Job Title: Controller
Type of Company: My company is a reseller of credit reports and other credit solutions to various industries.
Education: BS in Business Administration, minor in Justice Studies, University of New Hampshire
Previous Experience: Worked in public accounting for 4 years as an auditor, have been a Controller for 4 companies since then.
Job Tasks: My primary responsibilities include performing and overseeing all accounting and finance-related tasks for our company. This can mean anything from billing customers and recording their payments, to recording vendor bills and paying them, handling payroll and benefits issues, tracking the company's financial transactions and preparing monthly statements for management to use in decision-making. I also draft reports to shareholders, the IRS, banks, etc.
But in a broader sense, my job is to keep our management, shareholders and directors informed about how profitable our company is, and how its prospects for the near future look. I also handle all outside requests for financial information for things such as audits, workers' compensation (insurance) audits, census requirements, town property lists, etc. On a typical day, I generally spend some time updating customer and vendor records based on the prior days' activity and focus after that on longer term projects: making closing entries for the month, for example, or reconciling balance sheet accounts. In addition, I take many calls from customers, bankers, lawyers, etc. regarding their business with us.
This job requires both analytical and communication skills and a willingness to make decisions.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that it allows me to do what I love (math/accounting) while at the same time interacting with a host of different people; and I can have a direct impact for the better on how our company runs.
The worst part is that the tasks I perform can sometimes be repetitive and mundane.
Job Tips: If you are interested in a career in accounting or finance, I strongly recommend that you consider working for a large public accounting firm first and get your CPA license as soon as possible. In public accounting, you get to see the financial statements from the top down and look at how numbers are compiled from a different perspective than you would in private industry. Also it is much easier to get your CPA license early in your career, when college courses are still fresh in your mind and taking exams is something you are used to. Once you have public accounting experience and a CPA, you can go anywhere in the accounting/finance world.
Additional Thoughts: Accounting/Finance is really quite easy and very interesting if you like math and have an analytical way of thinking. I'm always surprised at how much I enjoy it, given it is my job. Over all, if you don't enjoy the work you are doing, change your career or change jobs until you find something that you love.
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