World-class controllership

Charting your course to success

Demands on controllership, including chief accounting officers (CAOs) and corporate controllers, have evolved, now requiring an expansion of capabilities to support strategic organizational initiatives and mandating that they become more proficient, effective, and insightful to achieve world-class controllership.

Four faces of controllership

Those in controllership positions are expected to play four diverse and challenging roles. Those four faces are explained below:

  • The steward protects and preserves the critical assets of the organization and accurately reports on financial position and operations to internal and external stakeholders
  • The operator balances capabilities, talent, costs, and service levels to fulfill the finance organization’s controllership responsibilities efficiently
  • The catalyst provides timely information insights that enable the organization to execute strategic business initiatives and drive a risk intelligent culture
  • The strategist provides financial and management information and analysis that enables the chief financial officer (CFO) and other stakeholders to shape the strategic direction of the organization to improve shareholder value

The evolving expectations of the CFO and the business are challenging CAOs and controllers to move from the more traditional roles of steward and operator to those of catalyst and strategist.

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Proficient, effective, insightful

Most in controllership acknowledge they are among the best positioned to provide valuable insights that help drive financial and operational performance, reduce risk, manage costs, and maintain financial integrity. Many also agree that to achieve world-class controllership, and to meet the evolving expectations of CFO’s, they (and their teams) must become more proficient, effective, and insightful:

  • Proficient CAOs and controllers have the ability to demonstrate expertise and competence in managing accounting operations and external reporting
  • To provide controllership services in a more effective manner, those in controllership need to successfully manage accounting and regulatory compliance
  • The insightful leader considers innovative ways to provide data-enabled decision support to help the organization achieve its strategic imperatives

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What's on your mind?

Take our one-question “flash survey” and share your input on a timely issue facing controllers and chief accounting officers. Look for a summary of the results in the next edition of Deloitte Digest for Controllership. View previous polls and results on our library page.

By participating in this poll, you consent and acknowledge that your responses may be disclosed without attribution by Deloitte in future publications, and you are authorized to respond to the poll on behalf of your company.

Controllership Navigator

World-class controllerships utilize a framework to help define the scope of their responsibilities and pinpoint areas for improvement.

Our Controllership Navigator was developed based on research performed by Deloitte’s Center for Controllership™ and provides a taxonomy of common controllership responsibilities and capabilities that enable the controllership function to assess the way they are currently using key enablers—such as talent and other resources—to carry out their responsibilities. The framework is also used to help controllerships envision a more strategically-focused future state and consider innovative ways to leverage talent, process, and technology.

The framework segregates controllership responsibilities into three primary areas:

  • Accounting and reporting operations
  • Accounting regulatory compliance
  • Strategic finance support

The framework also identifies key enablers that are leveraged to drive controllership performance. When optimized, these resources are used to accelerate the  journey by avoiding hazards and enhancing the overall delivery of services, allowing controllership to achieve its goal of delivering greater value to the business by focusing on:

  • Organization and people
  • Process and policy
  • Information and systems

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Managing the controllership function requires that leaders wear many hats. Not only do they need to lead their organization’s financial accounting and reporting activities, but they must also keep up with emerging regulatory, industry, and business developments, all while providing counsel to the chief financial officer and finance organization.

We offer a broad range of tools and thought leadership to help the controllership function assess, advise, and transform their capabilities around organizations and people; policy, process, and controls; and information and systems. We can help leaders get on course for world-class controllership.

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