Attention: 4 Corner Resources is being used in a phishing scam. Read more about how to protect yourself.

Controller Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Controller Do?

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. 

Are you a job seeker?

Browse zengig’s
comprehensive list
of job openings
and apply online

National Average Salary

Controller salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Controller is:


Controller Job Descriptions

The first step when hiring a great controller is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.

Assistant Controller

[Company] is searching for an Assistant Controller to join our thriving team. The Assistant Controller will be responsible for the company’s accounting operations, including producing financial reports, maintaining accounting records, managing a team of senior accounting professionals, and enhancing the accuracy of the company’s reported financial results.


  • Establish and execute internal controls over the company’s accounting and financial procedures.
  • Review and approve all invoices to be paid and work closely with the purchasing department to ensure we get the best price.
  • Coordinate with external tax accountants for income tax preparation and lead audits (bank and annual), and assist with the company’s month-end closings.
  • Confirm that all accounting allocations are appropriately made and documented and in charge of all account reconciliations, cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash disbursements, and bank reconciliation functions.
  • Provide accurate and comprehensive financial information to executive management and crucial financial data and working with executive management to coordinate all financial planning functions with business operations.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and ERP software.
  • Understanding of and the ability to adhere to generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Ability to manage and coordinate all internal and external audit procedures.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Business Administration is required.
  • At least ten years of accounting experience, preferably previously leading a team of accounting professionals.
  • Previous manufacturing experience is required.

Junior Controller

Are you excellent with finances? Are you great at directing budgets that keep companies up and running? If so, we’re hiring a controller at [Your Company Name] and would love for you to apply. Controllers use all the financial data at their disposal to oversee and direct all aspects of a company’s accounting operations. They record and maintain all financial reports, and handle accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, compliance, inventory management, and more. Controllers use financial software and analytical skills to ensure continued operations. They control and monitor all things within the context of finances and are integral to the functionality of a business.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Manage all accounting operations including billing, A/R, A/P, GL and counsel, cost accounting, inventory accounting, and revenue recognition
  • Monitor the financial performance of the company
  • Supervise employees performing financial reporting, accounting, billing, collections, payroll, and budgeting duties
  • Communicate financial metrics to senior management
  • Maintain current knowledge of organizational policies and procedures, federal and state policies and directives, and current accounting standards
  • Receive, record, and authorize requests for disbursements following company policies and procedures
  • Handle all aspects of employee insurance, benefits, and casualty programs, including monitoring changes in health insurance regulations and creating budgets for benefits and workers’ compensation

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a related discipline. Certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accountant (CMA) designations are usually preferred.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Experience with general ledger functions and the month-end/year-end close process
  • Excellent accounting software user and administration skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills
  • Ability to work closely with the senior management team
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite software

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ years of managing budgets
  • Familiarity with financial software
  • Proficient in Google and Microsoft
  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, business, or related field

Mid-level Controller

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.


  • 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

Fractional Controller


Serve as the outsourced Controller 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

Controller Qualifications to Look For

Previous experience

  • Managed and oversaw all financial activities, including the production of financial reports and statements
  • Ensured timely and accurate month-end and year-end close processes
  • Supervised and directed accounting staff, ensuring compliance with best practices and established financial regulations
  • Developed, maintained, and improved internal financial controls and procedures
  • Managed budget preparation and financial forecasting
  • Conducted financial analysis to identify trends, efficiencies, and areas for cost reduction
  • Coordinated and led the annual audit process, liaising with external auditors
  • Ensured compliance with local, state, and federal government reporting requirements and tax filings
  • Assisted in formulating strategic and long-term business plans
  • Collaborated with executive leadership to provide insights and recommendations based on financial analysis

Soft skills

  • Leadership
  • Strategic thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Ethical judgment
  • Negotiation
  • Teamwork


  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, or a related field
  • A Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) or Accounting can be advantageous
  • Continuous professional development to stay updated with financial regulations, accounting standards, and best practices


  • Certified Management Accountant. The CMA is a highly advanced professional certification that’s specifically designed to test and measure the financial management skills and leadership prowess of candidates. This certification should be obtained by an accountant or financial position seeking to move into a management position and expand their skill set. It does require 2 years of experience and requires renewal once a year, however.
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant. The CGMA is a highly sought-after certification that shows a candidate’s seriousness and commitment to the financial industry. It announces the commercial skill, strategic mindset, and transformational vision needed to demonstrate they have leadership acumen and a problem-solving approach to their position.
  • International Accredited Business Accountant. The IABA shows candidates who hold this accreditation have the practical understanding and foundational knowledge needed to be successful practitioners. For this very reason, candidates wishing to obtain the credentials must pass an experience requirement with 3 years of related experience or 2 years of college education in a related field. After passing the comprehensive exam will be able to hold the title and globally recognized accreditation.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Can you explain your understanding of the responsibilities and functions of a controller within an organization?
  • What types of financial reporting systems have you used in your previous roles, and which do you find most effective?
  • How have you streamlined the budgeting and forecasting processes in your past positions?
  • Can you share a specific example of when you identified a significant cost-saving opportunity in financial operations?
  • As a controller, how do you ensure compliance with all relevant financial regulations and accounting standards?
  • Describe when you had to communicate complex financial data or concepts to non-financial staff members. How did you ensure they understood the information?
  • How have you used financial data to influence strategic planning and decision-making at previous companies?
  • Can you share an experience where you successfully led a financial audit? What were the results, and what role did you play?
  • What methods do you use to mitigate financial risks in an organization?
  • Can you describe your experience with managing a finance team? What approach do you take to leadership and team development?
  • Describe a time when you had to make a difficult financial decision for the company’s long-term health. How did you approach it, and what was the outcome?
  • What strategies have you incoprorated to improve cash flow in a company?
  • How do you balance meeting short-term financial objectives and ensuring the company’s long-term financial health?
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a significant financial crisis or challenge. How did you address it, and what were the results?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with changes in financial regulations, accounting standards, and industry best practices?

Need help hiring a Controller?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Browse A-Z Job Descriptions