifted to other executives, such as the chief financial officer (CFO). Financial management careers offer solid job security, strong salary potential and plenty of room for advancement. In the accounting field, senior finance professionals known as controllers lead accounting departments and help shape financial strategy at organizations of all sizes.

Understanding Financial Controllers

what is a controller in a company

A controller’s responsibilities extend beyond performing calculations and generating financial records. Since controllers contribute to their organization’s overall financial strategy, they need sharp analytical skills to extrapolate actionable meaning from raw numbers. While controllers often work under chief financial officers (CFOs), especially at large companies, a comptroller position is equivalent to a CFO role in terms of seniority. She worked for almost two decades as an executive, leading multi-billion dollar mortgage, credit card, and savings portfolios with operations worldwide and a unique focus on the consumer. Her mortgage expertise was honed post-2008 crisis as she implemented the significant changes resulting from Dodd-Frank required regulations. These online programs provide the necessary accounting principles, financial reporting, and management knowledge.

In organizations that prioritize work-life balance, offer flexible working arrangements, and leverage technology for efficiency, controllers may experience a more favorable work-life balance. However, the workload may become more manageable outside these peak times, allowing for a better work-life balance. Achieving conversion method of single entry system or transaction approach a satisfactory work-life balance also depends on the company’s culture, the level of support and resources available, and the individual’s efficiency and time management skills. The controller salary can vary significantly depending on factors such as industry, company size, geographic location, and experience level.

The controller job description encompasses various responsibilities, from managing the accounting team to overseeing financial reporting and analysis. The controller job description also involves developing and implementing accounting policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and standards. They supervise the preparation of financial statements, budgets, and forecasts, providing senior management with insights into the company’s financial performance and trends.

In general, especially for larger companies, there are differences between controllers and other high-ranking financial positions. They are distinguished from traditional accountants by their cash payment or cash disbursement journal calculation forward-looking approach. Most accountants record and track current finances and review and analyze past performance but have limited input into the company’s strategy for the future.

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