ControllerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A Controller typically oversees the accounting department at a company where they may manage accountants, credit managers, payroll managers, tax managers, and others. They are responsible for all finance-related activities for a business. They might prepare budgets or handle billing, payroll, or taxes. Controllers must have in-depth knowledge of local and state laws and regulations and a deep understanding of economic principles, financial markets, and banking. They must be able to meet strict deadlines and need strong organizational skills. Proficiency in using computers and good communication skills are also important. 

Controllers must be familiar with GAAP standards and regulatory requirements. They should have excellent leadership skills and be familiar with budget development and audit activities. Presentation skills are essential as they typically gather, evaluate, and present financial information to executive teams and external stakeholders. An analytic mind and strong interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to translate complex financial concepts to individuals at all levels, are crucial to this role. 

Sample job description #1


Serve as the outsourced Controller/CFO for multiple non-profit clients. Your responsibilities would include

  • Month-end close
  • Journal Entries
  • Audit preparation and interact with auditors
  • Bank and account reconciliations
  • Spreadsheets and analytics
  • Financial Reporting, Budgeting and Board/Management Reports
  • Assist clients with 990 review and necessary support schedules
  • Recommend/Implement/Improve standard accounting policies and procedures


  • Bachelor’s Degree required, preferably in Accounting or Finance
  • Minimum of 7 years accounting experience
  • Ability to manage multiple clients
  • Prior staff management experience
  • Strong Excel Skills
  • Experience with multiple GL packages, especially QuickBooks
  • Non-profit accounting or public accounting experience is preferred but not required
  • CPA certification is a plus
  • Passion for working with and/or supporting non-profit organizations is a plus
  • Submit customized cover letter expressing qualifications and interest for this role
  • Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required as a condition of employment

Sample job description #2

This person works directly with the CFO in supporting the business financial analysis, cost analysis, planning and reporting needs such as project controlling tasks. Position is a hands-on, working controller for a manufacturer of capital equipment.

Essential functions

  • Steer internal KPI-tracking and reporting including follow-up of measures
  • Perform internal audits on key processes and signature guidelines are followed (plausibility)
  • Support supply chain steering, make-or-buy decisions, vendor selections and stock levels
  • Steer internal reporting system in collaboration with department heads including automation of reporting out of ERP- system
  • Project Controlling entailing project calculations with Applications Engineer and project cost tracking, invoicing, and change order management support
  • Implement price list model and align with quality controlling guidelines.
  • Budget controlling in collaboration with FIN and department managers
  • Ensure master data is structured and accurate (pricing, costing, clustering, min/max, and preferred vendors)
  • Support month end closing procedures and year-end-steering activities ( including reporting to Headquarters
  • Monitor and update quality related cockpit chart and directives
  • Develop and track additional cost savings opportunities and monitor progress of current initiatives
  • Support CFO and GM with special projects

Basic requirements

  • Must possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Accounting, or Business Administration
  • Must have a minimum of 5+ years of financial controlling experience

Preferred qualifications

  • Controlling experience in a manufacturing environment is preferred
  • Capital equipment industry experience preferred
  • Excellent MS Office skills, specifically Excel and PowerPoint
  • Experience with Crystal Reports, SQL, Infor’s Visual Manufacturing ERP system, ADP, and other business software would also be preferred, but not required
  • Experience in project controlling desired
  • Lean/Six Sigma experience preferred
  • High attention to detail and accuracy in composing communications, data entry of project information, proofing of data, establishing priorities, and meeting deadlines
  • High level analytical, data manipulation, problem solving and organizational skills
  • Strong competency in coaching, training, and facilitation skills
  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written, including ability to communicate effectively to the intended audience
  • Team player mentality is highly desired
  • High level of self-motivation, energy, and results orientation

Sample job description #3


  • Develop Cost studies on historical data and create forecasting models
  • Maintain periodical reports and automated reporting to be permanently available to Cost control and other teams
  • Present insights and recommendations to top management based on in depth operational and financial analysis
  • Implement and promote improvements of current reports and Local Revenue Review report, enhancing and developing analytics and data visualization tools, and suggesting alternative sources of information
  • Record and monitor saving initiatives, estimates and monthly achievements
  • Support and engage in a team mindset of high performance, participate in permanent improvement actions, and support a team culture of innovation
  • Miscellaneous related duties or projects as assigned

Skill, experience, and education

  • Bachelor’s degree (BA) from a four-year college or university required
  • Minimum of 4-6 years work experience
  • Working knowledge of business analytics, leading cross functional projects
  • Advanced skill with Qlik Sense, Power BI or another similar business analytics software
  • Advanced skill with Microsoft Office products and data visualization
  • Advanced skills in data management
  • Ability to apply critical thinking to complex situations
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate orally and in writing with strong presentation skills
  • Advanced problem solving and analytical skills
  • Proven ability to work in team environment
  • Accepts responsibility and accountability with focus on results
  • Ability to monitor and manage priorities and work on multiple tasks concurrently
  • Master’s degree in data analytics, logistics, supply chain or similar field preferred
  • At least 2 years of related experience in shipping, Logistics or supply chain

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a controller is $160,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$159,150$215,250
Los Angeles, California$179,500$242,850
Denver, Colorado$149,600$202,400
Washington, DC$182,250$246,550
Miami, Florida$148,900$201,450
Orlando, Florida$137,350$185,850
Tampa, Florida$138,750$187,650
Atlanta, Georgia$145,500$196,850
Chicago, Illinois$167,250$226,350
Boston, Massachusetts$180,850$244,700
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$144,150$195,050
New York City, New York$190,400$257,600
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$155,050$209,750
Dallas, Texas$150,950$204,250
Houston, Texas$150,250$203,300
Seattle, Washington$174,050$235,500
National Average$136,000$184,000

Sample interview questions

  • What do you consider when doing budgets?
  • What’s the most challenging financial project you’ve done?
  • How do you identify financial opportunities for your company?
  • How did you reduce expenses previously at another company?
  • Can you describe a conflict that you had with coworkers or employees in the past? What was the outcome?
  • Can you describe a difficult financial problem you had during your experience as an accountant? What was the resolution?
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your colleagues, what was the problem, and how was it resolved?
  • What is your past experience working as a controller? How did you help change this company for the better?

Controller Jobs in Ashburn

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