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Difference Between Controller and Comptroller

Controller vs Comptroller
 

Usually, the words ‘comptroller’ and ‘controller’ are very easily confused to be the same thing; mainly because, their spelling and pronunciation are very similar to one another. The two terms are closely related to each other in the field of finance, and refer to finance personnel who conduct activities similar to one another. There are, however, some differences between the definitions of these terms and most organizations tend to combine the duties of controllers and comptrollers in an effort to centralize and simplify the financial functions. The following article provides a clear explanation of what each term means and provides an outline of how Controller and Comptroller are different to each other.

Controller

A controller refers to a person within an organization that takes care of the company’s financial accounts. The word controller originated from the ‘countreroller’ that refers to the person responsible for keeping ledger accounts. The title controller is usually given to an individual who works in a private organization. In today’s business terminology, controllers are usually referred to as ‘finance controllers’ who basically perform the same functions as a controller where they manage the financial accounts of a business and ensure that the quality and accuracy of financial reporting of the company are maintained up to standard.

Comptroller

Comptrollers perform very similar tasks to a controller. A comptroller, however, may hold a higher ranking position in the organization and holds a higher level of responsibility. The title comptroller is usually given to an individual who works in a government organization and holds similar responsibilities to a controller. The work of a comptroller usually starts once the financial accounts have been prepared and passed over by the company’s accountant for review by the comptroller to ensure accounts are prepared according to various accounting and quality standards. They may also be responsible for overseeing budgets and comparing how actual numbers are similar to or vary from budgeted amounts.

Controller vs Comptroller

As can be seen from the descriptions above, comptroller and controllers perform very similar tasks in the organization and almost the same to one another. The major difference lies in the type of organization each one performs. A comptroller usually works for a government organization, whereas a controller will usually work in a private business. Further to this a comptroller is perceived to be of higher ranking than a controller and is involved in the internal costs and profits, whereas a controller will be more involved in the costs and profits created at the final stage of the product/service.

Summary:

What is the difference between Controller and Comptroller?

• The words ‘comptroller’ and ‘controller’ are closely related to each other in the field of finance, and refer to finance personnel who conduct activities similar to one another.

• A controller refers to a person within an organization that takes care of the company’s financial accounts.

• Comptrollers perform very similar tasks to a controller. A comptroller, however, may hold a higher ranking position in the organization and holds a higher level of responsibility.

• The major difference lies in the type of organization each one performs. A comptroller usually works for a government organization, whereas a controller will usually work in a private business.


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