Management Accounting ? Beyond 2000
Wai Fong Chua
UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting
University of New South Wales
Pacific Accounting Review Millennium Edition, Vol 11, No 2, December 1999/January 2000
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
Date posted: March 16, 2000