Job Duties of an Assistant Controller in a Real Estate Firm

  • May 10, 2018
  • admin@ohi

What is a controller in real estate?

An Assistant Controller is a position that is typically filled by a qualified accountant or auditor who assists the controller in carrying out their duties.

Assistant Controller or property management controller is responsible for ensuring the company’s financial records are accurate and up-to-date. They may be tasked with overseeing all aspects of the company’s accounting. Real estate controller job description includes: 

  • Preparing monthly financial statements
  • Monitoring cash flows
  • Managing budgets and forecasts
  • Reconciling accounts payable and accounts receivable

Assistant Controllers may also be required to oversee the company’s compliance with regulatory bodies (e.g., HSE, FSA) and statutory requirements.

The finance controller responsibilities in the finance department of a real estate firm is helping the controller with various accounting tasks. They work under the supervision of a financial controller and should possess a set of strong analytical, technology, communication, and organizational skills. A relevant accounting or finance educational background is a must.

Job Responsibilities of an Assistant Controller

The job duties of an assistant controller are diverse. Being an assistant, he/she is likely to be assigned to a range of property accounting and management related work by the head financial controller:

  • Prepare and process in-depth financial statements
  • Assist in formulation of internal controls and policies
  • Prepare reports and budgets
  • Manage all aspects of the general ledger
  • Research accounting issues for compliance with the usually accepted real estate accounting principles.
  • Supervise the accounts receivable, accounts payable and the general accounting departments
  • Provide monthly, quarterly and yearly analysis
  • Serve as a liaison to external auditors

Each one of these job responsibilities plays an important role in the working of an assistant controller. Many other duties might be assigned to the assistant by his/her supervisor. The assistant controller will be able to understand and perform better at his work if he/she has a related educational background. Thus, it’s recommended to opt for a bachelor’s degree and/or a post-graduation course in a related field.

Educational Qualification

The basic educational qualification that every real estate firm expects from an assistant controller is a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field. A master’s degree in accounting, may act as an additional advantage. Certificate courses and additional courses are also recommended. Some common certificate courses related to accounting for real estate include foundation courses, taxation courses and introduction to real estate finance courses.

Learning theory and understanding the basics of every subject is important in order to perform well as an assistant controller. But, if one does not possess the required skill set then he/she may not turn into a successful assistant controller. Thereby, when an aspirant is preparing he/she must equip themselves properly with the skills set required for the job.

Essential Skills Set

  • Good knowledge of accounting and financial processes
  • Ability to communicate clearly in both written and verbal correspondence
  • Working knowledge of MS Office and other real estate accounting softwares like Yardi, Appfolio and RealPage
  • Ability to understand data analysis and forecasting

Professionals with experience in accounting or auditing are frequently selected for the position of Assistant Controller. They are responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date records at all times for the company. The major responsibility of an assistant controller in a real estate company is to provide support to the controller across the board in terms of accounting matters. 

The absolute bare minimum level of education required to work as an assistant controller in a real estate virtual assistant company is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or another field with comparable coursework. If the assistant controller has previous experience in the field, they will be in a better position to do their duties successfully.

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