Controller organisation / Controllerorganisation
Controllers should ensure that managers do their own controlling. For this reason there should not be any department called “Controlling” since managers might get the impression that they can delegate the task of controlling to the controllers. To avoid this misperception, we recommend the following terms to describe the departments in which controllers work: Controller’s department, Controller Service, Control, Management Service, Controller team, Business Administration or Business Support Department.
The areas of work that controllers have to cover are so comprehensive that even in medium-sized businesses there is pressure to decentralise a controller’s tasks and for corresponding specialisation. This is a consequence of the management-oriented and situational consulting role of the controller. The following are examples of decentralised controllership:
- Controller for subsidiaries
- Marketing & Sales Controller
- Production Controller
- Logistics Controller
- Research & Development Controller
Decentralised controllers are normally assigned directly to a local superior and are additionally connected to the central controller service by a dotted line (in the organisation chart). The dotted line represents the authority of a company’s chief controller in all topics concerning systems, procedures and controllership.
Because controllers have fundamental responsibilities that extend right across the whole business, it has proven effective in practice to incorporate the company’s top controller into the board of executives – for the purpose of enforcement. In large English-speaking companies, this position is normally held by the Chief Financial Officer CFO, who is then the boss of all centralised controllers and the treasurer.