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Become A Comptroller

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Working As A Comptroller

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $85,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Comptroller Do

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.

Duties

Financial managers typically do the following:

  • Prepare financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts
  • Monitor financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met
  • Supervise employees who do financial reporting and budgeting
  • Review company financial reports and seek ways to reduce costs
  • Analyze market trends to maximize profits and find expansion opportunities
  • Help management make financial decisions

The role of the financial manager, particularly in business, is changing in response to technological advances that have substantially reduced the amount of time it takes to produce financial reports. Financial managers’ main responsibility used to be monitoring a company’s finances, but they now do more data analysis and advise senior managers on ways to maximize profits. They often work on teams, acting as business advisors to top executives.

Financial managers also do tasks that are specific to their organization or industry. For example, government financial managers must be experts on government appropriations and budgeting processes, and healthcare financial managers must know about topics in healthcare finance. Moreover, financial managers must be knowledgeable about special tax laws and regulations that affect their industry.

The following are examples of types of financial managers:

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are accountable for the accuracy of a company’s or organization’s financial reporting, especially among publicly traded companies. As head of a company’s entire financial department, they manage the lower level financial managers. They oversee the company’s financial goals, objectives, and budgets.

Controllers direct the preparation of financial reports that summarize and forecast the organization’s financial position, such as income statements, balance sheets, and analyses of future earnings or expenses. Controllers also are in charge of preparing special reports required by governmental agencies that regulate businesses. Often, controllers oversee the accounting, audit, and budget departments of their organization.

Treasurers and finance officers direct their organization’s budgets to meet its financial goals. They oversee the investment of funds and carry out strategies to raise capital (such as issuing stocks or bonds) to support the firm’s expansion. They also develop financial plans for mergers (two companies joining together) and acquisitions (one company buying another).

Credit managers oversee their firm’s credit business. They set credit-rating criteria, determine credit ceilings, and monitor the collections of past-due accounts.

Cash managers monitor and control the flow of cash that comes in and goes out of the company to meet the company’s business and investment needs. For example, they must project cash flow (amounts coming in and going out) to determine whether the company will have a shortage or surplus of cash. 

Risk managers control financial risk by using strategies to limit or offset the probability of a financial loss or a company’s exposure to financial uncertainty. Among the risks they try to limit are those that stem from currency or commodity price changes.

Insurance managers decide how best to limit a company’s losses by obtaining insurance against risks, such as the need to make disability payments for an employee who gets hurt on the job or the costs imposed by a lawsuit against the company.

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How To Become A Comptroller

Financial managers typically have a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of experience in another business or financial occupation, such as an accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.

Education

A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration is often the minimum education needed for financial managers. However, many employers now seek candidates with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, finance, or economics. These academic programs help students develop analytical skills and learn financial analysis methods and software.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Professional certification is not required, but some financial managers still get it to demonstrate a level of competence. The CFA Institute confers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to investment professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of work experience, and pass three exams. The Association for Financial Professionals confers the Certified Treasury Professional credential to those who pass an exam and have a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Financial managers usually have experience in another business or financial occupation. For example, they may have worked as a loan officer, accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst. 

In some cases, companies provide formal management training programs to help prepare highly motivated and skilled financial workers to become financial managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial managers increasingly are assisting executives in making decisions that affect their organization, a task which requires analytical ability.

Communication skills. Excellent communication skills are essential because financial managers must explain and justify complex financial transactions.

Detail oriented. In preparing and analyzing reports such as balance sheets and income statements, financial managers must be precise and attentive to their work in order to avoid errors.

Math skills. Financial managers must be skilled in math, including algebra. An understanding of international finance and complex financial documents also is important.

Organizational skills. Financial managers deal with a range of information and documents and so they must stay organized to do their jobs effectively.

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Comptroller Jobs

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Controller 5.3 years
Accounting Manager 4.4 years
Control Accountant 4.2 years
Comptroller 4.0 years
Finance Controller 3.8 years
Top Careers Before Comptroller
Accountant 12.9%
Controller 8.2%
Bookkeeper 5.6%
Manager 3.0%
Auditor 2.8%
Top Careers After Comptroller
Controller 11.4%
Accountant 9.4%
Bookkeeper 5.0%
Owner 4.9%
Consultant 4.9%
Manager 3.2%
President 2.5%

Do you work as a Comptroller?

Comptroller Demographics

Gender

Female

47.0%

Male

42.9%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.1%

Hispanic or Latino

19.0%

Black or African American

13.0%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.6%

French

7.0%

Italian

4.2%

Portuguese

3.5%

Chinese

3.5%

Russian

2.8%

Carrier

2.8%

German

2.1%

Hindi

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Turkish

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Wolof

0.7%

Norwegian

0.7%

Bengali

0.7%

Albanian

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Malayalam

0.7%
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Comptroller Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.7%

Strayer University

9.0%

University of Maryland - University College

6.9%

Webster University

4.9%

Community College of the Air Force

4.1%

Florida International University

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus

3.9%

Troy University

3.6%

Ashford University

3.3%

Montgomery College

3.3%

Florida State University

3.3%

Liberty University

3.3%

Naval Postgraduate School

3.3%

University of North Texas

3.1%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

3.1%

Auburn University

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%

Anne Arundel Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Accounting

38.4%

Business

31.3%

Finance

8.7%

Management

3.4%

Psychology

1.6%

Computer Science

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Economics

1.4%

Political Science

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.2%

Marketing

1.2%

Health Care Administration

1.1%

Law

1.0%

English

0.9%

Information Technology

0.9%

Public Administration

0.8%

Computer Information Systems

0.8%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.8%

Liberal Arts

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Masters

25.7%

Other

16.8%

Associate

8.1%

Certificate

2.8%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$85,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$53,000
Min 10%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$134,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Arlington County
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.3 years
How much does a Comptroller make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Comptroller in the United States is $85,260 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $134,000.

Real Comptroller Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Comptroller Blue Bird Corporation Fort Valley, GA Jan 11, 2008 $165,000
Comptroller Drake USA Inc. Miami, FL Jan 15, 2016 $150,000
Comptroller Children's Learning Academy Inc. Apopka, FL Nov 01, 2010 $130,250
Comptroller Gencom Asset Management Company, L.P. Miami, FL Oct 01, 2011 $120,000
Comptroller Phoenix Packaging LLC Hollywood, FL Feb 24, 2010 $120,000
Assistant Comptroller L & K Partners, Inc. New York, NY Apr 13, 2010 $120,000
Comptroller Sadaco International LLC Miami, FL Mar 11, 2016 $111,530
Comptroller Evelyn Hill Inc. New York, NY Aug 27, 2015 $107,245
Comptroller PC Makers Corp. Naples, FL May 19, 2015 $105,331
Comptroller Artisan Manufacturing Corp Newark, NJ Sep 15, 2016 $100,176
Comptroller Artisan Manufacturing Corp Newark, NJ Sep 15, 2013 $100,176
Comptroller EMZA USA LLC Sugar Land, TX Sep 10, 2014 $100,000
Comptroller Global Accents, Inc. Torrance, CA Jun 18, 2010 $99,341
Assistant Comptroller The Bank of Nova Scotia Houston, TX Jul 09, 2016 $85,407
Comptroller Pentacles Management Inc. Coral Gables, FL Mar 19, 2015 $85,259
Comptroller Ampak Group, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $84,273
Comptroller Arquigreen Corp Miami, FL Feb 06, 2015 $83,554
Comptroller Composite Advanced Technologies CNG LLC Houston, TX Sep 01, 2015 $82,867
Assistant Comptroller The Bank of Nova Scotia Houston, TX Oct 26, 2015 $78,500
Comptroller PSS International Trading Inc. Miami, FL Jan 26, 2015 $78,499
Comptroller Premium Medical Group, Inc. Miami, FL Jul 15, 2010 $70,000
Comptroller Osaka Air Company Corp Miami, FL Apr 20, 2011 $69,500
Comptroller P.M.E. Inc. Miami, FL Jun 24, 2011 $69,500
Comptroller AGRI Commodity Trade LLC Weston, FL Oct 01, 2010 $68,000
Comptroller Dart Casting, Inc. Alsip, IL May 11, 2015 $67,995
Comptroller America-CV Network LLC. Miami Gardens, FL Jan 05, 2011 $67,848
Comptroller Anacon Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 04, 2007 $65,782
Comptroller Four Oaks Tower, Ltd. San Antonio, TX May 16, 2010 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Comptroller

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Payroll
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed financial management functions including development of monthly or quarterly financial statements, financial position, cash flow and budgets.
  • Maintain payroll records, accounts payable and receivable, oversee all purchases prior to placement to maintain quality and price control.
  • Supervised accounting staff to ensure compliance with established procedures and delivered guidance through complex challenges as needed.
  • Directed the preparation of audit schedules and monitor federal and operational audits with external auditors.
  • Reported directly to ownership and integrated directly with outside accounting firm in preparation of filing year-end corporation income tax returns.

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Top 10 Best States for Comptrollers

  1. New York
  2. Connecticut
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Alaska
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Texas
  7. New Jersey
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Illinois
  10. Virginia
  • (423 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (524 jobs)
  • (168 jobs)
  • (247 jobs)
  • (365 jobs)
  • (200 jobs)

Top Comptroller Employers

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Jobs From Top Comptroller Employers

Comptroller Videos

Controller/Comptroller, Career Video from drkit.org

Incompetent Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt is as bad as the Conaways

Elizabeth Warren Expresses Outrage Over Jamie Dimon's Salary at JP Morgan Chase

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