Controller Job Description (Salary, Duties, Skills, Certification & More)

Business organizations across the world operate and conduct businesses in order to earn huge profits, which is not possible without effective management of cash and capital. The controller is the term that is most widely used in the world of finance, and the designation is often known as Chief Financial Officer or the Finance Manager. It is a highly respectable position that not only earns authority and command but also enjoys lucrative salaries and benefits. This article aims to cover everything that you want to know about this esteemed designation.

Logic Behind The Term ‘Controller’

Every country establishes a public agency whose sole motive is to audit the accounts of the public business organizations operating within the country. These agencies are often managed by the government of a country and are known as guardians of public purses. These are usually assigned the name ‘comptroller’. The term ‘controller’ finds its roots and relevance from this term.

Job Profile – Duties and Responsibilities

There is no doubt that the controller is a top-level position in a business organization, who is often the director or the head of the finance department or wing. The role of a controller is challenging as well as assumes a lot of responsibilities as finance is the core and the essence of any business organization. A controller is usually in charge of all the accounting as well as financial activities that an organization undertakes and has to execute the following duties and responsibilities:

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In the Field Of Bookkeeping

A controller oversees and manages the entire bookkeeping process followed by a business organization. In this field a controller has to perform the following duties:

  • Ensure that the books of accounts have been followed as per the applicable laws in the country. For Example, US GAAP in USA, IND-AS in India, UK GAAP in United Kingdom, etc.
  • Ensure that the accounts of the organization are error free and there are no errors of principle, transmission or ommission.
  • Make sure that the books of accounts of the organization are comparable and are prepared in accordance with consistent as well as regularly followed accounting techniques.

In the Field Of Auditing

The audit is a necessary function of any business organization. A controller is responsible to manage the entire auditing process happening within the organization and has to perform the following duties:

  • Ensure that the auditors of the organization are being provided with sufficient material which would enable them to frame their opinions.
  • Make sure that the auditors have access to all the requisite accounts and documents pertaining to the business organizations.
  • Ensure that the auditors are able to complete their audits satisfactorily.

In the Field Of Tax Management

Every business organization operating across the world is required to pay taxes in their areas of operations. A controller is responsible to manage the entire tax department of an organization and has to perform the following duties:

  • Ensure that the organization is calculating as well paying all its statutory liabilities well within the stipulated time so as to avoid all sorts of penalties and fines.
  • Make sure that any pending litigation in relation to various taxes is duly attended by the solicitors of the organization and they are given due access to the books of accounts of the organization.
  • Ensure that the organization is following the applicable law of the land and is paying its due share of taxes timely.
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In the Field Of Budgeting

Enterprises that undertake a variety of business projects are required to effectively prepare budgets so as to allocate financial resources towards the accomplishment of those projects. A controller is required to efficiently allocate the capital towards these projects and has to perform the following duties:

  • Prepare the budgets of the organization and allocate the financial resources towards the projects an organization wishes to undertake and execute.
  • Make sure that the budgetary allocation is optimal and would not affect the normal functioning of the bsuiness operations.
  • Ensure that the budgets do not lay any additional pressure upon the finances of the organization so that its structure is not weakened.

Skills Required To Be A Controller

A controller is a respectable position and usually assumes a lot of responsibilities. In order to become a successful and effective controller, a person must have these skills and duties:

Name of the skillReasons
LeadershipA controller is usually the finance head of a business organization and has to manage several teams of bookkeepers, tax planners, and auditors. Hence, it is necessary for a controller to possess effective leadership skills.
CommunicationA controller is required to possess impressive and fluent communication skills as he or she is not only required to communicate with its juniors and subordinates but also required to give presentations and speeches to its seniors.
AnalyticalThe role of a controller revolves around finance, that is money, which is most prone to fraud, cheatings, and deception. Hence, a controller must possess impressive analytical skills so as to ensure that audits, accounts, and taxation procedures are conducted as per the applicable laws and regulations.
MathematicalFinance revolves around numbers and numbers are governed by mathematics. A controller is usually required to deal with and manage big-ticket transactions as well as bulky books of accounts that involve a lot of numbers and mathematical calculations. Hence, it is almost inevitable for a controller to have superior mathematical skills.

Salary Offered

A controller is usually one of the highest positions of a business organization and is quite rare that a person is appointed directly at such a high designation. Usually, candidates are appointed as junior officers, and with experience, they tend to rise and obtain this position. Once a person acquires and works at such an esteemed designation, he or she must be assured of getting a very high salary as well as perquisites and incentives.

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Certifications and Educational Qualifications

The basic requirement of becoming a controller is a bachelor’s degree in finance. However, there are innumerable certifications and professional courses that a person undertakes after completion of the bachelor’s degree, such as:

Name of the courseDuration
Certified Professional Accountant (CPA)4 years
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualifications2 years
Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)1.5 to 4 years
Financial Modelling6 months
Financial Risk Manager (FRM)1.5 to 2 years
Certified Public Accountant7 to 12 months

References

  1. http://sutlib2.sut.ac.th/sut_contents/H79841.pdf
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/0008-4085.00047