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Controlling Transformation in the context of a more and more digitized environment

Innovative information technologies, shortening product lifecycles, and volatile market demands are transforming and accelerating the way business is done. As a result, it will become more and more important to accurately forecast the future. Creating value from data, that is, having the ability to extract data relevant to the controlling process in real-time and to make the right data available/transparent to the right people, and to quickly analyze it will become a decisive competitive edge. In the future, digitalization opportunities like big data, real-time availability, and predictive analytics will make a valuable contribution to all business functions.

A paradigm shift in business management practices

Digitalization and the opportunities it presents are causing a paradigm shift in business management practices. They will allow finance / controlling departments to increase their value contribution to their organizations. This, however, also means that companies must and will reshape the way the controller’s role is perceived both by themselves and throughout the enterprise. But how does digitalization actually impact the controlling and finance departments?

  • Real-time and big data a creating an ever-increasing flood of heterogeneous data that is relevant to the controlling process and affects all business functions.
  • The pressure of having to accelerate decision making increases the need for real-time and ad-hoc analytics along the entire value chain.
  • Forecasts and operational decision-making are increasingly being automated by way of predictive analytics tools.
  • The sheer number of digitalization initiatives in companies are making it an absolute must to harmonize the digitalization strategy throughout the enterprise and to enforce strict governance.
  • Establishing digital controlling practices is a transformative process that requires a structured approach to employee and organizational development.
  • The finance / controlling department is increasingly involved as and charged with the responsibilities of a business partner and strategic early warning system for senior management. Controlling is moving closer to the business departments.

The path to the future of controlling

But what specifically will finance / controlling departments have to do to make the transformation from being a mere collector of data to becoming a strategic early warning system for decision makers? More and more heads of finance / controlling departments are realizing that their existing process and organizational structures, prevalent systems, and data models are no longer integrated to a degree that satisfies growing stakeholder demands.

Contact

Stefan Spieler
Head of Finance & Performance Management

Relocating the current focus of Controlling activities

CFOs need to better align their organizations with the following responsibilities and aspects in order to transform their finance / controlling departments into an ecosystem that delivers true business value:

Content / data

Being able to extract the data relevant to the controlling process in real-time and to make the right data available to the right people for analysis purposes will become a decisive competitive edge. A prescriptive approach will increasingly replace a retrospective control logic that focuses on deviations.

Processes

Planning/forecasting/simulation as an active control tool: agile control cycles with periods of under a year and optimizations are governed by complex, highly-automated models based on real-time data from both within and outside the company.

System

Relying on state-of-the-art ERP systems such as S/4HANA to create a single source of truth that serves as the technological foundation to enable digital control practices and seamless reporting integration.

Organization

Advancing the role of the financial controller in the sense of a digital agent and data scientist for all business functions and a governance body overseeing the rules and structure of the data models and predictive analytics tools.

Getting on the right track

CAMELOT has developed a maturity model to support the controlling transformation by allowing you to take a structured approach to advancing the digitalization of your finance / controlling department. The model serves to ensure that the impact and applications of digitalization are thoroughly implemented and exploited in every relevant aspect.



 

  • We will begin the transformation by analyzing individual strengths and weaknesses and leveraging the maturity model to determine the status quo. What is important here is to get an outside perspective rather than rely on your self-assessment alone.
  • This analysis paired with proven best practices lay the groundwork for determining specific courses of action and formulating objectives that are specific to your company.
  • This is then followed by the implementation of the selected courses of action taking into account existing processes and organizational structures.
  • The last step is to once again analyze the finance / control department within the context of the maturity model to provide incentives for continuous improvement and development.

Do you have questions about digital controlling transformation or are you looking to take things further with our experts in the field? Talk to us.

"We cannot change the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

For questions and inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

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