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.


Author: Wade Ang

An experienced financial strategist, Wade Ang imbues his business endeavors with professionalism and efficiency. Mr. Ang graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, in Honolulu, with a Bachelor of Business Administration as an Accounting and Finance major. Subsequent to earning his B.B.A., Wade Ang sought to learn about the world of finance directly and began work for American Savings Bank. He next became an Investment Specialist for the First Hawaiian Bank in Honolulu in 1996. In this post, Mr. Ang generated over $100,000 in income for the bank via creative marketing to Asian investors. After obtaining three years of professional experience, Mr. Ang returned to the University of Hawai’i to pursue his Master of Business Administration, which he completed in May 1999. Later that year, Wade Ang moved to San Francisco and began working for several high-growth, Internet-based corporations. As Accounting/Operations Manager at BoxLot.com and Assistant Controller of Esurance (recently acquired by AllState Insurance for $1 billion), he managed the financial close process on annual, quarterly, and monthly bases. His diverse set of skills enabled Mr. Ang to assist various divisions of these companies, including human resources, systems administration, staff management, payroll processing, and audit coordination for a Big 4 accounting firm. Remaining in Silicon Valley, Wade Ang advanced his career by becoming a Controller and Director of Finance for Siperian (now Informatica Corporation) in San Mateo, California. He contributed in that role from March 2005 until September 2007. He utilized his extensive Silicon Valley experience to perform more Big 4 external audits, prepare sales incentives, and improve company financials, including revenue recognition, financial reporting for the board and executives, and definition of monetary objectives and plans. Currently working for NComputing, a high-growth corporation in Redwood City, Wade Ang enjoys a continued opportunity to apply his expertise in financial operations, as well as his personable leadership style as a Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. In addition to his professional efforts, Wade Ang enjoys outdoor activities, such as swimming, basketball, running, and golf.

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