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

Abstract

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

Lambert, Caroline and Sponem, Samuel, Roles, Authority and Involvement of the Management Accounting Function: A Multiple Case-Study Perspective (September 27, 2011). The European Accounting Review, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1934370

Caroline Lambert (Contact Author)

HEC Paris ( email )

1, rue de la Liberation
Jouy en Josas, 78351
France

Samuel Sponem

HEC Montreal ( email )

3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montreal, Quebec H2X 2L3
Canada

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