Management Accounting System: Origin, Role, and Principles

Accounting by the administration, alternatively referred to as cost accounting or managerial accounting, is a subfield of accounting analysis and identification, and evaluation of accounting data to assist the management in making sound operational actions and decisions (Jiambalvo, 2019). Additionally, accounting for management is the provision of financial information as well as non-information (Warren et al., 2016). Consequently, management accounting, or managerial accounting, is the practice of managers utilizing accounting insights to enlighten themselves before making decisions inside their businesses, allowing them to manage more effectively and execute system functions (Jiambalvo, 2019). The systems of administration accounting systems or accounting programs for internal control provide the administration with the data that is necessary for the organization’s decision-making (Jiambalvo, 2019). A production business may apply these tools to assist in the pricing and administration of its processes. A medical facility may employ management accounting programs to aid with the payment of insurance premiums and other processes that are internal (Jiambalvo, 2019). These programs as Warren et al. (2016) stipulate differ based on the sectors in which they are utilized and provide functionality and statistics that are industry-specific.

The significance of management accounting and systems integration within an organization or institution is identified in the context that management accounting and systems provide for an organization (Warren et al., 2016). Therefore, according to Warren et al. (2016) management accounting and systems perform the following functions. First, they assist in the forecasting of future trends and assists in resolving critical company questions such as whether a business should increase its equipment investment or diversify into new areas of the business. Second, they assist in making or purchasing decisions within an organization. Cost and product provision management accounting data is a deciding element in purchase behavior (Warren et al., 2016). Additionally, managerial, financial information makes it possible to make good decisions both at the strategic and operational levels.

Third, the management accounting and systems assist in the realization of the importance of cash flow prediction and the impact of cash flows on the firm. A corporation’s next steps may be aided by insights into future costs and revenue streams. Accounting by management comprises the creation of forecasts and emerging issues, which administrators use to distribute cash and resources in order to accomplish the anticipated revenue gain (Warren et al., 2016). Fourth, the management and accounting systems assist in the comprehension of variations in performance. In business, performance variances are disparities between what was planned and what was really done (Warren et al., 2016). Management accounting utilizes analytical tools to assist management in maximizing positive differences and mitigating negative variances (Warren et al., 2016). Perkins (2019) enumerates the various business variances as sales variance, labor variance, profit variances, material variance, variance overhead, and fixed overhead variance.

Lastly, the management accounting and systems assist in evaluating the return on investment of a business. Understanding the return on the rate of investment is essential for a business organization before beginning a massive project (Warren et al., 2016). Accounting by management can provide responses to important questions presented to a company when presented with a choice between two investment possibilities (Warren et al., 2016). Such questions include: how does a business decide which venture is the most profitable? And what are the cash flows that might be expected?

The Origin, Role, and Principles of Management Accounting

The origin of accounting by management, also known as managerial accounting, can be traced back to the fourteenth century (Järvinen, 2016). However, managerial accounting is a considerably more recent development. It first gained notoriety in the commercial sector in the mid-twentieth century (Järvinen, 2016). The role of management accounting in an organization is that management accounting assists decision-makers inside a business (Järvinen, 2016). Management accounting, alternatively called cost accounting, is recognizing, assessing, comprehending, and disseminating data to managers to assist them in achieving corporate aims (Järvinen, 2016). The data obtained covers finance in all domains of accounting that provide information to the management of company operations regarding the prices of services or items acquired by the company (Järvinen, 2016). Accounting professionals incorporate budgets to evaluate the corporation’s implementation strategy (Järvinen, 2016). Furthermore, Järvinen (2016) suggests that performance evaluations are used to document the variance between actual and budgeted results.

Competent accounting methods can greatly aid in improving a company’s entire decision-making process by giving long-term perspectives and improved financial analyses (Järvinen, 2016). As such, the principles of management accounting can be summarized as follows. First, the principle of influence generally looks into the importance of communication in management accounting (Järvinen, 2016). Communication is both the two ends of accounting by management. It boosts the making decision mechanism by incorporating pertinent data at all phases of the decision-making cycle (Järvinen, 2016). Effective sharing of key information enables management accounting to transcend silos and promotes a cohesive thought pattern (Järvinen, 2016). Therefore, the impact of operations carried out in one area of the business on other departments can be clearly understood, accepted, or amended.

Second, relevance as an accounting principle stipulates information as being priceless to everyone (Järvinen, 2016). Accounting by management uses the finest resources available to obtain information that is pertinent to the decision that is undertaken, the individuals coming up with the decision, and the decision technique being used (Järvinen, 2016). Understanding the investors’ needs is the most pertinent and helpful data for decision-making that is identified, gathered, and organized for examination (Järvinen, 2016). It entails striking a good balance among external and internal data, past, present, and medium to long term information financial and non-financial aspects, such as environmental and social considerations.

Third, the consequence on value as a management accounting principle is determined (Järvinen, 2016). Management accounting connects an institution’s procedures to its underlying innovative project and necessitates an in-depth understanding of the global macro-economic environment (Järvinen, 2016). It comprises evaluating data throughout assessing potential possibilities, the value-generation route, and focusing on risks, expenditures, and the value-generation potential of prospects (Järvinen, 2016). Situation analysis imparts precision to the institution’s decision-making process (Wood, 2016). By utilizing situation models to evaluate the impact of specific difficulties and opportunities, firms may make more informed decisions about whether to terminate or capitalize on them (Wood, 2016). Additionally, Wood (2016) implies that the models enable organizations to quantify the probability of success or danger and the value created or degraded.

Lastly, credibility as a management accounting principle stipulates that accountability and inspection contribute significantly to the purposefulness of the decision-making mechanism (Järvinen, 2016). Controlling relatively close organization needs with loyalty and trustworthiness that are both enhanced by long-term value for shareholders (Järvinen, 2016). Management accountants are noted for their honest and moral behavior and their awareness of the firm’s ideals, governance requirements, and interpersonal responsibilities (Järvinen, 2016). Consistent interest awareness improves stakeholder involvement and is especially critical for addressing stakeholder entities (Järvinen, 2016). Consciously seeking input and being sensitive to inquiries or constructive criticism enables observation by individuals who stake in the institution’s work growth (Järvinen, 2016). This enhances good corporate image, identity, and originality and has a beneficial effect on the organization’s procedures and leadership.

Comparison between Management Accounting and Financial Accounting

Accounting by management and financial accounting are opposed (Warren et al., 2016). The comparison between cost accounting or management accounting and financial accounting can be summarized as explained below. By definition, financial accounting concentrates on compiling an institution’s financial statements to deliver financial information to the concerned parties and stakeholders (Jiambalvo, 2019). On the other hand, Jiambalvo (2019) suggests that management accounting refers to the accounting system that provides essential data to managers to develop successful standards and policies, programs, and initiatives for running the organization.

Regarding the purpose of the information gathered in the accounting techniques, Graybeal et al. (2018) enumerate that the data produced by financial accountants are typically used chiefly by external parties. The outsiders include lenders, competitors, tax regulators, venture capitalists, and consumers, who depend on annual reports and financial statements to obtain data about a business to make informed choices (Graybeal et al., 2018). In contrast, Graybeal et al. (2018) suggest that data compiled by managerial accountants is basically for internal users and individuals within the firm or institution who are accountable for overseeing the corporation’s business needs and making decisions.

Generally accepted accounting rules (GAAP) must be followed in financial accounting and approved conventions regarding the accounting structure used (Warren et al., 2016). Since third-party individuals do not have access to the information and data required to prepare the financial reports, they depend on these principles (Graybeal et al., 2018). Additionally, Warren et al. (2016) propose that these external users rely heavily on the compilation of audits conducted by public accounting institutions following applicable tenets and regulations. On the other hand, Graybeal et al. (2018) itemize that there are no accounting structures or GAAP guidelines to follow or adhere to in managerial accounting. Managerial accounting refers to specific departments and divisions of the organization, necessitating particular reports, thus no need for GAAP.

Based on the nature of the report, financial accounting, according to Graybeal et al. (2018) is a publication that summarizes an institution’s financial situation. A statement of income, a balance sheet, a retained profits statement, a statement of cash flows, and footnotes are often included in financial reports. On the other hand, managerial accounting entails comprehensive analyses of an array of disciplines. A budget analysis is an illustration of an executive accounting statement (Graybeal et al., 2018). Consequently, regarding the type of information contained in the various accounting reports, in the information contained in financial accounting, only financial data is available (Graybeal et al., 2018). In comparison, Warren et al. (2016) indicate that the information contained in managerial accounting can be both financial and non-financial data.

When a comparison is made based on the frequency of reports, generally, financial reports are prepared annually and quarterly, although certain corporations demand monthly reporting (Graybeal et al., 2018). Financial statements according to Graybeal et al. (2018) require considerable effort to prepare, and any necessary modifications to accounts must be done before the reports can be generated. A physical count must be performed to modify the merchandise and cost of goods sold categories; amortization must be computed and recorded (Warren et al., 2016). All prepaid assets accounting entries must be examined for revisions. Annual reports are not completed for many weeks following the conclusion of the fiscal year since they are based on past information. Managers, on the other hand, can immediately access financial data (Graybeal et al., 2018). There is no requirement for outside and independent auditors or waiting until the end of the fiscal year since the forecasts and estimations are sufficient.

Types of Management Accounting Systems

Management Accounting Systems are used in a variety of ways (Weygandt et al., 2018). Each structure is intended to provide the administration with different sources of information based on their needs to help them make better decisions (Warren et al., 2016). Each component of the firm has its own set of expenditures, ranging from production to marketing and even sales. Management accounting systems can be categorized as either programs of cost-accounting, management of inventory systems, costing systems for jobs, or price-optimizing algorithms (Weygandt et al., 2018). Discussed below is the detailed information regarding the various types of management accounting systems of Tesla Business Company.

Cost – accounting systems

Programs for accounting for cost purposes, often known as a costing product framework or a costing approach, is a framework that organizations apply in approximating the price of their goods (Weygandt et al., 2018). The approximation is for the objectives such as financial performance and controlling costs. Process costing strategy and job order costing are the two most used cost accounting systems (Weygandt et al., 2018). Cost allocation in a cost accounting framework uses either a traditional costing methodology or an activity-based costing framework.

Inventory Management Systems

Inventory, often known as stock, refers to a company’s stockpiled items or commodities, and the keywords stock and inventory are frequently interchanged (Weygandt et al., 2018). Stock can be used to complete a job, included in components in a manufacturing process, or sold in the market. An inventory management system integrates operating systems, biometric scanners, photocopy machines, and android technologies to simplify inventory management, such as items, commodities, services, and inventory (Weygandt et al., 2018). Inventory control is based on keeping a record of two key activities of a company’s stock storage facility: incoming and outgoing stock (Weygandt et al., 2018). Inventory control aims to precisely determine current levels of supply and automatically reduce understocking and overstocking. Weygandt et al. (2018) suggest that an organization will get awareness and make the right inventory decisions if its monitors volumes effectively throughout inventory destinations.

Job Costing Programs

Job costing is the process of acquiring information about a particular production or utility operation’s expenditures (Weygandt et al., 2018). This information may be required to send financial statements to a client as a component of an expenditure reimbursement arrangement. The following three categories of data must be collected by a task costing system: direct labor, direct materials, and overhead expenses (Weygandt et al., 2018). In practice, a task costing system may need to be customized to the client’s needs. Specific fees can only be imposed on certain operations, according to some clients.

Price-Optimizing Systems

Price optimization algorithms are numerical tools that assess how consumption shifts at different prices values, then integrate that information with price and stock data to determine values that will increase profitability (Warren et al., 2016). Monetization strategies, the quality of the item to both producer and consumer, and methods that control all variables affecting profitability should all be considered by a price optimization software (Weygandt et al., 2018). Marketing and promotional pricing, decrement or discounted pricing, and original pricing are all aspects that price optimization tools can help with.

The Importance of Presenting Financial Information to Various Stakeholders

Internal and external stakeholders are the two categories of constituents in the business world. Internal stakeholders reside within the organization, such as the administration, board members, and employees (Jastrzębska, 2016). Elsewhere, external stakeholders are not actively affiliated with a firm, such as investors, consumers, and sellers. Therefore, the importance of the financial data and statements will vary depending on whether a stakeholder resides within an organization or is based externally (Jastrzębska, 2016). The relevance that the financial data have to the various stakeholders is discussed below.


The relevance of financial data to shareholders of a company or business includes the following: to see if their investments will be sold, halted, or if further company shares will be purchased (Beuselinck et al., 2017). To determine the appropriateness of their dividend income, and figure out if the company is still in business. Additionally, Beuselinck et al. (2017) enumerate that gaining a thorough understanding of the organization’s operations is provided by the financial data of an organization. Another importance of the financial information to shareholders is to contrast their efforts and rewards to those of other industries and companies (Beuselinck et al., 2017).

Executives and Supervisors

The relevance of the financial data to executives and supervisors of an institution is to develop long-term and short-term objectives, avoiding deceptions and manipulations and to set up knighted systems and increase procedural control Ofori and Lu (2016). Furthermore, boosting the company’s productivity will be enhanced by the financial data obtained from the business operations (Ofori and Lu, 2016).


For the federal body, the financial data are a one-time collection of appropriate taxes and payments from businesses (da Silva Nogueira and Jorge, 2017). Providing federal aid to develop organization businesses better and securing both financial and non-financial support for federal development projects are also the relevance of the financial data to a government. Furthermore, the financial data also guarantees that corporations maintain an appropriate level of control over their staff (da Silva Nogueira and Jorge, 2017).


For the employees, the financial data helps them to learn about the company’s financial performance and financial position and enables the company to keeps track of salaries, pension plans, and job openings (Kamakia et al., 2017). Additionally, Kamakia et al. (2017) insinuate that the data enables them to maintain employment with the present workplace and ensure that the salaries and benefits they get from the company are fair and commensurate with their income (Kamakia et al., 2017). Gaining a good understanding of the institution’s other activities proves to be of the essential importance of the financial data to employees.

Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators (Financial and Non-Financial), and Budgetary Targets

Benchmarking is a method of assessing and analyzing an institution’s workflow with other companies worldwide to acquire knowledge on various approaches, procedures, and metrics to help a company achieve a competitive advantage (Appelbaum et al., 2017). Financial benchmarking is the process of establishing, acquiring, interpreting, and using financial and operational data to enhance business operations, reduce costs, and boost productivity (Intrisano et al., 2017). The two main prevalent forms of benchmarks are internal and external benchmarks. Internal benchmarking contrasts a company’s performance, methods, and procedures with other departments, e.g., various groups, teams, individuals, and business units (Intrisano et al., 2017). Benchmarks are also used to contrast procedures in one retail outlet to those in the same network (Appelbaum et al., 2017). External benchmarking, often known as competitive benchmarking, evaluates a firm’s productivity to its competitors. These external companies are frequently rivals or opponents, but this isn’t necessarily the case; for instance, Appelbaum et al. (2017) enumerate that benchmarking can be used to monitor progress, procedures, and practices across multiple organizations.

Within the broader categorization are sub-divisions of benchmarking. For instance, benchmarking that is competitive is a form of benchmarking from the outside that compares a company’s strategies and KPIs to its immediate competitors (Kowalczyk, 2017). This form of benchmarking is quite useful as it permits an organization to identify why a peer is thriving or what elements have an impact on client satisfaction in the market (Appelbaum et al., 2017). Benchmarking of a company’s performance is yet another essential form of benchmarking (Appelbaum et al., 2017). Organizations can keep comparing past achievements to modern standards by recording stats within the organization, constantly revising the norm for better performance. Because benchmarks tend to increase and reinforce, this benchmarking focuses on strengthening essential business processes over time (Appelbaum et al., 2017). Strategic benchmarking is widespread, and it entails looking at how other companies have succeeded (Wudhikarn et al., 2020). It answers the question about the sort of corporate strategy they have implemented so far. What, for instance, components of their advertising strategies have proven to be effective? (Wudhikarn et al., 2020). Benchmarking a company’s procedure of strategy-making can assist it in learning from what has been achieved for excellent organizations within and around the sector (Wudhikarn et al., 2020). Wudhikarn et al. (2020) insinuate that strategic benchmarking is extremely advantageous for new or fledgling businesses.

Another type of internal benchmarking is benchmarking through practice (Tsolas et al., 2020). The operations and procedures of a corporation are the focus of this form of internal benchmarking. It entails putting in place mechanisms for acquiring and evaluating corporate information, such as how employees execute tasks or use technology (Tsolas et al., 2020). A company may immediately discover and rectify any problem areas using a sequence diagram as a starting point for benchmarking (Tsolas et al., 2020). Companies utilize financial KPIs (key performance indicators) to track, review, and appraise their financial circumstances (Kowalczyk, 2017). Profit margins, leverage, soundness, effectiveness, and value are only a few of the financial KPIs accessible. An economic KPI is a globally renowned measure of earnings, income, expenditures, and other business ratios streamlined for data gathering and analysis (Kowalczyk, 2017). Profit margin, general wage per employee, and operating cash flow are prominent examples.

Contingent on the performance metrics, KPIs differ between businesses (Kowalczyk, 2017). Financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are often focused on the balance sheet or income statement components (Kowalczyk, 2017). Still, they can also track economic growth by product family, distribution, market segmentation, or spending divisions. Non-financial KPIs are a type of metric that may be used to assess a company’s performance to be crucial to the company’s strategic objectives (Zarzycka and Krasodomska, 2017). Relationships with customers, personnel, processes, integrity, capacity utilization, and the institution’s chain management or pipeline are all examples of non-financial KPIs (Zarzycka and Krasodomska, 2017). A budget target is a projection of revenue or a sum for a given fiscal period that contains a budget key combination of costs and operational spending (Perkins, 2019). A budget target is a financial objective that can be defined for a budget proposal.

The budgeted or baseline level of spending or income variation and the exact amount is a budget variation (Perkins, 2019). When overall revenue exceeds the forecast or when actual expenses exceed the plan, the budget estimate is prepared (Perkins, 2019). Budget variances are enormously affected by false assertions such as utilizing politics to determine a straightforward budget objective, resulting in an unreasonably low baseline upon which actual figures are assessed (Perkins, 2019). Expenditures are frequently the budget discrepancies that can be controlled. Even though a considerable amount of costs may be allocated, spending cannot be changed shortly (Perkins, 2019). Controllable costs can be avoided without directly impacting earnings, such as postponing training, cutting promotional budgets, and delaying remodeling (Perkins, 2019). Uncontrollable budget deviations frequently arise in the markets when buyers do not purchase the organization’s commodities in volumes or at the prices predicted in the plan (Perkins, 2019). As a result, Perkins (2019) enumerate that actual revenue may differ significantly from forecasts.

Comparison between Tesla Company and Amazon Businesses Showing how They Adapt Their Management Accounting Systems to Respond to Their Financial Problems

Financial governance is the process by which a company receives, manages, analyses, and controls financial information (Seabrooke and Tsingou, 2021) Furthermore, governing finance refers to how companies keep track of their finances, economic activities, achieve objectives, regulate statistics, and disclose information, among other things (Seabrooke, L. and Tsingou, 2021). Crime, theft, legislative penalties, material errors, terrible decision-making, and lost stakeholder involvement are all dangers associated with poor financial governance (Seabrooke, L. and Tsingou, 2021). Companies’ processes and practices to monitor corporate data to ensure they are valid are known as financial governance in practice (Seabrooke, L. and Tsingou, 2021). Control activities, financial rules, auditing, workflow, budgetary control, authentication techniques and verification, and information protection are part of financial governance.

Utilizing benchmarking, key performance indicators, and budgeted objectives, accounting by management assists organizations in identifying financial issues (Seabrooke, L. and Tsingou, 2021). They aid in the identification of differences, gaps, and issues within the business (Seabrooke, L. and Tsingou, 2021). As such, the different ways that Tesla Business and Amazon Companies use to solve their financial problems can be looked at through the various benchmarking strategies they use, the KPIs they apply, and the budgeted objectives they use (Seabrooke, L. and Tsingou, 2021). First, based on the benchmarking strategies they use, Tesla Business Company applies a strategic benchmarking process in solving its financial challenges (Intrisano et al., 2017). As stated earlier, benchmarking a company’s strategy-making process can assist it in learning from what has been achieved for successful organizations in and out of the sector (Intrisano et al., 2017). In comparison, Amazon Business Company uses a competitive benchmarking technique in mending its financial problems (Singh, 2016). Competitive benchmarking is a form of external benchmarking that compares a company’s processes and KPIs to its immediate competitors (Singh, 2016).

Second, depending on the key performance indicators used, both Amazon Business and Tesla Business Companies apply customer metrics KPIs (Ostakhov et al., 2018). Per-customer efficiency, customer happiness, and retaining customers are common customer-focused KPIs (Ostakhov et al., 2018). The payment fees a client is projected to spend on a company’s merchandise over their business partnership are known as customer lifetime value. By contrast, customer purchase price permeates all marketing and sales fees incurred with acquiring a new customer (Ostakhov et al., 2018). Ostakhov et al. (2018) suggest that businesses companies evaluates the efficiency of their customer acquisition efforts by comparing Consumer Acquisition Cost to Consumer Lifetime Value.

The Role and Responsibility of Management Accountant

An accountant is responsible for distributing, precision, documenting, interpreting, and disseminating financial data for a corporation, institution, or firm (Warren and Burns, 2017). Within a firm’s management, the accountants frequently have several administrative responsibilities (Warren and Burns, 2017). An accountant’s function in a small company consists solely of financial data gathering, processing, and report preparation (Warren and Burns, 2017). As such, the various roles of management accountants are discussed below.

Handling of Financial Information (Warren and Burns, 2017)

A firm’s accounting process is crucial to its daily operations. The act of gathering and preserving accounting transactions related to an organization or business is broadly one of the main duties of an accountant (Warren and Burns, 2017). On a business strategy, the accountant makes certain that financial statements are maintained in lawful and appropriate norms and guidelines (Warren and Burns, 2017). Warren and Burns (2017) enumerate that any institution’s financial information should be maintained in a database since it is critical in managing and controlling a firm.

Evaluation and Suggestions (Warren and Burns, 2017)

Accountants can undertake specific forms of analysis with financial information to help them make business decisions as researchers (Warren, 2017). Frequently, the accountant manages many delicate financial matters, from determining what supplies to order to invoice collection and compensation (Warren and Burns, 2017). Additionally, Warren and Burns (2017) suggests that enterprises ‘ advice can address concerns like cash flow patterns, financial obligations, and expected income forecasts.

Preparing Financial Statements (Warren and Burns, 2017)

Accountants often generate financial data based on accumulated and evaluated financial data, including annual and monthly statements (Warren and Burns, 2017). Relevant monthly and annually closing papers can be included in the preparation and presentation of financial statements (Warren and Burns, 2017). The statistics collected can be implemented to enhance and maintain budgetary forecasting operations on an ongoing basis (Warren, 2017). A finance manager or officer can use the financial statements to help plan, integrate, and operate a corporation’s financial program.

Adherence with Statutory and Compliance Purposes (Warren, 2017)

An accountant could also be in charge of ensuring that the reliability of financial accounting requirements is met. (Warren, 2017). Monthly, semi-annual, and yearly statements, for example, all have unique dates and tax ramifications. An accountant’s role may also include analyzing and assisting with tax concerns and submissions (Warren and Burns, 2017). In most cases, the accountant also assists with financial information compilation, which helps to synchronize the audit procedures.

The responsibilities of management accountants according to Warren and Burns (2017) in an organization include the following: preparation of presentations, forecasts, commentary, and income reports, managing finances and conducting audits, and coordinating with management and other coworkers. Other responsibilities are formulating financial programs and procedures and acquiring and securing funding for large projects.


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