Management Accounting Education at the Millennium

Posted: 12 Sep 2000

See all articles by Michael W. Maher

Michael W. Maher

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management


This article examines the "journey" of management accounting education over the past 50 years, evaluates the state of the field today, and presents my personal observations about teaching approaches. I observe that we have seen a substantial addition of management accounting courses to business school curricula, and changes in what was conventionally known as "cost accounting" courses, over the past 50 years. In recent years, innovative topics have come primarily from practice and from empirical research about practice. The introduction of these innovations into courses, and the expansion of management accounting in business school curricula, has resulted in a field that is alive and well in academia. The future demand for management accounting courses may be in some jeopardy, however, because students might not see good job opportunities in management accounting. Management accounting educators must address these problems to avoid enrollment declines in management accounting. The way we teach management accounting can increase the value of our students and mitigate possible enrollment declines. By focusing on problem-solving skills and the organizational context of decisions, rather than the "facts" of management accounting methods, we can educate students to be creative problem solvers who add substantial value to their organizations.

JEL Classification: M40, M46, A22, A23

Suggested Citation

Maher, Michael W., Management Accounting Education at the Millennium. As published in Issues in Accounting Education, Vol 15, No 2, May 2000, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. Maher (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-7034 (Phone)
530-752-0723 (Fax)

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