International controlling - Germany
Second operations efficiency radar by Roland Berger and ICV
In 2010, the German economy turned the corner following the worst economic crash since the war. Many businesses have moved on successfully from restructuring to growth mode. The economic upturn appears to be stable, and is set to continue in 2011 – although there may still be some setbacks along the way. The CFO Agenda 2011 confirms that business is confident: the focus is on growth projects, while at the same time increasing efficiency. These are the findings of a joint study in which Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the International Controller Association surveyed over 100 CFOs and commercial directors of manufacturing companies.
"It is impressive how soon businesses are on course for growth again after the crash," says Thomas Rinn, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Roland Berger Principal Oliver Knapp adds, "In planning their agendas for 2011, CFOs are clearly aiming to grow again. At the same time, however, they are keeping their eye on improving efficiency." In their second joint operations efficiency radar, international strategy consultants Roland Berger and the International Controller Association (ICV) asked over 100 CFOs and commercial directors at manufacturing companies what their priorities are for the coming financial year. What they found was that companies will identify the growth issues that matter to them, streamline their product and service portfolios while at the same time creating future-proof portfolios in terms of design-to-value aspects. At the same time, however, they will have to keep on cutting their production costs, producing more efficiently and pushing ahead with product innovation.
Product portfolio and production activities planned
Respondents said the focus in 2010 was on product portfolios (53%), production (54%) and working capital management (62%). "In the coming year, nearly 70% of the companies are planning to work on their product portfolio and production once again," says Conrad Günther, Managing Director of the International Controller Association. "Purchasing and logistics are also becoming important again, while innovation and development are regarded as less important than before." The companies surveyed said the main challenges in the coming year will be generating and managing growth, optimizing production costs and becoming more flexible.
Ten success factors identified
In light of the switch from strict cost cutting to growth, the study includes a special analysis on the subject of strategy. The results show clearly that growth will be the number one topic in 2011. They indicate the CFOs will be aiming mainly at organic (78%), but also inorganic growth (nearly 50%). "At the same time, companies are planning programs of continuous improvement (67%) to make themselves more efficient, particularly over the long term," says Rinn.
"There are ten decisive success factors here," says Knapp. "These are: selecting the levers that are most promising for a company; defining clear, measurable, demanding targets; synchronizing levers to minimize friction losses; planning precisely how to use levers; forming cross-functional teams; creating requirements for budgets, for example; anchoring targets in personal target agreements, introducing effective project monitoring; holding regular reviews with management and supporting communication."
"CFOs can use the operations efficiency radar to help them make decisions when planning for the coming year," says Günther. "With the right planning and execution, companies can keep sharing in the recovery." Rinn concludes: "Once companies have done their homework in 2010, they will continue purposefully on course for growth in 2011 once more."
The positions of Controller and Risk Manager continue to converge
The significance of risk management in businesses has grown / Survey by “Controller’s e-News”: a large section advocates development of risk management
Munich, 30 August 2010 – Risk management has predominantly gained in significance in businesses over the past two years. But in the opinion of professional users, insufficient investment is still being made for this position. This was the result of a general survey performed by Risk Management Association e.V. (RMA) and Internationaler Controller Verein eV (ICV) among readers of the sector newsletter “Controller’s e-News”.
These respondents were asked in the spring about the state of risk management. 244 answers were evaluated. Other than changes in the significance of risk management and costs for risk management, there were structural questions to be answered. According to this, risk management is located in the field of controlling in the case of almost half (46 percent) of the respondents, cooperation between controllers and risk managers has been established: In the case of 36.5%, they work continuously/permanently together, regularly/recurrently in the case of 17% and selectively/subject to requirement in the case of 29.5%.
“Intelligent handling of risks creates value”
The Chairman of the RMA, Dr. Roland Erben, sees in the results of the survey “renewed confirmation that risk management has become more grown-up”. “The growing significance of risk management is finally gaining the recognition it deserves”, according to Erben. “The function of risk management has already been getting more and more important for years now – partially triggered by the increasing legal regulations, but luckily also more and more due to a far-reaching change inside businesses. These have realised that intelligent handling of risks ensures competitive advantages and creates value.”
“Very similar duties of the controller and risk manager”
With the survey, Prof. Dr. Rainer Kalwait, Professor for business administration and international management at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences, a member of the RMA board and leader of the ICV circle of experts for “Controlling and risk management”, sees his position confirmed that controllers and risk managers process very similar problems from differing perspectives or with a different focus. “Anyway, controllers and risk managers work more or less closely together in 83% of all businesses. This and numerous practical reasons – e.g. the existence of an appropriate personnel infrastructure, well organised reporting paths or the cost savings resulting from this as well as many others – speak in favour of establishing risk management in controlling”, explains Kalwait. “The survey indicates quite clearly that 46% of the businesses polled which operate risk management, locate risk management in controlling. One could also interpret the result in such a way that almost half of all businesses regard risk management as a task for controlling.”
Other than this, questions were posed on opinions on the cost incurred for risk management. 41% thought that costs in the business were just right and appropriate, 17% evaluated costs as too high and 42% as to low. “It shows that businesses as a whole are to a great extent still not satisfied with what has been achieved and use this to advocate development of risk management”, says Kalwait.
The survey results in detail:
Has the significance of risk management changed in your business over the past two years?
» it has become greater 59%
» unchanged 40%
» it has decreased 1%
How do the controller & risk manager cooperate in your business?
» continuously/permanently: 36.5%
» regularly/recurrently (e.g. in terms of annual budget planning): 17%
» selectively/subject to requirement (e.g. only in the case of specific projects
such as investment projects or similar): 29.5%
» not at all: 17%
Where is risk management positioned in your business in terms of organisation?
» In an administrative department/in its own department 16.5%
» In the controlling department 46%
» In the audit department 5%
» In another department 15%
» Nowhere 17.5%
How do you assess costs for risk management in your business?
» Costs are too high. 17%
» Costs are just right and appropriate. 41%
» Costs are too low. 42%
Risk Management Association e. V. (RMA) (http://www.rma-ev.org/) based in Munich, is an association of people and organisations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland which deals in risk management. It promotes dialogue on this topic which reaches across departments, businesses and borders and in doing so makes a decisive contribution towards further development of risk management methods. RMA is an expert partner in all questions of risk management for businesses, politicians, authorities, enterprise and science. The RMA Chairman is Dr. Roland Erben, Editor in Chief of RISIKO MANAGER magazine and RISK, COMPLIANCE & AUDIT, Ulm, the Deputy Chairman of the RMA is Frank Romeike, CEO, Editor in Chief and publisher of RiskNET GmbH.
- Hans-Peter Sander; EastWestCom, Lachen-Birkenallee 16, D-86911 Diessen/Ammersee; Tel. +49-(0)8807-94 90 94; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Internationaler Controller Verein, Geschäftsstelle, Leutstettener Str. 2, D-82131 Gauting, www.controllerverein.com
- Prof. Dr. Rainer Kalwait, Member of the RMA Management Board & leader of an ICV circle of experts, email: email@example.com
- Dr. Roland Franz Erben; RMA Chairman; Risk Management Association e. V., Xaver-Weismor-Straße 18, D-81829 München, Tel.: +49.(0)163-3733633; mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rma-ev.org
"Controllers have made an outstanding contribution to combating the crisis"
Inauguration of the 35th Controllers Congress in Munich / The ICV Chairman pays tribute to the achievements of controllers and gives a reminder about the need to take part in shaping businesses and spur on innovation
Munich, 14th June 2010 – The 35th Controllers Congress was inaugurated in Munich today. Over two days of the largest controlling symposium in the region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland 600 managers, controllers, business consultants and university teaching staff are going to discuss the topic of "Intelligent Controlling: securing success, developing opportunities". The inaugural speech by Siegfried Gänßlen, the Chairman of the host, the Internationaler Controller Verein (ICV) and CEO of Hansgrohe AG is reproduced in extracts here.
"Over the last year, with the slogan "Controlling in hard times" in mind, we have undertaken intensive efforts to deal with the effects of the biggest global economic crisis since the end of the Second World War. Now, a good year later we cannot yet say with certainty whether the crisis is over or whether the improvement in the economic situation is still too feeble to be able to provide a foundation for a really sustainable recovery … What we can say for certain is that the situation has had a massive influence on our actions as controllers and these have changed greatly. At this point I would like to say that in their work controllers have made an outstanding contribution to combating the crisis."
"We know that in this uncertain transitional phase the return to stable and dynamic growth is not a foregone conclusion. The direction that development takes will also depend on how companies behave now and how well they get themselves into position, in order to get going again after the crisis. … Controllers can play really quite an important role in this as the business partners of management ’Getting companies ready for takeoff, so they can lift off before competitors do so in the coming recovery,' is what Dr. Bernd Gaiser, Speaker of the Horváth AG Board, wrote recently. His optimistic phrase: 'ready for takeoff’ also fits in with the future-oriented call for modern, intelligent controlling, to secure success and develop opportunities expressed in this year’s conference motto."
"Of course this also needs to be looked at against the background of our claim that modern controlling has a role to play in the transformation programmes that are now needed in business. …And change is really necessary. This is because the crisis has called into question a lot of things that were previously considered to be virtually the norm."
"Controllers must enable company management to get ready to act and take targeted decisions, use forecasts and scenarios to properly assess future development and identify new ways of generating profitable growth. It is only in this way that controllers are able to play a role in shaping development in the corporate environment and spur on innovation, instead of solely acting as “cost cutting tsars”. To achieve this they must think themselves into the future and create their own impetus.”
"On the one hand it is imperative to challenge what is customary and supposedly proven, go beyond boundaries and dare to try what is out of the ordinary, in order to identify innovative solutions and develop visions. On the other hand, this all depends on achieving the ideal mix of attacking measures and the rather more defensive actions aiming at reducing costs and securing liquidity. This is most certainly easier said than done.”
"To sum up, I personally see the following tasks as being the consequences of the crisis: strengthening innovation, boosting growth, increasing resilience; continuing with change; making demands on and promoting talent."
ICV Board and Board of Trustess re-elected
The 2010 General Meeting of the International Controller Association (ICV) held on June, 13th in Munich, has on a rotational basis re-elected all members of the ICV Board as well as of the Board of Trustees.
As members of the ICV Board were re-elected for further five years: Siegfried Gänßlen, CEO Hansgrohe AG, Schiltach (D); Marcus H. Haegi-Largo, accoprax ag, Reinach BL (CH); Dr. Adrianna Lewandowska, MBA Business Discovery, Poznan (PL); Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, Deputy ICV Chairman, Fachhochschule Steyr, Studiengang Produktion und Management, Linz (A); Dr. Walter Schmidt, ask - Dr. Walter Schmidt, Berlin (D); Dr. Bernd Schwarze, R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG, Wiesbaden (D). Conrad Günther, Controller Akademie AG, Gauting (D), ICV General Manager, is also an ICV board member and was appointed by the ICV board.
All members of the ICV Board of Trustees were re-elected for further three years: Dr. Wolfgang Berger-Vogel, Linz (A); Prof. Dr. Christoph Binder, ESB Reutlingen Business School, Controlling und Unternehmenssteuerung, Reutlingen (D); Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle, Deputy Chairman of the ICV Board of Trustees, Honorary ICV Chairman, Controller Akademie AG, Gauting (D); Mag. Alfred Düsing, voestalpine Stahl GmbH, Linz (A); Dr. Richard Lutz, DB Mobility Logistics AG, Berlin (D); Ragnar Nilsson, CIO CONSULTS Nilsson-Executive-Consulting GmbH, Mühlheim (D); Hillert Onnen, BLG Logistics Group AG & Co. KG, Bremen (D); Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, Institut für Management und Controlling, Vallendar (D); Dr. Ernst F. Schröder, Dr. August Oetker KG, Bielefeld (D); Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Weber, Chairman of the ICV Board of Trustees, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, Institut für Management und Controlling (IMC), Vallendar (D); Dr. h.c. Frank-J. Weise, Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Nürnberg (D).
Corporate communication has arrived in controlling
The ICV Statement "A basic model for communication controlling" has been brought out / The guideline represents a milestone in professional communication management / PR Verband (Professional PR Association): “A decisive step on the way to developing a standard“
Munich, 14th June 2010 – The ICV statement "A basic model for communication controlling" has now been brought out on the occasion of the 2010 Meeting of Members of the Internationaler Controller Verein (ICV) – International Controller Association and the 35th Controllers Congress. This balanced guideline from the ICV is aimed at practical controllers' work and provides commentary on an important and current controlling topic and gives a concise presentation of courses of action and modes of behaviour. Deutsche Public Relations Gesellschaft (DPRG) (German Public Relations Association) which was involved in drawing up the Statement, describes the publication as "A decisive step on the way to developing a standard".
In the new ICV Statement "A basic model for communication controlling" controllers and communication managers will for the first time get concrete recommendations for action with respect to the strategic and operational management of corporate communication. The 80-page document was developed by the ICV "Communication Controlling" specialised working group for more than three years.
Members of the "Adding Value via Communication" working group of DPRG played an active role in the development process. The German Public Relations Association has greeted the new guideline as a milestone on the way to developing a standard accepted across all professional groups. "The ICV specialised working group headed by Dr. Reimer Stobbe has succeeded in bringing the results generated within DPRG since 2002 in line with the terminology and practice of professional controlling." Since 2008 the ICV and DPRG have been working together on developing a standard for controlling communication by and in organisations.
The ICV basic model now gives a clear picture of how the Controller Verein understands communication controlling and which guidelines on this subject it is making available to its members. The publication is aimed at controllers and communicators alike. It shows what principles should apply with respect to the implementation of communication controlling in day-to-day business operations.
From impact levels to the basic model
In 2009 the ICV and DPRG developed a joint reference framework for practical work in the form of "impact levels of communication". In the meantime the impact level model has gained the status of a standard, not least due to the fact that it has garnered more support: from the Kommunikationsverband (Communications Association) on the part of advertisers, event managers, sponsoring and marketing experts and from the Public Relations Verband Austria (PRVA). Both organisations have lent their support to the ICV basic model.
The impact levels are a core element of the basic model that applies to communication controlling. They reflect the fact that for a long time corporate communication has not been limited to a marginal role in a business, but rather has been professionalised and become a strategic function. For its managers this means that there is a need for professional goal identification, planning and management of all the associated processes. The pre-condition for this is for the achieved impacts to be considered in a differentiated way. A media content analysis, a stakeholder survey or online monitoring carried out in isolation and without being incorporated into the organisation's strategic processes does not fulfil this task. The impact level model segments the process of communicative value creation into seven sections: input, internal and external output, direct and indirect outcome and outflow.
The communication management cycle
Once proof of a communicative impact at the outflow level has been obtained, the communication management cycle is complete – as long as this impact has been agreed beforehand as constituting a key contribution to the successful implementation of the corporate strategy. In this respect the differentiation between various impact levels is relevant for goal identification, planning and management of corporate communication. It makes it clear at what point in the value creation process which communicative impacts are to be achieved and measured.
The ICV Statement presents a clear picture of the value creation process covering all of the impact levels based on a stylised and highly simplified example of use. The entire management cycle is run through – starting from goal setting relating to corporate strategy and the resultant communicative requirements. Ratios and budgeted values are developed and explained using examples. Because the goals of communication are derived from the corporate objectives, the function is integrated into the goal system of the overall organisation and can be slotted into its controlling system.
Guidelines aimed at practical controllers' work
The ICV Statements are guidelines for controllers' work. They provide commentary on selected important and current controlling topics and give a concise presentation of courses of action and modes of behaviour. The Statements which are brought out at varying intervals express the balanced view of the ICV, drawing on the results of the exchange of experiences and intensive discussions by members in working groups and committees. These have been developed as a service for Association members and are aimed at controlling practitioners.
If you have any further questions concerning the "Basic model for communication controlling" please do not hesitate to contact:
For the ICV: Dr. Reimer Stobbe, Head of the "Communication Controlling" specialised working group, Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft in München, Königinstr. 107, 80802 München, Tel.:+49-89-3891-2629, Fax:+49-89-3891-72629, E-Mail: email@example.com
For the DPRG: Dr. Christopher Storck, Chairman of the "Adding Value via Communication" working group; HERING SCHUPPENER CONSULTING Strategieberatung für Kommunikation GmbH, Kreuzstraße 60, 40210 Düsseldorf, Tel.: +49-211-43079-50, Fax: +49-211-43079-33, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines for "lively communication between controllers and managers within a team"
The ICV statement "Controllers' communication skills” has been brought out / An argument against the provision of a "one-way-supply-service” by controllers
Munich, 14th June 2010 – The ICV statement "Controllers' communication skills – the bases for successful communication at the intersection between controllers and managers" has now been brought out on the occasion of the 2010 General Meeting of the Internationaler Controller Verein (ICV) – International Controller Association and the 35th Controllers Congress. This guideline aimed at practical controllers' work provides commentary on an important and current controlling topic and gives a concise presentation of courses of action and modes of behaviour.
The Statement can be thought of as a support tool aiding work and understanding with respect to communication issues which controllers frequently come up against in practice. The explanations are based on the controlling approach of Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle, the German controlling pioneer, founder and honorary chairman of the ICV and are in line with Deyhle's understanding of communication in terms of "doing something together". The subject matter of the new publication is personal, direct communication between controllers and managers on the basis of the controlling intersection image (controllers and managers in a team). This emphasises the interactive nature of the activity, a function oriented toward relationships, communication, rapport and co-operation. The publication combines aspects of communication science with the demands that stem from controllers' role and tasks. It brings together various spheres of knowledge to create an integrated approach. Building on a theoretical foundation the Statement deals with communication processes and situations in controllers’ practice.
The ICV wants to use its new Statement with a view to informing, inspiring and supporting its members and interested parties in the controlling community. However, it should also serve as a reference work as the "state of the art". “This is how things are done by controllers according to Deyhle and the ICV.”
“Controller reports are only half-ready at the point of delivery“
The foreword is by Albrecht Deyhle. One of the things it says is: "When I describe the function and role of controllers as “support for management, which is informed by business administration principles” – as also stated in the ICV's mission statement for controllers – intermixing only occurs due to constant communication". Deyhle argues against a "one-way-supply-service"; it is possible to encounter "excellent communication" in circumstances where people do things together and understand the meaning of these. "Controller reports are only half-ready at the point of delivery. If recommendations based on data are contained therein, the controller function cannot put the necessary actions and measures into motion itself. It can suggest them, often according to the "if/then principle" – potentially within the context of a best case/worst case scenario. It is up to the report recipient(s) alone to take decisions." In his foreword Deyhle recommends "sitting in front of the screen together – with this recommendation being based on my own experience as a controller and manager. In this context the controller controls the form of the statement (a form, set wording), to which it is necessary to add something – precisely by the relevant executive themselves. For me this constitutes … lively communication between controllers and managers within a team."
The author of the Statement is the business administration graduate and specialist journalist (DFJS), Alfred Biel. He works as a reviewer, author, interviewer and moderator for various media in this country and abroad and is in charge of the literature forum in the "Controller Magazin" journal. Biel is the head specialist editor at the ICV and a moderator in the Deutscher Fachjournalisten Verband e.V. (professional journalists association).
Guidelines aimed at practical controllers' work
The ICV Statements are guidelines for controllers' work. They provide commentary on selected important and current controlling topics and give a concise presentation of courses of action and modes of behaviour. The Statements, which are brought out at varying intervals, express the balanced view of the ICV, drawing on the results of the exchange of experiences and intensive discussions by members in working groups and committees. These have been developed as a service for Association members and are aimed at controlling practitioners.
ControllerPrize 2010 for the German Federal Employment Agency
The SAMP – Management of Labour Market Programmes "beacon project" is awarded a prize / The German Federal Employment Agency is able to adjust its budget during the fiscal year in line with rapidly changing underlying conditions
Munich, 14th June 2010 – At the 35th Controllers Congress, on Monday (14th June) in Munich the Internationaler Controller Verein's (ICV) “ControllerPrize 2010” was awarded to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA) (German Federal Employment Agency). A controlling solution that can serve as an example to be followed by public authorities – a "beacon project" was honoured. A special prize was given to Birgit Feistmantl, a controller at Swarovski Japan ltd.
The EUR 5,000 ControllerPrize 2010 was awarded to the German Federal Employment Agency for the “SAMP – Management of Labour Market Programmes” project. SAMP supports budgeting and its adjustment to rapidly changing underlying conditions. Due to its pressing need to be able to carry out management and control functions during the fiscal year, the German Federal Employment Agency introduced quarterly extrapolation for annual planning and is able to undertake adjustments to the current operations on this basis.
The ICV Jury gave a special prize to Birgit Feistmantl, a controller at Swarovski Japan ltd. She succeeded in combining Japanese accounting with controlling in line with the ICV mission statement in the Japanese subsidiary of the Austrian company. This resulted in major changes in the sphere of cost allocation and likewise in personnel management.
The selection process threw up three new hot topics
For the 8th time the ICV awarded the ControllerPrize for an exemplary controlling solution. The jury members experienced the familiar and the new this year. The jury chairman, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Weber, the chairman of the ICV Board of Trustees and director of the Institute of Management Accounting and Control at the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, has highlighted three hot topics as new developments emerging from amongst the applications “which are all of importance for controlling“.
Thus firstly "brands as value drivers and carriers of value for a company" have come to the fore as a "new content field". Controllers must gain more expertise in this area as an urgent priority. It is only in isolated cases where the relevant evaluations may be carried out nowadays (as intangibles); within the framework of governance by rules this topic remains underdeveloped to this day. One application for the ControllerPrize 2010 for "Brand Performance Management" in particular has turned out to be a trail blazer, because not only did it relate to brand evaluation, but also “real brand management, in which controllers play a decisive role”.
A further, second new innovation emerged within the context of the "internationality perspective". In the Anglo-American world the "German concept of controlling” is just as little known as it is in Asia, opines Jürgen Weber. However, this year there was a candidature that also points the way ahead in this area. In the Japanese subsidiary of an Austrian company "an attempt to breathe controlling life into Japanese accounting appeared to be successful," reports Weber. In this context "'German controlling' was adapted to the specific circumstances in Japan in a highly sensitive manner, e.g. by integrating elements of continuous improvement". This resulted in considerable changes in the sphere of cost allocation and likewise in personnel management". The jury honoured the commitment of the controller from Swarovski Japan ltd., Birgit Feistmantl with a special prize.
The third candidacy for the ControllerPrize, which is showing the way forward in the opinion of the ICV jury, came from a "field where it is true that controlling has made inroads as regards terminology, but where solutions still tend to be more theoretical in practice: public institutions“, relates the Head Juror Weber. In this area there is enormous potential and a great urgency to deploy ever scarcer state resources more effectively and efficiently. In this context the ControllerPrize went to a public institution, which has managed to achieve “the transition from traditional input management to results- and impact-oriented management.” In the German Federal Employment Agency it was said that there had been a "remarkably consistent reorganisation of management with a high level of controller involvement". Effectiveness and efficiency have improved considerably, explains Weber.
The candidature for the ICV Prize was put forward for a partial aspect of the transformation project: that pertaining to budgeting and its adjustment in line with rapidly changing underlying conditions. To an even greater extent than in private industry, in the public sector budget planning is extremely complex and consequently slow and inflexible. Where an area of activity is subject to severe fluctuations, there is a great need for management and control functions to be performed during the year. Therefore action was taken to facilitate the extrapolation of annual planning on a quarterly basis during the year, in addition to periodic procedures and then based on this to undertake adjustments to operations. As Jürgen Weber explained the ControllerPrize 2010 for the German Federal Employment Agency should encourage public institutions to make the idea of controlling a reality. The prize was awarded for a "beacon project".
Polish-German work group meeting
- The two organising groups first met in January 2010 in Poznan in order to set up the framework of the joint meeting. Thereto the report by Kerstin Hoffmann and a video at ControllingTV.
- The return visit followed at the beginning of April in Berlin. Here you can download Marian Kubiak's review of the meeting and watch the respective video.
Castle Lagow - geographically situated exactly between Poznan and Berlin - hosted our common meeting. A report by Darius "Darek" Gulczynski will follow soon. The video offers an impression of the meeting. Different presentations mirror the topics discussed.
Women in the ICV: Ines Manegold
Women in the ICV: Katrin Kirsch-Brunkow
More and more women volunteer for the ICV. Answering our questionnaire they give us a lot of interesting insights into their ICV commitment. Here you can learn about Katrin Kirsch-Brunkow, a member of the work group Berlin-Brandenburg, a highly motivated person full of energy.
Women in the ICV: Doris Mailänder
The ICV is a society that consists of hundreds of members. Many among them are women - we want to show you who they are. Here we have Doris Mailänder, deputy head of the Germn work group North I. Here are some insights.
Women in the ICV: Anja Gondolf
German-Polish cooperation project
The work groups Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany) and Breslau (Poland) are planning a common meeting in March 2010. The details will be fixed towards the end of 2009, when the German work group travels to Poland to introduce itself to the colleagues abroad. This first meeting will take place on November 19th and 20th. Bärbel Kuhn, head of the work group Berlin-Brandenburg, says that even controllers who are not yet members of the work group can join this project: "All E-News-readers are welcome to play a part in our project!".
Read more about how the idea came up and what is in store for the participants in the short interview with Bärbel Kuhn.
Why did you chose the work group Breslau to co-work with?
Kuhn: Herwig Friedag, member of our work group and head of the PR-committee, came up with this idea while attending a work group meeting in Breslau. After this meeting he told us that the Polish colleagues would like to see how we work and share our experience - a wish that we would really like to fulfill, because it is always interesting to exchange ideas and beliefs with other controllers - no matter where they come from.
Where will the meeting in spring 2010 take place?
Kuhn: Somewhere in between our domiciles, I guess near the German-Polish frontier, certainly in a little nice hotel.
What will be the main subject of the meeting?
Kuhn: We will focus on how to create sustainable controlling and on the models meant to support it. We will send you details after our first meeting in November.
Do you see any obstacles on the way to this meeting?
Kuhn: For a common meeting there is one precondition from our side: all participants have to speak German, as for us English is not an option for this kind of work within expert work groups. We think that 7 to 10 Polish members will join the meeting in the end.
Better by the dozen
Chairman Siegfried Gänßlen talks about the key aims of the ICV which is now active in twelve countries. "A key element of internationalization is exchanging products and experiences both within the various countries and across borders. ICV supports the development of local controlling expertise with a range of activities", he explains. Why members, managers, employees and entrepreneurs benefit from the strategy - read more here:
Are we controllers or number crunchers?
Being international means being able to speak foreign languages - foremost English. Dr. Dietmar Pascher of the Controlling Academy at Lake Starnberg, Germany, looks back to the first Stage I seminar held in English in 1992. Today, 17 years later, the entire Diploma Programme is presented in English.
Innovations by Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle (Part 3)
In November 2008 Albrecht Deyhle was awarded an honorary doctorate by the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management of Vallendar. Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Weber held the honorific speech on November 14th at the University Chapel. He pointed out five innovations in Dr. Deyhle's work. Three of them have already been published, namely: The three component roads (consisting of accounting that supports decision-making, planning methodology as operational / strategic planning and management by objectives); Godfather of a new professional guild (namely that of the controller) and Interaction of people and instruments. The fourth and the fifth of Dr. Deyhle's innovations are now being presented: The role of the controller as uncomfortable counterpart and Aspects of behavioural science in controlling.
Innovations by Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle (Part 2)
In November 2008 Albrecht Deyhle, founder of the ICV, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management of Vallendar (Germany). Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Weber held the honorific speech on November 14th at the University Chapel. 70 invited attendees learned about five innovations treated in his work all of which have been recognized much later by the academic world. In an new article, published at the ICV website, two of these innovations are presented: "Godfather of a new professional guild" and "Interaction of people and instruments".
Top issues from Albrecht Dehyle's honorary doctorate (part 2): Two out of five innovations by Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle
Innovations by Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle (Part 1)
In November Dr. Dr. h. c. Albrecht Deyhle, the founder of the International Controller Association (Internationaler Controller Verein) was awarded an honorary doctorate by the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management. He received this honour "owing to his extraordinary contribution to the establishment of controlling in business practice and due to the many and varied impetuses that he has provided leading to the development of controlling as an academic discipline". What is meant by this? With the benefit of Dr. Dr. h. c. Albrecht Deyhle's kind support, this will be explained in an exclusive series of articles for the ICA website. The first part, which has just been published, highlights the "Three Roads" to Controlling as an Academic Discipline.
"The 10 Core Elements of the ICA’s Sustainable Controlling Approach"
Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, the assistant chairman of the ICA, has presented the „The 10 Core Elements of the ICA's Sustainable Controlling Approach". In his article that has been published on our website Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler was writing: "Albrecht Deyhle and the ICA have had a decisive impact on controlling as we know it in the German speaking world. Internationally there is a tendency to present it as being an idiosyncratic phenomenon that diverges from the norm, which will sooner or later fall in line with the American mainstream. The current financial crisis has called into question many of the assumptions, which have until now provided us with a guiding framework for business management. This is cause enough to once again present the ICA's sustainable controlling approach as a management concept and the role of the controller in key points: We understand controlling as being a goal-oriented management process, which can only be effective if controllers and managers work together." The ten core elements are described under two subtitles: "Our controlling philosophy: economic sustainability as the main objective" and "The role of the controller: taking the initiative and being effective"
WHU study on the crisis: “What do controllers do?”
Alongside the updating of planning, development of new scenarios and planning of cost projects "sustained controlling" is becoming a focus of attention
Munich/Vallendar, 25.11.2008 - A study on the current state of the economy has been drawn up by the Controller Panel of the Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC) at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. In the work entitled: "Facing the Crisis with the Help of Controlling" the question has been asked about what controllers are doing to meet the current economic challenges.
"At present many controllers are working round the clock to update planning, develop completely new scenarios for the next year or plan concrete cost saving or cost cutting projects." explained the head of the IMC and director of studies Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Jürgen Weber, Professor for Controlling and Business Management at the WHU and Chairman of the ICA board of trustees.
The study shows that in their reaction to the crisis controllers are not just concentrating on a few points, but are looking at all of the spheres of their activities: many other tasks are affected apart from planning. Changes in the use of scenarios, the analysis of risks and the intensification of forecasts are the main focal points. A further important change in controlling concerns collaboration with other departments, which is growing against the background of the increasing impact of the crisis.
For controllers the crisis even means that discernibly higher demands are placed on their time. In their own companies the extent of this can be so great that it cannot be dealt with using existing capacity and therefore - despite the problems with profits - the capacity of the controller division is increased.
With higher demands being placed on controllers comes an increase in the influence that they have on managers' decisions. "The old rule of thumb that "bad times for the company are good times for controllers" has in fact been confirmed by the results of our study." explains the controlling professor Weber. "However, controllers estimate their contribution to combating the crisis modestly. The market facing departments (marketing and sales) are holding the reins."
In the eyes of most controllers the economic crisis will not take the form of a long downswing, but should pass within a relatively short period of time. However, controllers in businesses shaken by the crisis have a more pessimistic view of this development than their colleagues in companies that have not been so badly affected. "If one assumes that knowledge about the factors behind the crisis will grow with experience of the crisis, this is a worrying finding." comments Weber.
A reorientation in controlling?
The WHU study has also ascertained whether the financial and economic crisis necessitates a reorientation of business management within companies - and as a consequence indirectly of controlling in the medium term. Although in the assessment of the majority of controllers there will be no fundamental change in business management, opposing views have been forcibly expressed by controllers "hit by the crisis". As was the case of the question concerning the duration of the crisis, experiences of the crisis play a considerable role here as well. Where the crisis has had a large impact, half of the controllers (46%) coming from the credit and insurance sector, vehicle manufacturing and the construction industry in particular see a reorientation as being necessary.
Siegfried Gänßlen, CEO of Hansgrohe AG and Chairman of the International Controller Association (ICA), which is with its 6,000 members in 12 European countries the largest organisation of controlling practitioners, considers the line adopted by the Association with regard to this question as having been borne out: "Successful controlling for successful companies must now more than ever look into the issue of sustainability. In our 70 working groups, in our regional autumn conference, which was attended by more delegates than in any previous years as well as at our large-scale, international Controller Congress in spring 2009 we have highlighted the leitmotif "Controlling in hard times" as a central theme - thus this includes issues, such as modern budgeting and working capital management to the same extent as price and risk management, communication and green controlling, for example."
And Weber, the WHU director of crisis studies, is looking ahead: "The crisis is leaving behind a considerable mark on controlling. How long this will last cannot yet be foreseen. For this reason, we shall repeat our study in around 3 months‘ time." The "snapshot study" conducted within the WHU Controller Panel is based on 434 replies, with nearly half of them given by members of the ICA. "The high response rate running at 61% - in spite of the considerable demands placed on controllers at present due to the current planning phase and the financial and economic crisis shows how topical and relevant this subject is." says Weber.
The WHU Controller Panel is an initiative of the Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC) at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. In order to develop a comprehensive, empirical view of controlling with the panel, longitudinal and cross-sectional studies are combined. The panel currently has nearly 800 participants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management is an internationally oriented, privately financed business school, which stands for forward looking research and teaching in the sphere of business administration. The courses of study offered encompass a Bachelors and Masters programme, a full-time MBA study course, the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Programme und the Bucerius / WHU Master of Law and Business (MLB). On top of this there are programmes for managers, which are adapted in line with the needs of individual businesses. Its international network covers more than 150 partner universities and facilitates lecturer and student exchanges as well as research collaborations on all continents. Moreover the WHU is the only German private university to belong to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [German Research Foundation] (DFG).
The International Controller Association (http://www.controlling-online.eu/) has more than 6,000 members operating in the area of practical controlling in small, medium and large sized enterprises. The Association was founded in 1975 and brings together controllers in 12 countries, disseminates the philosophy and application of controlling, fosters the exchange of experience and raises the level of its members' professional qualifications. It understands its role as acting as an advocate for the interests and representative of the business skills found within the Association in the public arena. Supporting the exchange of experience and communication amongst its members and focusing on future-oriented topics are the major objectives of the Association's strategy. Its Chairman is Siegfried Gänßlen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hansgrohe AG, Schiltach; the Deputy Chairman of the ICA is Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, Steyr University of Applied Sciences.
WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar (Germany) confers the honorary doctorate on Dr. Albrecht Deyhle
(Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle is being handed in the honorary certificate by the rector of the WHU, Prof. Dr. Michael Frenkel)
It was on 14 November 2008 within a ceremonial act that the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar (Germany) conferred the honorary doctorate on the German controlling pioneer, founder and honorary chairman of the International Controller Association (Internationaler Controller Verein), founder of the Controlling Academy (Controller Akademie) in Gauting (Germany) and of the "Controller Magazine" (Controller Magazin).
Prof. Dr. Michael Frenkel, the rector of the WHU, welcomed around 100 guests on this occasion. A first laudation was delivered by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Weber, WHU professor and director of the Institute for Management and Controlling (IMC) and chairman of the board of trustees of the International Controller Association. Sigfried Gänßlen, chairman of the International Controller Association and CEO of the Hansgrohe AG held a second laudation.
The position of the ICV-working groups "IFRS & Controlling" and "Banks" towards the financial crisis
(27.10.2008) The "IFRS & Controlling" expert working group and the "Banks" working group in the Internationaler Controller Verein [International Controller Association] have each developed statements concerning the current financial crisis. The documents have been published here as PDF documents for downloading.
The "IFRS & Controlling" expert working group is responsible for the "IFRS and the Financial Crisis" paper. One of the findings in this document is that the cause of the problem does not lie in the accountancy rules, but rather "unbridled moneymaking by means of uncovered cheques". The paper also states that "In the same way that fair value reflected excessive profit expectations, now it has become the bearer of bad tidings." The seemingly incredible falls in value amounting to hundreds of billions have exposed the previous creation of value as being what it was - a speculative bubble with no real values as its basis. Therefore, we can only agree with Sir David Tweedie, the Chairman of the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB): "All derivatives must be disclosed at their fair value." (Handelsblatt newspaper, 15.10.2008). It is not accounting that is the crux of the problem, but rather the way, in which it was possible to manipulate market prices and inflate balance sheets." The authors are of the opinion that accounting can make a contribution to increasing transparency, as is currently the case: "This applies to the Commercial Code as well as to the IFRS. Based on wide-ranging discussions with other experts, including the IASB, the ICV-"IFRS & Controlling" expert working group has formulated a recommended approach consisting in a "multiple column diagram". This approach has been presented in this paper.
A second position paper of the ICV has been drawn up by the "Banks" sector working group. This details seven theses concerning the changes that banks have to deal with and which resulted from the crisis. The conclusion is: "To sum up, the prolonged low profitability of the German banking sector is to be assumed. Income will fall, whilst administrative costs rise due to more extensive risk management rules and equity requirements in line with supervisory controls will increase resulting in a rise in equity costs".
Controller Magazin Special
Ladies and gentlemen,
The International Controller Association (ICV) is the network for controllers, CFOs and the whole Finance Community in Europe. Within an increasingly internationalized community, we work professionally and fruitfully to the benefit of our members. Especially in the new EU countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) we establish the structures required for experience exchange and know-how transfer and we enduringly embed our understanding of controlling and the ideas and values of the ICV. These were considerably influenced by Dr. Albrecht Deyhle, the founder of our organization. This "CM special" is to provide an initial survey on our activities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, there are 21 regional ICV work groups in nine CEE countries; eleven of them in Poland, two in Hungary and Romania each, one in Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and the Czech Republic each. In March of 2008 one first work group was founded in Slovenia.
We are consistently continuing this internationalization of the ICV and forming a network of Central and East Europeans being interested in controlling. Within this network, capable ICV work groups are alive, both regional and supra-regional ICV events are performed, economically independent country-wide ICV organisations are developed and, finally, ICV members from all regions of Europe are being networked. According to plan, the ICV intends to contact more regional companies, also as potential associated members; it intends to launch sustaining memberships and to enforce the recruitment of ICV members in the CEE work groups. We will also begin to develop ICA national associations as we are well aware of the specific characteristics of each country which, of course, have to be considered. Besides, we will increasingly use English as language of our international community and, for example, publish our "Statements" or current media like the website and the "Controller's E-News" in English.
Our decision in favour of a consequent commitment in Central and Eastern Europe has been well considered. In accordance with our association's resources we act where we see the optimum chances to enduringly embed our philosophy of controlling and, at the same time, be of maximum benefit to our members. We also can expect the largest return in these countries. The opening of CEE markets has created an enormous "controlling demand", as described in many contributions to this CM Spezial. With our understanding of controlling we are highly welcomed there and positioned just right. I would like to say thank you to all ICV co-helpers who have already done and still do pioneer work in this field, especially to our former ICV-responsible Dr. Herwig R. Friedag and to my Polish ICV colleague and member of the executive committee, Dr. Adrianna Lewandowska. I heartily invite all interested persons to contribute to our growing European controlling community.
President of the ICV-executive committee
CEO Hansgrohe AG
Controlling – by practising experts for expert practice
The International Controller Association (ICV) (www.controllerverein.com) counts more than 6,000 members actively doing business in the applied controlling of small, mid-sized and large companies. In 1975, the association was founded by the alumni of the Controller Akademie, situated in Gauting nearby Munich, which was lead-managed at that time by Dr. Albrecht Deyhle. Since its foundation, the ICV has experienced a continuous growth process in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and has established its position as the largest organization of "controlling practitioners" in these countries. Today, the ICV unites controlling experts in twelve countries, disseminates the controlling philosophy and its application, encourages the experience exchange, and enhances the professional and technical qualification of its members. The ICV understands itself as lobbyist and representative of the managerial and operational competence concentrated in the association with respect to the public. Exchanging experiences and the communication among the members as well as focusing on future-oriented, trend-setting issues constitute essential objectives of the association's strategy. President of the ICV is Siegfried Gänßlen, chairman of the management board of the Hans-grohe AG, Schiltach (D), vice-president of the ICV is Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, University of Applied Sciences, Steyr (A). Further board members are Conrad Günther, Dr. Walter Schmidt and Dr. Bernd Schwarze (all Germany), Dr. Adrianna Lewan-dowska (Poland) and Marcus Haegi (Switzer-land).
First and foremost, the ICV is a professionally working network - this is especially valid for its 14 cross-national branch and professional work groups as well as for the around 50 regional ICV networks spread across 12 countries. In the ICV, the work groups are given a central role: they serve as the platform for exchanging opinions and experiences, represent the forum for know-how transfer under colleagues - it's here where knowledge about specific issues of the practice is bundled, processed and prepared for expert practice. During the last years, the work groups in Central Europe developed dynamically. Besides the German speaking "core" countries, the ICV is represented meanwhile in nine further countries - with 21 work groups and more than 120 ICV members. Poland, for instance, has become an "established controlling country" counting meanwhile eleven work groups.
In addition, events organized by the ICV attract a strong interest among a wide expert audience: the Controllers' Congress taking place once a year in Munich (one of the largest congress events of its kind in Central Europe with around 700 participants) or other numerous regional conferences in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and - since 2007 - in the Baltic states. They all underline the ICV to be a professionally working community and contribute considerably to the exchange of experiences, knowledge transfer and networking.
In the true sense of "Best Practice", the ICV awards annually two prizes to exemplary controlling solutions: during the Controllers' Congress, the Controller Award is granted for the "exemplary controlling solution" having contributed best to the achievement of the corresponding business objective. Once a year, an international jury nominates the Controller Award winner. This award - existing since 2003 - is of high importance in the Central European controlling community. In the course of the regional conference "Controlling Innovation Berlin CIB", the Young Controllers' Prize is awarded, honouring innovative controlling diploma and master theses. With this CIB award, the ICV aims at promoting and encouraging young controllers and at bringing innovative ideas to the attention of the broad controller community.
The very special attention of the ICV is paid to any form of cooperation with academies, universities as well as with associations, professional groups and institutions. Read more or download the article.