The Institute of Management Accounting and Control

A Leading Think Tank on Controlling

Under the joint directorship of Professor Dr. Utz Schäffer and Professor Dr. Jürgen Weber, the Institute bundles the numerous activities of the associated professors, doctoral students and other staff members in research, teaching, and business engagement.

In our research, we want to learn about the counterpart role in the finance function (i.e. the role of CFOs, controllers and financial directors) as part of organized learning and critique. In our teaching, we want to contribute to the education of responsible leaders in the finance function and beyond. Finally, in our engagement with business, we serve by accompanying the transformation of the finance function and the development of the profession of controllers. The underlying duality of scholarly and practice impact is part of our vocation.

Latest Thinking

In the coming years, controllers must face eight central challenges resulting from digitalization. Their task profile, toolbox, and mindset must be adapted to the new parameters. Looking ahead, the number of controllers will drastically decrease as controlling continues to become an element of management philosophy.

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Controllers take on various functions in the planning process – from providing key figures through to reconciling business objectives. They have done their job so successfully over the years that they also play a central role in determining target values. This, however, should remain in the hands of managers. Why this represents a major challenge for controlling, and how to deal with it, is illustrated in the example of Deutsche Telekom’s Campus for Planning.

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Controllers are generally not considered to be innovative. On the contrary, they are often seen to be "innovation killers" rather than innovators. Yet it is their duty to support innovation although they don't really know how closely they should do this. The effect that innovation can have on controlling is certainly not clear-cut. Our recommendation is that you carry out systematic innovation management for your controlling. We show you how to go about this.

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Managers and controllers have witnessed a significant increase in the volatility of the business environment. Although the latest financial crisis is now generally considered to be over, the underlying trends that contribute to volatility still remain: the world is becoming more densely networked, and the barriers of time and space are getting increasingly blurred.

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Controllers have undergone a very successful transformation. This can be traced through three distinct stages.

To start with, the controller’s role is that of “master” of financial data. He is there to ensure that the information required by management is accurate, consistent and up-to-date, and he holds himself accountable for ensuring transparency.

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Information technology has always played a central role in controlling. The introduction of ERP systems, for example, considerably unburdened controllers and enabled them, for the first time, to develop into true business partners. The latest revolutions in IT have resulted in remarkable progress, as well.

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News

10.01.2018

IMC celebrates tenth anniversary

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management has set itself the goal of Thought Leadership; with research, instruction and practice, it pursues all three strategic fields of performance on an equal...

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11.12.2017

Research workshop with Paula Van Veen-Dirks and Sandra Tillema

On December 6, 2017, Paula Van Veen-Dirks and Sandra Tillema from the Department of Accounting of the University of Groningen visited the IMC for a one-day research workshop. The workshop focused on...

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23.10.2017

IMC welcomes Professor Sebastian Becker for workshop on forecasting

On October 19, 2017, the IMC hosted a one-day workshop on forecasting. In an informal atmosphere, doctoral students of the IMC had the opportunity to present and discuss their research on the topics...

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