Transparency in Financial Controlling Made Easy
The ongoing quest for transparency is one of the great constants in controlling. In practice, new challenges keep arising with every new year. A good example is the introduction of computers, which quickly made paper- based work obsolete. Financial controllers had to learn how to find the necessary data in partitions rather than account books. The globalization and, first and foremost, the digitalization then caused an exponential increase on the volume of data together with a continuously growing need for real-time data to reliably map the overall situation of the company on the basis of data that is always current.
It has become clear that MS Excel is inadequate for mapping and analyzing planning, controlling and reporting data.
At the beginning, financial controllers were decried as “corporate beancounters”. A new role image emerged over time and elevated the significance of the financial controller. He morphed into the role of the business partner to the company's management, then the role of the change manager and has in recent time also had to assume the role of the data scientist. All of these extensions to the controller's role are of course legitimate and make good sense. But they also have the effect of concentrating too much knowledge in a single person or a small group within the company.
From the company’s perspective, a small group of individuals gains too much control by way of their amassed knowledge. This can potentially not only result in misuse of information, but also in knowledge being lost when the persons holding it leave the company. From the controller's perspective, these new and additional requirements lead to an overburdening of the person holding responsibility. The more tasks are assigned to the financial controller, the less time he has to employ the same level of diligence for every single task and responsibility. Transparency is lost on both sides. The following is a common occurrence in practice: The financial controller does his work, but most colleagues have no understanding of what he really does. This not only leads to problems in the collaboration between the financial controlling unit and the other departments, it also frequently causes a negative attitude towards the financial controlling unit. [...]
- The Challenges
- the lack of transparency in the role of the financial controller
- data sources and data lineage and their lack of transparency
- the lack of clearly defined processes
- flood of reports without meaning
- The Solution: the right software to deliver transparent data
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