Advances in Management Accounting: Volume 19

Cover of Advances in Management Accounting

Table of contents

(18 chapters)
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List of contributors

Pages vii-viii
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AIMA intends to provide authors with timely reviews clearly indicating the acceptance status of their manuscripts. The results of initial reviews normally will be reported to authors within eight weeks from the date the manuscript is received. Once a manuscript is tentatively accepted, the prospects for publication are excellent. The author(s) will be expected to work with the corresponding editor, who will act as a liaison between the author(s) and the reviewers to resolve areas of concern. To ensure publication, it is the author's responsibility to make necessary revisions in a timely and satisfactory manner.

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Introduction

Pages xv-xix

This volume of Advances in Management Accounting (AIMA) begins with a chapter by Walker, Fleischman, and Johnson that presents an interesting commentary that encourages investigation of management accounting (MA) service quality via comparisons of perceptions by service users and providers. The authors argue that such comparisons are important in order to satisfy the needs of service users, assure good communications, justify the costs of MA, promote improved decision making, and help improve the organizational standing of MA. They review literature from accounting, service marketing, and information systems, a common information service with similarities to accounting, to argue the case for conducting research on MA service quality.

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The purpose of this chapter is to encourage investigation of management accounting (MA) service quality via comparisons of perceptions by service users and providers. Such comparisons are important in order to satisfy the needs of service users, assure good communications, justify the costs of MA, promote improved decision-making, and help improve the organizational standing of MA. We review literature from accounting, service marketing, and information systems, a common information service with similarities to accounting, to argue the case for conducting research on MA service quality.

The findings from our literature review show that research on service quality is seemingly important and abundant in many areas, but not concerning accounting. In essence, we don't know what perceptual differences exist between management accountants and their customers, why these differences might exist, or how organizations might identify and narrow identified gaps.

This chapter is among the first to call for research into perceived differences in MA service quality between users and providers. We argue for investigating sources of differences based on prior research in internal marketing and information systems. We offer a conceptual model that might be used as a basis in future investigations.

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This chapter demonstrates (1) divergence between spending based upon a budget ratcheting model and a benchmark spending model, (2) that this divergence affects organizational performance, and (3) that internal benchmarking enables unit-to-unit performance comparisons, despite claims of organizational or unit uniqueness. We contrast two spending models to examine whether the divergence, or cost estimation gap, affects operating performance across inpatient (n=4,536) and outpatient departments (n=8,438) in 23 U.S. Army hospitals. Using a fixed-effects panel data methodology for fiscal years 2004–2006, we find that unit managers’ spending in this setting is more closely approximated by budget ratcheting. Using multiple performance metrics measured via a DuPont-like decomposition, we find that, within a specified range, operating performance generally improves as resources become constrained. Outside that range, however, we find nonlinear performance effects that approximate a quadratic loss function. Our benchmark model enables clinical department comparisons while controlling for facility, clinical specialty, and case mix severity. The resulting departmental comparability facilitates identification and communication of best practices across the entire Army hospital system. These results should be of interest to corporate executives, government officials, and agency managers who have responsibility for establishing funding mechanisms that include performance-based components.

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This chapter examines the effect an informal control namely trust-in-superior and subordinates’ truthfulness in revealing their private information on budgetary slack. A laboratory experiment was conducted. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression were used to test the hypotheses proposed in this chapter. The independent variables were trust-in-superior and subordinates’ truthfulness in revealing their private information. The dependent variable was budgetary slack. The results indicate that trust-in-superior reduces the budgetary slack created by subordinates under private information condition. In addition, the results show that subordinates’ truthfulness in revealing their private information mediates the effect of trust-in-superior on budgetary slack.

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This chapter examines the relationship between purposes of budget use and budgetary slack, and the extent to which this relationship is mediated by two (potentially) slack-reducing mechanisms, budget participation and budget emphasis. In a sample of survey responses from 44 Dutch listed firms, intensity of budget use is negatively related to budgetary slack, and this relationship is partially mediated by both budget participation and budget emphasis. Furthermore, three purposes of budget use are identified: budget usage for (a) planning and communication purposes, (b) coordination and allocation purposes, and (c) evaluation and rewarding purposes. The direct effect of purposes of budget use on budgetary slack seems especially due to budget usage for planning and communication purposes, which is also the case for the mediating effect via budget emphasis, whereas the mediating effect via budget participation seems especially due to budget usage for coordination and allocation purposes. Exploratory analyses do not show similar relationships with purposeful slack, that is, with slack that was purposefully allowed in the business units’ budgets by the firms’ top management.

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This study extends prior research on the relation between information technology (IT) and firm performance by using both univariate and multivariate econometric models to assess the hypothesized relationships. Additionally, sample selection bias and endogeneity are examined to determine their effect, if any, on the results. The univariate results indicate that, on average, IT leaders outperform non-IT leaders. After controlling for sample selection bias and endogeneity, using Wooldridge (2002) 2SLS-IV, the coefficient of the endogenous variable is higher than suggested by ordinary least squares estimation and the Hausman F-Test is significant, indicating that the relationship between IT and firm performance is endogenous. Thus, it is important to control for sample selection bias and endogeneity to properly estimate the relationship between IT and firm performance.

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Spending constraints in state budgets have resulted in a need to evaluate the effects of alternative budgeting techniques. We study public school administrations, where improvements in budgetary processes could help align system goals with reduced levels of funding. A budgeting technique, called strategic budgeting (SB), emphasizing information symmetry and mutual monitoring, is investigated in a nonprofit setting by comparing it to a traditional budgeting (TB) method. The experiment finds that the effect of reduced spending previously discovered in a corporate setting are also evident in a not-for-profit setting. Results indicated an overall cost savings with SB of almost 25 percent. Public school administrators made spending decisions in a hypothetical three-year task and provided comments to justify their decisions. These comments along with anecdotal evidence from prior field research indicate that collaborative characteristics in a budget format may reduce unnecessary spending.

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In its final report of 2008, the Treasury Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession (ACAP) made a recommendation that the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) work together to form a commission to study the future structure and content of accounting education. The Pathways Commission is entrusted with the responsibility of fulfilling the ACAP's goals on human capital requirements. In its future course of work, the Commission will have to face the task of questioning whether the new structure and content will produce “better” accounting professionals. In management accounting, “better” means the benefits outweigh the costs. The current study addresses the cost–benefit aspect of the way the accounting profession produces its future professionals now.

In an effort to provide empirical evidence on the costs and benefits of the 150-hour education requirement of the United States, a national survey of accounting program administrators’ cost–benefit perceptions of their 150-hour program has been performed. This chapter reports on the results of the U.S. survey.

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A number of studies across a variety of disciplines call for further research investigating the factors that influence performance measurement (PM) systems and practices. Despite management control systems (MCS) comprising performance measurement as one of its elements, the influence of MCS on PM systems and practices has received little attention. This study attempts to address this need by examining the associations between MCS and PM practices through a survey of large Australian organisations, with MCS characterised in terms of Simons’ (1991; 1995) levers of control (LOC) framework and the objects-of-control (OOC) framework (Emmanuel et al., 1990; Merchant and Van der Stede, 2007). We find that MCS approaches and the specific LOC and OOC that these comprise influence both the purpose for which PM systems are used and the selection of KPIs, but has little influence on the use of benchmarking. Also, diagnostic MCS are associated with the design of causally structured PM systems while results-focused MCS are linked with an absence of structure. Adding to the findings are evidence that interactive LOC are not associated with strategic learning, validation and the use of causality in PM systems.

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The value of a cost-management initiative rests on its ability in producing new and/or more accurate cost information for decision making. As such, insights on antecedents and consequences of using different types of cost information in decision making are important in evaluating cost-management initiatives. Behavioral research paradigm offers researchers a framework to interpret relationships between uses of different types of cost information and individuals’ behaviors. This chapter presents a review of behavioral studies on cost information usage in decision making published in 1998–2007. Findings of the review shows that using different types of cost information in decision making have significant impacts on individuals’ behaviors and uses of cost information are likely to be moderated by various human, system, and market factors.

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The purpose of this chapter is to identify the most appropriate ways of defining the adoption and non-adoption of activity-based costing (ABC). This chapter uses the responses to a questionnaire survey of management accountants working in British manufacturing industry to test if there are differences across various definitions of adoption and non-adoption in the level of competition, product customization, manufacturing overhead cost percentage and operating unit size. When there are no significant differences between the groups making up each definition this indicates that the definition is appropriate and can be used to define adoption or non-adoption. The results of the research show that the only appropriate definition for ABC adoption is operating units that are currently using ABC. It is possible to define non-adoption in three ways as operating units that are not using ABC, but have considered it; those that are not using ABC, but have considered it except those intending to use it; and those that have rejected ABC, but have never adopted activity-based principles or have never previously used ABC. Comparisons between these two groups show that operating units that have adopted ABC are significantly larger than non-adopters, regardless of how non-adoption is defined. Prior research into the adoption of ABC has used a variety of definitions for the adoption and non-adoption of ABC without examining the appropriateness of these definitions. This chapter overcomes this deficiency by empirically testing the most appropriate definitions.

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Cover of Advances in Management Accounting
DOI
10.1108/S1474-7871(2011)19
Publication date
2011-02-17
Book series
Advances in Management Accounting
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-0-85724-817-6
Book series ISSN
1474-7871