Assistant Controller Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Assistant Controller, or Assistant Financial Controller, is responsible for providing high-level support to Corporate Controllers as they manage a company’s accounting and financial activities. Their duties include producing financial summary statements, forecasting a company’s financial health and correcting inaccuracies in a company’s financial records.

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Assistant Controller duties and responsibilities

Assistant Controllers complete many administrative, organization and analysis tasks to monitor the financial health of their business. Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Creating financial statements for clients as well as upper management
  • Preparing monthly, quarterly and yearly financial reports
  • Assisting Financial Managers with budgeting
  • Ensuring all accounting practices are in compliance with legal guidelines and established accounting principles
  • Assisting with billing and tax documentation preparation
  • Working with the company financial team to create internal controls and policies
  • Collaborating with the IT department to maintain financial records and system processes
  • Identifying solutions to discrepancies in financial records
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What does an Assistant Controller do?

Assistant Controllers usually work in accounting departments to facilitate the distribution, management and documentation of a company or department’s financial resources. Assistant Controllers consult with executives and high-level management to identify accounting issues and implement procedures to ensure compliance with financial laws and regulations. They collaborate with Corporate Controllers to create and implement accountability systems and internal controls that prevent errors and inaccurate accounting documents. Assistant Controllers can also oversee data entry and interpret accounting data to create and reconcile monthly, yearly or quarterly budgets.

Assistant Controller skills and qualifications

An Assistant Controller uses industry knowledge, soft skills and technical abilities to effectively support executive management and other colleagues in assessing and improving the organization’s finances. Skills and qualification typically include:

  • Expert knowledge of accounting and financial principles, regulations and best practices
  • Excellent understanding of governmental guidelines, tax laws that affect the company
  • Highly organized with keen attention to detail
  • Proficient with data analysis, critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in basic office and accounting software programs
  • Collaboration and teamwork skills

Assistant Controller salary expectations

An Assistant Controller makes an average of $86,657 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location. 

Assistant Controller education and training requirements

An Assistant Controller must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field. Possession of professional certification, such as a Certified Public Accountant designation, may also be required. Those with a Master of Business Administration or other master’s degree focused in accounting may be qualified for more complex duties.

Assistant Controller experience requirements

As a company leadership position with essential decision-making responsibilities, Assistant Controllers should have years of work experience in accounting, finance or a related field. Candidates typically begin with an internship or cooperative education program in accounting, finance, business administration, human resources or another applicable field. Then, they serve in entry-level roles and advance into more complex positions with leadership opportunities on their way to becoming Assistant Controller or Controller. Work experience in a specific field (such as human resources or tax law) may be required to meet the specific needs of a company.

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Frequently asked questions about Assistant Controllers

 

What makes a good Assistant Controller?

Good Assistant Controllers have an analytical mindset and are highly detail-oriented, able to process large amounts of data and identify patterns based on their analysis. Successful Assistant Controllers are also team-oriented and thrive in a support role where they assist with the organization and general operations of a department while maintaining a working knowledge of the main tasks of their coworkers. Good Assistant Controllers are also excellent at teaching and explaining concepts to others, allowing them to present compliance standards in a way that is easy for others to follow.

 

What are the daily duties of an Assistant Controller?

On an average day, Assistant Controllers check in with the different members of an accounting department to ensure that they are not having any trouble with accurate reporting and compliance. They consult with the Corporate Controller to identify which types of financial reporting at the most important priority. The Assistant Controller will then review company ledgers so they can compile financial statements and finalize accounts accurately according to reported cash flows. They will then compare actual reports to financial projections, looking for discrepancies and correcting them. Based on their findings, they make recommendations to the Corporate Controller for police changes.

 

What is the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Assistant Controller?

Bookkeepers and Assistant Controllers both work closely with a company’s financial documents, with Bookkeepers focusing on clerical and administrative tasks and Assistant Controllers helping with high-level strategy and company-wide compliance. Where Bookkeepers record transactions, Assistant Controllers review and assess them to ensure that they accurately reflect a company’s financial situation, looking at large amounts of data for patterns that they can use to make strategic suggestions. Bookkeeping is often an entry-level role, while Assistant Controllers must have a strong background in accounting to prove their financial literacy.

 

What should you look for in an Assistant Controller resume?

An Assistant Controller’s resume should emphasize their financial experience and certification alongside their ability to produce and manage accurate financial reports. Because Assistant Controllers regularly use accounting software to complete their work, their resume should reflect familiarity with industry-standard computer programs. Their resumes should reflect experience managing projects, providing strategic consultations to others and acting as a liaison between entry-level and leadership positions.

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