The Future Of Management Accounting Lies In The Form Of Strategic Management Accounting Accounting Essay

This essay will see whether or non the hereafter of direction accounting lies in the signifier of strategic direction accounting or non. In order to reply this inquiry, the paper will foremost see the constructs of both direction accounting and strategic misdirection accounting, before traveling on to see the restrictions of direction accounting. The paper will so see, to what extent strategic direction accounting as a construct is able to murder put the jobs and restrictions associated standard direction accounting procedures and practises.

In sing the relevancy of such a inquiry, Drury ( 2004 ) gives a good lineation as to the issues which have brought about the demand for a alteration in the manner direction accounting is viewed. Here Drury argues that, whilst direction accounting is concerned with the proviso of information to internal stakeholders within an administration, the information provided is to be used for the intents of determination devising. Drury ( 2004 ) argues that increasing degrees of globalization, alterations in client and consumer demands and an increasing degree of competition have all led to an increased demand for houses to go more efficient. As such, one consideration is that, whilst direction accounting information is designed to be used by internal by stakeholders, such information will be used to do determinations, which help a house to respond to a really changed external concern environment.

2.0 Key Concepts

In the first case, one should specify the constructs of direction accounting and strategic direction accounting. Accounting is traditionally split into two wide classs in the signifier of fiscal accounting and direction accounting ( Dyson 2007 ) . On the one manus, fiscal accounting is concerned with the communicating of information mostly to external stakeholders such as stockholders, revenue enhancement governments and Companies House ( Brigham and Ehrhardt 2005 ) . Fiscal accounting typically sees a focal point on a concern broad position of a company ‘s fiscal place and is focused on the meeting of statutory demands and conformity with ordinances.

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Management accounting on the other manus is focused on the proviso of information to internal stakeholders, such as fiscal directors and operations staff. The point of direction accounting is to supply information, which is utile to directors of all sections and degrees, so as to enable better determination devising ( Drury 2004 ) . Management accounting differs from fiscal accounting, in that there are no legal demands for the proviso of direction accounting information and direction accounting practises are likely to concentrate on specific sections of an administration, instead than the coverage of concern broad statistics.

However, recent old ages have seen the development of another signifier of direction accounting in the signifier of strategic direction accounting ( SMA ) . Despite the popularity of strategic direction accounting beginnings ( Drury 2004, Coad 1996, Tomkins and Carr 1996 ) indicate that there is in fact no precise definition of what strategic direction accounting is or a specific model for its farther development. Alternatively, common observations consider that strategic direction accounting is the proviso of accounting information to internal stakeholders, which enables an administration to do better determinations with respect to accomplishing the overall concern and corporate degree scheme of the house ( Innes 1998 ) . As such, like all strategic version of a given functional country ( such as a strategic selling ) , strategic direction accounting may be seen as a nexus between a standard functional country of a concern and the development of the map into a subscriber to the administrations wider strategic aims.

3.0 Management Accounting Restrictions

One of the major restrictions highlighted by faculty members on the topic of direction accounting is that standard direction accounting is frequently excessively focused on the internal environment of a concern ( Simmonds 1986 ) . Whilst determination shapers do do determinations constrained by the specific internal factors and resources of a company, one statement is that such determinations should ever be taken, in the context of the external environment. As such, one concern is that such a degree of internal focal point on the behalf of direction comptrollers in the standard sense of the construct can go forth determination shapers in a place of doing determinations blinded to the issues and events originating in the external environment.

Another angle which outlines the restrictions of direction accounting is highlighted by Johnson and Kaplan ( 1986 ) . In the first case, Johnson and Kaplan indicate that direction accounting developed in an epoch when there was a typical demand for the development of the direction accounting system. As such, the direction accounting procedures and practises are designed specifically for usage in the big multilayered and hierarchal administrations of the twenty-four hours. As such, Johnson and Kaplan ( 1986 ) argue that one of the cardinal restrictions of the direction accounting position is that it merely was ne’er designed to suit into the much flatter administrations that were get downing to emerge during the 19 8s when Johnson and Kaplan published their work. Additionally, Johnson and Kaplan go on to see the function and development of fiscal accounting, here the writers give the sentiment that developments within the field of fiscal accounting have led to a state of affairs where direction accounting can frequently simply duplicate the attempts of fiscal comptrollers therefore imploring the inquiry as to whether or non direction accounting has a function any more.

Other restrictions of direction accounting see the nature of puting such a high accent on fiscal and cost based systems in the first topographic point ( Kaplan 1984 ) . One position is that the usage of direction accounting as a manner of informing the determination doing procedure ignores the true nature of the construct of value. From a direction accounting position, value is ever associated with the construct of cost controls and decreases. However, from a strategic position the construct of value is non needfully associated with decreases in costs, nor may it ever be associated with fiscal value. A scope of beginnings from other strategic subjects ( Porter 2004, Kottler et al 2009 ) give a clearly alternate position as to the value of an administrations offerings in the context of the external environment. As such, one decision is that one of the chief restrictions of direction accounting, is that it places an over accent on the fiscal value or fiscal facets of a determination. In world a director doing a determination, strictly on the footing of fiscal informations may do a determination which is financially sound sing the restraints of the internal environment. However, in the context of the company ‘s overall scheme, the determination may turn out to be misaligned with the wider demands of the company ‘s scheme and those of the wider external environment.

Further restrictions of the direction accounting construct relate to the really nature of the construct, which frequently sees direction accounting information and determinations relegated to the departmental or divisional degree, instead than the organizational degree ( Drury 2004 ) . As such, this can make a figure of jobs for the administration. In the first case there is an issue over co-ordination of activities, separate beds of direction accounting practises are likely to take to different determinations being taken in different sections or divisions of a concern, as such the determination doing procedure from the whole organizational position can go a disconnected one, with each single section doing optimum determination but overall a deficiency of consistence being achieved throughout the administration as a whole.

The 2nd issue is that such a departmental or divisional attack can take to competition between sections, which consequences in otiose resources or duplicate of work. Such a consideration is that this sort of direction accounting may ease the negative elements of competition, instead than the edifice of synergisms within the concern.

4.0 Strategic Management Accounting

In the first case the major difference between standard direction accounting and strategic direction accounting may be seen as one of focal point. Where the construct of direction accounting is specific to the operations and activities of the administration, at the operations, departmental and divisional degree, the construct of strategic direction accounting is designed to take the same principals but to use these to the administration as a whole ( Drury 2004, Dixon and Smith 1993 ) . As such, the first major restriction within direction accounting, and one the beginnings of farther restrictions is solved by the general attack of the whole construct of strategic direction accounting.

One farther issue identified in the context of standard direction accounting was with the construct of the perceptual experience of value. Strategic direction accounting takes a more varied attack to the construct of value and competitory advantage, loosely seeking to be a portion of the procedure of leting a company to make a competitory advantage based upon one of Porter ‘s ( 2004 ) three generic schemes of cost leading, distinction or market focal point ( Drury 2004 ) . A consideration in the analysis of standard direction accounting is that such a construct would automatically take to merely the ability to present a cost leading scheme.

Those in the literature ( Porter 1980, Simons 1987, Langfield-Smith 1997 ) suggest that where houses choose to prosecute differing generic schemes, so the function of strategic direction comptrollers is to put up systems and procedures which align the whole value concatenation of an administration to the remarkable chase of a generic scheme. Therefore Porter ( 2008 ) and Langfield-Smith ( 1997 ) argue that, where a cost leading scheme is pursued, so the function of strategic direction comptrollers will be to originate a system of procedures and practises which focus on cost controls and the maximization of efficaciousnesss. On the other manus, companies seeking to make a differentiated scheme through invention are more likely to put an accent on prediction and accounting informations which is related to expected future public presentation as opposed to the backwards looking informations frequently considered in the construct of a cost control environment ( Ittner et al 1997 ) .

The individual biggest factor which may be seen as relevant in work outing the restrictions of the construct of direction accounting through the application of strategic direction accounting may be seen as the fact that, where direction accounting is an inward looking construct. Strategic direction accounting is mostly 1 that is an outward looking construct. Duruy ( 2004 ) indicates that the undermentioned elements are of importance to the strategic direction comptroller, many of which appear to hold a clearly outward looking position in comparing to the activities of standard direction accounting:

Competitive place monitoring

Strategic pricing

Competitor public presentation assessment

Rival cost appraisal

Strategic costing

Value-chain costing

Brand value monitoring

Brand value budgeting

When each of these elements are considered, there are a figure of tendencies which seem to emerge. In the first instance, there is a much greater accent on two cardinal elements within the external environment, viz. rivals and the consumer ( considered in the signifier of trade name ) . Second, where the construct of strategic direction accounting is concerned with internal considerations, those considerations relate to the whole administration, as opposed to remarkable departmental or divisional concerns.

Therefore far, strategic direction accounting has been presented in a comparatively positive visible radiation with an indicant as to the benefits of strategic direction accounting over those of standard direction accounting practises. However, another statement may be to see that within an administration it may be both necessary and desirable for both constructs to be at the same clip. Whilst strategic direction accounting no uncertainty adds value for houses, by organizing the overall strategic attack to finance. This does non needfully intend that direction accounting should be discouraged within an administration, even where strategic direction accounting is being implemented. Whist it is of import for administrations to follow a clear scheme, the fact is that on a twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours footing, directors and employees work and make determinations within a departmental or divisional construction. As such, an attack which provides information at such a degree is ever likely to hold a great trade of value for those working at this degree of senior status.

A farther concern is that direction accounting so far has been considered in the context of houses who have taken what the literature refers to as a “ planed attack ” to corporate scheme ( Johnson et al 2008 ) . However, one concern is that for many administrations, a planed attack to corporate scheme is merely non adopted, alternatively many companies rely upon an emergent scheme which comes approximately as a merchandise of tradition and repeated forms of behavior. In such fortunes, it is hard to see how the construct of strategic direction accounting could suit into such administrations, given that in order to implement strategic direction accounting one must in the first case have a planed attack to corporate degree scheme.

5.0 Decision

Having considered the research one can see that strategic direction accounting surely has a hereafter and is one manner in which a development may be made upon standard direction accounting practises, so as to enable an administration to better accomplish its coveted strategic aims. However, the deficiency of a clear definition of strategic direction accounting and the consideration that there is no clear conceptual model for farther development means that in consequence, strategic direction may be seen as a hereafter development of direction accounting, instead than the whole sale replacing of direction accounting per Se.

A concluding decision may be to see that the hereafter of direction accounting will see a clearer split between the constructs of direction accounting and strategic direction accounting and that over clip, the two constructs will be seen as both holding a topographic point within the administration, instead than strategic direction accounting being a natural development and replacement of the construct of direction accounting.


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