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Become A Controller/Finance Manager

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Working As A Controller/Finance Manager

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $109,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Controller/Finance Manager 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 Controller/Finance Manager

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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Controller/Finance Manager Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Controller 5.3 years
Finance Director 4.0 years
Group Controller 3.9 years
Finance Controller 3.8 years
Finance Leader 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Controller/Finance Manager
Controller 11.7%
Accountant 5.8%
Manager 2.0%
Top Careers After Controller/Finance Manager
Controller 16.4%
Consultant 6.8%
Accountant 3.7%

Do you work as a Controller/Finance Manager?

Controller/Finance Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

59.6%

Female

30.7%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

9.7%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.7%

French

10.0%

Mandarin

8.6%

Portuguese

7.1%

German

5.7%

Italian

5.7%

Chinese

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Japanese

2.9%

Turkish

1.4%

Romanian

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Ilocano

1.4%

Hindi

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Afrikaans

1.4%
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Controller/Finance Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.4%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

7.9%

DePaul University

6.9%

Northern Illinois University

5.3%

Northeastern University

5.3%

New York University

4.8%

Tulane University

4.2%

George Washington University

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Villanova University

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

University of Florida

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Nova Southeastern University

3.7%

Texas A&M University

3.7%

Florida International University

3.7%

University of Notre Dame

3.7%

Boston College

3.2%

Pace University - New York

3.2%
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Majors

Accounting

39.2%

Business

28.3%

Finance

19.6%

Management

3.3%

Economics

1.7%

International Business

1.0%

Marketing

0.7%

Education

0.7%

Business Economics

0.6%

Taxation

0.6%

Computer Information Systems

0.5%

Management Information Systems

0.5%

Human Resources Management

0.5%

Industrial Engineering

0.5%

Real Estate

0.5%

Business/Commerce

0.4%

Law

0.4%

Small Business Management

0.4%

Political Science

0.3%

Mathematics

0.3%
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Degrees

Masters

46.0%

Bachelors

42.4%

Other

7.7%

Certificate

1.4%

Associate

1.4%

Diploma

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$109,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$71,000
Min 10%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$109,000
Median 50%
$169,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Hoffman Enclosures
Highest Paying City
Redmond, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Controller/Finance Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Controller/Finance Manager in the United States is $109,874 per year or $53 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $71,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $169,000.

Real Controller/Finance Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Financial Managers, Treasurers, Controllers Oz Management New York, NY Oct 30, 2009 $300,000
Head of Financial Control, Emea Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited New York, NY Sep 22, 2016 $232,500
Financial Manager-Controller Stout & Burg Electric Inc. Tustin, CA Sep 18, 2015 $141,648
Financial Manager-Controller Stout & Burg Electric DBA SBE Contracting Inc. Irvine, CA Dec 21, 2016 $141,648
Control Manager, Finance RBC Capital Markets, LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 19, 2016 $140,000 -
$160,000
Controller/Financial Manager Juno Investments LLC New York, NY May 16, 2011 $135,000
Manager, MHC Contracting and Financial Controls Allergan Sales, LLC Irvine, CA Sep 19, 2014 $132,096
Finance Manager, G&A Controller Nimble Storage, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 06, 2015 $130,000 -
$150,000
Finance Manager, G&A Controller Nimble Storage, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 27, 2015 $130,000 -
$150,000
Finance Manager, Marketing Controller Nimble Storage, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 17, 2015 $130,000 -
$150,000
Financial Managers-Controllers Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 08, 2009 $130,000
Controller/Finance Manager Accugear, Inc. Fort Wayne, IN Mar 17, 2016 $118,450
Finance Manager, Global Alliance Controller Genentech South San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2015 $113,571
Finance Manager, Global Alliance Controller Genentech South San Francisco, CA Mar 12, 2015 $113,571
Finance Manager, Global Alliance Controller Genentech South San Francisco, CA Dec 29, 2015 $113,571
Finance Manager, Business Controls Function Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Jan 13, 2014 $113,000
Finance Manager, Business Controls Function Bristol Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Apr 15, 2015 $113,000
Financial Controller Manager Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. McLean, VA Oct 01, 2012 $110,700 -
$138,900
Controller/Financial Manager OPMI Business School, Inc. New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $108,482
Financial Controller Manager Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. McLean, VA Feb 11, 2013 $102,000 -
$135,100
Financial Manager, Treasurer, Controllers & Chief FIN. Officers BDO Seidman, LLP Los Angeles, CA Oct 31, 2008 $100,000
Financial Reporting Controls Manager The Clorox Company Oakland, CA Oct 14, 2009 $100,000
Financial Manager, Controller Nexsun Corp Los Angeles, CA Mar 03, 2010 $99,320
Manager Financial Controlling BE (Backend) Infineon Technologies North America Corp. Morgan Hill, CA Apr 15, 2013 $97,735

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Top Skills for A Controller/Finance Manager

  1. Financial Statements
  2. External Auditors
  3. Payroll
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage company operations and prepare monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements for headquarters and external users.
  • Interact with external auditors and regulators regarding technical accounting issues, questions and financial statement audits/examinations.
  • Supervised the production of 65,000 payrolls, 4.9 million pay slips, and 800,000 year-end statements for 7,000 clients.
  • Evaluate, develop and implement internal control safeguarding company assets.
  • Documented the internal controls over financial reporting, consolidations and income tax reporting and return preparation using activity level flowcharts.

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Top 10 Best States for Controller/Finance Managers

  1. Delaware
  2. New York
  3. New Jersey
  4. Connecticut
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Colorado
  7. North Carolina
  8. California
  9. Virginia
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (121 jobs)
  • (1,887 jobs)
  • (947 jobs)
  • (507 jobs)
  • (354 jobs)
  • (698 jobs)
  • (1,008 jobs)
  • (4,969 jobs)
  • (1,022 jobs)
  • (1,009 jobs)

Top Controller/Finance Manager Employers

Jobs From Top Controller/Finance Manager Employers

Controller/Finance Manager Videos

Finance: What Managers Need to Know

A Day in the Life of a Financial Controller at ANZ

A Day in the Life of a Finance Manager at eBay

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