ENG: “Cuckoo in the Accountant Nest” - ICV Newcomer Award 2020
The ICV Newcomer Award 2020 was given on November 7, 2020 at the online Controlling Inspiration Berlin to Jesper Juul from the University of Economics and Law for the master thesis "The application of performance metrics in earn-out provisions", supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Gruber. Second place went to Christoph Beis and Andreas Friedrich from the Stockholm School of Economics for the master thesis "The Data Scientist: A Cockoo in the Management Accountant’s Nest?", supervised by Prof. Dr. Lukas Goretzki. Third place went to Manuel Mandl with his thesis "Use cases and implementation of manufacturing execution systems data in a process mining application", supervised by Matthias Regier and Prof. Dr. Gunther Friedl.
With the award for excellent final theses, the ICV International Association of Controllers recognizes the achievements of newcomers who develop innovative scientific solutions for practical controlling problems during their studies. The ICV Newcomer Award, endowed with a total of 4,000 Euros, is sponsored by Haufe and the Haufe Academy. Since 2005 the Award has been presented annually at the ICV conference CIB - Controlling Inspiration Berlin.
"For controller practice, it is of great importance that students not only deal with theoretical concepts and methods during their education, but also with their practical applications and problems that arise from them," explains the ICV Jury Chairman, Prof. Dr . Nicole Jekel, from the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. The Jury 2020 included Christina Keindorf, Group Controlling Deutsche Bahn, Gerhard Radinger, trainer at the CA Controller Academie, Ute Schröder from the Controlling Benchmark Circle and Solveig Reissig-Thust, Professor of Controlling at the University of Economics and Law (HWR) in Berlin. In addition to the scientific foundation, the Jury's decision primarily focuses on the practical relevance of the question, the direct feasibility of the developed concepts and the degree of innovation of the thesis. In addition, the conformity of the work with the basic positions of the ICV or their critical discussion is assessed.
1st place for the master thesis on the topic – „Mergers & Acquisitions“
The laudation for the winner was given by the ICV Jury Chairman, Prof. Dr. Nicole Jekel:
"The Award is hot! It's about buying and selling, about mergers & acquisitions. If you want to sell a company, you are sure to ask: How much money do I get for my company? Sellers want to get as much money as possible. Buyers, on the other hand, want to get everything as cheaply as necessary at a sustainable value. Specifically, the 1st place is about earn-outs - i.e. contractual agreements - in the context of corporate transactions that make part of the purchase price dependent on the future performance of the company over a specified period of time.
What do mergers and acquisitions have to do with controlling? A lot! In particular, it is about business advice for company decisions. Quite simply, it's about making rational decisions. And little research has been done in this context do far.
In concrete terms, everything revolves around performance measurement: First and foremost, it is mostly about EBIT or EBITDA, secondly about sales, followed by sustainable company values and non-financial measures of success. We know that the selection of the performance measurement for the information content as well as for a possible manipulation can play an immense role. If we want to sell a company then - as North Germans say: "the bride will be decorated". How do I decorate a bride now? To e.g. boost sales figures, short-term actions can be initiated, which, however, could also damage the company in the long term.
The winner of the 1st place has done a real job. In addition to a thorough literature research, four hypotheses were tested using 65 interviews. Both sellers and buyers were interviewed. I am already curious to see what specific knowledge and tips we receive on all aspects of these contractual arrangements for corporate transactions.
For this reason we have awarded our first place to Mr. Jesper Juul with the master topic: "The application of performance metrics in earn-out provisions" from the University of Economics and Law, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Gruber."
The award winner presented his work in the online plenum of the CIB 2020.
2nd place for the master thesis „Data Scientist: A Cockoo in the Management Accountant’s Nest?“
Jury member Ute Schröder gave the laudation for the 2nd place:
"The 2nd place goes to Christoph Beis and Andreas Friedrich from the Stockholm School of Economics for the master thesis" The Data Scientist: A Cockoo in the Management Accountant’s Nest?", supervised by Prof. Dr. Lukas Goretzki.
In the Jury, we all had a lot of fun with the title and immediately started to discuss whether the data scientist should replace the “classic management accountant” and make them superfluous. And this is exactly the question the master thesis deals with in detail. Christoph Beis and Andreas Friedrich have worked out very well that the exact tasks and role of the "data scientist" in the company is not clearly described and is often interpreted very differently. Therefore, their clear recommendation is first of all to sharpen the role definition and also to clarify the organizational connection. Otherwise a vacuum is created that can be used for internal power struggles and individual characteristics of the role.
Among other things the data scientist should recognize the business drivers, understand the data with the management and clean it up in such a way that trends can be identified and a look into the future can be ventured using predictive analytics.
Of course, there is overlap here with accounting and controlling. It is best to decide under a management team who has which tasks and how the delimitation from management can be meaningful. In any case, all of the companies surveyed, as well as the students, agree that the importance of the data scientist and the digital evaluability of data is becoming more and more important and growing rapidly. Those who build up and actively use this know-how will be able to increase their success as a company in the future. If the controllers and accountants do not acquire this knowledge or do not work in a team with the data scientists, their importance in the company as a business partner will decrease accordingly.
This know-how must therefore be promoted in all areas of the company and will be demanded from the CFO of the future."
3rd place for "Use cases and implementation of manufacturing execution systems data in a process mining application"
The laudation for the third place winner was given by Professor Solveig Reissig-Thust:
“We gave the 3rd place to Manuel Mandl for his work on "Use cases and implementation of manufacturing execution systems data in a process mining application" (meaning use cases and implementation of data from manufacturing systems in a process mining application). The work was carried out by Mr. Matthias Regier and Prof. Dr. Gunther Friedl at the Technical University of Munich.
Digitization in controlling is an absolutely exciting and still highly topical research area. So it is not surprising that numerous theses deal with this topic. Unfortunately, many only scratch the surface and stick to general statements. As a Jury, we were particularly enthusiastic about Mr. Mandl's work. It shows very impressively a concrete application example for data-based production controlling.
In his thesis, Mr. Mandl develops an application based on production data from an international group company. With the help of the new method of process mining, up-to-date data from the production process can be obtained worldwide. The advantages for controlling are obvious - if you think of improved management, planning and control of production processes. We also found the display of the process visualization particularly interesting, as it enables the production process to be mapped in real time and thus immediately recognize deviations and inefficiencies.
The work of Mr. Mandl impresses on the one hand with the very detailed technical knowledge, on the other hand also with the very systematic and easily comprehensible presentation. It thus makes an important contribution to research in the field of production data analysis. At the same time, it is interesting for all practitioners who are interested in increasing the efficiency and transparency of their production processes."
The ICV (International Association of Controllers) has in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and 12 other countries in Central and Eastern Europe around 6,000 members active in practical controlling. The key objective of the ICV controlling philosophy is reaching permanent economic success. With its honorary chairman Dr. Albrecht Deyhle the Association, founded in 1975, has shaped the controlling in German speaking countries placed and influenced. The ICV merges controllers, CFOs, managers and scientists and it is strictly oriented on its members’ benefit. Experience, communication and being focused on future-oriented trends are foundations of the ICV. The ICV combines practical experience with the latest research results and prepares its knowledge for practical implementation. The ICV makes personal contribution to the success of its members and to the sustainable performance of companies. Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, FH Steyr, is the Chairman of the ICV, Vice Chairman of the ICV is Matthias von Daacke, BLANCO GmbH & Co. KG.
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