An assistant controller is a professional who supports various aspects of accounting management. They assist in preparing financial statements following official guidelines and requirements and they must frame internal control and policies to comply with legislation and established best practices. The professional plays a major role in handling the accountability of a company’s financial resources and protect investor’s assets. Assistant controllers employ in financial sectors or accounts department. They need to work independently with a high level of integrity. To remain successful in their position, they must be well-organized possessing exceptional management skills.
What are the responsibilities of an assistant controller?
The job duties and responsibilities of an assistant controller include:
- Aid various aspects of accounting management
- Managing journal entries and invoices and reconciling accounts for the annual closing
- Aid preparing the budget and participate in devising annual audit
- Help in developing reports for the regulatory bodies
- Review an organization accounting data to identify imbalances
- Make use of accounting It system to facilitate the process and maintain the records
- Review financial data quarterly and discuss with high officials about discrepancies
- Assist in the issuance and submission of invoices
- Initiate an internal control system to avoid error in financial statement
- Develop budget and reports based on customer need
- Ensure customers adhere to the in-house standard and best practices
- Assign data entry staff to junior accounting staff
- Systematize financial audits with top management officials
What skills are required for an assistant controller?
There is a higher demand for assistant controllers in the job market. By 2012, the career is expected to grow 16% further and produce further job opportunities in the US. Accounting students can choose this profession as their career ambition. Controllers need to analyze and develop financial information. Their job remains distinguished from traditional accountants. There are certain skills an assistant controller must have to accomplish the responsibilities. You need to hold several hard and soft skills to remain successful in your job. Some skills include;
- Organization – assistant controller handles a variety of information and documents, so they should stay organized to get their job done efficiently.
- Mathematical skill – The professional needs to possess the exceptional mathematical skill to implement quality accounting procedures.
- Analysis – They must have the skills to make effective decisions that could improve the company’s productivity and profitability. They must have an in-depth understanding of the company’s finances to oversee the administration of financial reporting.
- Detail-oriented – They need to give special attention to detail and problem-solving ability. They must be well- organized ability to prioritize and must have superb interpersonal skills. While preparing and analyzing reports like income statements, balance sheets, the professional needs to be attentive and precise in their work.
What all qualification is needed to pursue a career as an Assistant Controller?
- A bachelor’s degree is a must from an accredited university: The candidate needs to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. In general education, you must have English, social, and mathematics. These subjects are important for developing critical thinking, help to communicate precisely, and develop problem-solving skills. A bachelor’s degree for this post would be sufficient but further growth in studies could benefit a lot so candidates can opt for acquiring a Master’s degree.
- Master’s in Business Administration is a good choice –If planning to get a master degree, you may choose business administration. The course will be helpful for professionals looking for career development.
- Acquire a certification – Eligible students who want to become CPA must pass the certified public accountant exam. The level of education and experience needed to attend the CPA exam varies from state to state but the most state requires 150 semester hours and two years of work experience employing under a CPA.
- Obtain relevant work experience – Assistant controllers must have good communication and leadership skill and should have a great understanding of the financial aspect of a company. Most organizations prefer hiring candidates who have prior experience in accounting. CPA and management expertise is requisite. Some companies prefer candidates who are familiar with the accounting database and financial management software.
Certification and Training programs
Certification allows the candidate to show their competence. It exhibits your proficiency, skill, and expertise in the accounting field. Assistant controllers should get certified to gain knowledge and succeed further in their careers. There are two common certifications for this profession.
Certified Public Accountant – candidates who are looking to practice as a licensed public accountant in the US needs to pass the exam from the American Institute of CPA. The CPA exam lasts for 14 hours and it is divided into four separate sections. Financial accounting and reporting, business environment and concepts, auditing and attestation, and regulation. Students must pass each section with a score of at least 75.
Certified Management Accountant – CMA is offered by the Institute of Management Accountant and it is a globally recognized credential in financial management and management accounting. The certification signifies the candidate knows financial planning, control, analysis, professional ethics, and decision support. To be certified the candidate must pass the exam successfully and meet experience requirements.
The role of Assistant Controller in an organization
The controller would be the company’s lead accountant and they also play a vital role in the company’s future direction. Every controller job remains unique but their skills and qualification would remain the same. Controllers usually employ directly under organizations chief financial officers providing key financial information about future performance and goals. They know the company’s objective and works to make them achieve. They conduct two primary duties. First, they are responsible for overseeing the finalization of internal control audits focusing on possible fault or delusion. Secondly, they develop and execute an operational strategy for the finance team’s day to day activity. The assistant controller needs to manage monthly, quarterly, and annual financial accounts, payable, receivable, payroll, and inter-department communications. See more resume samples