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Management Accounting ? Beyond 2000

Posted: 16 Mar 2000  

Wai Fong Chua

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting

Jane Baxter

University of New South Wales


In this essay we consider the future of management accounting in the new millennium. We draw on the themes of post-industrialism to highlight the major discontinuities emerging in management accounting work. In particular, these discontinuities are discussed in the context of the following themes: the recession of the real; the rise of rival voices; the cyber-centred democracy; risk, trust and time-space; and the erosion of the bi-polar. We argue that management accounting will emerge as a paradoxical form of practice in the 21st century ? management accounting work will continue, but it may not be undertaken by professionals bearing the management accounting brand; reports will be produced for managing, but these reports will have an increasingly diverse authorship; financial representation will remain central to the internal reporting process, but there will be a growing need to represent activities and outcomes that do not have a material referent; management accounting will enter the ?business? of building trust, whilst enabling new forms of risk to emerge in more complex organisational and inter-organisational relationships. We conclude by arguing that postindustrialism creates significant opportunities for researchers in the 21st century.

JEL Classification: M40, M46

Suggested Citation

Chua, Wai Fong and Baxter, Jane, Management Accounting ? Beyond 2000. Pacific Accounting Review Millennium Edition, Vol 11, No 2, December 1999/January 2000. Available at SSRN:

Wai Chua (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
+61 2 9385 5828 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 5925 (Fax)

Jane Baxter

University of New South Wales ( email )

School of Accounting
Sydney, New South Wales 2052 2052
+61 2 9385 5912 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 5925 (Fax)

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