Job Title: Corporate Controller
Type of Company: My company provides training and consulting services to assist Fortune 500 companies in developing a more productive workforce. Our primary areas of expertise are diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and communication.
Education: BS, Accountancy, Bentley College (now Bentley University, Waltham, MA)
Previous Experience: During college, I had an internship in the accounting department of a large corporation. I gained experience performing account reconciliations and assisting with projects while earning college credits. After graduation, I worked as an auditor for a large public accounting firm.
Job Tasks: A large part of my job focuses on financial reporting. Every month, I compile all of the company's sales, costs, and other transactions into a set of statements that we use to review how well the company is doing. This process, called the month-end close, takes about eight to ten business days to complete. During this time, I download information from our sales order system and ensure the amounts have been properly recorded in our accounting system. I also review the activity in our asset and liability accounts for any significant changes and make any adjustments that are needed.
Once I am sure that the company's transactions have been properly recorded, I create reports that assist management in their evaluation of the business. These reports include a balance sheet, profit & loss statement, comparison to prior year results, and labor allocation analysis. Some reports are created in and printed from the accounting system, and some are created using Excel spreadsheets. The full set of reports is distributed to the senior management of the company, including the Chief Financial Officer and the President.
My other responsibilities during the month involve assisting people from other parts of the company with questions or problems that they have. For example, a salesperson might contact me to ask the best way to enter a sale into our order entry system so that it appears at the right time for the right amount of money.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is when I can help someone solve a technical problem. I have extensive experience with Excel, the accounting system, and the sales order system; it feels good to use that knowledge to assist others with their jobs.
The worst part of my job is when a salesperson wants to record a sale, but I have to tell them no because it does not meet all the requirements. Accounting has many rules that must be followed, even if it does not work out the way we want it to.
Job Tips: Although accounting computer systems do all the work and record all the transactions, it is important to know the basics of accounting, like debits and credits. When something goes wrong, this is the best way to find the solution.
Learn how to do all accounting tasks, from printing checks to billing clients. This provides an understanding of how everything works together and assists in managing the functions.
Public accounting is an excellent way to learn a lot about accounting and analysis. A CPA license is a useful credential when pursuing future positions.
Additional Thoughts: It is important to be detail-oriented in the accounting profession. We deal with many rules, schedules and figures; a careless error could have a large impact on the status of the business.
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