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    Vcw Cm Spezial Rz Vcw Cm Spezial Rz Document Transcript

    • September 2009 | Ausgabe 6 | 01450-5900 | www.controllermagazin.de spezial CONTROLLER ® Controlling International Controllers meet growing challenges Siegfried Gänßlen, Chairman Stefan Kaiser: Controller statements Poland: Controlling in of the ICV: Internationalization worldwide – an analysis of national hard times – taglines of success continues controller institutes practicians
    • Unternehmensplanung und -steuerung mit Weitblick I Planung I Budgetierung I Analyse I Reporting I Konsolidierung I strategische Unternehmenssteuerung I Balanced Scorecard I Risikomanagement Get a better perspective – Navigate your company to success I Planning I Budgeting I Analysis I Reporting I Consolidation I Strategic Company Management I Balanced Scorecard I Risk Management www.corporate-planning.com CP CORPORATE PLANNING AG Große Elbstraße 27 · D-22767 Hamburg ·Tel. +49 (0)40 / 43 13 33 - 0 · Fax +49 (0)40 / 43 13 33 - 33 Info@corporate-planning.com · www.corporate-planning.com Amsterdam • Barcelona • Berlin • Düsseldorf • Frankfurt • Hamburg • Hannover • Kaiserslautern • London • Malmö • München • Stuttgart •Toronto • Wien • Zürich
    • Content 2 Siegfried Gänßlen Dear reader, Chairman of the ICV board Editorial what we experience nowadays is a growing 3 Know-how controller community ... world wide. Due to our Controller statements worldwide cultural backgrounds, habits and experiences 6 Know-how are different. Controlling is done in a slightly or Deyhle’s controlling goes international even totally different way. Some ways will be 8 Romania more, others less successful. Controlling – the solution to overcoming the economic crisis in Romania We controllers have a common target though: Increase our companys’ success (short and 10 Lithuania long term), by providing service to the man- 
 Conceptions and instruments agement! 
 12 Poland 
 Controlling in hard times – taglines Manager Controller Controlling of practicians 14 Czech Republic Controlling careers in the Czech Republic 16 Russia So I see that valuable opportunity, sharing 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The theory and practice of controlling some of these experiences ... on how to achieve in conditions of crisis the goals best. 18 Hungary “Navigating heavy seas in the Variety is the spice of life Carpathian Basin” Different strategies will help in different situa- 20 Slovenia tions. I believe, that one is not more successful It‘s time to meet the challenges because he has the best strategy, but because of controlling! he or she can select from different strategic 22 Bulgaria options, behaviour patterns, etc. That way “Need and desire to learn is enormous” perfectly responding to the situation one is fa- 24 Estonia cing. Controlling in a downturn – the case of Estonia Sharing these experiences means learning from each other. The good thing about infor- Impressum Controller Magazin Spezial ist ein Spezialheft der Fachzeit- mation is, that it grows when you share it. schrift Controller Magazin und erscheint 2 bis 4 Mal im Jahr. ISSN 1616-0495, Bestell-Nr. 5001, Postvertrieb: E 12688 Herausgeber Controller Magazin, Dr. Klaus Eiselmayer I am glad to support the International Controller Verlag Verlag für ControllingWissen AG Association (ICV) by publishing this Controller Münchner Str. 10, 82237 Wörthsee Tel. 01 80 / 91 31 24 | Fax 01 80 / 91 31 74 Magazin Spezial and say thanks to all the con- info@controllingwissen.de, www.controllingwissen.de trollers, editors, designers helping to get it Eingetragen im Handelsregister Freiburg i.Br. HRB 471840 produced. Vorstand: Dr. Klaus Eiselmayer, Dr. Jochen Zenthöfer Anzeigen Haufe Fachmedia GmbH & Co. KG, Im Kreuz 9, 97076 Würzburg, www.haufe-fachmedia.de Wish you success in controlling Anzeigenleitung Bernd Junker, Tel.: 09 31 / 27 91-556 E-Mail: bernd.junker@haufe-fachmedia.de Anzeigenberatung Kathrin Hennermann, Tel.: 09 31 / 27 91-541, Fax: -477 E-Mail: kathrin.hennermann@haufe-fachmedia.de Anzeigendisposition Christine Wolz, Tel.: 09 31 / 27 91-472, Fax: -477 E-Mail: christine.wolz@haufe-fachmedia.de Editor of Controller Magazin Redaktion Hans-Peter Sander, hp.sander@eastwestcom.net Gestaltung deyhledesign Werbeagentur GmbH, Gauting CEO – Verlag für ControllingWissen AG www.deyhledesign.de Trainer & Partner – Controller Akademie AG Bildnachweis Titel Fotolia, Inhalt Fotolia Druck Bosch-Druck GmbH, Ergolding 1
    • Internationalization ICV success continues Well-known and respected in German-speaking countries, controlling has been decisively shaped by Dr. Dr. h. c. Albrecht Deyhle and the International Controller Association (ICV). The key aim of ICV’s internationalization strategy is to root this controlling philosophy in neighboring countries. ICV has made further progress over the past working group leaders and their management months; growth and consolidation are the order of teams. I should like to take this opportunity to thank the day, internationalization has been embedded you all very much for your magnificent, voluntary in the association’s business plan for the coming commitment. years. With the foundation of the first working Besides further personal memberships, ICV is also group in Slovenia in March 2008, ICV is now ac- seeking cooperation and corporate memberships tive in twelve countries. Poland is now abreast of in the “new countries” where entire teams, especial- Germany, Austria and Switzerland with eleven re- ly from the controlling or financial sectors will bene- gional working groups and the annual “Control- fit from the expertise transfer in the association. Siegfried Gänßlen ling Intelligence Advantage” conference. Another development field is establishing contacts Chairman of the International to academics and university teachers. With their Controller Association (ICV) A key element of internationalization is exchan- help, the ICV concept of sustainable controlling is ging products and experiences both within the va- to be discussed, developed and disseminated: The rious countries and across borders. ICV supports ICV seeks their expertise for the academic under- the development of local controlling expertise with pinning of its philosophy. And, as in the German- a range of activities. This benefits both corporate speaking countries, the association offers acade- global players with their expansion in Europe and mics and teaching staff a further benefit: access to regional and local companies. The association’s business practice and project support. declared aim is also to increase the individual be- nefits for personal members by allowing them to This second issue of the “Controlling International” expand their knowledge, network and problem- supplement reflects the successful internationaliza- solver skills with ICV. tion of the ICV in recent months. The reports from Creating a common language base is the prerequi- the nine Central and Eastern European countries site for improving the integration of non-German focus on the growing challenges confronting con- speaking members in the organization. This is why trollers as a result of the financial crisis. In doing ICV translates its main publications for controllers so, the important contribution by controllers to- outside German-speaking regions into English or, wards shaping a successful future is emphatically from case to case, in the respective national langu- underscored. age. International ICV conferences in Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Russia have already been conducted on a multilingual basis. The ICV website is multilingual. Association managers play an important role in all Siegfried Gänßlen ICV countries. Our organization should therefore Chairman of the ICV board continuously improve its support especially to these CEO Hansgrohe AG 2 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • Controller statements Know-how worldwide In the course of globalization, the number of multi- analysis of textbooks. Contrary to this traditional national corporations has increased constantly course of action, the basis of our study is an analy- over recent decades. Whereas in 1980 only sis of controller statements of different national 17,000 multinational corporations existed world- controller institutes. A “controller institute” is a pro- wide, this number had risen to 70,000 multinatio- fessional association which has members from nal firms in 2004. These corporations are rarely corporations, public administrations and non-profit managed only via the corporate headquarters in organizations. The main goal of a controller insti- their home country. Instead often the management tute is to connect and to support its members. team of a subsidiary is in charge of the respective “Controller statements” are comprehensive guide- country itself. However, national headquarters of- lines on how to understand the role of the control- ten manage their responsibilities based on a diffe- ler. These statements are issued by the national rent philosophy than the corporate headquarters controller institute. In our study more than 20 con- and the management teams in other countries do. troller institutes from all over the world were analy- To disregard these national singularities in the ma- zed. The gathered insights were derived mostly nagement system can therefore cause risky misin- from the websites of the particular organizations. terpretations and false estimations. This fact guarantees that the identified controller statements are adequately spread in the corre- sponding country. However, it does not ensure that Comparative Management these published statements are really transferred Accounting as a starting point into the organizations. Since the mid-nineties the comparative manage- ment accounting research deals with controlling on Two basic models an international level. Relevant research has been conducted for example by Stoffel, Bhimani or Hoff- Figure 1: Two basic models jan. Traditional research methods include the ana- The analysis of the controller institutes revealed lysis of research trends, the execution of empirical that nearly all of the institutes can be grouped un- investigations and the der one of the following two basic models (see fig. Figure 1 1). The “German” model is mostly 2 models driven by the members of the “Inter- national Group of Controlling „German model“ „Anglo-American model“ (IGC)” and here especially by the “Internationaler Controller Verein in particular strategic decision mainly operational Controllers support for the management responsibilites including (ICV)”. According to this model the tasks accounting and tax controller performs strategic decisi- controller does controllership missing dichotomy between Relation between and thereby supports manager controlling and controllership on support for the management. in performing controlling tasks isolation of controlling / controller management accounting from Here, a clear separation between and the management manager controlling as a process and control- convergence ling as a function is being made. Within the “Anglo-American” mo- 1 del, especially at the “Institute of 3
    • Management Accountants (IMA)” and the “Char- close to the “German” approach. However, as in tered Institute of Management Accountants (CI- the past decades the controller statements in these MA)”, the controller had in the past mostly operati- two countries were strongly influenced by the gov- onal responsibilities, including duties in financial ernment, the market power of the dominant ap- reporting and taxes. Because of this high number proach is significantly higher than in Germany. of operational responsibilities, the Anglo-Ameri- can management accountant is to be seen in the Figure 2: Overview of controller statements in organizational hierarchy further away from the top different nations management than in the “German” model. How- In addition to the regular x- and y-axes, our figure ever, in recent years a convergence of these ap- shows another abscissa and ordinate. These addi- Stefan Kaiser is a research proaches is evident. The German model of a con- tional axes are only relevant for the well-devel- associate at the Internatio- troller is increasingly presented as best-practice in oped controller approaches. With the help of the nal Performance Research American journals. Just recently, the controller second abscissa, the strategic focus of the control- Institute (IPRI). His explatory focus lies in the field of in- statement of the American IMA was redesigned ler can be related to the uncertainty avoidance in- ternational controlling stand- and now presents the American controller as the dex. This criterion can be traced back to the re- ards, evaluation of RFID in- business partner of the management, converting search done by Hofstede concerning the cultural vestments and cost-benefit- clearly to the “German” model. dimensions of societies. According to his results, sharing models. Germans usually tend to have a detailed plan of the future, whereas Americans or British can more Clusters of different national easily cope with uncertainties. This circumstance controller institutes could explain why the strategic focus in the “Ger- Literature: man” approach is stronger than in the “Anglo- Amat, O.; Blake, J.; To classify all of the reviewed controller institutes American” approach. The second ordinate inter- Wraith, P. (2000): we created the matrix shown in figure 2. On the estingly shows that in countries where there is a Environmental Factors ordinate you can see the market power of the re- strong sense of community, the market power of giving rise to variations spective controller institute in its country. High the controller institute is significantly higher than in in national management accounting practice, market power means that controllers need to be a other cases. working paper # 432. member of the relevant controller institute in order Bhimani, A. (1996): to be a respected member of their profession. The This study was conducted at the International Per- Management Accounting: strategic focus of the controller institutes is dis- formance Research Institute (IPRI) and financially European perspectives, played on the abscissa. You can see the already- supported by the Péter Horváth Foundation and the Oxford 1996. explained clusters around the German ICV and the International Group of Controlling IGC. The entire Brewer, P. (2008): Anglo-American institutes. In addition, as regards document can be requested at www.ipri-institute. Redefining Management content, France and Spain are evidently rather com. A PDF version is available free of charge. Accounting, in: Strategic Finance 03/2008, Figure 2 S.27-34. different nations Hoffjan, A. (2008): Low Uncertainty Avoidance High Uncertainty Avoidance Comparative Management High market power Accounting – Vergleich des anglo-amerikanischen Ma- Strong sense of nagement Accounting und community des deutschen Controllings, in: Controlling, 20.Jg. *Dimension of the flag 12/2008, S.655-661. indicates stage of development of the respective institute Hofstede, G. (2006): Lokales Denken, globales Handeln. Interkulturelle Weak sense of Zusammenarbeit und globa- community les Management, 3. Aufl. München 2006. Low market power Stoffel, K. (1995): Control- lership im internationalen Operational focus, accounting Strategic focus, management accounting Vergleich, Wiesbaden 1995. 2 4 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • Our best people always work for other companies For instance, as highly skilled professionals that are perfect for your finance and accounts department. Temporarily or permanently. Go for the best! www.roberthalf.net A div i s i o n o f R o b e r t H a l f D e u t s c h l a n d G m b H & C o . K G © 2 0 0 9 R o b e r t H a l f I n t ernational
    • Know-how Deyhle’s c goes inter It’s twenty years ago since Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Last June we had 23 participants from 14 different Deyhle, the founder of the Controller Akademie countries in our Stage II seminar. They came from AG, and of our ICV, and his first partner, Dr Alfred Mexico and Western Europe, from the most recent Blazek, started wondering how the European Uni- EU member states, from Lithuania to Rumania, from on might affect the work of controllers and conse- Russia – there were two from Shanghai. They all quently of the Controller Academy. They soon rea- got to know each other. They had come here, to lised that it would lead to further international ra- Lake Starnberg, to discover the common standard mifications, first within Europe, but later further of controlling – unity in variety. And they all agreed afield. that here we practise “state of the art” controlling, followers of the controlling pioneer, Dr. Dr. h.c. So there were two new challenges facing Financial Albrecht Deyhle. The international network, lea- Dipl.-Ing. Dietmar Pascher Controllers. Firstly, the controlling philosophy ding to exchanges with expert colleagues, plays a Controller Akademie AG would be bound to spread abroad as German, big part, along with the technical components. www.controllerakademie. Swiss and Austrian enterprises entered the interna- Our Eastern European colleagues in particular use de/international tional sphere and established a harmonised atti- us as a first approach to controlling as practised in tude to controlling throughout the concerns they Central Europe, as an alternative and supplement were associated with. Secondly, the controllers in to Anglo-American Accounting. A participant from the parent company would need to bring their IKEA Poland told us they had christened her de- command of the English language up to scratch. partment “Business Navigation”, in order to avoid future confusion arising from the word This immediately led to the decision to offer the control. Controller Akademie‘s successful diploma course in English. So in March 1992 the first Stage I semi- nar was held in English, in the presence of our En- glish Language coach, David Gill. Even German- speaking controllers attended it, who wanted to polish up their English and acquire the necessary technical terms, so as to be able to communicate better with their clients. Now the entire Diploma Programme (5 levels) is presented in English by Dr. Klaus Eiselmayer and Dietmar Pascher. In the course of many years an international com- Controllers Song written by munity has developed, which we like to call the the last Stage II participants “English Family”. The many different nationalities and performed with the involved have led to an incredible enrichment of music of The Killers: Are we the work. humans, are we dancers? 6 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • 23 participants from ontrolling 14 countries attended the Stage II seminar last June. national What was your personal or your company‘s ben- efit of attending our Diploma Program (in the English language)? Jan Šulc: Manager Financial Controlling, Continental, Chassis & Safety Division, Plant Jičín, Hradecká So, piece by piece, the ICV’s approach to control- 1092, 506 01 Jičín ling is carried out into the wide world by every in- dividual participant, who works as an “Ambassa- Experience exchange and discussions about sys- dor for Controlling” in his or her enterprise. And tems, processes and behaviour or habits in other we note that these controllers simultaneously move companies whose members attended CA is the up the international career ladder step by step. first what I call to mind. This in combination with very good training sessions of CA enriched and And it is precisely in this climb that we wish you enlarged my personnel “data bank” of possible ways, tools how to control a business, company Happy Controlling! (or family) and as well various ways of behaviour which could by applied in business but as well in private life. Attending CA uncovered also some my weak- nesses but as well strengths and it helped me later in my work. The way of execution of training applied by CA trainees and method of presentation is “saved” in Controller Song my memory. This experience help me in a prepa- ration and carrying out of training or presentation within own company or outside the company. Adrian Lacatus: Finance Manager, Heidi Chocolates Suisse SA, Bucharest, Romania I have finished in 2 1/2 years one of the best controlling programs in English language. I’ve especially liked the detailed preparation of every aspect of the program. Personal benefits: • I’ve learned fast relevant theory backed by genuine business experiences; • Had the chance to mingle with people from different countries, companies, with different profiles; Company benefits: • Have a proper trained controller able to challenge change within the organisation; • Bring in fresh ideas from other companies’ experiences; 7
    • Romania Controlling – the solution to overcoming the economic crisis in Romania The worldwide economic crisis is nowhere near the end – it is getting worse and Romanian companies are suffering from it. Most of them are confronted with a dramatic fall in will be those who know how to make use of these demand and sales, a situation which leads to finan- chances. The advantage will be on the side of the cial and economic constraints. The enterprises companies which have implemented a controlling which have been granted loans for development or system, because this can present the management other purposes are now unable to pay them back, not only with risks, but also opportunities. not to mention the difficulty of paying their debts to the distributors. Unfortunately, Romanian companies have not im- plemented a controlling system so far and conse- The Romanian companies are presently lacking the quently they are now being confronted with pro- necessary resources for paying off their debts; fa- blems which the Romanian subsidiaries of internati- cing the pressure of the creditors, they increase the onal corporations do not have. The Romanian pressure on their own debtors so that they can cash enterprises lack internal transparency and a clear their receivables – and thus we are experiencing a image of their costs. The situation in the Romanian chain reaction which mostly affects the banks and subsidiaries with a controller or an entire controlling the car, telecommunication and industrial-goods in- department is very different. dustries. A lot of companies are close to bankrupt- cy, so that a great number of Romanians will lose So we are dealing with two situations. On the one their jobs. Against this background the question side there are the Romanian businesses which have arises: What is the solution to overcoming the crisis? not noticed the necessity of controlling yet, which Associate Professor Valentina OARG PhD are not so eager to implement a cost discipline and whose staff are not yet ready for such a rigorous Controlling & Human Resour- ces Management, West Uni- The importance of controlling system as controlling. On the other side there are versity of Timișoara, Faculty in times of crisis the corporation subsidiaries familiar with control- of Economics and Business ling. So we can only talk about controlling in Roma- Administration, Department Is controlling really the solution to overcoming the nia in the context of subsidiaries, most of which are of Management crisis? We think it is, because in times of crisis the in Bucharest and in the west of the country. We companies are more open to new solutions than consider that it is precisely in these times of crisis ever and thus more open to controlling. The crisis that it is imperative for the Romanian enterprises to also offers opportunities; the winners of the crisis turn to controlling. 8 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • Unternehmensplanung und -steuerung mit Weitblick Both the operative and the strategic controlling need to be implemented I Planung in order to prove that they repre- I Budgetierung sent the tool oriented towards I Analyse solving situations of crisis, ensur- ing the sustainability of a compa- I Reporting ny and looking towards the future. I Konsolidierung The role of the controller has gained in importance against the I strategische Unternehmenssteuerung background of the economic crisis, I Balanced Scorecard as everybody is paying great atten- I Risikomanagement tion to cost reduction. If in times of economic growth the permanent increase in reve- nues, which has been especially high in Romania, led to a general euphoria resulting from a growth in Get a better perspective – profits and nobody thought about optimizing costs, Navigate your company to success now the cost control has become a matter of survival. I Planning It is precisely now, in the present context of decreas- I Budgeting ing revenues, high financing costs, the need to re- I Analysis duce costs, an unpredictable business environment I Reporting calling for more forecasts, scenarios and budgets, that the great role of the controller can be easily I Consolidation understood. I Strategic Company Management The number of reports and their frequency is grow- ing. The managers are much more interested in I Balanced Scorecard analyzing them than they were before. It is now I Risk Management more than ever that the focus is lying on keeping a tight hand over costs and on cutting costs where possible. But in order to take the decision of cutting costs, first of all one needs strict evidence of them. So in short: The future of the company will be decid- ed on the basis of the reports generated by control- lers. By means of its instruments and methods, control- ling is a system able to offer solutions to prevent or combat the effects of the crisis. The following aspects give evidence in this respect: • Controlling offers ideas for improving the activi- ties of the company, which can be implemented immediately, as well as organizational solutions for the medium and the long run in order to ena- ble the company overcome times of crisis • Controllers are aware of the weak points which need special attention • Controlling offers better documentation and substantiation of decisions and a correct estimation of risks CP CORPORATE PLANNING AG • Controlling supports the elimination of losses Große Elbstraße 27 · D - 22767 Hamburg and the increase in performance. Tel. +49 (0)40 / 43 13 33 - 0 · Fax +49 (0)40 / 43 13 33 - 33 Info@corporate-planning.com · www.corporate-planning.com Amsterdam • Barcelona • Berlin • Düsseldorf • Frankfurt • Hamburg • Hannover Kaiserslautern • London • Malmö • München • Stuttgart •Toronto • Wien • Zürich
    • Controlling in Lithuania: Conceptions and Lithuania instruments Two years ago when controlling workshops in Lithuania were just starting, the first question to arise was what controlling meant. Is it about control or about performance measurement, or about management? Most of the participants understood what strategy, sis show that in most cases controlling is associ- balanced scorecard, and budgeting were. They ated with control and management accounting, did it in their everyday life but they did not call it in planning, and measurement. Analysis of signifi- such a way. Aiming to spread the idea of control- cance in different management levels disclosed the ling in Lithuania, the pioneers of the controlling difference of opinions. Non-controllers handle group were faced with the problem of finding out management accounting as significant in the stra- how people understood it. Pilot research which led tegic management level, and controllers in the to the disclosure of the essence of controlling from operational level. Analysis of tools leads to the the perspective of conception, functions, signifi- conclusion that instruments for management ac- cance in different management levels and tools counting and controlling are the same. Summariz- was performed. Respondents were divided into ing those results, it could be maintained that con- two groups: Those who preferred themselves as trolling is a process the methodological basis of controllers and those who did not. Results were which are management accounting tools. compared from the perspectives of conceptions, Dr. Edita Gimžauskien, functions, significance in different management le- Recent fashions of management accounting are Kaunas University of Technol- vels, and tools of management accounting and activity-based costing and balanced scorecard. ogy, Deputy Leader of ICV controlling. Looking from the perspective of the 1990s, they working group Lithuania are not so new. But anyway, the world hasn’t got Analysis of the conceptions allowed us to ascertain anything more fashionable in the field of manage- that management accounting is interpreted as an ment accounting. The Lithuanian experience, while informational methodical, analytical system. At the implementing those modern techniques, is not so same time, controlling is a less determined object, different from other companies in the world. Peculi- the main function of which is coordination. The arities of this experience could be pointed out from “Lithuanian organizations opinions of “controllers” and “non-controllers” the perspectives of implementation level, disclosure use the terms management were different. “Non-controllers” know more about of the main conceptual idea and functionality. accounting and controlling management accounting and, accordingly, attri- in parallel. Modern manage- butes of more clearly-defined management areas. Modern management conceptions influence value ment accounting tools are Controllers argue that the role of management ac- creation for shareholders, employees and custo- a precondition for effective controlling but it depends counting is more informational. mers when generated information supports ma- on how the essence of those nagement decisions. On the other hand, the imple- tools are understood and Controllers have a clearly-defined understanding mentation of a modern management accounting realized in particular orga- of what controlling and management accounting conception does not ensure its substantiation and nization and how they are integrated into decision- are. Non-controllers are not so assertive. Functions application. The information is suitable for deci- making processes.” of management accounting and controlling analy- sion-making when conceptual principles of the sys- 10 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • Members of the ICV working group Lithuania, 2009. tem really work in an organization. The declarati- The implementation of a theoretically descriptive “In this chart you can see on that an organization had fully or partly imple- method of management accounting in practice that adopters of ACB more frequently measure perform- mented the conception does not mean that it is does not automatically imply its incorporation into ance in a wider range of true. The question is whether adopters and users of decision-making processes. There are cases when activities than non-adopters. the system understand the main idea and princi- organizations which have implemented such tech- In some cases the implemen- ples of the system, and whether they have succee- niques do not manage fully all their capacities. In tation level was declared but not really working. On ded with the realization of it in practice. The pro- such situations the management accounting sys- the other hand, the results blem is to find out in which cases the declaration tems become ends in themselves, not means to an suggest that there are or- about systems implementation remains a declarati- end. On the other hand, the question is whether this ganizations which measure on, and which factors show that the systems (AB- information is accurate, relevant and suitable for costs and performance in prime and supporting CM or BSC) really work. decision-making in different management areas. activities but do not declare ABCM implementation.” The survey covered a total sample of over 200 or- According to the results it can be maintained that ganizations in Lithuania. Ninety completed questi- information generated with the help of manage- onnaires were suitable for future analysis. Most of ment accounting concepts (ABCM or BSC) in Lithu- the respondents were small or medium-sized orga- anian organizations assists traditional manage- nizations. 48% of the respondents that took part in ment areas: Problems identification solution (43%) the research have been active in the market for ten and communication with shareholders (42%). It is or more years, and 39% from five to ten years. This logical that respondents don’t see management parameter shows that the practice of management accounting as a means for communication with accounting and performance measurement is stea- government institutions and controllers (4%) (they dy enough. Furthermore, more than half of the re- have financial accounting for this purpose). This spondents indicated that their turnover in the last information does not serve as a background for year had grown by 50% or more. Fast growth re- incentive and motivation systems and communica- flects changes in the structures and processes of an tion between managers and employees (about organization. 24%). The situation of strategic planning is better, because about 35% of respondents accept the role The first variable measured was the implementa- of management accounting and performance Measurement of activities in tion level of ABC and BSC. About 38% of the re- measurement process for strategy creation, harmo- value chain spondents were adopters of ABC. The rest (62%) nization with mission, vision, values and adjust- Spearman’s R 0.467 Signifi- either knew about ABCM, but have not attempted ment to short- and long-term tasks. cance at .00 levels to implement it, or did not know about it at all. The BSC conception has been implemented in only 13 companies (14.4%). The main conceptual idea of ABC is the measure- ment of costs and performance in each part of an organization’s value chain. It can be presumed that if an organization measures the costs and performance in its prime activities but does not in its supporting activities, it means that the idea of ABC was not properly understood and implemen- ted. That is the case where the implementation le- Figure 1 vel of ABC is merely declarative. 11
    • 3rd International Controllers’ Congress Poland Controlling in hard times – In times when black clouds gather above many companies, there is a growing awareness of how important it is to create a sustainable business value. These difficult times will certainly become a turning point for the development of the financial sphere and in particular for the Polish controlling. Proof in this respect is the impressive number of performance could also be noticed in the speech participants at the 3rd International Controllers’ of Paweł Kiełczykowski, CFO of Schenker Sp. z Congress (18–19 June 2009 in Poznań, Poland), o.o., as well as in that of Aled R Wynne-Joyce, a which was organized by the Internationaler Con- BPP trainer in London in charge of such training as troller Verein. The interesting discussions of control- CIMA and ACCA, who additionally presented an ling practicians, financial directors, consultants innovative approach to the salary system for em- and experts provided excellent guidelines for con- ployees involved in the inflow of receivables from trollers in many companies during the stormy times. the contractors. A practical model of such analyses Of course, there were numerous presentations to was presented by Rafał Wilczyński, the Controlling depict the experience and difficulties in the control- Director of ROHLIG POLAND Sp. z o.o. Bogusław Edyta Szarska, ICV Delegate ling field within the financial and banking sector, Krawczyk, the Manager & Advisory from KPMG; Poland, Controlling Partner, which is regarded as the cause of the economic he referred to a possibility of improving the opera- Warsaw difficulties all over the world. ting performance using the example of IT depart- Building controlling from the scratch and the rela- ments. The pursuit of different solutions in receiva- ted difficulties and successes were the subject of a bles management was the topic of Dariusz Szulc lecture delivered by Witold Skrok, the Managing from Coface Poland Credit Management Services Director of Alior Bank S.A. Impressive ideas and Sp. z o.o. solutions in the controlling field allowed this bank Dr Walter Schmidt, Member of the ICV Executive to carry the burden of the crisis despite going into Board, presented sample methods of an everyday business at a very early stage of the crisis. liquidity analysis and modern budgeting methods focusing on sales strengthening, wise analysis of Mikołaj Woźniak, Director of the Controlling and the cost reduction and on innovation. The budget Risk Management Department of Volkswagen sets out a certain framework of action for the com- Bank Polska S.A., talked about two issues: pany in terms of reaching its objectives. It can change along with the changing environment; • How the current situation is modifying the however, it will not exceed the limits adopted, so perception of the Risk Manager, recently that the goals assumed can be achieved. Control- regarded as a “hindrance” to sales and today lers working in the environment of foreign ex- referred to as the “voice of (sub)conscience” change fluctuations can sense very well that flex- • How the controller becomes an internal adviser ible and multi-scenario planning of the financial and a businessman in hard times. standing is necessary. Przemysław Masłowski, the Financial Controller at The shift in positioning finance staff members to- ZT KRUSZWICA S.A., is one of them. During his wards business advisers who support the process presentation he showed a sample analysis of the 12 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • taglines of practicians At the end of the congress the participants had the unique opportunity to see and listen to the re- transmission of a speech by Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle, Chairman of the Super- visory Board of the Controller Akade- mie AG and Founder of the ICV. Whi- TV session at the congress foreign exchange exposure and solutions to the le talking about his 40 years of experience in in Poznań with Dr. Adrianna Lewandowska foreign exchange problem, which he encounters controlling, Dr. Deyhle pointed out the main every day. aspects of the controller’s profession in an extraor- The volatility of the controller’s working environ- dinarily spontaneous way. ment, so peculiar to the current economic situation, was also emphasized by Magdalena Swoboda, Despite the ‘stormy’ times, the congress certainly the Financial Controller of KLIMA-THERM Sp. z o.o. brought many ‘sunny’ ideas that could be applied The multi-scenario approach to the future planning by controllers in their everyday work. The whole provides guarantees that the company will be rea- meeting was held in an excellent atmosphere with dy for each and every case, this being quite diffi- valuable discussions, the continuation of which Most of the polish work- cult for companies dealing with public procure- can be expected already during next meetings of group leaders attended the ment. Such problems are faced among others by the workgroups of the controlling practicians. congress in Poznań Przedsiębiorstwo Dróg i Mostów SA (Roads and Bridges Construction Company, a joint-stock com- pany), which was represented at the Congress by Dariusz Gulczyński, Director for Economic Affairs. The years to come are going to emphasize the in- creasing importance of the controllers’ skills in terms of building the bridge between finance and business, partnership and integration of particular elements in the organization. Dr. Herwig R. Frie- dag, head of the ICV PR Committee, presented some guidelines on the subject, put in a systematic order, including the Management 2.0 methodolo- gy, which allows the controlling practicians to build accountability systems for the continuous company development. 13
    • Controlling careers Czech Republic in the Czech Republic Controlling is a standard position required in the structure of the financial department of most medium-sized and larger companies and is filled across all market sectors: sales companies, financial institutions, and production companies. Controllers are clearly required in all types of business. Candidates for the position of a controller in the The remaining requirements arise from the specific Czech Republic are usually university-educated. aspect of the field in which each employer ope- Most common is any faculty of VŠE (the University rates. In this regard we have noted, compared to of Economics in Prague), and the Faculty of Opera- previous years, an increasing emphasis on so- tions and Economics of the Czech Agricultural called soft skills – communication skills, presentati- University, or other universities focused at least on skills, and team cooperation. These skills play partially on economics. In certain cases, appli- an increasingly important role both in the require- cants are graduates of the Czech Technical Univer- ments of our clients and in the selection of individu- sity. For applicants with secondary-school educa- al job applicants. tion, greater practical experience is generally ac- Given the increasing number of multinational com- cepted as a sufficient foundation for working in panies operating in the Czech Republic over the this position. There is no special institute in the last 19 years, the demands with respect to the in- Czech Republic providing a controlling program, ternational experience of candidates have been Tomáš Bergl, Manager but private institutions and training agencies offer increasing in practically all of the positions sought. Robert Half Finance & specialized training courses. Accounting, Czech Republic The most common requirements for the position of Salaries and employee benefits a controller include knowledge and experience in the industry concerning comprehensive accounting matters, several years of experience in controlling (depen- Robert Half carries out an annual survey of sala- ding on the seniority of the position), knowledge of ries and employee benefits (Salary & Benefits international accounting standards (IFRS) or – most Guide) in all of the sectors in which it specializes, frequently – US GAAP, good English skills (and including finance and accounting. A financial con- only occasionally another European language troller with 0–2 years of experience in the sector such as German or French), a good knowledge of usually receives a gross monthly salary of CZK MS Office Excel with knowledge of setting up for- 25,000–35,000, and with experience of 3–5 years mulas and contingency tables, and the knowledge this range increases to CZK 35,000–60,000. If his of an ERP system (SAP, Oracle). experience is five years and greater, the gross monthly salary ranges from CZK 50,000–80,000. 14 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • In the case of a management position with respon- portance of “soft skills” is a clearly continuing sibility for managing a large team, the salary trend. The importance of benefits is waning slight- ranges up to CZK 130,000. These amounts do not ly, as work as such is more important at this point include rewards and bonuses. for candidates, in combination with adequate fi- nancial compensation. The benefits and employee advantages in control- In concluding, I would like to point out the particu- ling correspond, according to our survey, to the lar stability and immunity of financial positions on middle-management group. The first five most the market during the present financial crisis, when sought-after benefits include five weeks of vaca- the reduction of activities in the market is relatively tion (the statutory allowance is four weeks), lan- reasonable compared to the pronounced drop in guage courses paid by the employer, flexible work demand in other areas of the overall market. hours, professional education, a 13th salary pay- ment, and also, with increasing seniority, a compa- ny car for private purposes. On the other hand, the Robert Half International most frequently provided benefits include meal in the Czech Republic tickets, mobile telephones, supplementary pension insurance contributions, and refreshments at the Robert Half Finance & Accounting has operated in workplace. the Czech Republic since 1994. We fill manage- ment positions throughout the country. In this field, we specialize primarily on financial management, Current situation controlling, accounting, audit, and tax specialists, the banking and insurance business, and on IFRS In the last five years, salaries in the entire industry consulting and SOX projects. grew at a relatively constant slow rate of approxi- mately CZK 2,000–5,000 per year, which fully corresponds to the careful and conservative nature of the field of finance, compared with other areas of the market, such as information technologies. Benefits and employee advantages played a sig- nificant role in those years in which we noted a high demand for specialists and a significant lack thereof (primarily 2007 and 2008), whereby com- panies enhanced the attractiveness of the position offered. An important specific aspect of this devel- opment was the gradual increase in the importance of the candidates’ “soft skills” compared to their practical and professional knowledge – so-called hard skills. At the end of 2008, and especially at the begin- ning of this year, there was a significant turnabout in the thinking of companies on the Czech market. They discontinued or slowed the hiring of new employees and, as part of their preventive cost- saving measures, reduced the current head- count. The outcome is a partial reduction in the number of offers in the sphere of controlling, and a greater emphasis on the quality of the selection pro- cedures. Applicants are more careful in changing and choos- ing new positions. The im- 15
    • The theory and practice of Russia in conditions of crisis In Kaliningrad (Russia) on 22–23 May 2009, the 2nd International scientific-practical conference on problems of controlling in conditions of crisis took place. The conference was organized by the Kali- ningrad Club of Administrative and Financial Con- trollers with the assistance of the Kaliningrad Inter- national Business School, Russian Association of Business Education and International Controller Association ICV. There were about 60 representa- tives of Russian companies from Kaliningrad, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Kaluga, and the ICV representatives from Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Russia were engaged as the • Uncertainty of key manager responsibility zones speakers. • Absence of constant inner corporative training processes Herwig R. Friedag (Germany) opened the confe- • Absence of correlation between motivation rence with the volumetric report on system ma- system and company goals. nagement of business with usage of the Manage- ment 2.0 model. The report was met with enthusi- The crisis tendencies have introduced corrective asm by the participants of conference, as for many amendments to estimated parameter structures. So Russian companies the absence of system manage- within the financial perspective framework, EBIT- ment is one of the main reasons for low business DA was suggested instead of a net profit parame- efficiency. ter. For client base quality monitoring quantity, new and old clients in a sectional view of market The Russian lecturers shared their experience of segments was offered. From the perspective of different controlling tools used by the companies business processes for the definition of an optima- with allowance for the crisis situation in the mar- lity of goods briefcase, the goods stock limits para- ket. Uri Fedyashov (“Takt” group of companies – meters are recommended instead of turnover. The construction and building materials production) customer’s service quality improvement has de- reported on the practice of BSC building, which manded the introduction of a “percentage of fulfil- works in the company to the full extent as the basis lment of delivery schedule” parameter. The use of for the system management of business, by focus- the CRM system helps to identify, to differentiate ing attention on representative and often admitted and to control relationships with the client on the errors: basis of full automation with “1C Rarus CRM” pro- gram usage. • Absence of unified comprehension by the top Uri Nahodkin (President of “GMG – real estate” and average managers of mission and strategy group) spoke about strategic controlling methods of the company used in his companies and the advantages which • Density on the financial indexations, instead of proprietors can benefit from with strategic control- client perspective parameters (weak study of the ling availability: Transparency and controllability marketing strategy, imperfect sales business of business. A prerogative of the shareholders is process) the definition of the direction and purpose of com- 16 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • controlling The ICV conference speakers had an excursion to the Courland Spit. pany development (“Which jungle are we in?”). On the part of the creditors is: The strategic controlling levels were marked, the • “Each to their own” approaches to the creation of strategic operations • Absence of transparency in relation to other programs were considered, a system of motivation creditors with usage of management by objectives and BSC • Effect of average general costs on the size were discussed, and the company budgeting phi- of bank reserves losophy was presented. • Difference in the approaches between Russian and international banks Alexander Lubinsky (“Holmrock” group of compa- • Preference to put aside the solution of problems Alexander Barinov, nies – computer equipment supply) shared his ex- for the future. Rector of KIBS perience in a field of development, introduction and usage of CRM system in the company. The As the guidelines on optimization of tax payments activity of project implementation processes has in a part of the profit tax, the following is offered: been increased by the financial and economic cri- To make changes to amortization policy, to make sis, which showed that the client is the main asset, an order in liabilities interest calculation, to use a unique source of profit obtaining and further factoring, to integrate the profitable and unprofita- company development. A low price, mass adverti- ble companies, and to create reserves on doubtful sing and conventional marketing no longer gua- duties. With value-added tax, special attention is rantee successful sales, even with a solvent buyers’ given to the control of the basic documents for market in a phase of saturation. operating, obtaining of the right on “deduction”, As a result of CRM system implementation, ma- capability of release from tax payment at a de- nagement and staff finally gain a legible under- crease of sales up to 2 million rbl. per quarter, and standing of client inquiries, which gives an indispu- minimization of tax at implementation of import Galina Usenkova, table competitive advantage in conditions of fal- deliveries outside Russia. Secretary in charge, Club of administrative and financial ling demand. controllers; In conditions of decreasing demand and restricted The Western speakers (Slavimir Pieloch, Poland; General Director “Audit liquidity, many other methods are used alongside Aiste Loergen, Lithuania; Harald Kitzman, Estonia; Service” conventional controlling tools: Important restructu- Hans-Peter Sander, Germany) showed practical ring of duties or percentage payments, sale of un- materials on controlling methods. The problems of profitable assets, and company tax load control. budgeting system implementation, costs accoun- The joint report of Anton Vaishnurs and Alexey ting, and controlling development tendencies in Mel‘nikov (Deloitte & Touché, St. Petersburg) was the West were considered. dedicated to these problems. The features of finan- cial restructuring in Russia were classified. Conference participants gave positive feedback on the presentation depth and practicality for the On the part of the borrowers is: Russian companies in tackling their problems. Its • Denying of financial problems important to say that the conference underlined a • Reduction of a working capital for service of miscellaneous level of controlling development in the debt, inefficient amortization policy Russia and European countries: If the Russian com- • Absence of transparency in relation to the panies are still engaged in the search and primary creditors introduction of controlling methods, European • Absence of the coordinated negotiations companies are at a stage of tuning the set-up of with banks these tools. This makes listening to one another all • Focus on “soft” restructuring (“crisis – temporary the more interesting. phenomenon and situation will change soon”) • Hope for state support. 17
    • Hungary “Navigating heavy seas in the Carpathian Basin” Are difficult times and stormy weather a good climate for controllers? What contribution does controlling make to crisis management and company survival? What is controlling like in practice here and now in Hungary? The global financial crisis also hit Hungary at the Controlling in foreign group subsidiaries is to a end of last year, rolling out the familiar effects. Ini- large extent shaped by the organization and tially, companies in Hungary responded with the guidelines of the parent company’s group control- classic instruments of drastic cost reductions, short ling department. That entails a strong dependency time and, finally, job cuts. It was also typical that and little room for local initiative. Duties are mainly many business plans drawn up for 2009 accord- focused on supplying data for group controlling in ing to a traditional model became meaningless, as the course of operative and mediumterm plan- the economic situation changed on a daily basis, ning, and for oper- ative, monthly report- the future unpredictable and increasingly uncer- ing. The fate of Hungarian sub- tain. Against this backdrop, the situation of companies in Hungary is developing very unevenly in the indi- vidual sectors. Particularly affected is the produc- tion industry that relies heavily on exports. It has practically no liquidity reserves and is both ex- tremely price and cost sensitive. Due to the popula- tion’s loss of spending power, retailers are just as hard hit by the financial crisis. Even huge discounts fail to attract buyers because they simply have no money. The services industry is affected insofar as its contract risks have risen considerably and its contracts and costs with companies subject to direct impact at short notice, i.e. they can be curtailed. The financial crisis has caused a mammoth upheav- al in both companies and the market in Hungary. Besides the risks, however this change dynamic has created many new opportunities for new products, services and business models with higher value cre- ation, higher quality and long-term prospects in the future. Nevertheless, this spells a huge challenge and makes high demands of corporate manage- ment, controlling and specialist departments. 18 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • sidiaries greatly depends on the weal and woe, In SMEs, where entrepreneurs and management strategy and crisis management of the parent com- are characterized by entrepreneurial spirit, will pany. and responsibility, controlling has now also as- The situation is a bit different for controlling and sumed an important function in Hungarian compa- management in Hungary’s foreign SMEs. Although nies, and the controller is an important dialogue here, too, the strategy and crisis management of partner for management in strategic and business the parent company is decisive, local management administration matters. The role of the controller as has greater freedom to make decisions on the im- “navigator” even in turbulent times largely corre- plementation of strategic provisions and crisis sponds to that in a Western European country. management on the spot. Controlling is predomi- Duties cover supervising classic controlling proc- nantly in the hands of the foreign parent company. esses like operative and mediumterm planning, re- The procedures, methods and tools of head office porting, results and cost accounting, contribution controlling are adapted for local use. margin accounting, and products and services calculation. Controllers, however, are also showing a growing A new generation of controllers interest in learning about and applying proce- dures, methods and tools. The aim being to im- Central planning has a long tradition in large Hun- prove performance and cost efficiency, increase garian companies. Although after the Peaceful the value creation component in the process chain Revolution in Germany and in response to the com- and individual company functions, support the petition of the emergent market economy, control- company’s strategy development and co-develop ling functions did develop, from an organizational new innovative business models. A rising genera- Andreas Kovács and operative point of view, these are mainly in- tion of controllers is learning how to master the Head of the ICV working group Hungary 2; corporated in the finance and accounting sectors. modern controlling method spectrum and can thus Controlling activity is mainly restricted to opera- efficiently and competently support and assist Managing Director MCS Management & Controlling- tive and mediumterm business planning, supplying management and specialist departments in their Service Vezetési Tanácsadó data and reporting. activities. Controlling as a career springboard into Kft. The situation of manage- management circles places these controllers in an ment and controlling in excellent position to make better requirements of Hungarian SMEs is far controlling later on from a managerial position, to more positive. Hungarian promote and use it for themselves and the good of SMEs, founded after the the company. Peaceful Revolution, The qualification of controllers in Hungary, com- that were successful in municating West European-style controlling is sup- gaining a foothold in ported both at the universities and, intensively by the domestic, regio- the controller academy of the IFUA, Horváth & nal and international Partners. A brisk exchange of experiences be- market, are more flexible tween controllers takes place on the platform of at adapting themselves to the Hungarian controller association. The latter is the fast moving, dy- backed by two active ICV working groups. These namically changing hold two professionally demanding biannual work- market and economic shops that enjoy a high level of interest and attend- conditions. Fast reac- ance in an atmosphere of Hungarian conviviality tions and adaptabil- and savoir-vivre. ity in terms of prod- All this provides the best possible prerequisites for ucts and ser vices in - developing controlling, even in Hungarian compa- cre ase comp anies’ nies. Turning controllers into important, competent chances of staying in and sought-after partners of management, with the the running and sur- aim of jointly weathering out the financial crisis to viving the financial leave it stronger than before, armed with new op- crisis. portunities and prospects in the future. 19
    • Slovenia It’s time to meet the challenges of controlling! We could read (bad) news about the financial situation in practically all the newspapers. In Slovenia it is the same; the crisis hasn’t spared us either. A few days ago it was reported on the news that presented problems will be created. And history the crises was over. Despite that, we should not shows that some ideas are always very good (and close our eyes to one fact: In June in Slovenia, a lot even before time), just because of the distress. of people lost their jobs. Companies cut the ex- penses and number of employees during the crisis. Of course, companies take great care of their Alternatively, managers decide to cut working good name and the reputation of their products, hours, from 40 to 36 a week or even to 32 hours but they act rationally in the matter of donation or a week. sponsorship. Some companies invest even more money than before in training. Above all, compa- But the situation is not hopeless. After all, the nies pay attention to the base activities. They try to economy has not stopped, just slowed down. Dif- learn more about their business processes and ficult financial situations require more hard work to how to rationalize them. This crisis will not last for- be done from all: Companies should try to find “re- ever; they try to learn and improve business in the serves”, to cut down expenses, to intensify effi- meantime. Already-tested methods are “discov- ciency and to adapt their offer; consumers should ered“ again (for example, Break Even Point, Target think twice before buying things. Liquidity is a Costs, Key Performance Indicators, etc.). Innova- huge problem; terms of payment extend to three tive companies invest in technologies and in months on average. Entrepreneurs are angry: Pay- progress all the time, even now, during the less ment discipline has reached the bottom. advantageous times. Some of them do not feel the crisis: others are in a very bad situation. Workers should work more for the same salary; they should be more effective. But the knowledge More and more companies try to see an opportu- of the employees is respected more. Managers nity in the crisis. In Slovenia, innovative companies discover that the ideas and purposes of their em- can be even more innovative nowadays because ployees are a great source of growth, develop- the regulation helps them, providing them with ment and progress. Some economists even predict (state-subsidized) funds for equipment, projects or that during the crisis new, innovative ideas for the new employees. 20 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • the global financial crisis and interest in controlling has been noticed. More analysis is needed. It seems that everyone is interested in indicators nowadays. Even those who otherwise do not like to hear about controlling. So, controlling is important, but how about the controller? In many companies, controllers don’t have a noticeable role or the position doesn’t exist at all, but there is a strong connection between CEO and CIO. I think good cooperation and team- ICV Work group Slovenia, work between CIO and the controller is also ne- June 2009. We were lucky. cessary. But this is another story, a story about The weather and the wind knowledge and the competence of controllers. were ideal for sailing. More analysis is needed In a time of crisis, many business decisions are un- der evaluation. In a period of growth, decisions seem to be easier; managers could reach their goals with higher investments, or takeovers, or en- tries into a new market – even without precise consideration of all advantages and weaknesses. In the period of crisis, decisions have to be made more carefully and, hopefully, only good decisions How can controlling help? Is there a recipe? I hope are the ones that are enacted. There is always a we will get fresh and innovative answers at the 9th risk; there is no business without it. The problem controller meeting in Ptuj, 24–25 September 2009. appears if the risk is too big and not under control. “Meet the Challenges of Controlling” is the topic Managers should consider their decisions very this year. We cannot avoid the crisis, because it is carefully, and to do this they need the right infor- already here. But we should think and find oppor- mation. Every wrong decision could have negative tunities and challenges in it. The main guidance at consequences or create a domino effect. At that the meeting is praxis for praxis. Great emphasis is point, controllers should help. As organizations laid on education, exchange experiences and dis- make cuts, executives will only get once chance to cussions about the ideas and difficulties in a make the right strategic decisions: “Measure twice, controller’s everyday work. cut once”, is an old phrase. What is the role of controlling? Controllers provide managers with all relevant controlling information. Dragica Erčulj However, many companies (i.e. managers) take Head of ICV Work Group decisions mostly on the basis of previous experi- Slovenia, crmT d.o.o. ence. On the other hand, a correlation between dragica.erculj@crmt.com 21
    • Bulgaria “Need and desire to learn is enormous” Bulgaria has not been an exception in facing the effects of the global financial and economic crisis. The financial system has avoided financial meltdown; the economy has been hit, though, by the recession in high-income countries. Bulgaria is currently experiencing a sharp down- has led to a drop in the total production in Bul- turn in the economy and a rise in unemployment garia by approximately 20%. Many industries because of its deep trade, capital and labour mar- have been severely affected by the global eco- ket integration with the EU and the world economy. nomic and financial crisis. In some of them busi- Due to its dependence on capital inflow and ex- ness has been reduced by 50% or even more. port the country is suffering more from their de- Milena Staeva, crease than from external financial problems. The ICV working group Bulgaria credit boom in recent years has also increased the Challenge for the controller debt of the population, businesses and the country itself. Economists from the Bulgarian National Sta- The main challenge for companies is the drop in tistical Institute recently said that the country has sales numbers and overall turnover. That decrease entered recession and will not rebound for at least is dramatic for companies producing for export one more quarter. Bad external economic condi- and depending on the economic recovery in the EU tions, reduced appetite of foreign investors, high markets. Companies have therefore focused on cost of credit and its repayment and limited financ- better management of their expenses therefore. The ing (the banking industry in Bulgaria is dominated main task for the controller is to strictly control all by Western European banks which hit by the finan- expenses and find ways to reduce costs where cial crisis can no longer provide extensive financ- possible, especially overhead. That also includes ing to their Bulgarian subsidiaries any more and reconsidering all planned investments and to deci- may even withdraw their financing) will hamper ding which ones are necessary and which ones the recovery of the Bulgarian economy. Neverthe- can be cut or postponed for better times. Some less, the fall in GDP and the negative effects of the companies even have to freeze their investment in- global economic crisis are less than those in most tentions. As many subsidiaries can no longer rely Western European and other Eastern European on investment or financial support from the parent countries. The drop in capital inflow and exports company, the controller has to find new sources for 22 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
    • Members of the ICV working group Bulgaria, 2009. may apply for subsidies to avoid job cuts. Employ- ees work reduced working times but the government pays half of their salaries for up to three months so that they can receive their full salaries. The control- ler calculates for each option which one is the most financing. Bank credits have become very expen- cost-efficient and the most appropriate for the com- sive though and even if the company can afford pany and gives advice to the management. them, it is difficult to be granted one. The task of the controller is to calculate the new credit costs or re- calculate the new costs (as the interest rates have Identify new opportunities risen considerably). Alternatively, the controller must look for other To avoid further losses, a few companies must tem- forms of financing. Liquidity has been given special porarily cease production and close production attention during these hard times. On the one hand facilities for a specific period of time, usually a suppliers expect immediate or at least quicker pay- couple of days or weeks, 1–2 months, or until the ment. On the other hand customers cannot pay im- next orders are expected. During that time the em- mediately and ask for deferred payment. That of ployees are usually offered annual paid leave. course risks the liquidity of the company. The col- Times of crisis often offer new opportunities, lection of (outstanding) customer payments there- though. The challenge for the management and for fore has priority on the controller’s “to-do list”. An- the strategic controller is to look for and to identify other measure is to renegotiate the existing trade these new opportunities or find new markets for the agreements with customers and suppliers. business, as this can be essential for the continued company existence. A company producing seats Personnel costs are another alternative for cost-cut- for the automobile industry, for instance, has re- ting. The strategies are different for each company cently started to also produce seats for buses, in the various industries. It depends mainly on trucks and tractors. Others are developing products whether the employees are qualified and whether for other industries. During the crisis Bulgarian com- the company wants to keep them. Many compa- panies also have good opportunities to benefit nies, especially small and medium companies, from the tendency of Western European companies have cut jobs. Others have frozen salaries for a to outsource production and services. specific period or have even reduced salaries. In some companies the working hours have been re- The Bulgarian economy is expected to further shrink duced which in turn results in a reduction in salaries this year and most likely even next year. However, as well (reduction by up to 30%). Another measure the rapid economic growth and the record high has been to cut temporary staff or to retire the staff foreign direct investments inflow in the last 3–5 who is due to go in retirement. Many employees years and also the currency board (which guaran- have been offered unpaid leave. Benefits such as tees huge currency reserves) have softened the ef- food vouchers have been cut In order to avoid job fects of the global economic crisis. The country has cuts, employees are sometimes sent to other depart- faced more difficult times in the recent history and ments in the company. The government has offered sees the current downturn as a short-term period its support to the businesses as well. Companies only. It will master the current challenges as well. 23
    • Controlling in a downturn – the case of Estonia Estonia The situation in the Estonian and world economy has a big impact on the economic situation of the companies and therefore also on the undertakings of the management and the controlling. The Bank of Estonia described the situation in their investments, like the real-estate and construction economic policy statement as follows: industries, are also now struggling to survive. Loo- • The economic downturn will average 12.3% this king at the “negative” numbers more deeply, the year, with first positive signs of an end to the so-called crisis is nothing more than a correction of recession the overheating in the economy. Hard but healthy. • The main indicators of the Estonian macro The tax system on the one hand, which allows the economy have continued their fast movement companies to focus on the real business and not towards a positive balance in recent months supporting report creativity, and on the other hand • Estonia’s credit market volume is mostly shaped managers who are more in the business than hun- by the reduced consumption and investment ting shareholders and financing, are the main intentions of enterprises and households aspects of the Estonian business model and were • The risks to the Estonian financial system stability the fundament of the Estonian success and develop- have not eased against the backdrop of ment in the recent years. uncertain economic and financial conditions in the world Controlling in Estonian companies is focused on the • The banks operating in Estonia have enough business, to figure out how to increase turnover, Harald Kitzmann, Chair of capital to cover possible loan losses induced by how to reduce costs, which activities could be Operations Management, the difficult economic environment, should the changed or adjusted that the companies are com- Tallinn University of Technol- loan portfolio quality deteriorate further ing stay on track and coming back on track. With ogy; Leader, ICV working group Estonia • The main preconditions for a rapid recovery of this focus, Estonian controlling is different from the steady economic growth are the clear perspec- classical German controlling approach, which is tives of joining the Euro zone in the near future more focused on the collecting of numbers and re- and restoring fiscal balance and surpluses in the porting of the situation. The objective of optimizing years ahead. With the inflation rate declining, the annual report to prevent and reduce outflow of Estonia has a good chance of meeting the liquidity in the form of taxes and dividends is one Maastricht criteria at the end of 2009. of the main focuses of German controlling. The • The extensive inflow of cheap loan capital in same objective could found in the reporting to the recent years caused the overheating of the eco- banks and other financial providers. nomy and enlarged external imbalances. This It is difficult to find any common objectives and fo- trend has now turned and the vulnerability of cuses between German and Estonian controlling, Estonia’s economy is diminishing owing to wea- especially in the present downturn. These differ- ker domestic demand. The external environment ences need different bases in skills and knowledge will not enhance export revenues though, at least which are hard to generalizes. It is therefore difficult not for the time being. However, in the medium to give general recommendations to find ways out term, economic activity is expected to increase of the downturn and to prevent significant negative in the nearby regions and external demand is impacts of downturns in the future. likely to recover gradually. Vulnerable industries in Estonia were those who are But Estonian companies are focusing on the devel- dependent on big players in the automotive and opment of the economy; the economic revival has electronic sectors. But also those industries who already started in Estonian companies. Controlling participated in the benefits of additional foreign is certainly contributing to this development. 24 CONTROLLER Spezial | Controlling International
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