No, Excel® is not the only friend of the management controller
ERP / Enterprise Resource Planning : the source transactional tool for accounting
The management controller, together with the accountant, ensures that the company’s accounts reflect a true picture of the company’s activity. He or she will work on the company accounts, but also on the analytical accounts. It is therefore important that the analytical axes and objects used within the transactional processes correspond to the company’s performance monitoring needs, and more particularly to the objectives of the operational staff, in order to use a common reading grid and language.
EPM / Enterprise Performance Management : the tool for building and monitoring budgets / scenarios
The management controller will identify the financial and operational data needed to build budgets and/or scenarios through the EPM, with analytical axes common to those of the ERP. He or she will co-construct the hypotheses with the operational staff and thus facilitate the appropriation of the company’s objectives, and validate the alignment between the strategic vision and the operational reality. As time goes by, the management controller will monitor the actual data in relation to the objectives set at the organisational level. He or she may also cross-reference this data with external data (panels, benchmarks, market data).
BI / Business Intelligence : The tool for monitoring operational performance indicators
BI will enable the management controller to analyse operational performance gaps. Unlike EPM, it is a tool for exploring vast databases, often operational. It allows the analysis and construction of operational indicators. Here too, reconciliation with external data can enable the company’s performance to be benchmarked.
Dataviz : Data visualisation tool (can be added to each of the above tools)
Dataviz will enable the management controller to communicate, animate and share interactive dashboards (data and online graphs) with operational staff and the company’s general management.
Excel remains the preferred tool for handling financial data for one-off or personal analyses. These analyses can be integrated into the above-mentioned tools when they are stable and recurrent. One of the challenges for the management controller is to be able to understand the role and architecture of the various systems at his disposal and to control the quality of the data in order to provide accurate and relevant analyses.
By Mireille Thievet, Senior Manager Consulting & Transformation at aXoma Consultants, BAW Group.