Assistant ControllerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Do you have strong analytical and problem solving skills? Are you detail-oriented and enjoy math, accounting, and financial processes? Then becoming an assistant controller might be the perfect role for you. 

An assistant controller assists the corporate controller in the organization’s or company’s finance and accounting functions. Developing and maintaining financial reporting/planning and budgeting systems are also key roles of this position. Assistant Controllers may train accounting staff as well as coordinate with auditors. Preparing monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial reports is another function that the assistant controller completes.

Sample job description

We’re hiring for an assistant controller. An ideal candidate for our team would be interested in learning quickly, have a knack for working with world class clients, and be excited to be surrounded by some of the best CPAs, accountants, and consultants in the industry. The assistant controller communicates financial data to internal/external contacts and agencies as required. You must have proven experience in financial management as well as carrying out a variety of accounting and finance tasks to ensure the financial health of the organization/company.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Create financial statements
  • Prepare financial reports monthly, quarterly, and yearly
  • Ensure accounting practices are in compliance with legal guidelines
  • Identify solutions to any discrepancies in financial records
  • Maintain financial records and work with IT to maintain system processes
  • Provide input into developing the budget
  • Work closely with the company controller
  • Work with the financial team to create internal policies and controls

Education and experience

  • 2+ years of experience in accounting, finance, or a related field

Required skills and qualifications

  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in data analysis, problem-solving, and critical thinking
  • Expert knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting, and regulations
  • Knowledge of basic office/accounting software programs
  • Skilled in time management and prioritizing tasks
  • Looks for ways to improve efficiency

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field
  • Certified Public Accountant status
  • Experience in a related field
  • Years of experience in private or public accounting
  • Advanced Excel and computer skills
  • ERP and Concur experience

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an assistant controller is $85,350 per year in the United States. Salary may vary due to level of experience, education, and geographical location. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$89,850$109,800
Los Angeles, California$101,350$123,900
Denver, Colorado$84,450$103,250
Washington, DC$102,900$125,800
Miami, Florida$84,100$102,800
Orlando, Florida$77,550$94,800
Tampa, Florida$78,350$95,750
Atlanta, Georgia$82,150$100,450
Chicago, Illinois$94,450$115,450
Boston, Massachusetts$102,150$124,850
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$81,400$99,500
New York City, New York$107,500$131,400
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$87,550$107,000
Dallas, Texas$85,250$104,200
Houston, Texas$84,850$103,700
Seattle, Washington$98,300$120,150
National Average$76,800$93,850

Typical work environment

Assistant controllers work in different industries including banks, insurance agencies, healthcare, and more. Office environments are where the majority of assistant controllers work, such as large corporate headquarters, government buildings, banks, and more. They work closely with corporate controllers and top executives. Some may work remotely full-time or a few days a week. Travel may be required from time to time, but it’s not common.

Typical hours

Assistant controllers typically work more than 40 hours a week with some working overtime, weekends, or evenings if needed. Typical hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

Available certifications

It is recommended and preferred for Assistant Controllers to have certifications in addition to their education and experience. Having certifications can help advance your career as well as hone in on specific skills and knowledge that will be very beneficial for career growth.  Here are some of the available certifications:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA). You will need to pass an exam that is 14 hours long and split into four sections (Financial and Accounting and Reporting, Business Environment and Concepts, Auditing and Attestation, and Regulation. Also, to obtain a CPA, you have to have the minimum experience and education determined by the state. 
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Globally recognized, this certification is a professional credential in financial management and management accounting. This certification affirms that the individual has experience and knowledge in financial planning, control, analysis, and professional ethics. A bachelor’s degree is required before taking the exam. 

Career path

To become an assistant controller, a solid combination of education and related work experience are necessary. A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as accounting or finance is needed to be an assistant controller. A master’s degree is preferred. Assistant controllers usually start in an entry-level position after graduating college and then move into supervisory positions before applying for an assistant controller position. Some common positions before becoming an assistant controller include being a cost accountant, junior internal auditor, management accountant, and more.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3031

2020 Employment681,700
Projected Employment in 2030799,900
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 17% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift118,200 increase

The work, workplace, and workforce is evolving for many job fields, including for assistant controllers. The work of assistant controllers will see more automation, with a transformation into digital finance. Enhancing technology with human capability will maximize efficiency and outcomes. 

The workplace has been evolving due to the pandemic, and assistant controllers can expect to still see some hybrid or distributed workplaces. This can offer more collaboration, flexibility, as well as a diverse workforce.

Sample interview questions

  • How would you improve accounting processes?
  • How do you monitor different accounting functions?
  • What accounting software programs are you familiar with?
  • What experience do you have in establishing internal controls?
  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • What systems have you developed to reduce/eliminate errors in your work?
  • What environment do you feel you do your best work in?
  • What do you expect from the other people you work with?
  • How do you see your profession evolving in the future?
  • What is your auditing process for reports that you have delegated to other team members?
  • Describe how you prioritize work?
  • What are three attributes that you would look for when hiring junior members on our team?
  • What do you enjoy most about being an Assistant Controller?

Assistant Controller Jobs in Ashburn

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