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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A comptroller (pronounced either the same as controller or as /kəmpˈtrlər/) is a management-level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization. A financial comptroller is a senior-level executive who acts as the head of accounting, and oversees the preparation of financial reports, such as balance sheets and income statements.

In most Commonwealth countries, the comptroller general, auditor general, or comptroller and auditor general is the external auditor of the budget execution of the government and of government-owned companies. Typically, the independent institution headed by the comptroller general is a member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. In American government, the comptroller is effectively the chief financial officer of a public body.

In business management, the comptroller is closer to a chief audit executive, holding a senior role in internal audit functions. Generally, the title encompasses a variety of responsibilities, from overseeing accounting and monitoring internal controls to countersigning on expenses and commitments.

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  • Comptroller Releases Biennial Revenue Estimate [Official]
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[music] Well, thank you everybody for coming this morning. Today I’m delivering our estimate of state revenues available to policymakers during the 2016-2017 session. This is one of the many duties of the comptroller’s office and is required under Article 3, Section 49a of the Texas Constitution. Our projections are based on the expectation of moderate expansion in the Texas economy and reflect uncertainties in oil prices and the possibility of a slowing global economy. For general purpose spending in 2016-2017, we estimate the available general revenue-related funds will be $113 billion as detailed on the chart to my far right. Our Texas state government comes into this legislative session with a projected surplus at the end of the 2014-15 biennium of $7.5 billion, as the state’s economy recorded even stronger growth than projected over the last two years. Sales tax revenues have been higher than anticipated, thanks in part to a robust oil and natural gas sector during the last 15 months. Other revenue sources, such as motor vehicle sales taxes, have exceeded forecast as well. We estimate that general revenue-related collections will be $110.4 billion over the course of the 2016-17 biennium. Together with the surplus from 2014-15 biennium, that brings the projected total net revenue available to nearly $118 billion. After $5 billion is set aside to be transferred to the Rainy Day Fund, as well as the State Highway Fund, as approved during the previous session and by Texas voters last fall, there will be $113 billion available to the legislature for general purpose spending in the 2016-17 biennium. Texas has recovered well from the recession of 2008-2009, and we return to strong growth well ahead of the rest of the country. During the next two years, we believe the state economy will continue to expand, though at a much slower pace than we’ve seen in recent years. Job growth has been strong in Texas, outpacing job creation in other large states. Job growth has been strong in Texas, outpacing job creation in other large states. Our impressive job growth picture of gaining over 1.1 million jobs, as illustrated in Chart 2 to my immediate right, was a tribute to all sectors of our diverse economy. This growth was stimulated by the shale oil boom, which was fortunate timing for Texas. The increased oil and gas production helped the state offset both weak growth in other sectors of our state economy as well as the drag from a sluggish national recovery. We’re all well aware that oil prices have dropped significantly in recent months. These lower prices will likely to lead to significant slowing in oil exploration and production, and this has dampened our overall economic forecast for the coming biennium. We are fortunate, however, that the Texas of 2014 has a much more diverse economy than in prior decades. Some sectors ¬¬– such as construction and manufacturing – will stand to benefit from lower energy prices. Further, lower energy costs also put more disposable income in wallets and pocketbooks, which is always good news for consumers and retailers alike. This decline in oil prices and its implications for the Texas economy comes at a time when the national economy appears to be picking up steam as evidenced by stronger jobs and economic growth numbers nationally. Strength in the broader economy – such as in construction and professional and business services – should help counterbalance a marked slowdown in the Texas energy sector. Overall, we project moderate growth in the state’s economy and in state revenues. That said, we must recognize that volatility has increased significantly in recent years. So we will continue to monitor closely the economy and state revenues. And now I will call your attention to the chart to my immediate left illustrating the volatility of sales tax revenue in recent years. From 1991 – 2001, sales tax revenues increased every year, ranging from a high of nearly 10 percent to just under 4 percent during the last decade of the last century. However, chart 3 to my left shows that the 21st century has brought greater volatility to the Texas state sales tax revenue picture. In particular, you can see that we had four occasions between 2002 and 2014 when sales tax revenue declined from one year to the next, with the steepest decline in 2010. That precipitous drop came on the heels of negative sales tax growth in 2009. The other two-year period of negative sales tax growth occurred during 2002 and 2003, in the wake of 9/11. On the other end of the volatility spectrum, there were three occasions when sales tax revenues grew by more than ten percent. Texas saw dramatic increases in 2006 and 2007 and 2012. Now, I want to call your attention to chart 4 to my far left which shows that fluctuating oil prices also have been a fact of economic life in Texas in recent years. We can see the volatility from this chart, which tracks average monthly oil prices between the years of 1991 and 2014. The chart can be viewed as two distinct periods. The monthly average price per barrel ranged from $11 to $34 during the entire decade of 1991-2001, a period of low prices, yet one of relative stability. Now compare that with the spikes and dips between 2002 and 2014, when prices swung from an average monthly high of $134 to a low of $20. In conclusion, this volatility in sales tax collections and oil prices, as illustrated in charts 3 and 4, means that my office will keep a very close watch on the state’s economy and its revenues in the coming months and over the next biennium. It places a premium on thoughtful analysis and diligent monitoring of our state’s economic health. We will update our projections as necessary to ensure the Legislature and the Governor have the absolute best information available to them as they make budget decisions. Thank you. I’m glad to take any questions.


The word is a variant of "controller". The "cont-" or "count-" part in that word was associated with "compt-", a variant of the verb "count". The term, though criticized by lexicographers such as Henry Watson Fowler,[1] is probably retained in part because in official titles it was deemed useful to have the title dissociated from the word and concept "control".[2]

A variant explanation is that comptroller evolved in the 15th century through a blend of the French compte ("an account") and the Middle English countreroller (someone who checks a copy of a scroll, from the French contreroule "counter-roll, scroll copy"), thus creating a title for a compteroller who specializes in checking financial ledgers.[3][1] This etymology explains why the name is often pronounced identically to "controller" despite the distinct spelling. However, comptroller is sometimes pronounced phonetically by those unaware of the word's origins or who wish specifically to avoid confusion with "controller".[4]

Business role

A comptroller is a person in the business who oversees accounting and the implementation and monitoring of internal controls, independently from the chief financial officer in some countries. In the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Canada, a comptroller or financial comptroller is a senior position, reporting to the CFO in companies that have one.

In business, the title is typically spelled controller,[5] with government organizations only using the spelling comptroller.[6]

Government role


In India, Comptroller is an appointment.


In Mexico, the comptroller, translated as 'contralor', was established in the public administration during the presidency of Miguel de la Madrid, when he created the Secretariat of the General Comptroller of the Federation [es] in 1982. This ministry was renamed as the Secretariat of the Civil Service by president Vicente Fox in 2003. Nevertheless, several states still name as General Comptroller Office their audit and oversight institutions. Namely, Mexico City has the Secretariat of the General Comptroller of Mexico City and Jalisco has the Comptroller General Office of the State of Jalisco.

United Kingdom

The title of comptroller is used in the Royal Household for various offices, including:

  • the Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, who is a full-time member of the Royal Household; his duties are concerned with the arrangement of ceremonial affairs rather than financial affairs.

The Comptroller of the Navy is a post in the Royal Navy responsible for procurement and matériel.

The Comptroller and City Solicitor is one of the High Officers of the City of London Corporation, responsible for provision of all legal services. The post of comptroller dates from 1311, and that of City Solicitor from 1544; the two were amalgamated in 1945.

The Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks is the head of the UK Intellectual Property Office or Patent Office.

The Comptroller and Auditor General is head of the National Audit Office, and is the successor of the former Comptroller General of the Exchequer and the former Commissioners of Audit.

United States

The title of comptroller is held by various government officials.


In Spain, the word comptroller is translated as "Interventor".

See also


  1. ^ a b Etymology of comptroller at Merriam-Webster online, Accessed 2007-07-01.
  2. ^ ""comptroller, n."". OED Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Etymology of comptroller at etymology online, Accessed 2007-07-01.
  4. ^ "the definition of comptroller".
  5. ^ "Controller Vs Comptroller". The Strategic CFO. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  6. ^ "What is the Difference Between a Controller and a Comptroller?". Top Accounting Degrees. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Home Page". U.S. office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 September 2023, at 01:14
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