Job description for a stock controller

A stock controller is also known as a production controller or inventory controller. He applies cost accounting skills and business management expertise to review corporate production processes and ensure that levels of raw materials and semi-finished goods are adequate. An inventory controller usually has a bachelor's degree in a finance-related field.

Nature of the Work

A production controller oversees financial accounting and reporting activities in a corporate manufacturing process. He establishes logs, or records, to report material received, in stock, in the production process or shipped. A stock controller also records production activities in ledgers and ensures that manufacturing reports are accurate, complete and conform to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), top management's directives and cost accounting standards (CAS).

Education and Training

A stock controller typically has a four-year college degree in cost or financial accounting, auditing, operations research or logistics management. A production controller with a master's degree in finance or liberal arts major is not uncommon in the profession. An inventory controller with significant supervisory responsibilities usually has a master of business administration in financial management. Some stock controllers with prior public accounting expertise have certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accountant (CMA) licenses.


A production controller's total compensation includes wages and cash or stock-option bonuses. The company's size, industry and staffing needs also can affect pay levels. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that median annual wages for senior stock controllers were £64,564 in 2008, excluding annual bonuses and stock options, with the middle 50 per cent of the profession earning from £46,819 to £87,795. BLS polls also show that stock accountants and auditors earned average salaries of £38,629 in 2008, excluding annual bonuses and stock options, with the bottom 10 per cent of the occupation earning less than £23,868 and the top 10 per cent earning more than £66,547.

Career Development

A production controller can improve her career growth opportunities by performing well and attending training courses. If an inventory controller has a bachelor's degree, she may receive faster promotions by seeking a master's degree in financial management or applying for a CMA license with the Institute of Management Accountants. Within a few years, an experienced and effective stock controller can advance to a senior role, such as production finance director, accounting manager or senior cost accountant.

Working Conditions

A stock controller works a standard 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift, although business conditions often may require longer stays at the office. He also may travel periodically to visit other warehouses in which a company stores semi-finished, or work-in progress, products and finished goods.

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About the Author

Marquis Codjia is a New York-based freelance writer, investor and banker. He has authored articles since 2000, covering topics such as politics, technology and business. A certified public accountant and certified financial manager, Codjia received a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, majoring in investment analysis and financial management.

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