Wages for Business Unit Controllers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($97K) per year. Total cash earnings of Business Unit Controllers range from $60K on the low end to $149K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $25K and $14K, respectively. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Business Unit Controllers (61 percent) who took the survey are men. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Most Business Unit Controllers report high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$59,276 - $137,408
MEDIAN: $96,593

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$59,276 - $137,408  
$3,020 - $25,032  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $14,453  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$60,209 - $149,038  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 292

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Job Description for Business Unit Controller

A business unit controller is an executive tasked with overseeing the operation's financial accounting and reporting. They typically have the entire accounting department of a company under their supervision and are expected to manage it in a manner that conforms to standard practices. Additionally, business unit controllers sign off on the financial reporting of an organization and must make sure that all reporting is as accurate and reliable as possible. Additionally, the controller normally sets up routine auditing systems to ensure everyone adheres to organizational standards.


Business Unit Controller Tasks

  • Lead financial planning and analysis for the business unit, reviewing balance sheets for accuracy and correctness.
  • Model financial performance and goals to inform strategic plans.
  • Work for organization-wide compliance with financial controls and audits.
  • Gather, analyze, and reconcile financial data, communicating, and disseminating results.

Common Career Paths for Business Unit Controller

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Business Unit Controllers may progress into high-paying roles like VP of Finance, where median compensation is $138K annually. Business Unit Controllers go on to become Corporate Controllers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $93K. Business Unit Controllers who move into a Chief Financial Officer role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $123K.

Business Unit Controller Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Business Unit Controller

Business Unit Controllers report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Forecasting, Financial Analysis, Budgeting, and Financial Reporting are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Budget Management, SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling, and Microsoft Excel. Most people skilled in Financial Analysis are similarly competent in Accounting and Forecasting.

Pay by Experience Level for Business Unit Controller

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Business Unit Controllers with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. In this occupation, salaries for the relatively untested average out to $64K, but folks in the five-to-10 year range enjoy a much heftier median of $103K. Business Unit Controllers see a median salary of $114K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make no more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $104,593

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 19 percent, Business Unit Controllers in Dallas receive some of the highest pay in the country. Business Unit Controllers will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+16 percent), Birmingham (+10 percent), Los Angeles (+9 percent), and Phoenix (+9 percent). Charlotte ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 18 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Boston (11 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Years in Fields/Career:
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Experience Affects Business Unit Controller Salaries

National Average

Skills That Affect Business Unit Controller Salaries

Financial Analysis
up arrow 2%

up arrow 2%

National Average

Financial Reporting
up arrow 3%

up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 33 votes.


39 %
61 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 95%
dental benefits
Dental: 82%
medical benefits
Vision: 73%
dental benefits
None: 4%