what is an assistant controller?

Stakeholders also rely on you to protect their investments, while companies need accurate data to make economic decisions and plan for the future. Your reports, audits and forecasts promote business growth, encouraging investors to hold onto their stocks. High dividends make your employer popular on the stock market.

As an assistant controller, you act as a fact-checker for bookkeepers. When accountants prepare data, they review the documents and look for discrepancies. If you find an error, you correct the issue before it enters an official report. You also discuss ways to improve the system so that accountants can work as efficiently as possible.

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average assistant controller salary

The typical remuneration package for assistant controllers in Australia is $89,270 per year. Your salary fluctuates based on experience and the complexity of your duties. When starting your role as an assistant controller, you start with a salary of $77,500 per year. The most experienced assistant controllers take home over $136,000 per year.

what factors affect your salary as an assistant controller?

As an assistant controller, your earnings depend on experience, qualifications and competencies. When you are new in the role, you have minimal experience. As you improve your experience and qualifications, your earnings increase gradually. Having professional certifications also boosts your earnings.

The size of the company you work for influences your earnings. For instance, working in a large organisation improves your salary since you handle complex duties. Small companies have minimal duties due to fewer financial transactions.

Want to know what you will earn as an assistant controller? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of assistant controllers

Assistant controllers work in various industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, mining, government agencies and non-profit organisations. Corporate assistant controllers work for major companies and collaborate with large teams. Each industry requires a specific skill set. For example, a healthcare assistant controller might deal with insurance claims. You can also become an assistant financial controller responsible for generating accounting reports and ensuring compliance with accounting standards.

If you're just starting out, working at small businesses helps you gain experience before advancing to big corporations. Small business assistant controllers have fewer responsibilities because they work on smaller teams and manage fewer people. You could narrow down your services as the company grows and hires more employees.

Four colleagues having a meeting in a meeting room. Financial charts in the background.
Four colleagues having a meeting in a meeting room. Financial charts in the background.

working as an assistant controller

If you are interested in becoming an assistant controller, discover the duties, responsibilities, work environments and career outlook of the role.


education and skills

To become an assistant controller in Australia, pursue a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as accounting, finance or economics. Since you work in a senior role just below the controller, consider pursuing post-graduate education to improve your career prospects. After completing your degree course, complete the necessary examinations to become a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA). Alternatively, gain a Chartered Accountant designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand. You should also consider a Certified Internal Auditor status.

Assistant controllers require experience in accounting or finance roles. Start your career as an accountant and improve your expertise to become an assistant controller.

assistant controller skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an assistant controller include:

  • accounting knowledge: as an assistant controller, you require extensive accounting knowledge. You help companies track their revenue, expenses, cash flow, assets and liabilities so that they invest their profits, adjust to setbacks, make predictions, make reports for investors and file their taxes.
  • attention to detail: your attention to detail prevents issues before they start. A single error could lead to misreported profits, fraud accusations or audits. Since you double-check records down to the decimal, your chief executive officer (CEO) builds trust with stakeholders and complies with legal regulations. Your detail-oriented skills come in handy when you are reviewing financial records.
  • interpersonal skills: as an assistant controller, you are a team player. Working alongside a controller means staying in touch, checking each other's work, preparing documents on time, sharing knowledge and quickly addressing issues. Additionally, you collaborate with other departments, supervisors, and CEOs and must explain concepts to people with different knowledge levels. Everyone knows that they can rely on your expertise.
  • proficiency in accounting software: as an assistant controller, you need proficiency in accounting software. Employers offer on-the-job training but prefer to see programs like Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks already listed on your resume. You quickly adjust when your company switches to a different software, enter your data neatly and accurately, and interpret other people's work.

FAQs about working as an assistant controller

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an assistant controller.

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