As Johnson Controls Inc. follows its customers around the world, the distance between many of the 2,400 members of the financial team and the Milwaukee-based company's headquarters grows ever greater. And when Controller Susan Kreh joined the $34.6 billion auto parts and temperature controls maker one year ago, she took on the job of reducing that distance. This is especially difficult, says Kreh, at a time when the company's internal accounting policies and government regulations are rapidly being revised. "The combination of a changing company and changing rules creates a dynamic and complex environment," says Kreh.

Kreh, 46, has been working to standardize education and financial systems from Wisconsin to Slovenia and beyond. That effort includes working with outside vendors to translate–literally and figuratively–Johnson Controls' corporate policies and corporate culture. Under Kreh, the company, which makes auto interiors, batteries, thermostats and environment controls for buildings, created a series of training modules that can be accessed either electronically or taught in person. And that's just the beginning. "With continuing changes, including the expected international convergence of accounting standards, we expect the program to grow exponentially."

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