Business partners should be aware that they have an important task: They must use their business knowledge to make sure that the experts, too, have an adequate and sustained understanding of what lies behind the figures, as well as the business and the factors driving it. Only then will the experts be in a position to fulfil their role as supplier, both now and in future. And only then will they be able to see where the business is going. Once again, it is down to the business partners to convey this knowledge to the experts. As is so often the case, by helping others they are also helping themselves. This must go hand in hand with acceptance and a sense of being equal. Even the much contended "on an equal footing" refers not only to managers, but also to experts.
For heads of controlling, this means fostering a spirit of cooperation and ensuring that everyone is treated equally despite differences in career progression, which see some controllers spending a longer time as specialists in the controlling department, and others following a management career with frequent job changes. In view of this diversity, everyone must judge for him- or herself whether being designated a business partner is actually beneficial for all controllers. In any case, it should in no way obscure the differences.
Professor Utz Schäffer and Professor Jürgen Weber