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How Much Does a Controller Make in Los Angeles?


Controllers spend much of their time coordinating, planning, and reporting on the financial activities of the organizations they serve.  As a result, Controllers are often key to the health and functioning of their organizations, as well as to the company’s or department’s ability to fulfill its short and long-term goals.

Their roles in financial decision-making means that Controllers require specialized education, training and experience in order to build their skills.  In addition to having a strong working knowledge of accounting and finance, Controllers also must have a thorough and current knowledge of the industry they serve, as each industry has unique accounting standards (referred to as General Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP) , as established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Most Controllers also have obtained their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. In order to maintain the license, CPA’s must attend classes and/or conferences to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits every year.

With extensive education, years of experience in financial positions, and in most cases an active CPA license, Controllers are in high demand.  Their average rates of pay reflect this fact.

For a Controller, pay depends on a number of factors.  Factors can include the size of company; whether the company is publicly traded, private equity-owned or privately held; the profitability of the company and the industry. Components of the compensation Controllers earn include a base salary, a performance bonus, and can often include sign on bonuses, car allowances and equity compensation (either stock options or restricted stock units).

Our team of experienced recruiters has developed a range of Controller salaries in the Los Angeles area, based on extensive data gathered throughout 2013. Most of the figures below only reflect the base salary. Bonuses and other compensation can add another 20% to 50% to the total compensation figure.

  • A company grossing $20 million to $50 million per year may pay its Controller $100,000 to $125,000
  • A company grossing $50 million to $100 million per year may pay its Controller $125,000 to $150,000
  • A company grossing $100 million to $250 million per year may pay its Controller $150,000 to 200,000
  • A company grossing over $250 million per year will usually pay their Controller in excess of $200,000.
  • Controllers of larger public companies, such as Fortune 500 Companies (where revenues exceed $4 billion) will often pay their Controllers a total compensation package (base, bonus, equity, and other perks) that may exceed $1,000,000 annually.

Because a Controller is responsible for the integrity of financial statements and the financial health of the company, his or her compensation is tied to the company’s financial health in a number of ways – in terms of bonuses paid, future salary increases and in some cases, annual equity grants. If you are looking for Controller jobs in Los Angeles, please contact Conexus today.

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