Ways to Make It Happen: Accountant to Controller

Are you looking for controller jobs in Boston?

Accountants throughout the Northeast put “earn a promotion to controller” on their lists of goals – and for good reason.  Typically serving just below the chief financial officer, the controller has an intimate and detailed knowledge of the company’s financial health.

Controllers shoulder a significant responsibility for the company’s financial position, and as a result, they exercise a great deal of control and oversight.  A controller will typically manage a team of financial professionals whose responsibility is to take raw financial data and use it to generate the myriad analyses and reports an organization uses to make its financial decisions.  Due to their detailed knowledge of both the raw data and the completed analysis, controllers are frequently involved in a business’s decision-making processes.

How Can You Make the Move From Accountant to Controller?

Most controllers begin their careers as accountants, although a few begin as financial analysts.  They may serve in public accounting or in a private organization.  For most, this means earning a degree or two in accounting and passing the CPA exam.

In a small company, an accountant may be able to step directly into the role of controller for a particular client after several years of solid work as a junior accountant.  In a larger firm, an accountant may work as an assistant or associate controller to “bridge the gap” between the duties of accountants at the firm and the duties of the controller.

Skills Controllers Need

In addition to an education and certifications in accounting, a controller needs strong technical skills honed in practice as an accountant.  The ability to analyze, organize, and present financial data in a clear, concise format is indispensable.

In past decades, these technical skills were often sufficient to allow an accountant to step into the controller position.  Today, however, controllers need not only the technical skills required in finance, but also a firm understanding of overall business processes and goals.  They also need to hone certain “people skills,” such as:

  • Communication
  • Management skills, including organization and the ability to delegate and oversee tasks
  • Conflict resolution skills

At Daley and Associates, our Boston-based recruiters specialize in serving financial organizations throughout the Northeast, matching top candidates with job openings that fit their skills, experience, and career goals.  Contact us today to learn more. If you are looking for controller jobs in Boston, contact us today.

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