What does a Controller do?

Controllers are the number translators at companies and ensure that every aspect of a company's finances are properly analyzed, documented, and interpreted. They manage the company’s accounting department and are responsible for the monitoring and upkeep of its financial health. They create reports, direct investment activities, and develop long-term financial plans and goals for the organization.

Controllers typically lead a company’s entire accounting department and supervise the accountants, payroll tax, and financial managers. They ensure the company’s books are accurate and monitor money influx and out flux through expenses and invoices, which they strive to pay and collect in a timely and efficient manner. They provide detailed financial reports and analysis to the company's chief executives and advise them on finances and potential policies or procedures that need implementation. Controllers can create budgets, manage executive payrolls, and prepare financial statements, and they usually need at least a bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, accounting, or related fields.

What responsibilities are common for Controller jobs?
  • Assist in the preparation and review of financial reports.
  • Run monthly audit reports, analyze data and report findings to the CM team.
  • Manage in the annual audit and preparation of necessary forms and documents.
  • Develop an assortment of policies, technical accounting analysis, and procedures.
  • Ensure the timely reporting of all monthly financial information.
  • Assist with the design and implementation of account reconciliations.
  • Prepare financial analysis for contract negotiations and product investment decisions.
  • Improve processes and internal controls in all areas managed.
  • Provide on call technical accounting guidance to the sectors.
  • Provide for a system of management cost reports.
  • Responsible for the timely completion of external financial statements under US GAAP.
  • Manage debt facilities and review compliance reporting as applicable.
  • Safety diligence by all results in a safe work environment for all.
  • Perform and complete month-end closing process for all company entities.
  • Financial report generation on a monthly and annual basis.
  • Responsible for planning functions including budget and forecasting.
  • Lead the preparation and management of working capital analysis.
  • Oversee and manage month and year-end financial reporting close processes.
  • Prepare quarterly and monthly sales and use tax returns.
  • Ensure that correct payments are posted to patient accounts.
  • Recommend policies and procedures relating to financial and business practices of the company.
  • Create and present financial and tax strategy recommendations to upper management.
  • Analyze and interpret balance sheet and income statement metrics and trends.
What are the typical qualifications for Controller jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in accounting, business, or business administration.
  • Experience with CMA, R Language, SOX, and SAP User.
  • A problem solver with strict attention to detail.
  • Uses leadership skills to guide and strives for continuous improvement.
  • Solid critical thinking and judgment for decision making.
  • Fluent in budget planning, balance sheets, and month end close practices.
  • Fluent in keeping and updating a general ledger.
  • Collaboration with other team members and departments.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Controller make?

Controller Career Path

Learn how to become a Controller, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Controller
$119,260/yr
L3
L4
Lead Controller
$112,444/yr
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
5%
2 - 4
38%
5 - 7
33%
8+
24%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Controller Insights

Read what Controller professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
GracoGraco
Controller
Jul 6, 2021

“If you want to work a 40 hour job and have great benefits you can do this at Graco.”

SoleraSolera
Controller
Jan 5, 2021

“Supervisor was very good to work with and was able to have some balance between work and life.”

Garden of the Gods Resort and ClubGarden of the Gods Resort and Club
Assistant Controller
Jul 9, 2020

“Lots of opportunities to work in different areas to gain experience and grow in your career.”

VFM DesignVFM Design
Financial Controller
Feb 9, 2021

“Felxibility and close to home”

SchletterSchletter
Controller
Aug 20, 2021

“The industry is growing and career stability is solid”

Meinhardt SingaporeMeinhardt Singapore
Document Controller
Jan 31, 2022

“Working in a prestigious company is a very good experience but if your ar not receiving your salary on time is indisposed to work.”

CencosudCencosud
Controller
Feb 11, 2022

“Everyone I've worked with was really nice and caring.”

FujitsuFujitsu
Service Process Controller
Feb 18, 2022

“Pay is not the best and raises are few and far between.”

See More

Controller Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of controllers

Controllers are financial executives who keep their companies solvent. Businesses rely on controllers to draft budgets, analyze the company's financial trajectory, manage payroll and major expenses, and lead the accounting department during the typical day of a controller. Controllers answer to the company's CFO and have a great deal of responsibility.

The main advantage of being a controller is that it is a profitable, stable career choice. It's an office job that involves a lot of mathematical calculations and spreadsheet reviews which is great for people with strong analytical skills. As a controller, you may have an opportunity to pursue a promotion to positions such as a CFO or CEO.

Working as a controller can be a difficult job during harsh economic circumstances or when the company faces unforeseen financial events. The controller is the point of communication between the financial team and the top management and carries a lot of responsibility. Working under pressure isn't for everyone, but diligent employees with good accounting skills can handle the job well.

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