Job Search

Corporate Controller vs. Financial Controller: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A corporate controller is responsible for the financial statements of a corporation and for ensuring that the corporation complies with financial reporting regulations. A financial controller, on the other hand, is responsible for the financial management of an organization. While both positions are important in their own ways, they have different responsibilities. In this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between corporate controllers and financial controllers.

What is a Corporate Controller?

The Corporate Controller is the chief accounting officer of a company. They are responsible for all financial reporting, both internally and to external stakeholders. This includes overseeing the preparation of financial statements, managing the budgeting process, and ensuring compliance with accounting regulations. The Corporate Controller also works closely with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to develop and implement financial strategy. In larger companies, the Corporate Controller may also oversee a team of accounting professionals.

What is a Financial Controller?

A financial controller is a senior-level executive who oversees the financial reporting, record-keeping, and budgeting for a company. They work closely with the CEO and other members of the executive team to develop long-term plans and strategies for the company. Financial controllers also oversee the work of the accounting department to ensure that all financial reports are accurate and timely. In addition, they develop and implement internal controls to safeguard the company’s assets. Financial controllers also have a deep understanding of tax laws and regulations and work with the company’s tax advisor to ensure that the company is in compliance.

Corporate Controller vs. Financial Controller

Here are the main differences between a corporate controller and a financial controller.

Job Duties

Financial and corporate controllers have some of the same job duties, but they also have others that are unique to their specific industries. For example, both types of controllers oversee financial reporting for their companies. They collect data from different departments within a company and analyze it to determine how much money they can spend on new business ventures or how much profit they can make.

Corporate controllers often focus more on accounting and budgeting than financial controllers do. Corporate controllers help with things like creating budgets for each department in a company and deciding which vendors to use for certain services. Financial controllers may be more familiar with financial reporting software than corporate controllers are.

Job Requirements

To become a corporate controller or financial controller, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field. You may also need to have a master’s degree and/or professional certification, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA). In addition, you will need several years of experience working in accounting or finance.

Work Environment


The specific skills used on the job by corporate controllers and financial controllers can differ depending on the size of the company they work for and the industry they are in. However, both types of controllers typically need to have excellent analytical skills to be able to review financial data and identify trends. They also need to be able to use accounting software to generate reports and forecast future finances.

Corporate controllers may need to have more interpersonal skills than financial controllers as they often interact with other departments within a company to ensure that everyone is adhering to the company’s financial policies. Financial controllers typically have more of a focus on the numbers and may not need to interact with other departments as much. Both types of controllers need to be able to communicate effectively, however, as they often present their findings to upper management.


The average salary for a corporate controller is $142,597 per year, while the average salary for a financial controller is $124,139 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the professional has prior to taking the position.


Mechanical Contractor vs. General Contractor: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Data Architect vs. Cloud Architect: What Are the Differences?