It was a novel event that was well received by both sides – research and business: The Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC) invited members of the WHU Controller Panel to a fireside chat at the WHU campus in Vallendar on 25 October 2018. The personal, informal atmosphere of the event provided panelists the opportunity to engage informally with members of the IMC. Focusing on digitalization and its impact on controlling as we know it, the guests discussed which tasks controllers will carry out in the future – when traditional reporting will disappear, forecasting will be automated, and big data analytic tools will analyze transactions in real time. They were especially interested in questions of data and IT quality: why do so many companies still have deficits in this area? What does that imply for controllers’ day-to-day work? How do we deal with such problems in the process of further digitalization? Last but not least, the panelists discussed who should be responsible for digitalization in their companies. Many suggested that the digitalization agenda must be anchored in the CFO office.
The WHU Controller Panel was launched in 2007 as a joint initiative of the IMC and the International Controller Association (ICV) to derive benchmarks and identify best practices in the field of controlling. The panel is primarily comprised of senior managers from the field of controlling and has approximately one thousand members from a range of different sectors and company sizes who take part in surveys on current trends in controlling. Membership in the WHU Controller Panel is free of charge.