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A controller is a financial professional who is primarily responsible for the accounting operations of a particular firm. Also known as financial controllers, they typically work under the supervision of the finance director, preparing reports and documenting financial accounts. Most work in business offices or financial corporations, although they may work for chain hotels, sports clubs, or even leisure and entertainment centers.
Controllers and comptrollers perform similar functions, but the main difference is that controllers work for private or nonprofit organizations while comptrollers work for government organizations. Controllers are also more focused on the facts and figures related to the financial aspects of production or services provision, typically after the completion of the project. Comptrollers, on the other hand, focus on the budget and keeping within its limits throughout the project duration.
Most controller positions require candidates to have a finance or an accounting degree such as a bachelor's degree in business and finance or applied accounting. Math courses may also be required depending on the educational institution where you enroll.
Some controllers work their way up from an account position, learning the necessary skills to become a controller while working. Some employers even accept students who are currently enrolled in an accounting course and allow them to work toward becoming a controller.