What is the role of a company's controller?

Definition of Company Controller

A company's controller is considered to be the chief accounting officer and the head of the accounting department.

Role of the Controller

As head of the accounting department, the controller will be responsible for the company's:

At larger companies the controller may be assisted by other accountants. Those assisting could have have titles such as assistant controller, accounting manager, cost accounting manager, tax manager, accounts payable manager, credit manager, payroll manager, and so on. These managers may then be supervising accountants and accounting clerks.

At smaller companies it is possible that the controller will be the only accountant and will be assisted by an accounts payable clerk.

The controller for a large company might report to the chief financial officer (CFO), while the controller for a small company may be reporting directly to the president or owner.