Controllers Tips

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What does an Assistant Controller do?

Assistant Financial Controller

Depending upon the entity’s size, the Assistant Controller can provide a variety of duties and responsibilities. Some of these include:

  • Supervises A/R, A/P, P/R personnel and transactions
  • Responsible for overseeing accounting procedures, internal controls (implementing, monitoring, enhancing), and database management
  • Randomly audits work flow to assure that all accounting transactions are appropriately authorized
  • Substantiates and justified expenditures and expense reports
  • Supervises or prepares monthly journal entries
  • Prepares financial statements
  • Supervises or prepares general ledger reconciliations
  • Assures internal control compliance
  • May train staff on internal control procedures; assists Controller as needed
  • Reviews monthly closing process
  • Works on special projects, if requested; assist with yearly audit preparation. If involved in the financial field, Assistant Controllers will oversee the reporting and integrity of accounting for invested assets in bonds, mortgage loans, equities, limited partnerships and derivatives.
Assistant Controllers must also have knowledge of GAAP, IRC, FASB, accrual base accounting, organizational auditing, fixed asset accounting, and tax filing requirements. They need to keep abreast of current industry events. They must have strong supervisory and analytical skills. Assistant Controllers must also a wide knowledge base of different software systems, and have strong computer usage experience.

Assistant Controller usually reports to the Controller. Salary varies according to firm size, geographical region, and individual position responsibilities. The positions requires 4-5 years experience, on average. It requires a Bachelor’s degree in either finance or accounting.

What is a controller job description like?

Controller Job Description

The Controller position is complex, diversified, and varies according to industry and firm size. Here is a sample of a Controller job description:

  • Directs budget and cost controls.
  • Financial analysis, accounting practices and reports.
  • Analyzes and interprets financial data and recommends changes to improve systems and financial performance.
In small firms, the controller may:
  • Maintain, analyze, summarize and general ledger accounts,
  • Prepare or supervise preparation of financial statements
  • Coordinate year end audits
  • Supervises exempt and non-exempt accounting staff
  • Presents financial information to senior management and/or Board of Directors.
  • Works on special projects as needed.
  • Maintains vendor and customer relations.
  • Develops chart of accounts.
Educationally, a CPA is required. Must have at least seven years relevant work experience. Must be current with regulations and compliance issues. Strong supervisory skills required.

What are some controller positions available?

Types of Controller Jobs

Depending upon the industry and firm, there are a variety of controller positions available in the work place. They all require a Bachelor's Degree, 3+ years of accounting or finance industry experience, and supervisory skills. Some of them are as follows:

Healthcare Industry:
Benefit Plans Controller
Hospital Controller
Fund Controller

Finance Industry:
Fixed Income Analyst Product Controller
Fund Controller
Derivatives Product Controller
Corporate Controller
Hedge Fund Controller
Private Equity Financial Controller
Banking Product Controller
Investment Plans Controller

General Financial and ManagerialAccounting:
Corporate Controller
Divisional Controller
Regional Controller
Financial Controller
Global Market Controller
Cost Controller
General Controller These are but a few of the available positions located within the Controller field.


Finance Controller

Financial controllers are usually CPAs with multiple years experience in financial accounting. They must have excellent communication skills, strong software knowledge and experience, and be detail oriented. Strong supervisory skills are usually needed, also. Financial controllers need to be current with regulations affecting the industry and effects upon the company. They need to be knowledgeable about company procedures and compliance issues. The financial controller position requires a Bachelor's degree in either accounting or finance. Public accounting experience is usually required. A CPA is preferred. Pay depends upon entity size and position's responsibilities.

What is a financial controller?

Finance Controller

Depending upon the industry involved, Financial Controllers perform a variety of duties and responsibilities all ascertaining compliance with internal control procedures and financial management. Financial Controller accounting positions involve identifying and communicating potential issues regarding financial statement accounts to management. The position will prepare budgets and forecast reports; manage corporate benefit programs; manage corporate payroll; manage insurance providers and develop company insurance plan; they analyze, submit, and prepare payments for SEC trading fees (when involved in the stock area). They supervise the Assistant Controller and other accounting department personnel. They are responsible for overseeing the yearly audits.

How do I advance myself in the Controller field?

How to Advance Yourself in the Controller Field

Now that you are seeking a Controller position, there are a variety of ways to advance yourself professionally while you pursue your job search. These include:

Learn to play golf (or better your game). This may sound funny, but much networking is done while playing this sport with your peers. Be prepared.

Subscribe to trade journals. Trade journals contain a wealth of information about your field. Read them and learn from them. Keep abreast on what is happening in your chosen field.

Read the Wall Street Journal. This publication contains information on all business matters. It is a very common publication regarding business news. You may luck out and have your future employer subscribe to it for you.

Read Business Week. This is another publication containing a lot of useful information to prepare you for success.

Surround yourself with successful people. Learn from them. You can help yourself tremendously this way.

Visit business related websites. Many sites (especially resume submitting and career building) offer a wealth of information that you can learn from. You can advance yourself professionally and personally (by gaining knowledge) very easily this way.

Enjoy a hobby. This is a welcome relief from the pressure received during work week. You need to relax at the end of the day.

What is the Controller salary?

Finance Controllership Salary

According to the industry, firm size, and individual position responsibilities – Controller sizes differ.

For small, local firms a Controller may also be the supervisor of one clerical staff. This position may bring in $25,000 and up per year.

For medium sized firms (sometimes with regional offices), a Controller position may bring in $30-40,000.

Above that, salaries, titles, and responsibilities differ so much it is difficult to break them down. Controller salaries, in general, for large companies (national and international) seem to range from $70,000+.

Then, there are the part time Controllers, independent contractor Controllers, etc. They seem to be paid by the hour and can average from $40+ per hour.

What does a controller resume look like?

Financial Controller Resume

So you can get a feel for the information in a resume for a controller position, here is a sample taken from

Amy Smith
123 Main Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Home: (555) 555-1234
Cell: (555) 555-1235">


To obtain a Controller position with a leading Consulting or Technology Company.

Experience San Mateo, CA
Controller 8/99 to Present
- Manage all day-to-day finances for a late-stage application service provider (ASP).
- Monitor revenue recognition practices to ensure 100% compliance with accounting principles.
- Manage allocation of Company funds, increasing value of holdings by 8% during first year.
- Work with external auditors and investment bankers in preparation for the Company's IPO
- Report directly to the CFO and have frequent interaction with the CEO and Board of Directors
Scion Consulting Group New York, NY
Assistant Controller 11/96 to 8/99
- Worked directly with the Global Corporate Controller for a $2 Billion high-tech consulting firm.
- Prepared and managed the US operating budget, forecasting costs and revenues.
- Part of a team that determined US revenue reporting guidelines for a new product group.
- Implemented an automated data retrieval process for satellite offices, saving $150K annually.
- Promoted from Staff Accountant after only 6 months, the fastest promotion within the department.
Prudex, Inc. New York, NY
Accounts Payable Clerk 8/95 to 11/96
- Managed the accounts payable group for a large clothing manufacturer.
- Negotiated with suppliers and vendors to receive the most favorable payment terms.
- Oversaw and reported on all accounts payable activities to the firm's Assistant Controller.


University of Southern New York Scarborough, NY
BS, Accounting 1995
- Graduated with High Honors, 3.8 / 4.0

What are some online sites I can submit my resume to?

Online Financial Controller Job Search

There are a variety of websites available to assist you during your career seeking process. All the sites mentioned below are involved in the accounting and finance field, some exclusively. Visit them online, submit your resume, and also take time to receive a wealth of career development advice. They are listed in no particular order.

Yahoo Hot Jobs (Management Recruiters, Inc.) (for CFOs in governmental agencies)

How do I conduct job search offline?

Offline Controller Job Search

Once again, there are a variety of avenues to pursue in your Controller job search.

Network, network. Talk with other professionals in your field. Join networking groups. Join professional organizations and associations. Let others know you what you are looking for.

Read newspaper classifieds. Submit resumes to these advertisers.

Cold call a firm you are interested in. Ask to speak to the Human Resources individual. Inquire about openings. Submit your resume and cover letter.

Call a company's Jobline. If a position is open, submit a resume and cover letter.

Volunteer locally in an area of interest. You never know who you may meet. Let others know what you are looking for.

Be on the look out for new opportunities.

Treat your job search as a job until you find employment. Good luck!!

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