اطلاعات حسابداری مدیریت و نیازهای مدیران: برداشت از مقایسه مدیران و حسابداران
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9977||2003||34 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The British Accounting Review, Volume 35, Issue 3, September 2003, Pages 257–290
The study builds on prior research on information user perceptions and the roles of management accountants. Perceptions of management accountants and managers in the same organisations regarding information supplied by the management accounting function were compared and differences highlighted. Perceptions of managers were also sought regarding desired changes in the information supplied and desired future roles of management accountants. Consistent with prior literature in MIS and accounting, the findings showed evidence of preparer–user perception gaps. Major contributors to those perception gaps were identified as an imbalance between technical and organisational validity, functional differentiation and an inherent tension between the simultaneous requirements of independence and involvement. Managers' views of desired future roles for management accountants provided consistent indicators as to how those gaps can be narrowed. The study also exposes inaccuracies in management accountants' perceptions and sets out implications for the design and reporting of future research.
Arguments put forward by Kaplan, 1984, Kaplan, 1988 and Kaplan, 1990 and Johnson and Kaplan (1987) triggered off a major discussion regarding the relevance of management accounting practices. Attention was focused on the paucity of empirical findings regarding the practice of management accounting. Anthony (1989, p. 18) highlighted this lack of empirical evidence, arguing that ‘information about management accounting practices is abysmally poor’. He criticised the assumption often implied in the literature that a specific technique such as labour hour based overhead absorption is widely used, in circumstances where there is little or no statistical evidence to indicate how many companies use that technique. He also highlighted the lack of information about new techniques. Although there has been a significant increase in the number of published studies since then, many of those studies were based on surveys of accountants and the findings are typically reported as evidence of techniques used (e.g. Drury et al., 1993, Innes and Mitchell, 1995, Clarke et al., 1999 and Innes et al., 2000). A more appropriate interpretation would view the findings as indicating what techniques are used by accountants and what information is perceived to be used by managers. The primary focus of this study is on the perceptions of managers regarding their own information requirements and their perceptions of the effectiveness of management accountants in meeting those requirements.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The findings highlight the knowledge and skills required of management accountants in three main areas. Firstly, a thorough technical knowledge is essential in order to be able to adapt information to the needs of a given situation and achieve an optimum balance between technical and organisational validity. Secondly, a sound knowledge of other business functions, such as IT, production and marketing is necessary. Finally, a well-developed set of social and inter-personal skills is required. Thus equipped, the management accountant is more likely to successfully balance control and support functions and to meet the information needs of a wide range of managers across a variety of functional environments, thus effectively co-ordinating information flows to link different areas of the business and fulfil key roles such as ‘linchpin’ and ‘facilitator’ (Brignall et al., 1999, p. 31). The central focus of the study was on manager perceptions regarding the usefulness of current information and desirable changes to information and the role of MAs. There was evidence of major differences between the perceptions of managers and MAs of the usefulness of specific types of information and consistent indications from managers regarding the desired future role of MAs. Improved management accounting information can only come about through a convergence of the perceptions of MAs and managers regarding the nature, timing and format of information required, thereby increasing its usefulness or organisational validity. The findings provide some insights and tentative propositions, which offer potential to help bring about this convergence. Future research could usefully be directed towards more extensive testing of the propositions put forward in this paper and the development of a better understanding of factors that contribute to the MA—manager perception gap in a variety of functional and institutional settings. It would be particularly useful to consider the varying degrees of sophistication in companies' management accounting systems and to examine whether the nature and magnitude of any perception gaps can be associated with characteristics of those systems. Given the study's unique design, whereby the same questions regarding usage of techniques were asked of MAs and managers in the same companies, important implications can be drawn for the design of future studies. Many of the research findings to date regarding usage of specific management accounting techniques are based on surveys of management accountants. Findings from those surveys are typically reported in terms of frequency of usage of particular techniques. By asking the same questions of managers and MAs, the current findings revealed major differences between perceptions of managers and MAs, thus underlining the importance of distinguishing between information that is stated to be produced and information that is actually used. The current study did not attempt to establish the reasons for these differences and specifically, whether they were due to deliberate bias in MA responses or genuine lack of knowledge regarding what information managers actually use. What is clear, however, is that future research into usage of techniques ideally needs to involve managers, and where findings are reported based only on data collected from MAs, it is important that the limitations are spelled out and that the findings are presented in terms of information produced.