What Is Objective Control? (With Definition and Examples)

Objective control: This type of control uses reliable behavioral measurements to encourage particular outcomes. There are two types of objective control, behavioral control and output control.

The term control objective has several definitions. For instance, control objectives give you a precise benchmark to measure the effectiveness of these controls against. Control objectives are the goals or purposes of specific controls at the organizational service, according to another school of thought. Control objectives’ main purpose is to address risks that controls are intended to reduce. A set of controls in a service organization that address risks to the internal control of the user over financial reporting is how the last group of academics define control objectives.

The control objectives in a SOC 1 report assist the user entity auditors in determining how the service’s organizational controls affect the user entity’s financial statement assertions. The management of the service organization must therefore choose control objectives that relate to the kind of assertions that are common in many user financial statement entities as you decide the control objectives to include in your report description.

The service provider should specifically tailor its control goals to the services it offers. Additionally, the service corporation ought to make an effort to have a complete set of control objectives within the SOC 1 scope engagement. Therefore, control objectives must take into account all of the key factors that user auditors consider to be pertinent.

Software as a service providers and data center service providers, for example, may not have comparable control objectives in their individual reports. However, they might share some control goals, like physical security. Although they might not necessarily be the same, companies that offer the same type of services may not have similar control objectives.

Ask the management of a user organization or the service organization to create a list of the critical processing activities that the user organization provides if you are having trouble identifying your control objectives or are unsure if you have the right ones. The areas that you need to quickly form control objectives around should be revealed by this activity. Making sure that the control objectives are relevant to what the service provider in question does is crucial.

Most people don’t know how controls relate to control objectives. The entity’s control objectives must be in line with the services it provides to users and the risks related to those users’ financial statement assertions. Controls are the actions that an organization takes to accomplish control goals and reduce the risks associated with financial statement assertions for user entities. Each control measure must have a specific connection to the control objective. Every control objective typically has a number of controls linked to it.

You can understand how controls and control objectives should relate by using an example. Let me give you an illustration of control activities and control goals from a real report. You can better understand how they should relate to one another with the help of this information. Control Objective: Controls provide a reasonable level of assurance that only authorized personnel and programs may access and date files through logical production application programs. Control Activity: All current and future employees, consultants, vendors, temporary employees, and all new hires who require password access are subject to the appropriate use policy. Analysis: The main goal of restricting logical access is not explicitly related to the control. Despite the fact that the control’s policy may outline the actions that limit logical access, the policy itself does not govern logical access. Some of the logical controls that can restrict logical access include authorization during access provision, removing access for all terminated employees or contractors, password settings, or recurring access audits. Making sure that the align with the control objectives is the most crucial step. If you don’t know where to start, you can always hire consultants to assist you in developing control objectives.

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Why is objective control important?

Because high-level professionals can use objective control to establish just and practical rules for their team members, objective control is crucial. All five management control systems may be used in combination in productive workplaces, so businesses of all sizes can benefit from knowing how each one operates and when it might be most helpful. In the end, these control strategies can assist businesses in achieving their objectives and increasing success rates in areas like profit, client satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. Other goals that objective control can help companies achieve include:

What is objective control?

One of the five main methods for managing people, events, and outcomes in a workplace is objective control. Those five management control systems include:

The top-down control techniques among these five strategic management strategies are objective and bureaucratic control. This indicates that corporate management develops and upholds its own procedures to direct employees’ behavior or performance. This contrasts with normative, concertive, and self-control, which involve team members actively supporting and participating in the management process at all levels of the business. Oblique control concentrates on observing and measuring team member behavior, while bureaucratic control concentrates on whether people are adhering to rules and regulations.

How does objective control work?

Using trustworthy testing techniques to gather factual data, objective control carefully incorporates this new knowledge into company regulations. There are two different categories of objective control, and both use information from facts to guide protocol:

Behavior control

The goal of behavioral objective control, also known as behavior control, is to manage the actions and conduct of internal team members while they work. By providing instruction and ongoing feedback to encourage improvement, managers can assist team members in exhibiting positive work behaviors. They can gauge these behaviors by gathering data on team member satisfaction and performance, then apply what they learn to establish rules that effectively control team member behavior.

Output control

A type of objective control known as output control places a strong emphasis on quantifiable business success. Facts that a business could gather to practice output control include the number of webpage visits per day, the number of products the manufacturer prepares each day, and the average weekly sales for a sales professional per quarter. The business can use the knowledge it gains after gathering this data to develop rules and guidelines. In other words, output control involves establishing an output goal based on facts, then evaluating actual output in relation to that goal.

For instance, a business might measure the amount of sales it generates each month, then develop guidelines to assist sales representatives in maintaining or exceeding that sales threshold going forward. Less rules about team member conduct may apply in a company that chooses to prioritize output control over behavior control, provided that each team member can consistently meet measurable company requirements for success. For instance, a business might permit employees to work from home as long as business revenue is reliable.

Examples of objective control

If you want to learn more about objective control, it might be helpful to look at how a workplace might implement this management control system. Here are two fictitious examples to help illustrate how this system works:

Example 1

If a business wants to raise its customer satisfaction levels, it might start by learning about tried-and-true methods for interacting with and helping customers. It can then establish a clear rule for the team to adhere to, such as “Wave to new customers as they enter the building and answer all customer questions with a smile.” Following the implementation of this policy, the store can monitor customer behavior to determine whether the change has a positive impact. It can then employ this fresh information to inform its upcoming rules pertaining to customer satisfaction. This is an example of behavioral objective control.

Example 2

The management team may employ objective control to help supervise content writers who are paid an annual salary by a company to contribute to the creation of blog, social media, and email marketing content.

To do this, they might calculate the number of words the writers must produce each day in order to produce as many articles as they did the previous month. In order to establish precise and accurate guidelines for writers’ work, they can communicate with them about this daily word goal. They might also monitor which blog topics attracted the most reader traffic and establish rules directing authors to address those topics more frequently. Management gives writers the option to work flexible hours from home if they so choose, as long as they meet their daily word count. This is an example of output control.


What is a control objective example?

For instance, a company that provides financial services employs traders who are aware of the necessary ethical standards. The HR department sets up a control objective called ‘Personnel’.

What is the purpose of a control objective?

Control objectives are a set of declarations that describe how risk will be effectively reduced. “A control objective provides a specific target against which to evaluate the effectiveness of controls,” according to the PCAOB.

What are the four types of control objectives?

Types of Internal Controls:
  • Detective: Designed to find potential mistakes or irregularities
  • Correctional: Designed to fix discovered errors or irregularities
  • Designed to prevent mistakes or irregularities from happening in the first place.

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