Controller's Guide: Roles and Responsibilities for the First Years / Edition 1

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Controller's Guide: Roles and Responsibilities for the First Years provides a complete overview of the functions and responsibilities of the controller in a corporation. This quick-reference guide for everyday issues shows controllers how to enhance their performance while avoiding pitfalls, complete with the latest information on:
  • Accounting in the corporation
  • Accounting principles and standards
  • Cost accounting and costing systems
  • Ratio trend analysis
  • Internal control systems
  • Internal audit function
  • Globalization
  • Recruiting, training, and supervision
  • Controller's role in investor relations
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an outstanding, indispensable guide that covers the wide range of financial responsibilities facing controllers today." (Strategic Finance, 5/2006)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471713937
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/17/2005
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

STEVEN M. BRAGG, CPA, CMA, CIA, CPIM, has been the CFO or controller of four companies, as well as a consulting manager at Ernst & Young and auditor at Deloitte & Touche. He received a master's degree from Bentley College, an MBA from Babson College, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Maine. Mr. Bragg resides in Centennial, Colorado. He has written over twenty books, including Accounting Best Practices, Accounting Reference Desktop, and Controllership: The Work of the Managerial Accountant, all published by Wiley.
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Table of Contents

1 Accounting in the Corporation.

Importance of This Chapter.

Tasks of the Accounting Function.

Role of the Accounting Function.

Role of the Controller.

Impact of Ethics on the Accounting Role.

Evolving Role of Accounting.

2 Controller’s Responsibilities.

Importance of This Chapter.

Variations on the Title.

Planning Function.

Control Function.

Reporting Function.

Accounting Function.

Additional Controller Functions in Smaller Companies.

Controller’s Job Description.

Relationship of the Controller to the Chief Financial Officer.

Future Changes in the Controller’s Origins and Responsibilities.

Managing Explosive Growth.

3 Chief Financial Officer: From Controller to Facilitator of Change.

Importance of This Chapter.

Understanding What Chief Executive Officers Want.

Task of the CFO.

Develop and Communicate a Compelling Finance Agenda.

Build a Commitment to Change within Finance.

Change Executive Management Practices.

Enlist the Support of the Chief Executive Officer.

Mobilize the Organization.

Institutionalize Continuous Improvement.

4 Accounting Principles and Standards.

Importance of This Chapter.

Committee on Accounting Procedure.

Accounting Principles Board.

Financial Accounting Foundation.

Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Government Accounting Standards Board.

International Accounting Standards Board.

Accounting Standards.

Accounting Research Bulletins.

Opinions: Accounting Principles Board.

Interpretations: FASB.

Statements of Financial Accounting Standards: FASB.

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts: FASB.

Technical Bulletins: FASB.

5 Cost Accounting and Costing Systems.

Importance of This Chapter.

Purpose of Cost Accounting Information.

Input: Data Collection Systems.

Processing: Data Summarization Systems.

Processing: Job Costing.

Processing: Process Costing.

Processing: Standard Costing.

Processing: Direct Costing.

Processing: Throughput Costing.

Processing: Activity-Based Costing.

Processing: Target Costing.

Outputs: Cost Variances.

6 Ratio and Trend Analysis.

Importance of This Chapter.

How to Use Ratios and Trends.

A Caveat.

Measures for Profitability.

Measures for the Balance Sheet.

Measures for Growth.

Measures for Cash Flow.

Measures for Nonfinancial Performance.

Interrelationship of Ratios.

Setting Up a System of Ratios and Trend Analyses.

7 Internal Control Systems.

Importance of This Chapter.


Responsibility for Internal Controls.

Examples of Internal Controls.

When to Eliminate Controls.

Types of Fraud.

Preventing Fraud.

How to Deal with a Fraud Situation.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

8 Internal Audit Function.

Importance of This Chapter.

Reporting Relationships.

Composition of the Audit Committee.

Role of the Audit Committee.

Internal Audit Objectives.

Internal Audit Activities.

Managing the Internal Audit Function.

9 Globalization: Complexities and Opportunities.

Importance of This Chapter.

Introduction: Pervasive Nature of Globalization.

Changing Nature of International Trade.

Impact of Global Trade on Segments of the U.S. Economy.

Determining and Implementing Successful Global Strategies.

Organization Structure in a Global Enterprise.

Virtual Corporation.

Technical Aspects of the Controllership Function under Globalization.

10 Recruiting, Training, and Supervision.

Importance of This Chapter.

Recruiting Sources.

Factors to Consider When Recruiting.

Factors to Consider When Promoting.

Importance of Reduced Turnover.

Importance of Developing Career Plans for Employees.

Importance of Communications with Employees.

How to Motivate Employees.

11 Controller’s Role in Investor Relations.

Importance of This Chapter.

Objectives of the Investor Relations Function.

Evolving Nature of the Function.

Communication Vehicles for Investor Relations.

Investor Relations Message Recipients.

Information Needs of the Financial Analyst.

Information Needs of Other Groups.

Disclosure Policy.

Organization Structure for Investor Relations.

Role of the Controller and Other Principals.

Changes in the Capital Markets.

12 Taxation Strategy.

Importance of This Chapter.

Accumulated Earnings Tax.

Cash Method of Accounting.

Inventory Valuation.

Mergers and Acquisitions.

Net Operating Loss Carryforwards.


Passive Activity Losses.

Project Costing.

Property Taxes.

S Corporation.

Sales and Use Taxes.

Transfer Pricing.

Unemployment Taxes.


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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Helpful for the Basics

    I am researching the controller's position and this book was helpful in detailing what a controller did in general. However, in the financial section there were some inaccuracies in some ratios where the writer inversed the dividend and the divisor by stating things such as "divide by" instead of "divide into." Also, being a financial analyst currently, I felt some of the ratios in the analysis section were not the best or the most relevant.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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