Answer to Question #79323 in Finance for Hugh Heron

Question #79323
Management accounting information is used to inform decision-making but it has limitations. What can the accountant do to minimise the limitations of management accounting?
Expert's answer
1. Based on Financial and Cost Records
Both financial and cost accounting information are used in the management accounting system. The accuracy and validity of management account is largely based on the accuracy if financial and cost records maintained. These records determine the Strength and weakness of management accounting.
2. Personal Bias
The analysis and interpretation of financial statements are fully depending upon the capability of the analyst and interpreter. Hence, personal prejudices and bias of an individual can affect the objectivity and effectiveness of the conclusions and recommendations.
3. Lack of Knowledge and Understanding of the Related Subjects
Financial accounting, cost accounting, statistics, economics, psychology and sociology are the related subjects of management accounting. The organization can derive more benefits of management accounting if the management accountant has thorough knowledge over related subjects. If not so, the success of management accounting system is questionable.
4. Provides only Data
Under management accounting system, many alternatives are developed to solve a problem and submitted before the management. Out of the many alternatives available, the management can select any one of alternatives or even discard all of them. Hence, management accounting can only provide data and not prescribe any course of action.
5. Preference to Intuitive Decision Making
Scientific decisions can be taken with the help of using management accounting techniques. But, majority of the management accountant and top level executives prefer their past experience and intuition in making business decisions. The reason is that an intuitive decision making is very simple and easy.
6. Management Accounting is only a Tool
The management accountant is using the management accounting system as a tool to give advice and facilitate the management for decision making. The actual decisions, their implementation and follow up action are the prerogative of the management.

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