Copyright

Company Controller: Education Requirements and Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a company controller. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Company controllers can have a variety of job responsibilities, typically within the financial side of a business. They need at least a bachelor's degree in a business-related field for entry-level positions.

Essential Information

A company controller, also known as a financial manager, is responsible for various duties such as preparing financial reports and statements as well as overseeing financial departments. In general, company controllers must hold at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, finance or management. Additionally, industry certifications may prove helpful.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in financial or business-related field; Master of Business Administration optional
Other Requirements Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or other certifications may be beneficial
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7%
Median Salary (2015)* $117,990

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for a Company Controller

Relevant bachelor's degree programs often include coursework in financial management, human resources management, international business, business law and general auditing. Curricula could also cover budget analysis and forecasting. Upon completion of a bachelor's degree program, students can further their management and leadership skills through a Master of Business Administration program.

Certification

Aspiring company controllers who complete a degree program in accounting can take certification exams to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). In order to qualify for the CPA credential, students must complete a postsecondary education program, have work experience and pass an exam. Aside from becoming a CPA, controllers can pass exams to be a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), as well as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

In order to maintain certification, it is often required that professionals take continuing education courses. Many businesses and educational organizations offer courses and training programs controllers can take that will count toward maintaining a certification.

Career Information for Company Controllers

The majority of businesses, organizations and agencies have a company controller who tracks and maintains various financial aspects of the company. Controllers generally prepare the company's taxes, control how the budget will be spent, oversee employees who work in financial departments and set financial goals for the company.

Company controllers work very closely with other employees and need to have strong communication skills. Controllers must be fluent with multiple computer applications to run and analyze financial reports. It is important for company controllers to understand and keep up with changes to financial law that will affect the company.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that financial managers, an occupational group that includes company controllers, made a median annual salary of $117,990 as of May 2015. Job growth for financial managers and company controllers largely depends on the industry, according to the BLS, but a modest increase of 7% was projected for the 2014-2024 decade.

Those who are interested in becoming a company controller should earn at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree will increase job opportunities. Candidates can become certified public accountants, chartered financial analysts, or certified management accountants to help improve career advancement potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), company controllers are expected to see about average job growth through 2024.


What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?