Management Accounting Practice In Australia The Significance Of Ownership, Size, Age And Industry
There is considerable discussion in the literature of the disjunction between management accounting practice and the techniques presented in the major cost and management accounting textbooks. Studies have focussed on individual techniques, and the effect of these techniques on either decision making or performance.
It is expected that more extensive or intensive use of some or all of a sample of management accounting techniques will lead to better decisions or better performance. There appears to be a dearth of research into the extent and intensity of use of multiple management accounting techniques.
In this study, we examine the extent and intensity of use of a range of techniques used by two groups of companies. Our purpose is to discover the extent and intensity of use when companies are classified by multiple criteria. This information can be used in the design of management accounting programs in universities, and as a guide to managers in selecting appropriate management accounting techniques.
The study collected information from two populations. The ï¬rst (public companies) was a sample of 100 from the Top 500 companies listed in the Australian Financial Review Listed Company Handbook (1992), and the second (private companies) was the 100 fastest growing private Australian companies reported in the Business Review Weekly (1993). The companies were further classified according to size, age and activity sector. Intensity of use and extent of use were measured for each classification.Only minor differences were found in the use of the techniques examined. A low overall use of some more advanced techniques suggests either a lack of knowledge of the techniques, or alternatively a rejection of those techniques on a cost/benefit basis, Larger companies were more extensive users than smaller firms. The use of some more complex techniques is increasing over time, hut we have not identified the cause of this change.
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