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Operations Controller Duties and Responsibilities

An operations controller performs multiple tasks to support the company's accounting operations. Some of the principal duties on their agenda include:

Create and Support Strategic Planning One essential part of an operations controller's job is helping the organization plan for its fiscal future. This is accomplished by using statistical models and planning software to develop forecasts and cost structures.

Compile and Analyze Financial Reports As overseers of accounting operations, operations controllers are responsible for gathering various financial reports related to income, expenditures, taxes, and inventory, and performing a thorough analysis to help determine company's financial status and assist with planning.

Audit Records Operations controllers facilitate quality control by periodically performing financial audits. These audits help ensure the organization is compliant with industry standards and regulations and help identify any areas for process improvements.

Problem Solve If any accounting or reconciliation issues are discovered or reported, it is the operations controller's responsibility to research and resolve them.

Manage Operations Team In their role as part of the management team, operations controllers typically lead and supervise a team of accounting and finance personnel. These employees range from entry-level clerical staff to junior and mid-level staff.


Operations Controller Skills and Responsibilities

Applicants who rank high in personal integrity and ethical behavior and possess five or more years of accounting or management experience are strong candidates for an operations controller position. Employers also seek the following skills:
  • Accounting - creating monthly financial statements and yearly budgets for their unit requires operations coordinators to be proficient in accounting techniques
  • Data management - copious amounts of financial data are handled by operations controllers in carrying out their monitoring, analyzing, and auditing responsibilities
  • Analytical skills - staying abreast of financial performance, planning, and making recommendations for improvements requires operations controllers to analyze various financial records and results
  • Ethics - because this position handles various confidential records and sensitive financial statements, it requires a candidate with high moral standards
  • Communication skills - operations controllers need excellent speaking and writing abilities to make presentations, manage other accounting and finance personnel, and correspond with vendors and other internal and external departments

Operations Controller Education and Training

While a bachelor's degree in business, accounting, or finance is the minimum educational requirement to enter the operations controller field, CPA certification and an MBA are major pluses for prospective employees.

Operations Controller Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists $80,281 as the national average salary for operations controllers. At the low end of the salary spectrum, this position pays $41,000; workers at the high end of this position earn $126,000 annually. In addition to the standard medical and dental health insurance and sick and vacation pay benefits, many companies offer operations controllers profit-sharing and a bonus package based on either individual or group performance. The BLS projects an average growth rate for this job, with expectations for a 9 percent increase through 2026. This will result in an additional 750,400 jobs.

Helpful Resources

If you are ready to become an operations controller, we've researched a few resources that can help you get started:

Operations Management: Speak the Language, Learn the Tools, and Watch Profits Soar - this series collection by Peter Oliver covers concepts that are critical to success in the business world, such as accounting, business plans, and managing operations

American Production and Inventory Control Society - founded in 1957, APICS currently has over 45,000 members spread across 100 countries. The organization's mission is to facilitate operation management professionals'career advancement through research, publications, educational training, and certifications

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals - CSCMP's mission is to "connect, develop, and educate" supply chain management professionals as they progress throughout their career

Institute for Supply Management - with over 50,000 members spanning 100 countries, ISM is the first and largest nonprofit professional supply management association. With over 100 years of industry experience, ISM offers extensive networking, research, education, and certification programs to those in the supply chain management and related fields

Operations Manager Red-Hot Career Self-Assessment Guide - this guide details the in and outs of the industry as well as specifics concerning the operations management role. Additionally, it provides resume writing tips and over 1,100 self-assessment and interview questions to help you get the job

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