“The crucial question is not whether the control function is changing but whether the controller can exploit new opportunities relating to IT and social developments."
Fred Conijn, PA control and information expert
In an article that is featured on the front page of Management Accounting magazine, Fred Conijn, PA control and information expert, foresees a future in which the accounting controller shifts their emphasis from internal transaction process control to advising management. This will happen as a result of information management and the control function becoming increasingly integrated with the day-to-day business, allowing an enhanced role for the control function.
This statement is relevant to many companies that currently struggle with the design of their control function and the individual roles of controllers and management accountants. "Our analysis shows that controllers must understand their changing role due to developing trends in business and social development," says Fred Conijn. "The controller must adapt adequately and in a timely fashion to these developments in order to keep adding value to the business and thus assuring or strengthening their position in the organisation."
Over the coming decade, emphasis will be on early indicators relating to financial results, which will enable organisations to adapt when necessary. Fred writes, ‘What is important to realise is that adjusting the process is not done centrally and “after the fact”, but “during work” on the ground.’ The controller creates, monitors and adapts the control framework, in which the causal links between early indicators and business critical performance indicators will be clarified.
Fred concludes: "The crucial question is not whether the control function is changing but whether the controller can exploit new opportunities relating to IT and social developments to create a promising new future for controlling."
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