Using the cloud to overcome the shortage of skilled workers in controlling

“I’ll get in touch with you if I want to take the job.” Not only in controlling is there a pronounced shortage of skilled workers. In the past, it was “You have the job.” That was the end of the matter. Today, it seems you’ll be lucky if your candidate wants you too and isn’t poached by the competition. What companies can do to deal with this? Optimize their own planning processes and embody a modern corporate culture to offer relief for existing employees. We’ll show what your planning tools have to do with the shortage of skilled workers, and how to position yourself attractively while reducing your need for staff.

A yawning void on the labor market

Are you also finding it hard to find good skilled workers? You’re not alone in this: according to a 2019 study by online job platform StepStone on the topic of “employer attractiveness,” 77% of companies in Germany struggle to find good skilled workers.

Particularly in rural SMEs, there is often a lack of qualified personnel. In addition, the Corona pandemic has triggered general uncertainty. Is it worth working for a company that may soon no longer be able to deliver?

We are also talking about a shortage of skilled workers in controlling. Goals and tasks have changed as a result of the crisis: Planning has to be faster, you need transparent data and vigilant as well as reliable personnel. The best of the best are wanted. All this in times when even job seekers are increasingly critical of the entrepreneurial risk of potential employers.

Arbeit im Überschuss wegen des Fachkräftemangels

Lack of solutions in controlling

In addition to all the uncertainty, the opportunity for controllers to assert and advance themselves professionally through agile planning has never been more tangible. BUT: Agile planning also requires that appropriate planning tools and technologies are in place, as well as promotions and support to enable controllers to collaborate functionally and implement planning tasks effectively. When we look around at companies, we are not seeing much of this. On the contrary, 51 percent of midsize companies between 100 and 499 employees are aware that they are lagging behind in the digitization of business and administrative processes. A phenomenon that not only has a negative impact on the labor market.

Man instead of machine? Yes, but please only where it makes sense

In fact, the problem of the shortage of specialists in controlling starts much earlier, namely with the personnel already on hand. Today, controlling managers still spend most of their time on routine tasks such as sending e-mails back and forth, manually entering data, troubleshooting and repairing data. Tasks that could be performed by software solutions in a fraction of the time and in addition reliably and transparently.

Especially in times of crisis, planning becomes more demanding and faster, planning cycles become shorter. So instead of modern and agile cloud solutions, valuable specialist personnel are deployed to manually collate data and check it for accuracy. This method of working is not only outdated, it requires a lengthy process that slows down the potential of controlling, root cause analysis and strategic ad hoc decisions.

Analoge Arbeit an Daten

How to fully utilize your employee potential

Instead of quickly looking for new specialists for controlling, it is worthwhile to first look at how you can use your existing employees sensibly and optimize your own processes.

On the one hand, agile software solutions help to automate routine controlling tasks and thus speed up planning. On the other hand, with the support of an agile cloud, you gain a lot of time for the important tasks in controlling and can effectively use your actual potential.

With the help of cloud planning, your team is also networked with each other in the best possible way. Are employees absent due to illness or are in the home office? No problem. The data is centrally located in the cloud and the work can go on. Digital working methods cover the need for new personnel, because you can implement many times more planning in the same amount of time with the same number of personnel.

Often, planning in the cloud is associated with costly training. But the truth is: in cloud software for business planning, only the existing Excel skills of your employees are sufficient to get started with planning immediately.

Agile cloud solutions support controlling by

  • quickly obtaining reliable real-time data
  • plan faster and shorter with less personnel
  • utilize existing potential
  • actively and quickly initiate spontaneous planning
  • cultivate a data-driven corporate culture
  • collaborate across servers, departments and countries (possibility of home office and remote work)
  • increasingly base the controller’s consulting services and the resulting decisions on data
  • contribute to conscious and rational decision-making within the company

" Employee engagement instead of recruitment".

This is how Andrea Alboni, General Manager Western Europe at Universal Robots, puts it very fittingly in his article “Skills shortage in industry: is there a way out?”. The goal should be to position oneself attractively for one’s own employees. This also attracts new personnel. The focus here is on retention through involvement. Offer your planning managers the opportunity to have a transparent overview of the necessary planning data at all times and to proactively exchange information with other departments. This also promotes clean bottom-up planning. Create a work environment where controllers feel seen, take initiatives, and their skills as " cause investigators" and advisors regain meaning alongside the board. Where planning serves as your goal, thanks to automated processes and modern cloud software.

Remote working - the call for flexible working methods.

Another opportunity for you to retain employees: Since the Corona crisis, the desire for remote working has been growing. Yet companies still make use of it far too rarely. Only 25% of companies believe that remote work attracts more skilled workers. Agile forms of work and organization are still generally underestimated. The CFO study “Finance at the Crossroads of Corona, Digitalization and Sustainability” by management consultants Horváth shows that in 2021, only 46% of the 200 international finance executives surveyed see agile working methods and the associated remote working as an opportunity.

A transparent and agile way of working such as planning software makes it possible to collaborate across servers and to view and monitor the planning status at any time. Employees can thus plan from anywhere at any time. The individual partial plans are automatically merged. Your employees do not need any further training for this and do not have to deal with ten different Excel templates. The flexibility offered by this agile form of collaboration is increasingly demanded today not only by job seekers, but also by existing staff.

Remote-Arbeit mit einer Planungssoftware


We conclude: existing specialists are often used in controlling for tasks that can be implemented much faster and more reliably in the software. As a result, controllers and CEOs are pressed for time when it comes to actual planning and decision-making. In the first place, controlling does not lack skilled employees, but digital and agile planning tools for controllers that make agile planning possible and steer safely through times of crisis. This also allows employees to be better networked and involved, as well as cultivating a modern corporate culture, including remote working, which is becoming increasingly important on the part of staff. So it pays to be competitive and attractive, not only for your existing skilled workers, but also when it comes to recruiting.

If you want to know how you can quickly get started with agile planning software, read our free guide to planning in 5 steps. We will accompany you on your way to modern controlling.

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Ralf Schall

Ralf Schall

Success Manager

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