The difference between a business controller and a financial controller

Today my boss stated something which I think is a very good way to illustrate the difference between a business controller and a financial controller.

 

The financial controller would say: “This month we used 15 tons of raw material. Shit, why aren’t any costs recorded?”

While the business controller would say: “This month we used 15 tons of raw material. Why 15 tons when we should have used 11?”

 

In a nutshell, the role drives the questions one should ask. A financial controller’s role is to make sure the financials reflect reality. A business controller’s role is to understand that reality, or put differently, understand how good or bad we are at doing things.

How sweating the details can work against you

More empowerment, less adult supervision and a few other things I learned about project controlling