CONTROLLER SALARY: All You Need To Know About Controller Salary

CONTROLLER SALARY: All You Need To Know About Controller Salary
CONTROLLER SALARY: All You Need To Know About Controller Salary

There are many factors that are taken into consideration when deciding finance controller salary and compensation package.

As a finance controller, you usually expect more responsibility than an accountant, so you can expect a higher salary for a controller than accountant.

Who Is A Financial Controller?

As head of the accounting department, a controller is responsible for managing the organization’s finances.  The controller is likely to be responsible for preparing financial statements and forecasts, as well as for keeping records and preparing for the audit. 

In a company, the controller can estimate budgets or make other recommendations to senior executives.  On the other hand, in a smaller company, the controller may essentially act as CFO (Chief Financial Officer).

Financial Controller Job Description

Typically, the role of controller is appropriate as the head of the accounting or finance team who reports to the executive team.  In many companies, the controller manages the accountants and reports directly to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). 

However, such an organization is not always the case. In many technology startups and other small or growing companies, you may find that the role of controller is simply performed by the CFO or CEO. 

In a very large and / or corporate environment, the controller can function as a network with assistant controllers focused on certain subgroups of the financial burden.  It all depends on the size, needs and financial impact of the company.

What Does It Take To Be A Financial Controller?

A controller is unique in that it requires more management and “soft skills” than a traditional accountant.  In addition, the controller must have more experience and application than your average accountant to be able to make far-reaching decisions and use financial foresight. 

But the role of the controller also often exists between the accounting lines and the executive team to remove some of the day-to-day work from the tables of a busy CFO.

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Financial Controller

First, to get a better idea of ​​what controllers are doing and what expectations they usually have to meet, take the time to review some current vacancy managers.  You will probably find that responsibilities for the role of controller often include the following:

  • Preparation of financial forecast reports and financial reports (internal and external)
  • Keeping accounting records, including general ledger, payroll and taxes
  • Reconciliation of accounts
  • Coordination of audits
  • Budget management
  • Recommended benchmarks for financial efficiency
  • Regular communication with the CFO (and frequent reporting to him).
  • Control of accounts payable and receivable departments
  • Ensuring compliance with income tax

Do You Need An Degree To Become A Controller?

There are no strict education requirements for those who want to become the company’s controllers.  Unlike becoming a doctor, which requires a medical school and a medical board, or a lawyer, which requires a law school and then a bar exam, a person can theoretically serve as a supervisor without higher education. 

However, “theoretically” is the active word in this sentence.  In today’s labor market, almost all companies that hire a supervisor want to have at least a bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree, and they usually want to have a certified public accountant (CPA).

To be competitive, novice controllers must begin with a college major in accounting, economics, finance, or statistics, and then obtain an MBA or master’s degree in accounting (MAcc). 

A master’s degree is more than an educational certificate; it also meets the educational requirements for the CPA exam, which should be included in the resume of novice managers.

What Is Average Controller Salary?

Accountants who have achieved the position of controller receive a salary above average.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2019, the average annual income for a controller (listed as financial managers) is $129,890.2. 

Much more, supervisors of Fortune 500 companies regularly earn six-figure, and sometimes more than $250,000. In small companies, the pay is often lower. 

However, the advantage of working in a small business is that high-ranking employees, such as controllers, are often involved in the growth of the company. Of course, other factors can be combined to adjust this estimate of the controller’s salary. 

Experience and formal training can be important in the compensation package, as well as in any options or benefits that your company may offer to balance financial compensation.  Finally, the local market can have a significant impact on the controller’s salary with factors such as the cost of living and competition in the markets.

What Is Average Financial Controller Salary?

Financial controllers with higher education can increase their earnings.  According to PayScale, financial controllers with a bachelor’s degree in finance received an average annual salary of $ 85,260 as of September 2021. 

This corresponds to the total average earnings of the profession.  With an MBA in accounting and finance, the financial controller’s salary has risen to an average of $ 93,520 as of September 2021.

It takes time and money to earn an MBA.  This investment can lead to higher salaries or higher salaries.  Students also gain valuable experience.  They can interact with peers and alumni to gain employment and professional support.

What Factors Can Affect Financial Controller Salary?

Experience plays an important role in the salary potential of a financial controller.  The longer financial controllers work in the field, the more they tend to earn. According to PayScale, as of September 2021, the average salary of a junior financial controller was $ 65,200 per year.  Professionals who have started their careers have noticed a slight jump in wages. 

With five years or more of experience, the average has risen to $ 84,910.  Employers often reward good work with bonuses and additional benefits.  The salaries of financial managers, including financial controllers, depend on location. 

Places with a high demand for financial managers often pay the highest salary.  Thanks to its strong international reputation for business, New York tops the list of the highest paid states for financial managers.

Which Cities Can I Earn More As A Financial Controller?

In metropolitan areas, such as New York and New Jersey, may pay higher wages, but future financial controllers should also consider the high cost of living in these areas. Sometimes places with promising business environments can offer high wages to attract skilled workers. 

For example, US News & World Report calls Colorado one of the best states for the economy and employment.  Business environment and growth contribute to this ranking.  As can be seen from the chart below, Colorado is also one of the highest paid states for financial managers.

What Is Accounts Controller Salary?

The average account controller in the United States earns $ 90,256.  Accounting controllers earn the most in San Francisco – 135,847 US dollars, which is an average of 51% more than the average in the United States. 

The salary of account controllers in the United States ranges from 17,415 to 463,362 US dollars, the average salary is 83,686 dollars.  The average 57% of accounting controllers receive from 83,687 to 210,160 US dollars, and the top 86% receive 463,362 US dollars.

What Is Assistant Controller Salary?

The average salary of an assistant controller in the United States is $85,350 per year.  Wages may vary depending on experience, education and geographical location. The salary range can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certificates, additional skills, the number of years spent in their profession. 

With more real-time compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact target salary.

What Is Chief Controller Salary?

As of 2022, the average salary of a Chief Controller in the United States is $ 200,300, but usually ranges from 172,700 to 233,600 dollars. The salary range can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certificates, additional skills, the number of years spent in their profession. 

With more real-time compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact target salary.

How Do I Become A Controller?

When you are considering a career transition to a controller, the first step is always research.  Does your company act as a controller?  If not, can he benefit from the role of controller?  Do competing companies use a controller?  What do controllers in your industry produce in comparable companies?  What are the comparative job descriptions for the role of controller?

If you are personally interested in the role of controller, carefully review your resume.  Do you need to get an MBA degree?  You may want to think about taking more responsibility for your current job or asking one of the more executive mentors to guide you. 

Soft skills can be learned and practiced in any role, such as building relationships, improving communication, teamwork, time management and ingenuity.

Similarly, the role of controller can be cultivated by training a prospective accountant or member of the financial team through these steps above.  The CFO can help create a strong candidate to meet the specific needs of the company by preparing that person for the exact job responsibilities.

Controller Salary FAQs

How Much Tax Will You Have To Pay As A Financial Controller?

For an individual who applies in this tax group, the average federal tax in 2018 will be 24%.  After the abolition of the federal tax rate of 24%, financial controllers could expect to be paid $ 115,980 per year, with a salary of approximately $4,833

What Does An Assistant Controller Do?

The Assistant Comptroller helps the corporate controller manage the organization’s accounting functions, including expenses, accounts payable, and reporting.  Assists in the development and maintenance of financial reporting, planning and budgeting systems.  As an assistant controller, oversees the preparation of periodic reports and necessary legal documents.

What Does A Chief Controller Do?

The chief controller of the department establishes and maintains the accounting principles, methods, procedures and initiatives of the department.  Directs and manages the overall accounting functions of the unit.  As the department’s chief controller, you may need to plan and analyze budgets and cost statistics for the use of internal control.  Prepares financial statements and presents conclusions and recommendations to senior management.

What Does An Air Traffic Control Do?

Coordinates the activities and supervises the staff working at the control tower, station or center: interprets the directives of the Federal Aviation Agency and implements them.  Adapts procedures to address issues or situations not covered by established procedures or policies.  Organizes and conducts training in the production of a specialist air traffic controller, station; air traffic control specialist, tower.


The growing international economy means that domestic companies are increasingly managing complex financial transactions.  They need financial managers, including financial controllers, to oversee their budgets.  Projections Central reports that in most US states and territories from 2018-2028, the demand for financial managers will increase.

Job prospects for financial controllers and other financial managers differ depending on the location.  However, Projections Central reports that in most US states and territories, the demand for financial managers will increase from 2018-2028.  Projections Central predicts a reduction in the number of vacancies for financial managers in Louisiana alone.

REFERENCES – How Much Does A Controller Make? – Controller: Job Description & Average Salary


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