What are the main functions of a company controller?

We are speaking with Wade Ang, a financial executive with considerable experience in accounting, financial management, acquisitions, and auditing, who is currently the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for NComputing.

What is a controller?
The position of controller is a hands-on job that spans many areas of business including accounting, forecasting, reporting, and investment management. Typically working hand in hand with the CFO, the controller is a key source of counsel regarding acquisitions and other high-value business decisions that will greatly affect a company’s success.

What type of training is required to be a competent controller?
Most individuals who reach these positions in larger firms possess one or more advanced degrees, having received a Master of Business Administration or completed a Certified Public Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst program. Controllers need to have broad educational and occupational experience in order to work properly with staff on multiple levels and to proactively solve any financial problems.

Describe some of the personal skills necessary to reach this level:
A successful controller will have the right blend of mathematical and analytical acumen along with communication skills. They are not simply number crunchers, as they work intensively with outside investment firms, C-level executives, and others that require negotiations and the ability to explain financial matters in plain language.