Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

How to Become a Controller

Career News August 23, 2013

A controller is a major financial position in the workplace, this one involving the analysis and interpretation of financial data. Not only do you understand and explain the material, but you also distribute it, serving all interested parties with pertinent information. This position also contributes to company planning, accounting and budgeting. You’re not only reporting to top level executives, but also to people who don’t think in numbers—a sort of number translator who can get the point across.

What the Job Entails

Controllers are based in the accounting and financial departments of large corporate clients and are often among the most trusted authorities, who will help with decision making. Responsibility is key here, as the controller oversees the work of many, while also reporting to various departments.

You will have to think in a flexible manner, meaning you can be timely when needed, or very accurate, or project “big picture” views, or short-term consequences. In terms of working skills, your greatest assets will be technical and analytical abilities, as well as quick-thinking, critical thinking and people skills, since you will have a major part in influencing company decisions. Managerial skills are also extremely important, as is technical ability. In fact, some students who progress to the point of controller qualification have difficulty keeping up with the high demands for both technical understanding and communicative abilities. The ability to be persuasive and to meet people at their level when discussing technical information is another nuance of the business.

Education is where You Start

Controllers start their career with CPA certification, as well as continuing education, since much of the work is intrinsically linked with accounting principles. Reaching out for Certified Management Accountant training is also a step in the right direction, since this is where you can learn economics, information technology, and the likes. Experts also suggest that joining a philanthropic organization might be a plus on your resume, as this will give you much needed experience in communication.

When you’re starting out at the bottom, a solid education in finance and accounting is required, and this means a bachelor’s degree. However, practically all students who want to advance will go in for their master’s degree or perhaps an MBA. It is actually advised to this as early as possible, so that pursuing more education doesn’t affect your climb of the ladder—which can be fairly quick, if you have the skills.

In addition, you could also take preparation jobs such as accounting or auditing and work as an assistant. This strengthens your credentials while ensuring you have one-on-one mentoring opportunities. Another tip often repeated is to build connections early on; for example, getting to know the CPA who reviews your company and asking him or her about available positions. Never be too modest, just communicative and honest about your career aims. This will ensure that people remember your name and start to associate you with opening positions when they become available. This is an exciting career path to choose and one with tremendous responsibility and cloud, if you have the time to commit to a college education.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • See why Keiser graduates hundreds of successful business men and women every year
  • Regionally accredited private career university with degrees on campus or online
  • Ranked #42 in 2018 Best Value Schools in U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranked as a top school in the nation by the Military Times Best for Vets Colleges
  • Business degrees taught in multiple languages including Spanish and Mandarin
4 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) 100% online
  • Learn business and leadership skills through case studies and intensive projects, culminating in a capstone course
  • Program designed to teach students key concepts in accounting, financial services, and marketing
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Everglades University
  • Earn a Degree in Renewable Energy, Online or On-Campus. Get Info!
  • Looking for an Online Business Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • See why Keiser graduates hundreds of successful business men and women every year
  • Regionally accredited private career university with degrees on campus or online
  • Ranked #42 in 2018 Best Value Schools in U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranked as a top school in the nation by the Military Times Best for Vets Colleges
  • Business degrees taught in multiple languages including Spanish and Mandarin
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Everglades University
  • Earn a Degree in Renewable Energy, Online or On-Campus. Get Info!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!