Division Accounting Manager
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Imagine yourself as an accounting manager in a business unit. You report to two bosses in the organization: a local boss, the general manager at the business unit (BU), and a headquarters boss (HQT), the CFO at the headquarters. The divisional accounting managers (DAM) have dual responsibility and provide information both to the business units and top management. First is functional responsibility. You assure that top management know the “true” financial state of the business unit. This includes regular reporting and also maintaining an informal communication line with the functional superior, such as providing early warning signals and independent judgment. Second is local responsibility. You are in charge of the local accounting system and provide reports relevant for decision-making of business unit level management. Should we constrain the divisional accounting managers’ autonomy to make sure you fulfill the verification role and are fully held accountable to HQT? If too much constraint is placed there, are we sacrificing the divisional accounting managers’ local responsibility in helping BU managers to make decisions? How much controller autonomy should be given?
Assistant Professor of Accountancy
Gies College of Business
R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellow
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign