Strategic Positioning: Management Accounting

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This article tries to focus on management roles in contrast with traditional management practices. Accounting managers need to get out of the office and focus on other features of the organization. This includes the manufacturing plant, products and services, supply and purchasing techniques and the distribution and consumption strategies. I agree with this statement. However, there may be objections to this decision though the deeper content lies on proposing it.

Accounting personnel should be well aware of all the activities of the company since their department interacts with all the activities of the company. This would help them understand the usefulness of each expense in the company and the role played by each task in all other sections of the organization. The management accountants will then use this information to make budgets and cost allocations that are more informed. They would also have a rich base for rating priorities in fund requirements of each activity. However, this is a traditional role though it cannot be ignored but only advanced. A recent study in accounting has shown that not having time to add value to the client is a top ten problem facing accountants (Accountantsworld, 2011).

In the modern world, managers are concentrating more on other issues rather than the traditional principles and practices. These were managing physical assets, cash transactions, financial records, and competition, cost and asset allocations. The new economy demands that management accountants concentrate more on the intangible assets like customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, society approval, being eco-friendly, customer relationships, strategic alliances and so on (Jiambalvo, 2010). To achieve these objectives, the managers need to be well aware of the company’s activities, production processes, products, the brands and so on. This helps the accountants to make wise decisions about their cash flows, stabilize the cash flows, maintain customers and increase the market share (Bowhill, 2007).

The accountants need to work as a team with all other sectors of the organization to achieve the common goal. However, accountants have the task of cost reduction that puts them in conflict with other departments (Roslender, 1996). The accounting career has become somehow monotonous due to the high concentration on financial records and reports. To break this monotony, the accountants need to move and interact with other sectors like logistics and procurement to face other technical challenges facing the organization.

Recent trends in the accounting practice have broadened the activities of accountants. This includes environmental accounting, human resource accounting, social accounting, forensic accounting and tax assessment. This means that accountants have to assess, conduct audits and further studies of how these new aspects affect their organizations. They need to move out of the office and learn more about the organization. One important and common practice is the assessment of the brands. Accountants need to account for brand names, brand development and so on. This helps align the company to its future goals. Strategic positioning can only be achieved through the integration of accounting practices with other practices of the organization (Johnson, 1992a).

Technology is a major player in all management practices therefore, it should never be ignored. Accountants have already adapted new technology like online transactions, use of information systems to store and process data, accounting applications, automated reporting applications and transaction analysis applications. This means that accountants can now give more focus to other areas of the organization (Muir, 2011). Another aspect of technology is the way organizations account for technology evolution costs. Modern business organizations keep on adapting to different technologies to retain marketability and market share. These changes are radically occurring, and their effects are critical to the performance of the business. Accountants therefore need to move out of office, review the technology used to perform different tasks in the organization and assess any opportunities arising due to technology changes. They should also try to understand the technological trends and their effects to the cash flows of the company.

Accountants need to make decisions based on knowledge available to the company. This trend has been adopted over the last few years and it enhances the alignment of management principles to strategic positioning of the company to achieve a brighter future. This gives a company competitive advantage over similar firms. The only way to acquire this knowledge by managerial accountants is to move out of office and associate with the other sectors of the organization (Njuguna, 2009).

This paper has looked at the roles of management and compared them to the traditional practices of management. From the discussion above, it is evident that accounting managers need to get out of the office and focus on other features of the organization. There is need for a shift from what has been the conventional approach to management to an approach that best suits the changing working environment, times and processes. Accounting managers need to focus on the various areas as mentioned above and that include manufacturing plant, products and services, supply and purchasing techniques and the distribution and consumption strategies.


Johnson, H., 1992a. Relevance Regained: From Top-Down Control to Bottom-Up Empowerment. New York: The Free Press.

Bowhill, B., 2007. Business planning and control: integrating Accounting, Strategy and People. Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth.

Accountantsworld, 2011. Top ten challenges facing accountants: Accountants’ world. Web.

Muir, J., 2011. Now Is the Time to Look At Modern Accounting Techniques: Business Computing world: IT leadership. Web.

Njuguna, J., 2009. Strategic Positioning for Sustainable Competitive Advantage: An Organizational Learning Approach. KCA Journal of Business Management, 2(1): pp.54- 72.

Roslender, R., 1996. Relevance lost and found: critical perspectives of the promise of management accounting. University of Sterling: critical perspectives on accounting journal, 19(7): pp. 533-561.

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