Roles, Authority and Involvement of the Management Accounting Function: A Multiple Case-Study Perspective
The European Accounting Review, 2011
Posted: 29 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 27, 2011
Recent techniques and shifts in the environment are often viewed as leading management accountants to adopt a business orientation. However, empirical evidence pointing to clear shifts in the role played by management accountants remains relatively scarce. From in-depth qualitative research based on 73 interviews in ten multinational companies, we identify four distinct styles of management accounting function: discrete, safeguarding, partner, and omnipotent. We show that each style can be associated with one main role: discrete control of managerial behaviour, socialisation of managers, facilitation of decision-making, and centralisation of power. From this in-depth analysis of management accountants’ styles and roles we move on to discuss the authority they hold and the independence/involvement dilemma they face.
Keywords: management accountant, role, business partner
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation