The Third Accounting History International Congress

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The Third Accounting History International Congress
(Siena, Italy, September 17-19, 2003)

The Historical Evolution of the Portuguese Management Accounting Literature

José Manuel de Matos Carvalho (jcarvalho@iscac.pt) Maria de Fátima Travassos Conde (fconde@iscac.pt) Rosa Maria Correia Nunes (rnunes@iscac.pt) ISCA de Coimbra - Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra Quinta Agrícola Tel. (351) 239 802 013 Bencanta 3040-316 Coimbra Portugal Fax (351) 239 445 445 E-mail jcarvalho@iscac.pt

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THE HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF THE PORTUGUESE MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING LITERATURE

Abstract This paper analyses the evolution of the Portuguese management accounting literature, throughout the accounting books published in Portugal, in order to identify historical phases of that evolution. The methodology of this study consists in the analysis of some relevant Portuguese accounting books. We study and compare the evolution of the issues like the name of the discipline, terminology, concepts, deepness of treatment of the matters, number of pages of the books, accounting techniques used (e. g. budgeting, standard costs, overhead allocation). This paper proposes five phases: (1) industrial bookkeeping included in commercial bookkeeping books, until early twentieth-century, (2) industrial bookkeeping autonomy, until 1930’s decade, (3) industrial accounting, until mid 1970’s decade, (4) analytical / cost accounting, until mid 1990’s decade, and (5) management accounting, the current phase. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of the management accounting literature in Portugal, to evaluate the current state of the discipline in this perspective and to facilitate comparative studies with other countries. The structure of the paper is the following: introduction, selection of the books analysed, proposal of the management accounting literature phases, characterization of the phases by issues and conclusions.

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1. Introduction
This paper analyses the evolution of the Portuguese management accounting literature, throughout the accounting books published in Portugal,1 in order to identify historical phases and periods of that evolution. The methodology of this study consists in the analysis of some relevant Portuguese accounting books. We study and compare the evolution of the issues like the name of the discipline, terminology, concepts and deepness of treatment of the matters, number of the pages of the books, accounting techniques used (e. g. budgeting, standard cost, overhead allocation). The outcome of this paper consists in the development of a table which highlights the phases and periods and also, authors of each period. Five phases are proposed: (1) industrial bookkeeping included in commercial bookkeeping books, until the early twentieth-century, (2) industrial bookkeeping autonomy, until the 1930’s, (3) industrial accounting, until the 1970’s, (4) analytical / cost accounting, until the 1990’s, and (5) management accounting, the current phase. The first and third phases are divided into two periods each. This paper may be helpful to understand better the evolution of management accounting in Portugal and so foresee its future. This paper is a subsequent research from Carvalho and Conde (2002)2, where the Portuguese context from the eighteenth century to the present and a proposal of accounting phases and periods were presented. For this reason in the next point is only presented a brief description of the political and economical context. It is also presented an improved proposal of phases and periods to the Portuguese accounting which is helpful for the present paper. Although, we have not done a review of articles published in Portuguese journals, we are of the opinion that the conclusions are relevant, because the authors who wrote articles in journals generally also wrote books, thus revealing their opinions. However, the analysis of journal articles, particularly those articles of the most...
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