The controllership function is evolving. Driven by unstoppable forces such as globalization, technology advances, and the need for greater efficiency and transparency, controllership is becoming a more strategic business asset.

To keep up with these changes, it’s important to understand how to execute a new vision for the changing role of the controller. This article takes a closer look at both topics and provides valuable insights for controllership professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve.

What Is a Controllership and What Are Its Key Responsibilities?

The controllership is the function within an organization that is responsible for:

  • Financial reporting
  • Compliance
  • Risk management

A controller is typically the head of this function and reports directly to the CFO. Controllership has come a long way since its early days as a back-office accounting operation. 

In today’s business environment, the controllership must be a strategic partner to the business. It must provide decision support and analysis that helps drive growth and profitability.

The controller’s responsibilities have expanded beyond traditional financial reporting and compliance to risk management, information technology, and data analytics. As businesses become more complex and global, the controller must be able to provide insights and analysis on various topics that impact the industry.

KPMG Study

The first study we’re looking at was conducted by KPMG and took a closer look at the evolution of the controllership function. This study found that as businesses continue to grow and expand globally, the need for a strategic partner who can provide financial leadership and insight is more important than ever.

In order to meet this demand, controllership functions must evolve to become more proactive, advisory, and analytical. The study also found that technological advances play a major role in this evolution by providing new tools and capabilities that allow controllers to be more efficient and effective in their roles.

Deloitte Study

The second study, conducted by Deloitte, examines how controllership functions can execute on a new vision for the changing role of the controller. The study found that to be successful, controllership functions must adopt a new mindset focused on value creation.

In addition, the study found that controllership functions must develop new capabilities to meet the demands of the changing business landscape. These capabilities include data analytics, financial modeling, and enterprise risk management.

What Are Some of the Challenges Faced by the Controllership?

There are several challenges faced by the controllership as it looks to evolve into a more strategic business partner. These challenges include:

  • The need to provide accurate and timely financial reporting 
  • The need to comply with ever-changing regulatory requirements
  • The need to manage risk in an increasingly volatile world

However, these challenges also present opportunities for the controllership to become a more integral part of the organization. By understanding these challenges and how to address them, the controllership can position itself as a key driver of growth and value creation.

How Can Organizations Ensure They Have an Effective and Efficient Controllership in Place?

There are many steps that organizations can take to ensure that they have an effective and efficient controllership in place. These steps include:

  • Identifying the key responsibilities of the controllership
  • Defining what success looks like for the controllership
  • Developing clear objectives and performance metrics for the controllership
  • Creating a roadmap for how the controllership will evolve over time
  • Implementing controls to ensure accuracy and timeliness of financial reporting
  • Ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Managing risk effectively across the organization

By taking these steps, organizations can position themselves for success in an ever-changing business landscape.

What Resources Are Available to Help Controllership Professionals Develop Their Careers Further?

There are some resources available to help controllership professionals develop their careers further, including:

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

The IMA is the world’s leading organization that empowers management accounting and finance professionals to drive business performance.

The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP)

Located in Maryland, The AFP is the premier professional association for financial professionals, providing educational resources, networking opportunities, and career development tools.

The Controller’s Guidebook

The Controller’s Guidebook is a comprehensive resource that provides controllers with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their roles.

Leveraging these resources can help controllership professionals stay ahead of the curve and position themselves for success in the ever-changing business world.

What Is the Future of Controllership?

The future of the controllership is bright. That being said, there’s a lot of work to be done for the controllership to reach its full potential. The Deloitte study provides a clear roadmap for how the controllership can evolve into a more strategic business partner.

Only through continued innovation and evolution will the controllership be able to meet the demands of the changing business landscape. By taking the time to understand the challenges faced by the controllership and how to address them, organizations can ensure that they have a key driver of growth and value creation in place.

Learn More About Controllership in Our Community

Looking to learn more about Controllership? Controllers Council is a national community and platform of Controllers, Accounting and Finance professionals focused on accounting best practices, information and resources, recognition and networking. Membership has many features and benefits to propel your career and expertise, and to be an active participant in our exciting community. The Controllers Council Forum allows members to pose questions about advancing your career and other topics. Become a member today.

9 Frequently-Overlooked AP Internal Control Issues: How to Prevent ThemWebinar Wednesday, August 10

Often it is the little issues, those seemingly unimportant tasks, that when ignored or not handled properly cause huge nightmares in accounts payable. The damage from these problems is immediate and felt directly on the bottom line. This webinar is CPE Eligible!