Contrôle de Gestion: A specialisation that goes well beyond its clichés

Launched in 1991, the specialisation “Contrôle de Gestion” has continued to evolve, satisfying the recruitment needs of numerous business areas, but most importantly the expectations of key skills for those wanting to work in this profession. Guylaine Loubet, a Contrôle de Gestion professor and head of the Contrôle de Gestion specialisation gives us a definition of the role:

“The job of a contrôleur de gestion is difficult to understand. Mostly people think of them as a cop, or an accountant, or a spotty nerd in glasses who spends all day on Excel alone in the corner… But even though the contrôleur does need to have a lot of knowledge in accountancy, their job is much more diverse. They’re always in the field, meeting with different people in the business in order to understand what’s going wrong in different parts of the company, and being as accurate as possible with the financial steering of the company. I teach Contrôle de Gestion to first-year Master’s students so that they all have an idea about the subject, then I see a few of them the following year during their specialisation.”

“In my specialisation course, based on a programme that I come up with, I try to bring in university lecturers and professionals to give students a broad spectrum of skills that are directly applicable to the world of work. My aim is to give them the essential keys so that they’re quick, operational and ready to go as soon as they graduate. The old students from my specialisation also offer a lot of opportunities. Being head of the specialisation means being at the centre between the network of graduates, the important academics, and the job know-how. Contrôleurs de gestion are recruited based on their technical knowledge; their ease with figures, the creativity to provide adapted indicators, their knowledge of concepts of contrôle de gestion… but they must not neglect the human qualities of being able to summarise, being ethical, of communicating and sometimes coaching, being able to work in a multicultural environment etc. A contrôleur de gestion must also be proactive and full of advice, and be able to start a conversation, and be able to redefine.”

For 2014, Guylaine Loubet has decided to introduce a video clip that is made by the students as part of their M1 examinations, which promotes the role of a contrôleur de gestion. It’s a method of communication that the students have approached with both enthusiasm and seriousness. In this way, they’re able to be a contrôleur de gestion while being creative.