What Does an Assistant Controller Do?
The assistant controller aids the corporate controller in maintaining company financial statements. They ensure that the financial statements meet management requirements and industry standards, and are in line with standard accounting principles, as well as state and federal regulations. Assistant controllers help develop financial reporting, planning, and budgeting systems. Some assistant controllers also prepare monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial reports, as well as train staff on proper company procedures
An assistant controller should have solid accounting skills, good leadership skills, and be able to think critically and analytically. Excellent computer skills and knowledge of relevant technology are also essential skills needed, as well as a strong working knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles and financial accounting standards. This role can work in many industries and is primarily in an office environment.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Assistant controller salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Assistant Controller is:
Assistant Controller Job Descriptions
Creating the perfect job description is crucial when seeking an assistant controller. To aid in this process, we’ve gathered real-world examples that serve as valuable templates, giving you the best chance to attract top finance talent to your team.
We’re hiring for an assistant controller. The ideal candidate for our team will 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 and external contacts and agencies as required. You must have proven experience in financial management as well as experience 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
- 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
- Oversees and has responsibility for ensuring that the preparation of the Company’s SEC financial reporting on Form 10-Q, 10-K, and 8-K meets SEC requirements
- Reviews quarterly earnings releases and determines the appropriateness of items to be included/excluded from Non-GAAP measures
- Participates in the monthly, quarterly, and annual close processes to ensure complete and accurate reporting
- Communicates and explains accounting issues and evolving accounting guidance to the management team
- Communicates directly with external auditors on financial statements and accounting issues to ensure agreement with Company’s decisions on accounting disclosures and issues
- Prepares white papers for technical accounting matters
- Establishes and publishes accounting policies
- Ensures SOX compliance
- 5+ years experience working for a publicly traded organization
- Knowledge of internal and external reporting, audit preparation
- Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance
- Manufacturing or distribution experience preferred
- Provide leadership to the A/R, A/P, and Billing team and for the day-to-day accounting and financial operations
- Lead and optimize accounting and financial operations, incl. process optimization, systems optimization, integration, etc.
- Responsible for monitoring performed by reviewing AP systems and banking program access where applicable
- Assist with the internal monitoring of the purchase order process by the accounting function
- Responsible for Accounts Receivable cash application reconciliation and oversight
- Ensuring proper verification and approval of routing and account numbers for electronic payments
- Resolve customer deductions in collaboration with sales and customer service teams
- Responsible for developing and maintaining treasury and Account Receivables/Payables principles, practices, and procedures to ensure accurate and timely financial statements
- Ensure the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal controls relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements are free from material misstatement
- Ensure an accurate and timely daily, monthly, quarterly, and year-end close
- Establish and maintain disclosure controls and procedures and effective internal control over financial reporting for the Company
- Oversee the preparation of monthly and quarterly management and regulatory reports
- Supervises the execution of all aspects of cash management operating strategies
- Develops and manages cash flow forecasting process, analysis, & reporting
- Work as a liaison to external auditors
- Actively drive continuous improvement opportunities in processes, policies, and standards
- Partner closely with the Controller to drive accounting policy alignment, reporting quality, and timeliness
- Responsible for all areas relating to external financial reporting and technical accounting
- Responsible for financial reporting, internal control documentation with respect to external reporting, technical accounting, process improvement, and audit preparation
- Support budget and forecasting activities
- Bachelor’s in Accounting
- MBA or Master’s Degree preferred
- 5+ years of experience
- Prior management experience and ability to lead a team
- Ability to tactfully interact with all business stakeholders for requests and resolution of issues
- Strong skills in Microsoft Office Suite particularly Excel and PowerPoint
What you will do
Under the general direction of the VP of Finance, the Assistant Corporate Controller will manage and oversee the daily operations of the accounting department including:
- Revenue recognition, Invoicing, Accounts payable/receivable, payroll, bank account reconciliations, journal entries, and general ledger
- Month/quarter/year-end close processes/reporting
- Treasury and budgeting, cash flow forecasting
- Revenue and expenditure variance analysis
- Identification of cost control opportunities throughout the P&L
- Maintain the Company’s accounting system in compliance with the requirements of the FAR and manage any pre-award and/or DCAA audits
- Indirect Rate calculations and Summary Cost Management Reporting
- Establish and enforce proper accounting methods, policies, and principles
- Coordinate with 3rd party CPA/tax firm and complete audits
- Develop and improve systems and procedures, and initiate corrective actions
- Manage insurance renewals and issues
- Assign projects and direct staff to ensure compliance and accuracy
- Lead, coach, and mentor team; conduct annual review process
Who you are
- Bachelor’s Degree in Finance or Accounting
- CPA or CMA a plus
- Strong technical accounting background with 5+ years of experience, preferably in the federal contracting industry
- 2+ years of project accounting experience (ASC606 experience)
- Technical and comprehensive knowledge of all finance, financial planning, accounting, and tax areas of a government contracting businesses including an excellent understanding of GAAP, FAR, and DCAA requirements
- Expertise in Quickbooks Online Advanced as well as time management systems and integrations
- Experience selecting, implementing, and operating in various account systems (i.e, Netsuite, Unanet, Deltek, etc.)
- Strong analytical capabilities including the ability to leverage financial data to design and generate critical business reports
- Excellent computer skills including all MS Office and Google Workspace applications, as well as low-code and no-code software
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong attention to detail and skills in planning and organization
- Ability to work independently to solve challenging problems and exercise sound judgment
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – Candidates 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). In addition, they have to have the minimum experience and education determined by the state in order to obtain a CPA.
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA) – Globally recognized, this certification is a professional credential in financial management and management accounting. This certification affirms that candidates have experience and knowledge in financial planning, control, analysis, and professional ethics. A bachelor’s degree is required before taking this exam.
How to Hire an Assistant Controller
Consider the following when hiring an assistant controller:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring an assistant controller, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring an assistant controller:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
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 of our team?
- What do you enjoy most about being an assistant controller?