What is Cost & Management Accounting Reporting Systems?
Cost Accounting Reporting System deals with the process of tracking, measuring, recording and classifying the appropriate allocation of expenditure (financial and non-financial) for the determination of the cost of product or service in an organization and for the presentation of suitably arranged data for the purpose of control and guidance of management (Horngren et al, 2010). Costs are measured in terms of Direct Costs, Indirect Costs and Overhead/Absorbed Costs. Managers use cost accounting to support decision making to reduce a company's costs of products and services and improve its profitability. Management Accounting Reporting System is concerned with the process of identification, measurement, accumulation, analysis, preparation, interpretation and communication of financial and non- financial information used by managers to plan, evaluate and control within an entity and to assure appropriate use of and accountability for its resources to managers within organizations, to provide them with the basis in making informed business decisions that would allow them to be better equipped in their management and control functions thereby enhancing both customer and shareholder value (CIMA, 2010). Unlike financial accounting information, management accounting information is used within an organization typically for decision-making in varied areas like product design, production,marketing, and performance management. Management accounting systems also do not have to follow set principles and rules and is usually confidential and its access available only to a select few. Cost Accounting operates within the parameters of Management Accounting. As businesses became more complex and diversified, a more comprehensive reporting system was needed in order to help management make decisions. Modern cost accounting systems take the perspective that collecting cost information is a function of the management decisions being made. Thus it can be safely understood that Management Accounting evolved from Cost Accounting. Hence, the distinction between management accounting and cost accounting is not so well-defined and the terms are used interchangeably (Horngren et al, 2010). Management Accounting principles are also used in other accounting related functions such as Long Term Planning (LTP), budgeting and forecasting revenue and profit planning. Again, cost accounting data is used as an integral part of the process.
Management Accounting Reporting Systems: Necessity & Role
Value creation is the fundamental focal point for the managers in an organisation across diverse sectors (Smith, 2010). Value creation refers to both customer and shareholders. Creating customer value has been a key concern for the organizations but only in recent years have the managers come to recognize the importance of understanding the customer value – the value that a customer places on particular features of a product and satisfying customers is critical to achieving increased sales and market share and therefore to achieve the shareholder value (Smith, 2010). Shareholder value is also a key focus area for the managers and involves improving the net worth of the business for the shareholders/owners of the company. From a shareholders’/owners’ perspective, parameters like increased profits, share value and dividends are extremely important and management is charged with the responsibility of delivering on all the parameters. To enhance customer or shareholder value, managers need to understand what drives value. They have to make decisions and invest resources in the activities or aspects of their business that lead to improvements in customer and shareholder values. The effective and efficient use of resources is essential to creating value to customers and shareholders; and Management Accounting Reporting System provides the much needed critical information to assist managers to perform this role...
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