Controllership’s next normal: Looking beyond coronavirus

Key workforce strategy considerations for controllership leaders

Controllership leaders may have workforce strategy considerations to address as they navigate through the next phase of the pandemic, into the recovery phase, and on to thriving beyond the pandemic.

July 28, 2020

A blog post by Beth Kaplan, managing director, Deloitte & Touche LLP

The global pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s lives, the economy, and business functions. However, as recovery begins and businesses move into what the "next normal" will likely be, leaders can address some specific strategic considerations as they navigate work, workforce, and workplace transformation to thrive beyond the pandemic.

COVID-19 has disrupted the controllership function by changing the work performed, how work is performed, and where work is performed. Controllership has an opportunity to enable a strong recovery and thrive by understanding what transformations will stay in the near and long term, what the next normal may look like, and how to find the benefits in these changes to better navigate controllership beyond the coronavirus.


What might the next normal look like?

Work: 24/7 virtual delivery models for finance transform the traditional accounting department
Workforce: More upskilled, tech-savvy accountants and leveraging different talent ecosystems transform the workforce
Workplace: Remote and flexible work environments alter the traditional "cubicle" model

The next normal for work and potential benefits for controllership beyond the coronavirus

The 24/7 virtual delivery models for finance that emerged during the pandemic are transforming the traditional accounting department. This new controllership delivery model will likely remain beyond the pandemic, which may enable a more efficient, agile, and competitive controllership function.

More efficient and cost-focused controllership function
New delivery models allow the controllership function to shift from routine and mundane tasks to more value-added strategically driven objectives. Delegating processes and workflows to offshore support sites to support the 24/7 delivery model may also free up central employees’ decision-making and improve the value of human capital.

Competitive advantage and better business partnering
The need for real-time finance support postpandemic can provide improved access to meaningful data and improve partnerships across the organization. The new delivery model can also enable competitive advantage through unique offshore perspectives, real-time information, and value-added activity performance.

Potential benefits in the next normal for the workforce

The new workforce emerging from the pandemic will likely continue to transform with upskilled, technology-savvy accountants with cross-functional experience and a broader pool of talent ecosystems, that further alter the traditional workforce model. The next generation of accountants and talent models should enable a more efficient, skilled, and agile workforce that may contribute more value to an organization.

The next generation of accountants will likely do more, and may even do it better
The new tech-savvy controllership workforce will use technology to accomplish more with fewer human resources. Upskilled accountants with a combination of mastery in accounting and technology can combine those skills to become a trusted business partner.

Leveraging more talent ecosystems can enable a more cost-effective, agile, and open workforce
Defining and maintaining alternative talent ecosystems, such as gig work and crowdsourcing, can enable a more flexible and scalable controllership function. Beyond the pandemic, continuing to use remote and hybrid models can help reduce office space and cost. These models, enabled by technology, should also allow employees to access data and more flexibly perform entire job functions remotely without affecting performance.

The new workplace by the numbers

  • Three in five workers polled who have been working remotely during the pandemic would prefer to continue to work remotely as much as possible once there is a lift on public health restrictions1
  • 3.5x more high-performing organizations leverage talent ecosystems—from crowdsourcing to gig work to AI—to drive innovation2

The next normal for the workplace

Five areas to consider before returning to the office
It can be a challenge to determine where to begin when building a plan of action to transition your workforce to their longer-term working arrangement. We believe there are five specific areas to be considered when planning and implementing the next normal for the workplace:

  • Workforce readiness and deployment–Determine long-term work locations for each workforce group, when and in what order, to bring office workers back, and real-time workforce planning and redeployment.
  • Communication and reporting–Clearly communicate with the workforce your return-to-work plans, provide consistent updates, and continually gather employee sentiment.
  • Workplace readiness–Prepare for on-site and online infrastructure and ongoing support.
  • Health and safety–Define and strategize the appropriate timing for reopening office spaces, including strategies for reducing the risk of exposure for those who will be office-based.
  • Government rules and incentives–Monitor and comply with applicable local, state, and federal government rules and guidance, and report on necessary updates as it relates to the business and the workforce.

Moving to recover and thrive

To gain more insights into how controllership can serve as a catalyst for stability in this ongoing time of uncertainty, read our blog: Controllership’s response to crisis: COVID-19 and beyond. For more considerations about controllership’s "next normal," listen to our full Dbriefs webcast: Controllership’s next normal: Looking beyond the pandemic.

Visit the Controllership Insights blog for additional blog posts.

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.



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