Controllers can have a wide variety of accounting tasks, but their main focus is directed toward managing the company’s exposure to financial risk and protecting the company’s assets. A controller is often responsible for overseeing the accounting department of a firm, and is tasked with maintaining accounting records and budgets, as well as producing periodical reports that comply with generally accepted accounting principles.
Skill Sets: Controllers must have an extensive knowledge of accounting principles, finance, and business organization. Since they are responsible for the financial health of an organization, controllers should have strong analytical skills.
Education: Generally, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business administration with a proven, progressive track record is a minimum requirement. Typically, controllers hold at least a master’s degree in business administration or accounting. Courses in advanced mathematics and statistical analysis are helpful. CPA or CMA designations are often preferred as well.
Career Path: Controllers are at the top of the accounting field. Working as an accountant or auditor for a corporation, bank, or government entity with a work history showing progressively responsible duties is necessary. Many corporations require a master’s degree and at least 10 years of relevant experience.