Comptroller Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Comptroller, or Financial Controller, is responsible for ensuring an organization remains in good financial standing. Their duties include building financial strategies for a company, creating annual and quarterly budgets and overseeing employees’ payroll processes.

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Comptroller Duties and Responsibilities

A Comptroller performs a number of important duties within a company. Their overall responsibility is the smooth running of the business from a financial perspective. This means making sure there are strategies and controls in place to keep the business in good fiscal health, as well as making sure each employee involved in accounting performs to those standards. The Comptroller is also responsible for conducting internal control audits to be sure the business is in compliance with legal and ethical business practices. Other responsibilities include:

  • Managing the company’s financial transactions
  • Developing plans for the company’s financial growth
  • Preparing the company’s financial reports
  • Taking part in the budgeting process
  • Managing the company’s accounting employees
  • Providing financial training to employees when needed
  • Evaluating and managing financial risk
  • Preparing income statements

Comptroller Job Description Examples:



Job Title: Controller Contract Length: 12 Reports To: Board Supervises: Primary Role: Reporting to the board, the Controller is responsible for overseeing all accounting and reporting activities for TMSA and QCSS schools. The Controller works closely with the Senior Accounting Manager (SAM) and the leadership team and is involved in presentations to the board, finance committee, and lenders. He/she is also responsible for implementing /integrating policies, identifying risks, and developing strategies to prevent harmful activities or practices. Qualifications: Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, Master’s degree preferred Active CPA License is required Three years of experience in finance or accounting field is required, supervisory experience is preferred Non-Profit Accounting and NC Public Schools accounting experience is preferred Skills and Experience Strong knowledge of accounting principles and practices as demonstrated by holding an active CPA license. Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as well as Governmental Accounting Standards (GAS) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announcements, Experience in nonprofit audit best practices and state and federal law regarding nonprofit operations, Knowledge of financial compliance and risk management includes legal and regulative requirements for nonprofit organizations. Communication skills to present accounting and financial needs. Exceptional organization, time management, and follow-up skills; ability to prioritize and demonstrate a proper sense of urgency History of successfully implementing/integrating systems, policies, and protocols Experience with identifying risks and developing strategies to prevent harmful activities or practices Duties and Responsibilities: Compatible with the organizational priorities, develop, analyze, and make recommendations relating to accounting and financial systems to ensure effective and productive financial operations Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting practices, assuring compliance with appropriate GAAP and/or GASB standards and regulatory requirements Oversee the accounting department to assure proper maintenance of all accounting systems and functions to ensure accuracy of data and timely monthly and year-end reporting Engage in an organization-wide initiative to update all systems supporting all aspects of uncommon operations Examine financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner, clearly communicate monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements; Oversee all program and grants accounting; ensure that expenditures are consistently aligned with grant and program budgets throughout the grant/fund period Oversee the payroll function and related systems, complete quarterly and annual IRS payroll forms. Oversee the complete coordination of all the audits and the gathering of required audit information, IRS Form 990 preparations, and filing activity Maintain continuous lines of communication and keep the SAM informed of all accounting issues. Leverage the current accounting team members, help to clarify roles and responsibilities, and develop and implement training programs to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals. Together with the accounting team, strive to obtain clean audits for all entities for each fiscal year. Implement/integrate systems, policies, and protocols Identify risks and develop strategies to prevent harmful activities or practices. Other duties, as assigned, by


We are looking for a detail-oriented, efficient and organized professional with extensive experience in accounting systems that will: * Primarily responsible for the full cycle accounting, ensuring the proper accounting functions of the day to day. * Prepare journal entries on a monthly basis * Reconcile general ledger accounts on a monthly basis, including various intercompany accounts * Assist with financial audits and Government tax returns as needed. * Preparing compliance filings: Sales tax returns, payroll returns, and others. * Coordinating and preparing internal and external financial statements * Experience working with intercompany transactions and multiple corporations. * Many various tasks as assigned by management Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: * Excellent analytical skills and ability to resolve complex problems * Minimum of 5 years bookkeeping experience. * Supervisor/Management Experience: 3+ years * Effective verbal and written communications skills, both in English and Spanish. * Extremely organized with the ability to multi-task and follow directions. * Computer savvy with a proven ability to use Excel, Word, Outlook and the ability to learn other software used in the office. * Solid foundation of accounting principles. * Proven knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting principles, practices, standards, laws and regulations * CPA certification a plus Education: * Bachelor's Accounting Job Type: Full-time Benefits: * 401(k) * 401(k) matching * Dental insurance * Health insurance * Life insurance Schedule: * Monday to Friday Education: * Bachelor's (Preferred) Experience: * Accounting: 1 year (Preferred) * GAAP: 1 year (Preferred) * CPA (Preferred) Work Location: * One location Work Remotely: * No


Cardinal Hayes Home is a non-profit agency serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are seeking an experienced Comptroller to join our compassionate, dedicated, and growing team in Millbrook, NY. As the Comptroller, you will be responsible for all financial aspects of two Corporations (Cardinal Hayes Home and Hayes Day School), with a combined annual budget of approximately $26 million. This is a full-time position, generally 35 hours/week, from 9am to 5pm. You will earn a yearly salary of $75,000 - $85,000, depending on experience. Benefits: In addition to a rewarding and meaningful career, employee benefits include: Affordable & comprehensive health, vision, and dental insurance 403(b) retirement plan Life and disability insurance Paid Time Off (PTO) Employee Assistance Program (EAP) What you’ll do as the Comptroller: Maintain General Ledger for two Corporations Ensure timely monthly and annual close for financial reporting Ensure compliance with OPWDD and SED regulations Prepare schedules for annual audits and consolidated financial reports Maintain fixed schedules Supervise fiscal staff including AP, AR, and Payroll Review accounting records for accuracy, including accruals Train staff as needed regarding payroll, fiscal reports, and fiscal policies Complete special projects as assigned Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Accounting A minimum of 5 years of progressive experience with financial statements, accounting software, AP/AR, and General Ledger Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel Accounting experience in a non-profit organization is desired Knowledge of Fund-EZ accounting software is a plus Join us in transforming lives and helping individuals achieve their greatest potential in a caring, supportive, and team-oriented environment! Apply NOW for immediate consideration! Equal Opportunity Employer

What Does a Comptroller Do?

Comptrollers work in executive-level supervisory positions typically within the financial or accounting departments of a company. They’re often in charge of building financial budgets for an organization and delegating tasks to their employees to implement these new financial and budget changes. 

They’ll analyze the progress of these financial updates by reviewing the statistics and results after putting these new financial plans in place and will adjust these strategies accordingly. Comptrollers also prepare a presentation of the company’s financial status and progress and deliver this to the executive team for feedback and reviews.

Comptroller Skills and Qualifications

A successful Comptroller candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications necessary to fulfill the job requirements. You are looking for someone with strong analytical and problem-solving skills and an excellent understanding of business and accounting concepts. A high-quality candidate should also have proven leadership ability and experience in management. Interpersonal skills are desirable since the Comptroller will interact with employees and executive management. Other skills and qualifications include:

  • Exceptional numerical ability
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience with spreadsheet and financial analysis software
  • Good communication skills
  • Attention to detail coupled with patience and tenacity
  • Knowledge of regulatory and other financial standards and requirements
  • Understanding of taxation, payroll and other fiscal aspects of a business
  • Experience conducting audits

Comptroller Salary Expectations

The average Comptroller salary is $67,934 per year. Experience and education play a significant role in how much Comptrollers earn. There are certifications available to Comptrollers that can enhance their desirability and affect their salary. In the public sector, the Comptroller’s pay is above the average in the private sector.

Comptroller Education and Training Requirements

Comptrollers usually have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business administration. This provides them with a foundation in economics, business law, taxation and budget analysis. Some businesses require a master’s degree, either in accounting or an MBA (master of business administration). One way to advance a Comptroller’s career is to pursue certifications. Employers tend to look favorably on candidates with either a CPA (certified public accountant) or a CMA (certified management accountant) certification. Candidates with a CFA (chartered financial analyst) charter are also usually given strong consideration.

Comptroller Experience Requirements

Since Comptroller is a management position, it’s not unusual for you to be looking for someone with significant experience. Successful candidates have not only four to six years of business or finance education, but as many as seven years of accounting experience. During this time they might have worked at a major accounting firm or perhaps worked as a government auditor or performed senior-level accounting work. You are certainly looking for someone with business leadership experience, including a number of years managing a financial team.  

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Frequently asked questions about Comptrollers


Do Comptrollers have different responsibilities in different industries?

There are many different industries a Comptroller can work in where they’ll typically hold similar responsibilities. Some of them work in for-profit businesses or corporations helping them improve their cash flow and increase their profits. These are more commonly known as Controllers. 

Employees who work for nonprofits or government entities are regularly called Comptrollers, but both titles can be used for either role. Those who work in a government or nonprofit setting work more closely with gaining funds and building budgets to ensure a majority of the organization’s earnings are going toward its designated purpose.  


Who does a Comptroller report to?

Comptrollers typically report to the Chief Financial Officer of a company. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) typically handles more big-picture financial items within a company, while the Comptroller builds budgets and financial policies and makes day-to-day financial decisions. 

Chief Financial Officers usually work more closely with stakeholders and the board of directors, so they regularly relay any financial company announcements to the Comptroller. The Comptroller may also prepare reports and presentations for the CFO to use when delivering financial updates to the board of directors or stakeholders.  


What makes a good Comptroller?

A great Comptroller possesses advanced knowledge in building budgets and maintaining financial accounts, so it’s best if they have extensive accounting experience. They must also be highly analytical as they constantly review a company’s data and statistics to formulate an effective company budget and financial plan. Comptrollers should also be great at making quick and challenging decisions each day, as much of the important financial decisions rest on them. Their communication and listening abilities must be strong as they regularly collaborate with different departments to evaluate their needs and build an effective financial strategy that best supports all areas of the company.


What's the difference between a Comptroller and an Accountant?

While they both work in the financial departments of organizations, Comptrollers and Accountants hold key differences in their responsibilities. Comptrollers usually oversee the operations of a company’s entire financial or accounting system. 

Accountants often work underneath the direction of Comptrollers, handling smaller bookkeeping tasks that the Comptroller usually assigns them. Many Accountants are in charge of following the budget guidelines and strategies the Comptroller lays out for them and reports any issues or challenges directly to the Comptroller for them to resolve.

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