The controller position is accountable for the accounting operations of the company, to include the production of periodic financial reports, maintenance of an adequate system of accounting records, and a comprehensive set of controls and budgets designed to mitigate risk, enhance the accuracy of the company's reported financial results, and ensure that reported results comply with generally accepted accounting principles or international financial reporting standards. The scope of the controller position is much larger in a small business, where the position is also responsible for cash management and risk management. In a larger company, these added responsibilities are shifted to a treasurer and chief financial officer, respectively. A variation on the controller title is the comptroller, which generally implies a more senior position, and which is more commonly found in government and non-profit entities.
The controller candidate should have a Bachelor's degree in accounting or business administration, or equivalent business experience and 10+ years of progressively responsible experience for a major company or division of a large corporation. Preference will be given to candidates with the Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designations.
Employment of financial managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, growth will vary by industry. Overall growth of employment for financial managers will be limited by slower expected growth in depository credit intermediation. This industry includes commercial banking and savings institutions, and employs a large percentage of these managers. From 2012 to 2022, employment of financial managers is projected to grow 5 percent in the depository credit intermediation industry.
The median annual wage for financial managers was $109,740 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,630, and the top 10 percent earned more than $187,200.