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UM-Dearborn Media Release

CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: July 18, 2002

UM-Dearborn's School of Management introduces controllership track in accounting and finance program

DEARBORN---The School of Management at the University of Michigan-Dearborn has established a new controllership track within its accounting and finance program that will help prepare students for cost-management positions in both manufacturing and service industries.

When the program begins this fall, UM-Dearborn will be one of only a few schools in the nation to offer courses in controllership.

"Companies need employees to have the training and mindset to be a good controller," according to Brian Green, associate professor of accounting and finance at UM-Dearborn. "We currently train students for careers in public accounting and corporate accounting and finance, but those areas are distinctly different from controllership.

"Students need to develop theoretical understanding and practical skills in advanced management accounting, process and structure cost control, and revenue stream management," said Green, who developed the controllership program with John Kaplan, executive-in-residence at the School of Management.

Kaplan, who served as executive vice president of Ford Motor Land Services Corporation and as vice president of finance at Ford Europe, has more than 35 years of controllership experience at Ford Motor Company.

Green said the new program will emphasize five essential elements of controllership: tools to manage product component cost, production cost, and revenue streams; manufacturing cost standards and objectives for operations; development and maintenance of information and reporting processes to ensure that corporate objectives are achieved; revenue analysis to improve both aggregate revenue sources and per unit revenue; budgeting processes and objectives such as tracking structure costs, costs behaviors and revenue streams; and ensuring that management receives accurate information on issues in a timely manner to take appropriate action.

"This program was developed in direct response to the needs expressed by companies," according to Kaplan. "We worked closely with representatives from Masco, Visteon, Ford and DTE Energy to ensure that our graduates will have the skill set necessary to allow them to step into controller's office positions in plants or divisions and contribute immediately to cost management and profit improvement efforts."

The core curriculum for the controllership program includes selected courses from the requirements for an accounting major, plus a unique course in controllership, in which controllers from local industries will participate in the classroom instruction.

"Because controllers need to understand the business environment they work in both from a practical and conceptual standpoint, the required curriculum includes courses in business economics, organizational behavior, production management, and decision science," Kaplan said. "In addition, an internship in a controller's office environment will be part of the program both to apply classroom learning to the business world and to bring operating experiences to the classroom."

Established in 1959, the School of Management now has about 6,000 alumni, most of whom live and work in southeastern Michigan. In August 2001, U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of Management's undergraduate programs in the top 10 percent nationwide and in the top 1 percent of regional campuses in the nation. The School of Management offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including the webMBA, and offers continuing executive education programs through the Center for Emerging Business Issues. More information about the School of Management and its programs can be found at




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