DEFINITION of Comptroller General

Comptroller General is a high-ranking accounting position who sets and oversees accounting policy. The U.S. government has its own Comptroller General who is appointed by the President of the United States. The U.S Comptroller General serves as the head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Other organizations also appoint their own Comptroller Generals. The Comptroller General of an organization is generally in charge of setting and overseeing the accounting policy of that organization, overseeing preparation and distribution of financial statements and reporting responsibilities, overseeing internal audits, and overseeing the handling of money received and paid out by the organization.

BREAKING DOWN Comptroller General

The U.S. Comptroller General serves as the head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO actually audits and oversees the spending activities of the U.S. government, both domestically and around the world. The Comptroller General is a critical position in the U.S. government, and he/she is responsible for tracking the effectiveness of spending policies. The Comptroller General reports the GAO's findings to Congress. In addition to the U.S. government, many public organizations across the country have their own Comptroller General. In most instances, the Comptroller General is in charge of reporting on the accounting activity of their organization to the necessary regulatory and oversight bodies.