Chapter 1 provides an overview of management accounting. This chapter also is an opportunity to discuss ethical behavior.

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1 CHAPTER 1 Introduction: The Role, History, and Direction of Management Accounting Chapter 1 provides an overview of management accounting. This chapter also is an opportunity to discuss ethical behavior. LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying Chapter 1, students should be able to: 1. Explain the need for management accounting information. 2. Explain the differences between management accounting and financial accounting. 3. Provide a brief historical description of management accounting. 4. Identify the current focus of management accounting. 5. Describe the role of management accountants in an organization. 6. Explain the importance of ethical behavior for managers and management accountants. 7. Identify three forms of certification available to management accountants. KEY TOPICS The following major topics are covered in this chapter (related learning objectives are listed for each topic). 1. Management accounting information system (Learning Objective 1) 2. Management accounting and financial accounting (Learning Objective 2) 3. A brief historical perspective of management accounting (Learning Objective 3) 4. Current focus of management accounting (Learning Objective 4) 5. The role of the management accountant (Learning Objective 5) 6. Management accounting and ethical conduct (Learning Objective 6) 7. Certification (Learning Objective 7) 1

2 2 Chapter 1 1. MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEM Opening Discussion Question: Why do managers need accounting information? Suggested In-class Assignment: After having students read the opening scenario, ask students to discuss accounting information s usefulness and why managers need accounting information. Information needs of managers include using accounting information to: identify problems identify solutions to problems evaluate the effectiveness of decisions, such as continuous improvement efforts Discuss the three objectives of a management accounting information system: To provide information for costing services, products, and other objects of interest to management. To provide information for planning, controlling, evaluation, and continuous improvement. To provide information for decision making. The management process is summarized below: Management Process Planning Controlling Decision Making Setting objectives Identifying ways to achieve the objectives Example: budgets Monitoring a plan s implementation Feedback is information used to evaluate or correct implementation of a plan. Based on feedback, a manager might: continue the implementation as originally planned take corrective action if needed, or modify the plan. Example: performance reports, which are accounting reports that provide feedback by comparing actual results with plans Choosing among competing alternatives Example: deciding the selling price of products

3 Introduction: The Role, History, and Direction of Management Accounting 3 2. MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING The accounting information system within an organization has two major subsystems: a management accounting system a financial accounting system Accounting Information System Management Accounting Information System Financial Accounting Information System Targeted user: Restrictions: Types of information: Time orientation: Aggregation: internal users managers no mandatory rules for preparing reports financial and nonfinancial information emphasizes the future (planning and decision making) detailed information about product line, departments, and so on external users stockholders and creditors must follow GAAP when preparing financial statements financial information historical orientation (reports what has already occurred) information about overall firm performance The accounting system should be flexible enough to supply different information for different users and different purposes. Frequently the reports of both management accounting and financial accounting are derived from the same database, which was originally established to support the reporting require ments of financial accounting. Many organizations need to redesign this database in order to satisfy more fully the needs of internal users. 3. A BRIEF HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING The main point to discuss in this section deals with the changes in management accounting over the last 20 years. This section can be used to introduce the emerging themes. 4. CURRENT FOCUS OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING After discussing the historical perspective, the current focus of management accounting can be discussed. Trends covered in the text include the following: 1. Activity-based management 2. Customer orientation 3. Cross-functional perspective

4 4 Chapter 1 4. Total quality management 5. Time as a competitive element 6. Efficiency The practice of management accounting is being reshaped. You may want to empha size the following quote from Peter Drucker 1 : The most exciting and innovative work in management today is found in accounting theory, with new concepts, new methodology even what might be called new economic philosophy rapidly taking shape. And while there is enormous contro versy over specifics, the lineaments of the new manufacturing accounting are becoming clearer every day. 5. THE ROLE OF THE MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT The management accountant is responsible for collecting, processing, and reporting information that will help managers in their planning, controlling, and decision-making activities. This is a good time to discuss line positions and staff positions. The controller is the chief accounting officer and has responsibility for both internal and external accounting requirements. The controller may have direct responsibility for: internal auditing cost accounting financial accounting (including SEC reports and financial statements) systems accounting (including analysis, design, and internal controls) taxes The treasurer raises capital and manages cash and investments. 6. MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING AND ETHICAL CONDUCT A. Teaching Ethics Teaching values is considered by many to be an important part of the current educational process. In part, this feeling stems from a number of unethical practices that have been highly publicized. Some examples of moral lapses are reported in the chapter. You may want to cite some with which you are familiar or ask students for examples with which they are familiar. After discussing the reasons why teaching value judgments is important, ask the students to define ethical behavior. This usually provokes a lively discussion. 1 Peter E. Drucker, The Emerging Theory of Manufacturing, Harvard Business Review, May June 1990, pp

5 Introduction: The Role, History, and Direction of Management Accounting 5 B. IMA Code of Ethics One of the major goals of management accounting is to help managers increase the profitability of their organization. However, the objective of profit maximization should be constrained by the requirement that profits be achieved through legal and ethical means. The performance evaluation and reward system should be designed so that incentives to pursue undesir able behavior are minimized. The role of professional codes of ethics should be discussed. Professional associations often provide a well-defined set of ethical standards that helps to define acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In addi tion, there are problems and cases throughout the book that provide additional ethical dilemmas. Also, there are several end-of-chapter exercises that focus on ethics. 7. CERTIFICATION This section briefly discusses the three major certifications for management accountants. Most students are aware of the CPA but are probably not as knowledgeable about the CMA or CIA. Explaining why these two certifications are viable alternatives to the CPA should prove to be interesting for those who are considering a career in accounting. Ask students why certification is needed. You may wish to point out that other pro fessions, such as engineering and data processing, also have certifications. 8. APPLICATIONS Applications for the chapter include the following: A. In- class Group Practice Tests. See the Study Guide that accompanies the Hansen and Mowen text for Key Terms Test or Chapter Quiz that can be used for in- class, group tests. Each student takes the quiz or test individually without looking at the answers provided in the study guide. Then ask the students to break into teams of four or five to grade the test and discuss answers. B. End-of-Chapter Exercises and Problems

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