The New Controller Guidebook

CPE Credits
NASBA Category

There are no prerequisites.



Course Description

The controller position has many responsibilities, which can seem overwhelming to someone new to the job. This course eases the transition into the controller role by describing each responsibility, noting which ones are the most critical, and showing you how to manage them properly.

Instructor Steven Bragg addresses the key management aspects of the job, including the management of cash, billings, collections, inventory, fixed assets, accounts payable, payroll, and management of the accounting department as a whole. All aspects of reporting, such as closing the books, financial statements formats, extra reports to be issued by a publicly-held company, and a variety of management reports are covered in depth. Planning considerations, with discussions of the entire system of budgets and capital budgeting, are discussed, along with how to select and install an accounting computer system.



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 …

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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
April 20, 2020
Advanced Preparation


Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220

Learning Objectives

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

Chapter 1

  • Note the roles of the controller and the chief financial officer
  • Identify activities to address during the controller’s first days on the job

Chapter 2

  • Identify key elements involved in the accounting for cash, including how to reconcile, administer petty cash, forecast and invest, and set up a system of cash controls

Chapter 3

  • Note the measurements that can be applied to the credit and collection processes
  • Identify techniques and accounting used for credit and collections

Chapter 4

  • Recognize the methods for creating and issuing customer invoices, as well as how to account for them

Chapter 5

  • Identify the types of inventory tracking and costing systems available, noting their characteristics and use as well as how to manage the systems

Chapter 6

  • Identify ways to track fixed assets, noting the characteristics and usage of each method
  • Recognize the accounting for fixed assets, noting fixed assets controls, record keeping, and audit requirements

Chapter 7

  • Identify major accounts payable processes, noting how to manage the accounts payable function and set up a proper system of controls for it

Chapter 8

  • Recognize the key elements in accounting for equity, noting terminology and how to account for basic equity-related transactions such as stock and dividends

Chapter 9

  • Identify techniques used in the processing of payroll, noting key characteristics for payroll cycle durations and timekeeping
  • Specify ways to improve the processing of payroll, including the key characteristics and usage for each method
  • Note the proper way to account for common payroll transactions
  • Identify various payroll controls, noting the characteristics of each type of control

Chapter 10

  • Identify the methods and techniques available for establishing a system of management over the accounting department, noting benefits and drawbacks associated with each

Chapter 11

  • Identify the various steps needed to close the books and issue financial statements, noting key characteristics of each step as well as important issues to consider

Chapter 12

  • Identify the different types of available financial reporting formats, noting key characteristics and usage, account classifications, and preparation requirements for each

Chapter 13

  • Recognize the additional financial reporting requirements and subsequent tests for publicly-held companies related to interim reporting, segment reporting, and earnings per share
  • Identify the role and responsibilities of the controller and chief operating decision makers
  • Note the key elements in the public company closing process, including the additional steps needed to close the books, required forms, and disclosures for non-GAAP information

Chapter 14

  • Identify the types of management reports to issue, noting common line items and reporting concerns
  • Calculate the selling price variance given a set of circumstances

Chapter 15

  • Identify the ratios that can be used by the controller, noting the characteristics of each type of ratio as well as applicable differences

Chapter 16

  • Recognize the components that comprise a company’s budget, noting how the various components are assembled to create a complete budget package

Chapter 17

  • Identify the main methods used to investigate requests for capital spending, noting the characteristics, focus, and usage of each
  • Note the intent and usage of a post installation review

Chapter 18

  • Recognize the steps required to select and install an accounting computer system, noting important topics to consider
  • Note the nature of a bidders conference