Abstract This chapter focuses on management accounting. Section 2.1 outlines the various (changing) roles that management accounting captures. Section 2.2 on the one hand elaborates an understanding of management accounting information and on the other hand gives information on the different roles of management accounting information within organizations. Finally, Sect. 2.3 categorizes accounting systems, gives further information on the various types and the respective fields of application of accounting systems within organizations and locates costing systems within this categorization.
2.1 The Roles of Management Accounting
In its most simple form, management accounting can be defined as collecting and recording useful accounting and statistical data as well as reporting them to decision makers (Crossman 1958; Singer 1961; Feltham 1968; Bruns and McKinnon 1993; Horngren et al. 2005). Early studies place management accounting in a service function with the scope to provide all levels of management with high-quality scorekeeping, attention-directing and problem-solving information (Simon et al.
1954). Crossman (1958) argues that management accounting provides management with data in order to establish policies, develop plans and control operations. Furthermore, in his definition Crossman (1958) includes analysis and interpretation and representation of data in accordance with the recipient’s needs. Additionally, there is a separate division within management accounting which captures cost accounting, cost analysis, cost control and cost reduction (Crossman 1958). Singer (1961) and Bruns and McKinnon (1993) point out that management accounting cap- tures collecting (financial) information which is useful. Usefulness in this context refers to decision-making relevance. In his elaborations Feltham (1968) focuses on the aspect of supplying management with information. He argues that management...