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Becoming a Contract Controller by Ron Rael

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Chapter 1Controller Responsibilities

Introduction

What is a Controller? Do they really control anything?

To fully understand the role of the contract controller, we need to set a baseline of knowledge about what the controller position is all about. This position is different from the CFO, which is covered in chapter 2.

This chapter helps you to

  • Understand the role the Controller plays in an organization.

  • Avoid getting sucked into the Controller’s Vacuum.

  • Help another professional decide if the role is one they really want to get involved with.

The Controller Position

An experienced Controller described his job as:

“Do everything!”

A seasoned Controller commented that her entire job description reads:

“All duties as assigned.”

The best way for a non-Controller to understand what a Controller does is to hear how many Controllers describe their job:

“A Controller has full responsibility for everything not specifically assigned to other executives.”

We begin understanding the contract Controller position by conducting a brief review of the Controller position. This is for two reasons. First, some people who are interested in this position come from public accounting and most have never served as Controller. This brief review gives them a better understanding of what responsibilities the Controller takes on so they can successfully scope out the client’s project.

The second reason for this review is for people working in industry who have never been a Controller but are considering ...

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