What Is The Difference Between A Controller And A Comptroller?

controller vs. comptroller

They are usually employed in the government sector at a local or state level. They supervise the overall cost that a government agency is providing into the services.

controller vs. comptroller

Internal controls are the structure of information management, as well as the decisions and planning that ensure an organization’s activities are done in support of its objectives. Internal financial controls specifically refer to the controls in place that maintain financial compliance with regard to both budget and regulatory oversight. She earned a bachelor of science in finance and accounting from New York University. Matos began her career at Ernst & Young, where she audited a diverse set of companies, primarily in consumer products and media and entertainment. She has worked in the private industry as an accountant for law firms and ITOCHU Corporation, an international conglomerate that manages over 20 subsidiaries and affiliates.

However, whether you need to fill the role with a full-time position or with a contracted position will depend on the specific situation. There are always additional roles and responsibilities that are industry-specific. The list above should give you a good understanding of what the roles and responsibilities are at large.

Controller Vs Comptroller Comparison Table

There are many reasons why two companies may choose to combine into a single entity. Expanding into new territories, adding technologies, reducing costs, eliminating competition, boosting revenue, and increasing market share are just a few examples. Selling a business, especially in the current economic climate, can be a complicated process. You want to get the best price from the right buyer and smoothly transition the business to the new owner.

  • She studied at Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in BS Strategic Communications and BS Leadership Studies and specializes in analyzing anything in her path and creating aesthetic appeal to visual documents.
  • Their activities are focused around profitability and financial liquidity, and they are allowed to make long term profit plans and present new ideas that affect the financial future of the organization.
  • Find out where the similarities lie and where the differences exist by reading on.
  • Business advisor to the President/CEO or Owner to help the executive to chart paths towards greater profitability while also ensuring proper compliance.
  • An entry-level vice president of finance makes $95,800, rising to $109,000 at mid-career and $144,700 by the later stage of their career.
  • Will Kenton is an expert on the economy and investing laws and regulations.

Smaller companies tend to opt for one role or the other, often as a matter of controlling labor costs. Other firms, especially startups, may outsource one or both finance functions or hire fractional or interim professionals. • The words ‘comptroller’ and ‘controller’ are closely related to each other in the field of finance, and refer to finance personnel who conduct activities similar to one another. The degree and background of controllers and comptrollers are also virtually identical. The best way to identify whether you need a CFO vs. a controller is to take into consideration what the roles and responsibilities are of each individual and how they are currently being met or not being met at your company. Controllers spend most of their time in the trenches making sure ledgers are accurate and systems are working properly.

Many act as Chief Audit Executives, both assisting with external auditing processes and managing internal audits. Organizations that certify and credential finance professionals often offer courses, sponsor conferences or give workshops.

What Are The Duties Of A Cfo?

Advanced certification options for comptrollers include Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Government Financial Manager. Comptrollers maintain the general ledger and ensure that the financial statements are accurate and comply with the proper format and standards. The comptroller is also effectively the chief audit executive, overseeing internal audits, and assisting with external audits. The median annual salary for financial managers—which includes controllers—was $134,180 in 2020 according to BLS data. Comptrollers are required to have a degree in either business administration or accounting.

Accountants haven’t developed the experience to analyze financial data yet. They still focus on the accuracy, compliance, and reporting of that financial data. Experience is the best teacher, and controllers typically have more of it than accountants.

  • Simply put, the controller helps guide a company’s strategic financial decisions and is crucial in overseeing and reporting on the overall financial health of a company.
  • This is not uncommon in smaller businesses, or businesses making transitions in size and revenue that need to simultaneously cultivate growth while maintaining caps on cost.
  • They ensure the accuracy of the financial information that goes into the company’s financial statements and its compliance with the relevant accounting standards and legislation.
  • Some organizations use the terms Controller and Comptroller interchangeably or assign other titles to the roles.

In companies with both roles, the controller often provides advice and counsel to the CFO, especially in areas related to accounting standards, taxation and other regulations. That broad view of the business means only a small fraction of CFOs are focused solely on dollars and cents. The vast majority juggle responsibilities beyond finance and accounting, such as identifying strategic partnerships, evaluating technology and representing the company in public forums. Typically, the controller is a senior manager, with a sharp acumen for numbers and formal training in accounting. The controller reports to either a CFO or CEO and supervises staff accountants and bookkeepers. • The major difference lies in the type of organization each one performs. Controllers perform most of the same roles, but they tend to work as part of a for-profit business rather than a non-profit organization.

A large portion of accounting requires manually inputting financial data. Not only is this process prone to human error, but it also takes a lot more time for your team to accomplish, especially when the data is being input multiple times and in multiple places. Financial information is important for companies to be able to assess how their strategies performed in the past and what their future financial strategies should look like. The controller is mostly concerned with the accounting function, which involves recording transactions and preparing financial statements. Even though similar in connotation, the roles of a financial controller and a CFO are quite different.


Financial planning might also help, and having either an accounting or finance major in an MBA will surely open up some opportunities for candidates. Most larger organizations will prefer an advanced degree, along with CPA and CMA training that is up to date. You should also have worked as either a head of finance, financial analyst, or auditor for at least five years. Comptrollers are usually non executive, and therefore have fewer responsibilities than controllers.

controller vs. comptroller

Other controllers work for the government and are akin to chief financial officers for their respective agencies. It’s better to look at experienced accountants (even managers or other senior-level positions) when making comparisons to controllers.

Comptrollers focus primarily on accomplishing the organization’s mission and keeping expenditures within budget, to satisfy the ever-present scrutiny of lawmakers and taxpayers. The salary for a controller can vary based on the type of work environment, experience and geographic location. Critics such as Sanzillo, a former comptroller, said at least one of the officials who reviewed and approved Luma’s contract, also is in charge of regulating the company as chairman of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau. Liaising with the company’s external auditors through the auditing process.

Senior-level accountancy jobs require a CPA designation and maybe even a certified management accountant , chartered financial analyst , or other professional designation. Senior financial accounting and reporting jobs might need three to six years of work experience, while tax accountants or junior auditors might only need one to three years after passing the CPA exams. Just like the controller, the comptroller will work in the finance department. However, as the organization is likely to be not-for-profit, their activities will be mainly focused around fund accounting. A comptroller holds an executive position and they head the financial department and the team. Their role is to ensure that the organization complies with all the financial and reporting requirements and has enough funds for the projects.

A comptroller usually works for the government or a nonprofit company and ensures that expenditures stay within allotted budgets. Understanding the differences can help determine your company’s financial focus. A controller and comptroller hold key positions regarding a company’s financial operations. Both are senior financial roles with similar duties but they work within different industries. In this article, we will outline the differences between a comptroller and a controller, job duties for each position and the steps you should take to work in these positions.

Who Is A Comptroller?

A financial controller ensures that the company’s financial reports—including the financial statements—are prepared on time. They also ensure the accounting department carries out all accounting processes, from reconciling inventory to vouching while following its internal controls. They have the responsibility of producing financial statements that guide the movement of the company forward. Becoming a comptroller starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A graduate degree in accounting or a related field may make applicants more competitive. Most employers require comptrollers to be certified public accountants, and some require chartered financial analysts or certified government financial managers. Comptrollers with financial management and budget analysis skills earn some of the highest salaries in the field.

Credentials for public sector comptrollers are comparable to those in the private sector. Responsibilities for a government comptroller are also similar to those in the private sector as they relate to daily financial operations, but with the added responsibility of public reporting for tax accountability. There are some small and stylistic differences between the words comptroller vs controller, and they represent various levels of financial responsibility or seniority. A financial controller typically reports to a firm’s chief financial officer , although these two positions may be combined in smaller businesses.

  • These specific experience requirements, though, may be subject to the organization’s size.
  • They supervise the overall cost that a government agency is providing into the services.
  • Both roles are within the finance department, and the responsibilities are similar, too.
  • The field of accounting and auditing is one of those areas the experts expect to grow faster than many other occupations.
  • According to the global chartered controller institute, which presented a study on the skills set of a financial controller, gave the main skills expected of a financial controller and these includes.
  • A new financial controller will earn less than a financial manager with more than 5 years on his belt.
  • Controllers spend most of their time in the trenches making sure ledgers are accurate and systems are working properly.

Controllers are the professionals being appointed in private organizations. Most comptrollers work in government agencies or nonprofit enterprises that are highly regulated by law. The comptroller, therefore, has a high degree of responsibility for legal compliance and public reporting. Comptrollers must also manage financial contributions such as donations and grants. That’s just some of the work assigned to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Controllers can’t afford to be experts in just one area since they have to oversee entire accounting operations and offer systemic advice https://personal-accounting.org/ to their contemporaries. Controllers and accounting managers both work with financial departments and perform supervisory tasks.

How To Become A Comptroller Or A Controller

This means a controller’s responsibility isn’t limited to just accurate financial reporting. What’s also important is for the financial information to provide valuable insights that can facilitate decision-making related to business administration and financial strategy. A financial controller is typically responsible for budgeting and forecasting financial data. They are also the principal point of contact with the company’s external auditors and provide auditors with any additional information they may require in the auditing process.

controller vs. comptroller

Their main responsibility is to prepare financial accounts and take a decision of the business based on the regular, relevant analysis. The controller reports internally the internal audit financial controller vs. comptroller reports and confirms that the company has followed the compliance. A comptroller has to handle the cost and maintain that expenditures within the budget are restricted to analyzing the final costs.

Both controllers and comptrollers ensure that all standards are met when it comes to financial reporting, which is vital for investment, tax, and regulatory compliance. As a result, the comptroller is an especially important executive within an organization.

Gross profit is one of several key profitability metrics that help companies evaluate their financial health. It is necessary to determine gross profit before you can calculate other important figures such as net profit, EBITDA, and the company’s bottom line.

How To Get A Job As A Fiscal Analyst

They need to stay abreast of budgeting and staying within projected figures throughout every stage of business in order to keep constituents happy, according to Proformative. Both Controller vs Comptroller is management-level employees who will manage staff-payroll, accounting, assist in auditing, manage the accounting transactions process, set the company policies. They both controller vs comptroller can act as a financial leader in a company. Experience in cost control and auditing align best with these roles, so try to apply for positions at large accounting firms or a government auditor to match the experience of an assistant controller job posting. Overall, you need at least five years of professional experience to be considered for an assistant controller or comptroller position. Controllers can either partnership with or directly under an establishment’s chief financial officer, helping in giving vital financial information with an eye on future activities.

Responsibilities Of Controllers Vs Comptrollers

Demand for the role of Comptrollers is lower than of Controllers, mainly due to the availability. The Comptrollers mainly work in the public sector, and there is no frequent opening available, whereas there is a high demand for Controllers, as nowadays all private companies majorly focus on Financial reporting. Comptrollers are usually employed in the government sector at a local or state level, while Controllers are employed within a non-profit or private organization. Jill Tavey is an experienced outsourced CFO with over a decade of high-level financial expertise and experience. Her ability to negotiate, make and maintain key relationships, and shape strategic direction has helped propel multiple companies through significant growth. What professional organizations are available for comptrollers and controllers. The Comptroller’s office develops and manages statewide contracts providing goods and services for more than 200 state agencies and about 1,600 local governments.

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