controller vs. comptroller definition

An operational controller job title usually contains planning and supervisory duties for a specific company division or strategic business unit as they are often assigned to a distinct market or a certain facility. For example, large organizations are often comprised of strategic business units that are separated by product line, brand or geographical location.

controller vs. comptroller definition

And after the Legislature prepares its budget and makes its appropriations, the agency must prepare a second report, the Certification Revenue Estimate, to certify that the budget can be covered by expected revenues. At GrowthForce, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to building a successful business. Some companies have grown to a position where a CFO is necessary to solidify long-term strategies.

What Is A Comptroller In America?

As Texas’ chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator, treasurer and purchasing manager, the agency is responsible for writing the checks and keeping the books for the multi-billion-dollar business of state government. As you’d expect with the word “accounts” in our name, the Comptroller’s accounting function is one of our most important and most basic functions. Like a large private company with many subsidiaries, we establish and uphold accounting and reporting procedures for state government. We monitor appropriations made to all state agencies, audit state agency purchases and spending on travel and payrolls and publish the state’s annual financial report. Depending on the size and the lifecycle of a business, there are multiple options for how to manage the company’s financial operations. There are various roles, both internal and external, that can help with the day-to-day as well as the reporting and strategic advisory. CFOs and controllers typically have a great deal of accounting and business experience, and tax management knowledge.

A CPA certificate is another requirement on the pathway to becoming a comptroller or controller. The requirements to earn this certificate vary depending on the state where you want to work.

While an MBA will teach a candidate business strategy, management, human resources, business technology and communication, an MACC focuses more on hard accounting and financial management. Controllers often do not make good CFOs, as they lack the out-of-the-box thinking required to innovate financial strategy; whereas CFOs often lack the discipline and rigor required to be a good controller vs. comptroller definition controller. It’s also important to distinguish between a financial manager and a comptroller. While they both deal with accounting practices and compliance, the comptroller is more concerned with recording and financial statements while the finance manager works with managing the business’s assets. Comptrollers play a key role in the financial reporting processes of a business.

The Texas Tuition Promise Fund® allows individuals to prepay some or all of future tuition and required fees for a beneficiary at any two- or four-year Texas public college or university. The agency also administers the Texas College Savings Plan®, a tax-advantaged “529” college savings plan. Accountants are the front-line people as far as the data and numbers are concerned. They are responsible for managing the company’s accounts and ensuring proper reconciliation. Their goal is to produce schedules that support the final numbers for each account.

Accountants prepare financial reports to facilitate the analysis on how well the company is doing and keep tabs on a company’s money. They ensure the company’s financial records are accurate and watch for theft. Some accountants may specialize in a certain area, such as payroll or taxes.

A financial controller is a high-level position that is generally responsible for the accounting activities of a business and often prepares budgets and ensures financial reporting is accurate, retained earnings Investopedia explains. In many cases, the financial controller reports to the chief financial officer, who is the ultimate financial and accounting authority in a single business.

How Much Experience Do You Need To Be A Controller?

In a smaller company, it could be that the controller is the only accountant for the business, and will generally report directly to the CEO of the company. There may be an accounting clerk or an accounts payable clerk to assist with some of the accounting. A controller is usually the head of the accounting department in an organization, and makes sure that all aspects of a company’s finances are analyzed, interpreted, and documented properly. There are clear ways to be more efficient and effective in this position, and to move from simple data processing to trusted business partner. They’re also typically in charge of policies and procedures to ensure that the right transactions are made by employees. The most obvious example is expenses – the financial controller is typically tasked with creating an expense policy and holding team members accountable to it.

The duties of a treasurer include interacting with shareholders, bankers, and current and potential investors. They are primarily responsible for obtaining investment capital and managing the cash flow of the business. They build and maintain healthy business relationships with banks and raise equity capital.

And believe it or not, all the above is only a partial list of the many duties and responsibilities of the Texas Comptroller’s office. Since 1999, the Comptroller also has administered the State Energy Conservation Office , which provides funding and expertise for energy- and water-efficiency projects at state agencies and local governments. Perhaps its best-known initiative, the LoanSTAR Revolving Loan Program, provides financing for projects at public facilities such as schools; borrowers repay the loans from the savings resulting from the project. SECO estimates that LoanSTAR-funded projects have generated more than $519 million in energy savings in Texas. One aspect of our purchasing function of which we’re especially proud is the statewide Historically Underutilized Business program. Businesses owned by women, minority members and service-disabled veterans play an important role in Texas’ economy, and HUB helps ensure these entities receive a fair share of state business.

An operational controller job title specifies the responsibilities for a particular part of a company, so those duties vary from business to business depending on its operations. A financial controller is a senior-level executive who acts as the head of accounting, and oversees the preparation of financial reports, such as balance sheets and income statements. There is not much difference between the roles and responsibilities of a Comptroller as compared to a Controller.

In some ways, this could make the transition from public to private sector and from a comptroller to CFO role more manageable. While there are other important considerations to address stemming from the many differences between the public and private sector, the similar scopes of the roles could help a comptroller move to a CFO role. The financial manager must decide how much money is needed and when, how best to use the available funds, and how to get the required financing. The financial manager’s responsibilities include financial planning, investing , and financing . Its main task it to achieve liquidity and company’s ability to pay its obligations at proper time. Phase of planning and control of individual sub-tasks are carried out by controller or financial manager, and the phase of implementation by the CEO.

Job Description For A Comptroller

According to EY’s report, the biggest gap between importance and performance for FCs is communication. The FCs polled felt that communication skills were incredibly important, and that their performance in this area fell short. They may have come from a consulting or entrepreneurial background and be more adept at matters of efficiency or financial planning. In smaller finance teams, the controller and CFO may even be the same person.

controller vs. comptroller definition

CFOs and FP&A leaders are there for the strategy, and controllers are there to control. As stated above, the controller is intricately involved in the company accounting process. He also said many of the assumptions in the report have been verified by the comptroller’s office. It also would have given the comptroller’s office the power to arrest those suspected of tax fraud.

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Professionals build the skills necessary to direct others while still maintaining a keen eye for various technical and sometimes in-depth accounting needs in such leadership roles. Other duties typically handled by the controller include protecting the company’s assets through internal control and auditing. In addition the controller may be responsible for keeping track of relevant government regulations and outside economic and social forces that may affect the company’s operations. The controller is responsible for reports to management on the financial operations of the company. These may include regular reports on the firm’s performance in terms of sales and revenue. The controller may prepare special reports on specific operational areas undergoing change or targeted for reorganization.

What Is The Role Of A Company’s Controller?

For example, project-based businesses like general contractors might have a controller support the purchasing process to keep expenses in line and establish reporting to enable job/project profitability monitoring. According to, the median compensation package for a small business controller is $80,296. The complete range of salaries varies from $50,500 to $133,400 with influencing factors including company size and location. If the CEO can’t take the lead on building and telling the financial story required in fundraising, a CFO is often asked to join the team Certified Public Accountant to support these efforts and round out the C-level expertise of the company. A bookkeeper does not have the training and skills necessary to implement these kinds of internal controls. In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, controllers are also responsible for adhering to all the laws such as local, state, and federal laws related to the financial and monetary matters. ShareholdersA shareholder is an individual or an institution that owns one or more shares of stock in a public or a private corporation and, therefore, are the legal owners of the company.

In addition to the above core duties, our agency administers the Tobacco Enforcement Program, which supports the state’s laws involving the sale of tobacco products to children. We approve training provided to retailers to make sure they understand the laws involving tobacco sales, and offer sellers warning signs, stickers and other point-of-sale materials to ensure customers know them as well.

The Comptroller’s office houses the state treasury, which holds the state’s money, processes state payments to vendors and employees and deposits revenue received from state agencies. Much of our work often goes unnoticed, although the upcoming legislative session will put the agency’s role in state finance into the forefront as policymakers consider budget issues. It’s important to have separation of duties to ensure confidence in the financial records. Using forecasting and modeling they provide scenario analysis to develop strategies to ensure the company’s success.

Financial Controller And Comptroller Salary Considerations

Outside financial reports and tax returns are usually prepared in consultation with a public accountant. In a large company setting, controllers supervise people like accountants, payroll managers, tax managers, and financial managers. The CFO may distribute some of the financial management responsibilities between a controller and a treasurer.

What Does A Financial Controller Do? Does My Business Need One?

In addition, more than $50 billion in state and local assets are invested by the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Comptroller’s office. Much like a private investment firm, the Trust Company invests money for the state and local governments, working with a variety of funds and securities to produce the best possible risk-adjusted returns. The Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division investigates tax fraud and other tax-related crimes in Texas, often in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities. Its expertise includes specialized financial knowledge as well as traditional law enforcement experience, a skill set needed to detect and deter complex tax crimes. The Comptroller’s office collects more than 60 state taxes, fees and assessments as well as the local sales tax we collect on behalf of more than 1,400 local governments. Comptroller analysts help the state’s Legislative Budget Board estimate the financial impact of hundreds of important bills introduced in each session.

He or she manages the accounting function, including ensuring month-end close processes and financial reporting functions are performed accurately and timely budget creation. Many CEOs and business owners are uncomfortable with the quality of financial reporting generated by their accounting department.

There are also fewer of these positions nationwide.It may be best to establish yourself in the private market as a controller in order to gain credentials toward a government position later. The difference between controller and comptroller QuickBooks may seem small, but there are a number of considerations when pursuing these careers. If you have an interest in the accounting and finance field, you’ve likely wondered about the difference controller and comptroller.