Reports and Analyses from Electronic Computers
BY MAURICE S. NEWMAN SYSTEMS MANAGER, SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE
Presented before the Cost Accounting and Analysis Committee of the New York City Control of the Controllers Institute of America — March 1955
I do not need to tell you, Gentlemen, that there have been major changes in management thinking during the past twenty years. You are well aware of these changes as you have participated in them and, in many cases, have been responsible for them.
I should like to review with you something with which you are all very familiar, and that is the changing concept of the controller during this period.
In many organizations over the past years there has developed a distinct cleavage between data analysis and data processing. This has occurred because of the need of professional management for timely and authoritative reports on which they are able to base decisions. In many cases, the controllers, or chief accountants were not sufficiently trained in analyzing financial statements. They had gained most of their experience from working on the accounting records in their company, and so it was necessary to bring individuals from outside of the organization
who had sufficient training in analysis to be able to supply the needs of the management group. In other situations, the controllers were able to bridge this gap and were able to supply the necessary data for management.
The point that I am making is that data analysis has become a particularly important requirement in the make-up of the modern controller.
As a matter of fact, one could almost say that the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction. There is now so much emphasis
on data analysis that the data-processing function is usually relegated
to a somewhat subordinate role despite the fact that the controller
is responsible for both functions.
While the controllers have been emphasizing and selling data analysis
to the management group in the form of informative reports, the data-processing problem has grown to one of gigantic proportions. The