There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of some of the controller's most essential responsibilities. You'll learn what is expected from a controller, how to set up and structure your department, and how to implement new systems. Special attention is paid to departmental management, payroll management, budgeting, capital budgeting, and the selection and installation of computer systems. These topics all fall under the responsibility of the controller, and each requires unique management and implementation techniques. As a whole, this course will help you set your department up to succeed on a range of issues, beginning with your first day on the job.

This course covers material also contained in The New Controller Guidebook.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Sep 11, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Describe the role of the controller and the chief financial officer, and the activities to address during the controller's first days on the job

Chapter 2

  • Describe how to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the payroll department, as well as how to account for common payroll transactions

Chapter 3

  • Explain the techniques available for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the work flow of the accounting department

Chapter 4

  • Describe how the various components of the budget are assembled to create a complete budget package

Chapter 5

  • Explain the various methods for reviewing and subsequently evaluating a capital budgeting proposal

Chapter 6

  • Describe the steps required to select and install an accounting computer system

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – The Controller Job Description

Learning Objectives


The Controller Job Description

The Chief Financial Officer Job Description

The New Controller Checklist


Chapter 1 Review Questions

Chapter 2 – Payroll Management

Learning Objectives


Controller Responsibilities

Payroll Cycle Duration

Streamlined Timekeeping

Timekeeping Systems

Computerized Time Clocks

Internet-Based Time Tracking

Electronic Payments

Payments by Direct Deposit

Payments by Pay Card

Employee Self-Service

Manager Self-Service

Transaction Error Analysis

Staff Training Program

The Payroll Calendar

Information Confidentiality

Accounting for Payroll

Primary Payroll Journal Entry

Accrued Wages

Accrued Bonuses

Accrued Commissions

Manual Paycheck Entry

Employee Advances

Accrued Vacation Pay

Payroll Controls

General Controls

Payroll Calculation Controls

Check Payment Controls

Direct Deposit Controls

Self-Service Controls

Garnishment Controls

Employee Advances Controls


Chapter 2 Review Questions

Chapter 3 – Department Management

Learning Objectives


Controller Responsibilities

Schedule of Activities

Error Tracking System

Process Reviews

Queue Management

Department Layout

Skills Review and Training

Consolidate Accounting


Chapter 3 Review Questions

Chapter 4 – Budgeting

Learning Objectives


Controller Responsibilities

The System of Budgets

The Reasons for Budget Iterations

Overview of the Revenue Budget

The Ending Finished Goods Inventory Budget

The Production Budget

Production Budgeting for Multiple Products

The Direct Materials Budget (Roll up Method)

The Direct Materials Budget (Historical Method)

The Direct Labor Budget

The Manufacturing Overhead Budget

The Sales and Marketing Budget

Diminishing Returns Analysis

The Research and Development Budget

The Administration Budget

The Compensation Budget

The Budgeted Income Statement

The Budgeted Balance Sheet

Accounts Receivable


Fixed Assets

Accounts Payable

Additional Estimation Elements

The Cash Line Item

The Financing Budget

The Compiled Balance Sheet


Chapter 4 Review Questions

Chapter 5 – Capital Budgeting

Learning Objectives


Controller Responsibilities

Overview of Capital Budgeting

Bottleneck Analysis

Net Present Value Analysis

The Payback Method

Capital Budget Proposal Analysis

The Outsourcing Decision

The Capital Budgeting Application Form

The Post Installation Review

The Lease versus Buy Decision


Chapter 5 Review Questions

Chapter 6 – Computer System Selection and Installation

Learning Objectives


Controller Responsibilities

Computer System Selection

Requirements Development

The Request for Proposals

Bidders Conference

Proposal Evaluation

Demonstrations and Reference Checks

Computer System Installation


Chapter 6 – Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Final Examination

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation



Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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