Assessment 2: Management Accounting
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Assessment 2: Management Accounting


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Essay topic:  to be advised in Week 2

There is a word limit of 1,500 words (excluding title, headings/sub-headings and references) and is to be completed in groups of no more than 2 or 3 students. The essay should be typed and APA referencing is to be used (see and

To successfully complete the assignment students should read and review literature from various sources, including:

  • Relevant chapters from Langfield-Smith et al.
  • Accounting journals (see a basic list below). These can be accessed as e-journals via the library web page.
  • On-line databases (click the 'Databases' link on the library webpage). A good data base to search is ABI/INFORM Global and Google Scholar.

A basic list of journals to search may include (this list is not exclusive and other journals should also be searched).

  • Management Accounting Research
  • European Accounting Review
  • Journal of Management Accounting Research
  • British Accounting Review
  • Critical Perspectives on Accounting
  • Australian Accounting Review
  • International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation
  • Cost Management
  • Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research
  • Strategic Finance
  • In The Black (CPA Australia)



In 1998, Chenhall and Langfield-Smith conducted this extensive survey in Australia to analyse if companies were using traditional management accounting practices or were embracing new techniques and methods. The results of their survey at that point showed that companies were more inclined to use traditional management accounting methods and did not prefer latest techniques. The survey showed that areas such as budgeting, performance evaluation and strategic planning were the key areas that were benefitted by adopting management accounting best practices. The results at that point of time also indicated that in the future, companies would be more open to benchmarking and following advances in the field of management accounting.

Over the last 2 decades, global markets have changed in a phenomenal manner. 

The study for Chenhall and Langfield-Smith's paper was conducted in manufacturing companies. Some of their findings and conclusions are relevant till date which some need to be tuned to suit current day management accounting practices. In this paper, the past research is analysed in detail and are categorised to suit modern day needs.


What were the learnings of the Management Accounting research?

The key learnings of the MA research include the following:

  • Management accountants have experience that is enriched with data and due to this, they can be useful in identifying areas and activities that need change in the organisation (Hilton, et al., 2015). Their feedback would be useful to implement organisation wide changes.
  • Adoption rates for new practices in Australia were better than that of other countries. But it was still less when compared to adoption rates for traditional practices.
  • Many new techniques of management accounting are intertwined with traditional practices (Luft, 1997). Hence there is a possibility for the respondents to mistake a new technique for a traditional one. Further studies were required to rule this out.
  • Activity based techniques which is a part of modern-day management accounting practice was preferred by many companies.

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