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How to Become a Controller Assistant

Career News May 27, 2014

An assistant controller works under a financial controller to prepare the financial statements for the organization. Compliance with best practices, regulations, and business policy is required, and the assistant controller is versed in those areas. In addition to preparing financial reports for the business, he or she also fills forms out for regulatory offices.

An assistant controller may work in conjunction with a government representative. The assistant controller monitors cash flow, hires and train staff, and performs other duties as required.

Requirements to be an Assistant Controller

The person is expected to have a Bachelors degree and also be a Certified Public accountant to be considered for this position, in most cases. The candidate will have to be well versed in computer usage including accounting software such as Blackbaud, Oracle, or ADP General Ledger. In addition, good personal math skills and attention to detail are essential for success in this career.

An assistant controller will be responsible for supervising A/R, A/P, P/R personnel and all transactions. He or she will be responsible for overseeing accounting procedures, internal controls (implementing, monitoring, enhancing), and database management, as well as randomly auditing work flow to assure that all accounting transactions are appropriately authorized. The person will substantiate and justify expenditures and expense reports while supervising and/or preparing monthly journal entries, as well as other standard functions. Training staff may be an aspect of the position, as well.

Path to the Assistant Controllers Position

Achieving a Bachelor’s in Accounting is the first step. Securing an internship while in school is a great addition to a resume, and a possible introduction to a company that may choose to hire you. Seeking out such courses as higher math, critical thinking and communications can also be helpful. Naturally, work experience and continuing education are required, but pursuing a C.P.A. is a logical course.

Regulation and complexity will certainly not lessen in the future. As that complexity and control rises, there will be more segregation of duties with more specialization likely to be required. This opens up more advancement possibilities. It is a field that is always essential to a business and the current job market should expand significantly over the next decade.

Expected Salary

The salary range seems to be all over map as far as salaries receive; about $50,000 per year in a small city to $177,000 with a major business, according to some sources such as Indeed.com. The most interesting statistics was in Alaska, working for a drilling firm, which paid an average of $80,000 per year. There does seem to be a range, so arming yourself with those facts and negotiating may improve your income.

The position of financial controller is knowledge intensive. There is always a push to gain more education, certifications, and new skills. It is an important work that requires attention to detail and to implement that knowledge and skill. If that sounds interesting to you, there are many schools where you can attain the needed degrees or training, either at school or online.

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  • 42-credit MS in Information Management which can be completed in as little as 21 months
  • 30-credit MS in Information Management for Executives, which requires students to have six or more full-time professional experience in the information management field. This track can be completed in as little as 15 months.
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