Controlling has many functions, if you are a controller or want to think like one then you need to do the following:


1. Know and recognize the dimensions of the company´s planning-organizing-leading-and controlling framework. Get to know the management team especially those who have worked in the business for quite some time. The reason for this is that the controller should have a good idea about the market he or she serves. Gathering information from key people not only helps you to do your job better, but  increases your understanding of the business and allows you to act as a focal point for the top management.


2. Get to know and understand the general inputs and outputs of the dimension described above.


A controller must also familiarize him or herself with the following:


[Control Environment] Who, what and how is the tone set for the organization as a whole. Who influences decisions based on the control consciousness of its people. Aspects of the control environment set the foundation for all other components of internal control.


[Risk Assessment] This includes the identification and analysis of relevant risks. Risks are studied in order to get to get an idea about the corporate and financial objectives of the company and helps management assess whether those objectives are realizeable and risks preventable. Management should also create and distribute a plan to those affected, on how to prevent risks or limit their consequences should those risks actually occur in the first place.


[Information and Communication] Management with the help of subordinates should create and document those systems or processes that are essential to the organization in carrying out the Firm´s daily business. Specific systems and/or processes are those which support the identification, capture, and exchange of information in a form and time frame that enable people to carry out their responsibilities in an effective and proper manner.


[Control Activities] A controller concerns him or herself with the policies and procedures that help ensure management directives are carried out.


[Monitoring-processes] A controller relies on specific techniques or reports that assess the quality of internal control performance over time.



A controller has to at the very least be able to

  • plan and control how accounting information is used
  • know how to convert transactions between cash
    and accrual
  • recognize cost behaviours and time frames (variable to fixed) and  (short to long term)
  • definitions related to costs such as product costs and economic costs