Balanced Scorecard

Also known as: BSC, balanced report sheet, balanced key figure system

A balanced scorecard (controlling) is a concept for recording, documenting and controlling activities that focuses on a company's vision and strategies.

Definition / explanation

Thanks to technical progress, the framework conditions in companies have changed significantly in recent years. Increased information availability (e.g. Internet) makes the information advantage of individual companies disappear. In addition, new competitors are constantly increasing global competition.

The balanced scorecard (controlling) is a new concept for successfully implementing new corporate strategies. This concept not only relies on financial and one-dimensional key figures, but also brings other factors into relation with one another. In this way it is possible to get an exact picture of the company and to control the development in a targeted manner.

Individual steps of the balanced scorecard

  • Analysis phase: Strategic goals are determined and success factors are defined
  • Conception phase: Deriving the goals and distributing them to the various company areas
  • Realization: The balanced scorcard (controlling) is filled with data, related to areas and it is used

Four perspectives of the balanced scorecard

  • Financial perspective: Business key financial figures such as profit, costs and sales are considered and goals are set from them
  • Customer perspective: It defines customer and market segments as well as aspects for customer profitability and customer satisfaction
  • Process perspective: Internal procedures and processes are considered and improvements are sought
  • Learning and innovation perspective: Your focus is exclusively on the ability to innovate and is important for the future development of the company


  • Breaking down operational action
  • Presentation, communication and operationalization of strategies
  • Forward-looking management and planning through the inclusion of lag and lead indicators
  • Verknüpfung mehrerer Controlling instruments
  • einfache Verbindung des Quality function deployment und der Fehler-Möglichkeiten- und Einfluss-Analyse
  • Clarification of the interdependencies between individual corporate goals
  • Disclosure of important tasks and deficits
  • Strengthening the employees through their own perspectives
  • Reduction of the complexity of the control possible
  • Justification of responsibilities and measures
  • by including non-monetary targets, the BSC becomes a holistic management process


  • Wrong hypotheses and assumptions about cause-effect or end-means relationships lead to wrong action
  • wrong and unrealistic goals are implemented
  • Overloading the BSC with too complex and too many goals
  • conscious manipulation and one-sided optimization of the key figures
  • Risk of one-sided concentration on the key figures
  • Wrong decisions and endangerment of the company's success
  • Rapidly changing environmental conditions are insufficiently perceived

Critique of the balanced scorecard

The person responsible for the key figures cannot be held responsible for every deviation from the plan. Exogenous disturbances such as raw material prices or the economy can also be responsible for this.

A distinction should be made in the BSC between “not responsible” and “responsible” deviations from the plan. This makes it possible to integrate risk management and strategic management, which promotes logical consistency and efficiency.

Up to now, risks have not played a major role in the balanced scorecard (controlling). Allocating risks to key figures positively drives the implementation of a corporate strategy.


  • Balanced Scorecard is a concept for the implementation of company goals
  • Consideration of different perspectives (finance, innovation, process and customers)
  • a meaningful and stable balance of these perspectives is necessary in the BSC
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