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2020 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

7. The Controller’s Role in Management Control Dialogues

Author : Cecilia Gullberg

Published in: Strategic Management Control

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

The breadth of the controller role, ranging from bookkeeper, “bean counter” and “watchdog” to a more strategic business partner, has long been discussed in the accounting literature. Resting upon the assumption that controllers, at least on the business partner side of the spectrum, frequently engage in dialogue with operations managers, this chapter investigates what such dialogues, or “accounting talk”, may look like and what the role of the controller may be therein. The chapter outlines three common types of dialogues between controller and managers, which serve to create awareness of problems, identify reasonable solutions, and challenge assumptions about how to conduct operations. In these dialogues, accounting information and other types of information jointly form a multifaceted image of operations that may spark discussion and debate around strategic issues. These dialogues may furthermore serve an educational purpose for both controller and managers as information and stories are exchanged around interpretations of data, definition of concepts and day-to-day operational concerns. Assuming this more strategic and interactive role, the controller becomes involved not only in calculations but also in social processes related to educating, persuading and inspiring. The chapter ends with a discussion of how a more strategic controller role can be enabled.

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Metadata
Title
The Controller’s Role in Management Control Dialogues
Author
Cecilia Gullberg
Copyright Year
2020
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38640-5_7