What is controlling? Perspective of the ICV and the IGC

Controlling is a key success factor for companies in German-speaking countries. However,
there are often uncertainties about what the essence of Controlling really is. Hence, this paper aims to provide an up-to-date view of the term “Controlling” and the role of the controller. At the same time, it defines the position of the International Controller Association (Internationaler Controller Verein, ICV) and the International Group of Controlling (IGC).

Our starting point is the understanding of “Controlling” developed by Albrecht Deyhle. It is
characterized by three features: target-oriented control, controllers and managers acting as a team, and interplay between analytics and soft factors. Since Albrecht Deyhle’s core ideas
were first formulated, the practical application of Controlling has spread rapidly. At the same
time, it has undergone change and further development. In particular, new developments have taken place in terms of scope of activities (strategy, risk, sustainability), future orientation (e.g., early warning) and the role of the controller (proactive, jointly responsible). Additionally, certainly in large companies, controllers as a group (the “controller community”) play an essential role today.

Thus, this paper reviews Albrecht Deyhle’s basic ideas and, in view of the aforementioned
developments and scholarly debate in the field, gives a brief and up-to-date perspective on
the concept of “Controlling”.