The Changing Role Of Management Accounting Accounting Essay

With the development of economic globalisation and information engineering, modern endeavor has to confront competitory challenges from both domestic and international markets. The conventional direction accounting ( MA ) was hard to run into the demands of modern endeavor direction because it merely focused on short-run involvements of MA and frequently revealed closed, narrow and simple features and deficiency of eventuality.

In the ferocious competitory concern environment, endeavor has to keep a planetary position to take a direction manner which is strategic direction oriented, harmonizing to the altering environment and doing appropriate accommodations correspondingly to maintain balance in and out of endeavor, in order to derive overall competitory advantage. Modern endeavor direction which is in a complex and dramatically altering external environment has begun to come in the epoch of strategic direction dominated. To dispute of conventional MA, strategic direction proposes an pressing demand to update the construct of conventional MA, particularly to supply broader and more utile information of strategic decision-making. In order to do up the lacks of conventional MA, bookmans who devote to doing MA run into the demands of the strategic direction and supply valid information and control methods for strategic direction have done for a batch of related research. Hence, strategic direction accounting ( SMA ) , which both concerns the long-run involvements of endeavor and coordinates the internal resource with external environment, have emerged. Due to its long-run, overall, extraversive and comprehensive features, SMA can run into the development demands of the endeavor from a strategic position. It has a profound impact on conventional MA, particularly is a originative discovery of modern MA.

This essay will foremost state the development of conventional MA. Following this, it will explicate the outgrowth of SMA from its background, definition and map, severally. Then, it will turn into the most of import portion where it will province some strategic direction accounting tools. Finally, it will do a treatment about the advantages and disadvantages of SMA and pull a decision.

The Evolution of Conventional Management Accounting

Since dividing from the accounting, MA has got a rapid development. The development class of MA in the twentieth century can be divided into four phases:

1 ) The MA epoch of prosecuting efficiency ( from the early twentieth century to the 1950s )

The rule of the twentieth century, the original development of MA dues to the paper “ Principles of Scientific Management ” published by Taylor ( 1911 ) who is the representative of classical school. Then, Harrison ( 1918 ) work for his research of criterion cost which was later popular in the 1920s.

McKinsey ( 1920 ) who foremost opened the MA seminar in the University of Chicago was regarded as the laminitis of American MA. Quaintance ( 1922 ) published “ Managerial Accounting: an Introduction to Financial Management ” and foremost proposed the name “ Management Accounting ” .MA, which chiefly contains standard cost, budget direction and discrepancy analysis, aims to assist endeavors work out the jobs of how to better production efficiency and economic involvements in the execution procedure. In this epoch, MA chiefly pursues “ efficiency ” , which emphasizes “ making thing right ” .

2 ) The MA epoch of prosecuting effectivity ( from the 1950s to the 1980s )

From 1950s, western states had come into a alleged post-war epoch.

In this epoch, many new characteristics of economic development appeared. When it comes to this new state of affairs, the defects of Taylor ‘s scientific direction theory which was one time in trend began to expose wholly. It could non accommodate to the new demand of the post-war economic development in western states and was replaced by the modern scientific direction. In a research study in 1958, it clearly pointed out the basic methods of MA, viz. , standard cost, budget direction, break-even point analysis, analysis of hapless, skiding budget, fringy analysis, which formed the foundation of MA methodological analysis. In 1960s, public presentation accounting and decision-making accounting emerged with the development of computing machine and information engineering. Becker and Green ( 1962 ) turn to a new country “ behavioural accounting ” in their paper.

In 1970s, Caplan ‘s “ Management Accounting and Behavioral Science ” and Hopwood ‘s “ An Accounting System and Managerial Behavior ” published to finish the content of this country. In this epoch, MA chiefly pursues “ efficiency ” , which emphasizes “ making thing right ” . Meanwhile, MA was established a construction system chiefly incorporating decision-making accounting, planned accounting and executive accounting.

3 ) The MA epoch of contemplation ( 1980s )

In the 1980 ‘s, due to the debut of “ information economic sciences “ and “ bureau theory ” , MA had new development. In this period, the research of MA could be divided into two schools: the traditional school and advanced school. Traditional school which advocated from the point of view of standard cost, budget direction and discrepancy analysis took cost as the nucleus factor and emphasized on the accretion of historical experience. Horngren ‘s “ Introduction to Management Accounting ” is the representative work of traditional school.

The advanced school advocated utilizing the theory and method of mathematics and behavioural scientific discipline to work out the jobs of MA. They stressed comprehensive invention, preferable mathematical theoretical account and relied on computing machine to work out complex MA jobs about prediction, analysis and decision-making. Kaplan ‘s “ Advanced Management Accounting ” is the representative work of advanced school. The statements between traditional school and advanced school prompted the MA research into a contemplation epoch. Kaplan ( 1983 ) argues that MA research workers must travel out of their offices to pattern new theories and methods. Activity-Based Management ( ABM ) which was proposed by Kaplan is widely used in MA text editions.

Matching to the construct of “ value concatenation ” raised by Porter, MA dedicated to optimisation for the “ value concatenation ” of endeavors by agencies of ABM.Glimpsing the whole development class of MA before 1990s, modern MA follow a development path of “ efficiencya†’effectivenessa†’value concatenation optimisation ” which fundamentally revolved around a subject of “ value added “ .

4 ) The MA epoch of subject changing ( 1990s )

In the 1990s, planetary economic environment was undergoing relentless alterations. At this clip, the subject of MA had transferred from the value added to the endeavors ‘ adaptability of the altering external environment.

Therefore, this period can be regarded as the transitional period of theme changing of MA. Harmonizing to the research of Atkinson et Al. ( 1997 ) , the research tendencies of MA theory in 1990s can be reflected in the undermentioned three countries: place and function of MA in organisational alteration, intergrowth and interaction between MA and organisational construction and, the function of MA in the determination support system. In this period, a noteworthy feature is the outgrowth of SMA. Meanwhile, a series of techniques and methods appeared, such as rival analysis, value concatenation analysis, activity-based costing and balanced scorecard.

Emergence of strategic direction accounting


In recent old ages, the dramatic alterations of the endeavor concern environment, the progressively ferocious planetary competition, the information needs of direction invention are the ultimate grounds for the exigency of SMA. The construct of competition is of great significance in the strategic direction which requires endeavor should find its competitory advantages. To run into the demands of endeavor strategic direction, SMA emerged and should spread out its original methodological analysis through soaking up and invention.

SMA aims to put up organisational construction, merchandise development, selling and resource allotment and, to supply information support for strategic direction of endeavor from a strategic position. The alterations of the external environment and internal direction system conveying the alterations of information need types of MA, which expand the range of information to assorted corporate strategic decision-making related, including internal and external, short-run and long-run, fiscal and non-financial, quantitative and qualitative, and so on. Bing different with conventional MA which chiefly focuses on supplying fiscal and quantitative information, SMA increases significantly the demand of non-financial information such as merchandise replacing, rational belongings, market competition in the information and strategic planning. Furthermore, the information of the company ‘s nucleus fight can non be quantified while it is an of import portion of direction accounting information.


Simmonds ( 1981 ) foremost proposed the construct of SMA in his paper “ Strategic Management Accounting ” . He stressed the importance of uniting MA with endeavor schemes and he emphasized SMA should concentrate on external environment in order to mensurate competitory place of endeavor. Bromwich ( 1990 ) explained SMA is a development instead than a subdivision of MA.

He farther stated that SMA is non merely to roll up concern and rivals ‘ information but besides to research competitory advantage and value-added procedure of endeavor themselves through comparing with their rivals. Govindarajan and Shank ( 1992 ) represented that SMA is the function of cost information in the phase of scheme statement, strategic bringing, strategic execution and strategic control. Lord ( 1996 ) identified that SMA is an extension from internal focal point of MA to include external information about rivals and, it could derive competitory advantage through working linkages in the value concatenation. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants ( CIMA ) officially define that SMA is a sort of MA which emphasizes on internal information every bit good as external and non-financial information.


The basic maps of conventional MA are by and large divided into four sorts: planning, organisation, rating and control which are bit by bit disintegrating in modern times. The map of modern MA ( chiefly refers to SMA ) expand from simple fiscal accounting to analyse the past, command the present and program for the hereafter. First, analysing the past agencies reconstituting the information provided by the fiscal accounting in order to better adapt to future planning and present commanding. Second, commanding the present means revising divergences quickly in the execution procedure through detecting a series of index so as to transport out the Economic activities efficaciously harmonizing to planned decision-making. Third, be aftering for the hereafter means taking full advantage of information available and purely put to deathing quantitative analysis to assist directors get the hang the state of affairs objectively, and this may eventually better the truth of prediction and the scientificity of decision-making. SMA combines these three maps to work together where they may bring forth a comprehensive map.

Strategic Management Accounting Tools

Performing MA functionally depends on assorted applications of MA tools. Conventional MA tools chiefly contain Budget Management ( BM ) , Standard Cost ( SC ) and Variance Analysis ( VA ) .

But late, many new MA tools appear in people ‘s position. The most representative tools are Activity-Based Costing ( ABC ) and Activity-Based Management ( ABM ) ( Cooper & A ; Kaplan, 1991 ; Cooper et Al, 1992 ) , Balanced Scorecard ( BSC ) ( Kaplan & A ; Norton, 1992 ) , Economic Value Added ( EVA ) ( Stern & A ; Stewart, 1993 ) and so on. The new MA tools has changed the conventional MA method of fiscal control oriented, and transformed the map of MA from control oriented to value-added oriented.

The tabular array presented below will comprehensively measure these four chief tools harmonizing to some cardinal issues of MA to do a comparative analysis of them.Key issues of MAFecal matterEVABSCAntiballistic missileClear long-run aims and schemes of organisationMultiple fiscal indexs: net income, hard currency flow, return on investing, etc ; Not officially see the relationship between agencies and consequences, although the budget is based on action program.Single fiscal index ; Driven factor of scheme is fiscal capital ; Specific strategic planning and execution delegate to subordinate directors.Multiple aims: including fiscal and non-financial indexs ; Although holding no formal strategic direction processs, strategic purpose is inexplicit in scheme function and public presentation indexs taking.

Value-added aim: chiefly by cut downing the ingestion of resources to accomplish strategic aims.Organization ( organisation and procedure design )Responsibility centre built on the traditional hierarchal organizational constructionStressing “ Thorough Mandate ”Not mentionedAnalyzing organisational effectivity from the position of value concatenation, and be givening to construct organisations based on the activities and procedures.Undertaking putingChiefly utilizing fiscal indexs, holding a good fiscal program ; Many marks set for the hierarchy of control.Partial accommodation of traditional accounting measuring puting marks.Despite stressing “ balance ” , non adverting how to put marks.Stressing activity benchmarking of organisation, and implementing standard activity costs.Performance rating and wagesNot emphasized, but the bulk of the organisations harmonizing to the completion of budget to find wagess and penalty.

Incentive Plan ( Bonus Pool ) is the core portion of this method.Merely emphasizing rating, non affecting how to fall in with incentive program.Not mentionedInformation supplyingShort-run feedback of budget discrepancy.Discussions affecting long-run effects.Reporting public presentations, but no specific counsel.Supplying activity accounting and decision-making, stressing analysis of activity cost discrepancy.

Discussion: Advantages and Disadvantages of SMA

In this portion, a treatment about advantages and disadvantages of SMA tallies and is summarized in the undermentioned tabular array.

AdvantagesLarge PictureBy using all the internal and external, fiscal and non-financial information, SMA can blossom a large image of concern.Cost AnalysisBy taking all of the company ‘s fiscal and non-financial information, SMA can happen a effectual manner to cut costs.Consumer NeedsBy be aftering for the hereafter, SMA can follow up the gait of altering universe and run into the demands of consumers.DisadvantagesLack of StandardizationThere are no criterions to follow in SMA, and discordance frequently emerges.Focus on Quantitative InformationQuantitative information is so rational that other utile non-quantitative information is ignored.BiasnessThe tools of SMA have a certain prejudice more or less because of affecting people ‘s personal beliefs and feelings.

Decision: Nature and Significance of SMA

To sum up, SMA does non alter the maps of conventional MA, and the Fieldss it participated cover through the whole procedure of endeavor direction. So, SMA is a development instead than a subdivision of conventional MA.

SMA focuses on rival analysis, concerns about the impact of environmental alteration, and has comprehensive features. These advantageous features make SMA better adapt to run into the demands of new concern environment and endeavor direction environment and go the hereafter development way of MA.