CTcon: Business partnering

Bu­si­ness part­ne­ring


Controllers are rapidly adopting the role of business partners. Current reasons and triggers for the change include

  • the perceived need to stay closer to the operational business, especially in volatile times,
  • creating an attractive and broad profile of requirements for controllers in times of the "war for talent",
  • and the need for controllers to differentiate their value contribution vis-à-vis the accounting function, which is increasingly taking over standardised process elements such as reporting.


When it comes to accentuating the business partner role of controllers, controlling departments often face similar challenges. Controllers are still seen as being too numbers-focused, too far removed from the operational business and too weak when interacting at management level. Furthermore, controllers, especially in decentralised organisations, are spread far and wide and thus don’t form a community united by a shared understanding of its role.


Key questions which have to be addressed in the context of the adoption of the business partner role include:

  • Managing expectations: what do operational managers expect from controllers, and how do controllers see themselves? Do these two expectations match?
  • Competence profile: how should a comprehensive competence profile for controllers be designed, taking into account technical, analytical, interaction- and business-related aspects?
  • Community measures: how can the business partner role and the related concept of a community be reinforced through measures such as networking, training or personnel development?
  • Controlling tools: how can the business partner role be expressed and made tangible in “products” for management, e.g. in a more market-oriented reporting cockpit?
  • Mobilisation and communication: how can the business partner role be positioned and anchored, both with operational managers and with controllers themselves?


CTcon will assist you in developing and implementing a business partner concept for your controllers. In doing so, we leverage our consulting and training expertise as well as our comprehensive experience in developing controller units.

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