Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Development of Controllers' Professional Competence: The Case of Czech Republic

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Development of Controllers' Professional Competence: The Case of Czech Republic

Article excerpt

Introduction

One of the problem areas which has changed in its qualitative substance is how companies are managed. All functions of company management have been in movement, including the instruments, methods and information support used (Král, Soljaková, 2015).

These changes have their reflection in many aspects of business. Among other things, they have also impact on qualitative aspects of controllerswork. This is demonstrated especially by:

* newly formulated requirements of companies on their work; and

* the reactions of business schools, universities and accounting-oriented professional bodies which must respond to these changes by implementing new requirements into business schools' and university curricula and into certification systems which is broadly understood here as professional competence development of controllers.

In this regard, the aim of this paper is to describe a project the general purpose of which was to define and analyse the requirements to professional competence development of controllers.

The project was initiated in 2011 by the International Group of Controlling. However, shortly after the definition of the first version of the conceptual outcomes it was stopped as an international project with the recommendation to national professional bodies to implement it on the national bases first.

Czech version of the project has been running since the beginning of 2012 at the Management Accounting Department of the Faculty of Finance and Accounting of the University of Economics, Prague. The research team has been drawn on the International Group of Controlling (2010, 2011) conceptual outcomes and it has been extended them along two lines:

* by developing a revised project framework; and

* by conducting an empirical research,the e aim of which has been to map the most important requirements to professional competences of controllers in Czech Republic.

The aim of the following stageundertaken in 2015 was to compare the results of Czech empirical research with the results in other countries.

The paper describes and evaluates the results of the empirical research focused on the changing requirements to controllerswork in Czech Republic.

1. Literature review

Although the topic which is the subject of our investigation is not elaborated in the papers devoted to the controllersprofessional competency development exclusively, some papers document the importance of controllersprofessional competence in broader circumstances. The following sources were considered to be relevant; they are ordered from the most general to more specific ones.

Many researchers (for example Merchant, 2003; Kaplan and Cooper, 1998; Burns and Yazdifar, 2001) confirm the crucial role of good company management in the changing business environment. The most important factors influencing the management include its inter-disciplinary nature, strategic perspective, its multidimensionality, and the integration of inter-relationships (but also divergence) between the user and data processing areas of quality information systems (Simons, 2004; Parker, 2002; Merchant, 2003).

This situation has a significant impact not only on the substance of the company management control system, including its information support (Carruth, 2004), but also on the professional education, skills, knowledge, experience and ethical approaches, values and attitudes of financial managers.

Some authors devote special attention to controllers or managerial accountants whose professional competence is the principal subject of our investigation. For example Kaplan (1998) states that the changes in company management accompanied by ICT development enable these professionals to be liberated from routine data processing, which gives them the opportunity to

* spend less time on standardized statements;

* devote more attention to analyses and interpretation of submitted information;

* communicate companies' goals and how to accomplish them to those people from departments who are responsible for their achievement;

* shift the focus of their work away from comparing the actual and desired company results and towards decision-making about the future course of the business process. …

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