Comptroller – Definition

Cite this article as:"Comptroller – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated October 6, 2019, last accessed October 27, 2020,


Comptroller Definition

A comptroller is a United States’s employee in charge of the accounting and financial operations of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and some other business establishments. Comptrollers are actually controllers, and the word is a title given to one who has vast experience in controlling the financial aspect of such businesses or agencies.

A Little More on What is a Comptroller

Comptrollers are slightly seniors to controllers and they usually operate in non-profit agencies. They’re equivalent to chief financial officers (CFOs) in NGOs and government agencies, and they usually report to the chief financial officer in larger businesses. However, if the organization under which they’re working is small, then they’re required to submit and report directly to the president of the business or the chief executive officer (CEO).

Tasks of Comptrollers

Comptrollers are basically in charge of business funds and finances, and they manage the accounting staff of any organization in which they’re present. They also take care of the internal control of funds and financial reports, and they’re in charge of accounting transactions processing, and other financial receipts. They’re tasks include but are not limited to countersigning expenditures including billing receipts, account payable and receivable, employees payroll, collection and cash receipts. In most cases, comptrollers are in charge of a company’s budget and they’re helpful in securing loans. These personnels make sure that the financial data and statements of a business are accurate, and they also maintain the general ledger of the businesses they’re working with. Comptrollers can be said to be chief audit executives, as they are in charge of supervising internal audits and they also help with external audits.

Degree Requirements and Certifications for a Comptroller

Since comptrollers are senior controllers, they’re required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting. They’re also required to Certified Public Accountants (CPA), or possess a certification as a Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) or as a Certified Management Accountant (CMO). For comptrollers with more experience, they can have certifications such as Certified Internal Auditors and Certified Government Financial Manager.

Professional Organizations for Comptrollers

Comptrollers may belong to any national association of their choice. Here are the top three professional comptrollers organizations in the United States:

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • American Accounting Association
  • Institute of Management Accountants

References for “Comptrollers”…/what-is-the-difference-between-a-controller-… › Investing › Financial Analysis › Accounting › Accounting Careers

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