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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Controllership

Majors Overview June 6, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in controllership and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Controllership

Controllership is a specialized process of accounting that facilitates the analysis and development of accurate financial information by finance professionals. Few schools, if any, offer specialized degree programs to suit the needs of aspiring financial controllers. Master’s degree programs in accounting are available at most schools whereby students are trained to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Controllership courses are available in many accounting programs. The Master of Science (M.S.) in Accounting program with a concentration in controllership would be the most suited for students who want to learn about that aspect of the field.

Accounting master’s programs teach students about managing revenue streams and following emerging financial trends. They are also taught quantitative methods in decision-making and advanced accounting theory. Gaining of real-world experience at an accounting or business firm is also facilitated. Graduates can use the program to train for the national CPA exam.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a baccalaureate degree in finance, accounting, business, or a related field. Applicants to most schools are not required to be CPAs for admittance.


Program coursework incorporates courses relating to both introductory controllership methods and advanced accounting theory. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Advanced auditing
•Forensic accounting
•Financial accounting
•Research methods
•Quantitative methods
•Information systems for decision-making
•Advanced accounting theory
•Managerial accounting
•Commercial law

Career Choices

In 2010, about 527,100 controllers, among other financial management specialists, were employed in the United States. Financial and insurance companies account for 29% of employees and government agencies account for 8% of those employed (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth rate of 9% has been predicted for financial managers and controllers. In May 2012, financial managers brought in an average annual wage of $109,740 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continuing education may choose to become CPAs, whereby they may legally gain positions as controllers and accountants for corporations and businesses. The necessary licensure can be obtained by prospective CPAs through application to their state’s board of accountancy. Passage of a national exam and college graduation are requirements in order to obtain the CPA standing.

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