The Use of Management Accounting Techniques by Canadian Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: A Field Study

39 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013

See all articles by Howard M. Armitage

Howard M. Armitage

University of Waterloo

Alan Webb

University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance

Date Written: January 15, 2013

Abstract

Small and medium size enterprises (SME’s) represent a large and important part of the Canadian economy. However, little is known about the extent to which Canadian SME’s utilize contemporary management accounting techniques such as costing systems, budgets, responsibility centre reporting, and analysis for decision-making. We conducted in-depth field interviews at 11 Canadian SME’s to: (1) determine the extent to which widely accepted management accounting techniques and tools are being adopted at SME’s of various sizes and industries and (2) explore the underlying reasons why specific techniques are not being used. We find that of the 19 well-known management accounting techniques addressed in our interviews, only a small proportion are moderately or highly used by the participating companies. Moreover, we find that manufacturing companies in our study are considerably more likely to use certain techniques such as costing systems and responsibility centre reporting. We discuss the implications of our findings for management accounting educators, textbook authors, and developers of professional education programs.

Keywords: management accounting, small and medium size enterprises

JEL Classification: L21, M41

Suggested Citation

Armitage, Howard M. and Webb, Alan, The Use of Management Accounting Techniques by Canadian Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: A Field Study (January 15, 2013). CAAA Annual Conference 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2201163 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2201163

Howard M. Armitage

University of Waterloo ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

Alan Webb (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 N2L 3G1
Canada

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