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Career Story: Controller For A Medium-Sized Engineering Firm

Controller For A Medium-Sized Engineering Firm

Job Title: Controller - Medium Sized Engineering Firm

Type of Company: I work for a engineering firm which designs electrical, HVAC, plumbing and fire protection systems for the construction industry.

Education: BS, Food & Natural Resources, UMass-Amherst

Previous Experience: I worked as an assistant controller in the hotel business and happened into accounting when a job opportunity arose as I was looking to change businesses.

Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is the financial review and oversight of the company but I also oversee the work of a general accountant who performs the mundane functions of running an accounting office: preparing and sending out invoices, making collection calls, paying bills and taking care of the payroll. Each month I prepare profit and loss statements as well as revenue forecasts and compare the results with our budget and our earlier forecasts. I also re-evaluate our assessment of where the company is headed and meet with the principals of the firm to discuss my conclusions.

Each month, too, I review the company's cash requirements and its short-term and longer-term needs. I also write reports( using our accounting software) and generate information that the partners request.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is its independence position and flexibility. I have deadlines, but I also have the ability to complete my work at my own pace and can do a lot of my work at home.

The worst part about my job is that one of my biggest deadlines comes at the end of the year, a slow time for everyone else. So the pressure during the holiday season is a little higher than I would like.

Job Tips: The obvious advice would be to take as many accounting courses as possible before you enter the job market, but from a practical standpoint I would recommend that you pursue varied experience with regards to all aspects of accounting. Understanding the work of others makes my job a whole lot easier. Going through a comprehensive training program was very helpful in understanding all the functions of those who affect my work.

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