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Recommendations for a Controller training program?

Steve Harris's Profile

Financial Controller TrainingDoes anyone have a recommendation for a program (or other methods for that matter) for training an experienced business professional who is moving into a controller role as their first finance position? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!


Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: VP, Thought Leadership
Company: Stampli
LinkedIn Profile
(VP, Thought Leadership, Stampli) |

Steve, there are many great resources, and you should use more than one, but I would encourage you to take a look at what the Proformative learning platform ( has to offer. The on-demand courses are taught by seasoned subject matter experts, the content designed to develop and enhance specific skills, and interaction with instructors is encouraged after a course is taken. It it like having a team of on-demand finance trainers at your disposal.

Stuart Weigensberg
Title: Director of Finance
Company: WeSpire
(Director of Finance, WeSpire) |

There are a number of books that can be found online regarding the controllership function. Most of those books, or courses listed above walk you through the 'academia' part of the role- 'custodian of company assets', 'financial controls', and my favorite 'corporate governance'.

That said, like many jobs- the best training will be practical experience.

Good luck

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

In addition to this forum, Ernie and Stuart's suggestions, might I add that this person meet (network) with other Controller's in the industry sector (i.e., distribution, oil and gas), not necessary competitors and develop this into mentor relationship.

Steve Harris
Title: President
Company: The People Advantage
(President, The People Advantage) |

Ernie, Stuart, and Wayne - thanks for your thoughts......all helpful in different ways.


Charles McCormick
Title: CFO
Company: UltraVision - Dr Tomy Starck, MD PA
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, UltraVision - Dr Tomy Starck, MD PA) |

Becoming an effective controller requires learning accounting processes and audit controls in the oversight of the accounting function - for your company books. Specifically, and even more important, be prepared to spend long hours reviewing the journal entries, account reconciliations, and validating source data.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

It also maybe helpful for the individual to shadow a person in the job today, if that is a possibility.

Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |

Using technology as a Controller is a much different animal than using the same tech as an analyst, accountant, or other preparer. You want to look for technology courses specifically designed for the supervisory function.

Examples include your accounting software's audit trail and user permissions, as well as technique such as confirming that the source data used in an Excel pivot table is the complete database.

Frankly, I haven't seen a lot of courses like this. Courses are usually geared for beginner-intermediate-advanced, which has no relation to preparer-reviewer roles. You might want to have some custom training designed for you. It doesn't have to be pricey.


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