Summary by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
Citation: Martin, J. R. Not dated. Definition of management accounting. Management And Accounting Web. http://maaw.info/ArticleSummaries/ArtSumDefinitionOfManagementAcc.htm
NAA's management accounting practice committee defined management accounting as follows.
"Management accounting is the process of identification, measurement, accumulation, analysis, preparation, interpretation, and communication of financial information used by management to plan, evaluate, and control within an organization and to assure appropriate use of and accountability for its resources. Management accounting also comprises the preparation of financial reports for nonmanagement groups such as shareholders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities."
A proposed new definition from the IMA is as follows.1
"Management accounting is a professional discipline that has an integral role in formulating and implementing the organization's strategy."
The following illustration is from MAAW's Chapter 1 where I define management accounting in very broad terms. Some would disagree with this broad view of management accounting but I agree with Keller who said all accounting is management accounting.2
1 IMA 2008. Draft statement on management accounting. Strategic Finance (August): 48.
2 Keller, I. W. 1976. All accounting is management accounting. Management Accounting (November): 13-15.
Controllers Institute. 1962. CIA becomes FEI. The Controller (May): 228. (Controllership & Treasurership Functions).
Martin, J. R. Not dated. Management accounting terminology. Management And Accounting Web. http://maaw.info/ManagementAccountingTerminology.htm
Tiessen, P. and J. H. Waterhouse. 1983. Towards a descriptive theory of management accounting. Accounting, Organizations and Society 8(2-3): 251-267. (Summary).
Van der Merwe, A. 2007. Management accounting philosophy I: Gaping holes in our foundation. Cost Management (May/June): 5-11. (Summary).
Van der Merwe, A. 2007. Management accounting philosophy II: The cornerstones of restoration. Cost Management (September/October): 26-33. (Summary).
Van der Merwe, A. 2007. Management accounting philosophy III: The management accounting evaluation framework. Cost Management (November/December): 20-29. (Summary).
White, L. R., A. Van der Merwe, B. D. Clinton, G. Cokins, C. Thomas, K. Templin and J. Huntzinger. 2012. Conceptual Framework for Managerial Costing: Draft Report of the IMA Managerial Costing Conceptual Framework Task Force. IMA. (Summary).