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2023 | Book

Financial Controlling


About this book

This textbook provides an introduction to the fundamentals of operational and strategic controlling. It conveys the central tasks and functions that controlling has in the company and shows the challenges that this cross-sectional position entails. In addition, it addresses trends and developments in controlling that will have a significant impact on the work of controllers in the coming years. In addition to the German situation, the Swiss perspective is also taken into account.
Short learning units, clearly arranged didactic modules and the accompanying learning control ensure a sustainable transfer of knowledge. The book is thus aimed at all those who deal with questions of controlling in the context of their training and further education (also as a minor subject) as well as in their professional practice.
The contents
- Basics of controlling- The information function of controlling- The control function of controlling- The control function of controlling- Digitalization and Controlling- Trends in controlling

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Basics of Financial Controlling
Controlling is a multifaceted term. With controlling, designated institutions carry out very different activities and assume different roles in companies. The basic part of this book approaches the field both from practice and from theory. The theoretical guiding principle of “securing rationality of leadership” encompasses the previously presented practical fields of application of controllers. Subsequently, the possibilities of organizational placement of the controlling department as a staff or line department together with the hierarchical placement in the corporate organization will be discussed. In large companies, the question also arises as to whether controlling should be organized centrally or decentralized. This is associated with various advantages or disadvantages for the perception of the securing of rationality of leadership as the core task of controlling. In addition, the chapter deals with the professional and interdisciplinary requirements that successful controllers should meet.
Stefan Behringer
Chapter 2. The Information Function of Controlling
The information function of controlling is central to the assurance of rationality in leadership, as it is also the basis of the steering and control function. Controlling usually uses data from accounting, which is divided into external and internal. Controlling itself is often the carrier of internal accounting, but also has many relationships with external accounting, both as a user and as an information provider. Basics of cost and performance accounting (internal accounting) are explained, application areas are briefly presented. The control function of controlling offers cost management, whose goal is to influence costs.
The essential task of controlling in the information function is to prepare the information in such a way that it is decision-useful for the decision-makers in the company. For this purpose, controlling usually uses key figures or, if several key figures are combined, key figure systems, which are presented using selected examples.
Stefan Behringer
Chapter 3. The Steering Function of Controlling
The control function of controlling tries to control the behavior of employees and to coordinate it across the entire company. The central instrument for this is planning, which also forms the basis for the control function, i.e. the comparison of target and actual values. This allows controlling to check whether the company is on the right track or whether measures to correct it are necessary. In planning, there are many challenges: How should the planning be designed, who should be involved in its creation and how can one ensure that the planning participants do not abuse their information. The danger of distortion lies in the connection to the determination of the variable compensation.
Particular attention is paid to the derivation of goals in planning. The company must decide in which direction it wants to go. The statement “the company must …” already shows the first problem: Who sets the goals—the abstract unit “company” cannot do this. People have to act for the company. Afterwards the question arises, which target variables are relevant and how the target level is determined concretely.
Stefan Behringer
Chapter 4. The Control Function of Controlling
The control function represents the synthesis of the two controlling functions described in Chaps. 2 (information function) and 3 (steering function). The target (planning from the control function) and the actual situation (information from the information function) are compared and it is controlled how the two quantities differ. On the one hand, there is a purely computational activity: How do both differ from each other? More demanding than this easily automatable activity is the question of what the differences are and what conclusions can be drawn from the deviations. In particular, the control function often requires the psychological intuition of controllers, as control is associated with negative feelings in those controlled.
Stefan Behringer
Chapter 5. Digitization and Controlling
Digitalization has a great influence on many social, but also business relations. Financial controlling cannot close itself off to this. First of all, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by the terms digitalization, but also the associated terms such as artificial intelligence or big data. We then go into the consequences of digitalization for controlling in particular: What concrete effects does this have on the processes in controlling? This in turn has consequences for the controlling departments and the requirements that are placed on controllers and their role in the company. In addition, we examine whether different requirements for controlling and the instruments used by it arise from digital business models.
Stefan Behringer
Chapter 6. Trends in Controlling
In the previous book, the knowledge you expect from textbooks has been presented in a secure manner. Chapter 6 deals with trends that are foreseeable but not yet fully developed. Therefore, the following sections should give you an insight into the expected developments and outline what challenges are likely to arise for controlling departments and controllers in the next few years. There are two development lines in particular that are to be considered: On the one hand, the pressure of public opinion but also the increased regulation lead to the fact that sustainability is becoming increasingly important. On the other hand, the legislator has significantly increased the obligations of companies, in particular listed companies, in terms of control, corporate governance and compliance. This has an impact on both the activity and the organization of controlling.
Stefan Behringer
Financial Controlling
Stefan Behringer
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Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN

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