Job Title: Controller
Type of Company: We rep electronics components for companies that manufacture power, front panel and board level assemblies. Our job is to introduce the buyers to the sellers and buttress the relationships by ordering parts they need and updating them on new product lines.
Education: BS, Business Management, Northeastern University
Previous Experience: I was very good in accounting in high school and truly enjoyed it. I worked part-time at an accounting firm while going to college. It was a great job and helped me decide that I truly wanted to work with numbers. I started out as an administrative assistant and then worked my way up to office manager. I'm now the controller at a small company in a suburb of Boston.
Job Tasks: I am responsible for all the company's financial reporting as well as for managing and administering all benefits. One of the most important responsibilities I have is to provide a cash flow statement weekly and a monthly business analysis summary to the owner. The cash flow contains a current cash balance showing any anticipated income and what date the checks are expected to come in, minus our projected payroll. We are paid bi-monthly so the breakdown includes two dates and what is expected to come in before payroll. The monthly business analysis sheet has much more detail. It compares this year to last year and also a monthly average of income. It breaks things down and gives a monthly net income or loss.
I also administer the payroll which is paid through a payroll company. The payroll process is very easy and it is all done online and does not take more than a few minutes. I process all the receivables and payables and administer all the benefits. We have group health, life and dental insurance. We also sponsor a 401K plan which a private company administers and supports. We make payroll deductions based on what the employees want to contribute. I use accounting software in which I am able to provide our accountants all year-end information which they prepare our corporate taxes from.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I truly enjoy working with numbers. I have almost always had a job that involved some type of numbers. I also enjoy using the computer to input all the info and produce financial reports. I feel confident in providing my boss with accurate financial information and suggesting any adjustments that need to be made so we continue to be profitable.
The part I enjoy the least is when I am asked for information that takes a lot of research and requires me to look data from years ago. I like to get things done quickly but accurately and having to take lots of time looking up old info is not my favorite.
Job Tips: One of the most important aspects of my job is accuracy. I always remember my teachers telling me to check my work and proofread. Technology has made accounting so much easier and more efficient. Make sure you are accurate with your numbers.
You also need to enjoy working with people. The human resource side of things involves some uncomfortable conversations at times. You need to always remember that things are confidential and you may find it challenging to keep things to yourself at times.
If you have an opportunity to work part time in the field you have chosen while going to college can be very helpful. It gives you an opportunity to see some of the day-to-day activities you may be responsible for in the future and really help you decide if it is truly what you want to do.
Additional Thoughts: One very large benefit to being a bookkeeper is the ability to do the work at home. If you are planning on having a family many companies are open to your working at home. It has been very helpful for me and is one of the reasons I stayed in this field. I think many companies today are much more open to being flexible with working parents.
I truly believe there are many people who do not enjoy the work they do. I have been fortunate and always enjoyed my work. I have worked with many challenging personalities and have learned to realize that my job should be kept separate from my home life. Try not to be influenced or tempted by the gossiping of your co-workers. One of the most important things a previous employer said to me is that a job is a privilege and there are too many people out there who do not realize that.
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