A controller is the financial officer, usually at the management level, who is responsible for the company’s accounting activities. The job description for a Controller includes many responsibilities including establishing the procedures for financial expenditures, manage the accuracy of the financial accounts, audit department financial records, determine where money is to be invested, and essentially oversee every aspect of the company’s finances. Controller jobs usually require a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) degree, and are considered upper management with high levels of responsibility and high salaries. The controller usually reports to the Chief Financial Officer of the organization.

Controller Jobs

Controller jobs are a part of the upper management of companies. There may be a chief controller, usually just referred to as the controller. This position will often have a department under him who assists in the duties of keeping the company’s finances healthy. Part of the job description Controller is to control the output of money, so the department will receive requests for funds, and will have to audit the ledgers of each of the areas of the company. When the company or organization is very large, or is a governmental organization, the job description of a Controller actually takes on the name “Comptroller” and is in charge of ensuring healthy finances for a whole city, state, or government agency.

Controller Resume

Some of the skills that are necessary to be successful at a Controller job are financial software proficiency; the ability to read, analyze, understand, and apply complicated language such as what is found in government documents and financial technical literature; effectively communicate with and persuade employees, managers, and directors; and be able to calculate figures and amounts for bookkeeping, analysis, statistics, and payroll. The Controller job description can include responsibility for personnel issues as well, so a quality that is very important is interpersonal skills. The Controller must have discretion when dealing with sensitive data and financial information. When you complete a Controller resume, make sure to outline your training and experience in these areas. Additionally, most Controller jobs require an accounting degree, usually that of Certified Public Accountant. If you have any coursework in that area, or if you have the degree, make sure you mention that as well. List all experience and training that can highlight your skills and personal qualities; but be sure that you don’t embellish your Controller resume too creatively. For a high-level position such as those within the job description for a Controller, employers usually contract with an outside firm to do their hiring, and these firms specialize in verifying resumes and weeding out those who may not be completely honest.

Controller Training

You’ll notice in the Controller job description there is an emphasis on math, bookkeeping, and financial matters. You will need formal training to be proficient at the levels required to obtain a Controller job. Most employers require a Certified Public Accountant degree and those that don’t require it, still prefer it. At the very least they expect a Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college or university, and prefer a Master’s Degree. Once you have the degree, you will need experience on the job to round out your Controller training. Most Controllers will have moved up in the company, or in other companies but in the same areas, before taking on a high level management job such as those with the job description Controller.

 

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