Management Accounting: Information for Decision-making

Management accounting information should comply with a number of criteria including verifiability, objectivity, timeliness, comparability, consistency, understandability and relevance if it's to be useful in planning, control and decision-making.

Explain this is of every of the conditions named above and present a particular example to demonstrate each.

Give a brief explanation of the way the criteria detailed in (a) might maintain conflict with each other, giving cases to illustrate where such issue might happen.

Question 2 : (Information for decision-making)

The overriding feature of information for decision-making is that it should be relevant for your choice being considered. However, decision-making varies substantially at different levels in a business, thus posing a specific challenges for the management accountant.

Describe the characteristics of decision-making at different levels in a organization.

Explain the way the management accountant must tailor the information provided for the various level.

Question 1 (a)

Management accounting information should adhere to a various range of conditions including verifiability, objectivity, timeliness, comparability, dependability, understandability and relevance if it's to be useful in planning, control and decision-making. Below were discussing about the criteria had a need to achieve its natural reason which is for planning, control and decision- making.

The first conditions of management accounting information is verifiability. It means the 'capacity through consensus among measurers' to ensure that the info presents the purposes and the right approach to way of measuring has been used with no mistakes or bias. It also means that it is observable to outsiders, in the context of style of information. Verifiability identifies the ability of accountants to ensure that accounting information is exactly what it is meant to be. The outsiders cannot see the accounting informations and the referrals to those variables in a contract between your two parties cannot be enforced by outside authorities. A good example of verifiability is that of two accountants looking at the same information like inventory valuation and coming to similar conclusions. You can find three key aspects in verifiability. The first aspect is consensus among observers. The second some may be the assurance of correspondence to financial things and happenings. The third key aspect is immediate verification versus indirect verification.

Besides that, objectivity is another requirements that is also another useful aspect in planning and making decisions. Most accountants nowadays count on verifiable data. Exemplory case of verifiable proof are invoices, delivery notes, receipts, physical matters or even financial claims. By rehearsing objectivity, it is currently possible to compare financial assertions of different organizations with an guarantee of stability and also uniformity. In another words, when the management accountant is providing information to the top-level management, they need to provide the appropriate result without altering or changing anything so the manager will be able to make a correct decision without having to be inspired by anyone.

Moreover, Timeliness is one of quite parts for management to balance the relative merits of timely reporting and the provision of reliable information. Timeliness can be involved with having information to meet needs of decision creators before it loses its capacity to influence decisions. More correct information might take a longer time to create. Thus, to provide information on a timely basis, it may often be necessary to survey before all aspects of management accounting orders or any other event. Example, a firm may test-market a potential new product in a city. Despite an extended await the accurate marketing report could cause a slight delay in the management's decision to release the new product nationally and the information will be useless to the decision making process. Thus, it is one of the managerial accountant's role in the decision-making process that will decide what information is pertinent to each decision problem and offer accurate and timely data. Not forgetting that it is a conflicting requirements. Delaying information can significantly influence decisions and can "rob" information of its potential usefulness. Timeliness can have a direct impact on stock prices. Overdue reporting can signify "bad news" or a negative forecast. In the event the delay is excellent, it allows the ability to find out more to be reported also to be supplied or maybe even speculated on by other resources.

The next requirements is comparability. This requirements helps us to compare the financial record of the entity through amount of time in order to recognize developments in its financial position and performance. At the same time, this requirements also really helps to evaluate and compare the financial claims of different entities. It provides information in regards to a particular entity that may be compared with information about other entities and with similar information a comparable entity for a few period or some other point of time. For a good example, the management accountant should make the accounting information in a regular way using historical theory for yearly such that it will be easier for the company to make contrast with the past accounting information or related entities. The heads of the company must determine if they want comparability to be motivated by the kind of instrument or other factors such as management intentions and industry segments. For an example, financial service, software and also manufacturing.

Another standards which is also needed is dependability. It is the quality of information that assures that information is fair clear of any errors and are bias and faithfully represents what it purports to represent. It related to faithful representations and verifiability. An element in the context of reporting for financial equipment is the stability of measurements including relevant disclosures about such stability. For instance, the staff has observed that many constituents seem to be to equate consistency with verifiability, not representational faithfulness. For purposes of talk at this conference, the staff projects to acquire those sub-characteristics into three communities. The first one is, Faithful representation, including completeness and product over form. The second you are verifiability, including accuracy and uncertainty. The last is neutrality, including freedom from bias, prudence, and conservatism.

The second last conditions is understandability. It pertains to the user's point of view and financial informations that are of help. It could be increased by reducing complexities for users through reporting information that symbolizes the actual economics, or by minimizing the amount of choice accounting methods applicable to a subset of advantage. Informations that escalates the understandability are very useful. Understandability is known as when the users have an acceptable understanding of business and economic activities and accounting and a determination to learn more the info with affordable diligence. Information regarding complex matters that needs to be included in the financial statements due to its relevance to the financial decision making needs of users should not be excluded basically on the lands that it can be too difficult for certain users to comprehend. For the example, management accountant should make the accounting information or summarize of the survey and research that easily realized to your choice maker to be able to let them easy to make final decision. One other noteworthy facet of the relationship of the financial statements and Management Commentary is the understandability of the information provided in the financial reviews. Understandability can be adversely influenced by inserting related information in various parts of a report rather than providing an individual with a cross reference point. If the IASB will add help with Management Commentary to its existing guidance on financial statement disclosures, this might provide an chance to better integrate related information.

The last criteria is relevance. Additionally it is very important in the look, control and decision-making. Relevance is the capability of informations that are needed to change lives in a decision by helping the users to form predictions about the outcomes of days gone by, present and future occasions or even to confirm or appropriate prior objectives. Relevance may be represented by identifying which values allocated to financial instruments allows individual to make smarter decisions predicated on the info provided to them. Informations may be regarded more or less relevant predicated on which way of measuring basis is being used. Different decisions essentially will require different type of data. For instance, an analysis over a project shouldn't have any information on indirect costs since it is not relevant for making decision of the project and should include any prime cost because it is pertinent cost for the decision-making.

Question 1 (b)

Management accounting information is utilized to satisfy the management needs. Those informations are of help for planning, handling and decision making. However, these standards also face conflict amongst each other. Conflict simply identifies the incompatibility or interference of one's idea, event, or activity with another. In cases like this, the discord between criteria may happen when fulfilling a criterion influences another criterion being difficult to satisfy as they are in collision with each other. They can be few types of issues involved. Here are the issues.

Relevance vs Reliability

Relevance and consistency are two important criteria which can be needed while making a decision. However, often there are some conflicts arise because of these two conflicts, demanding a trade-off between various examples of relevance and consistency. A forecast of an financial variable may have a high amount of relevance to investors and lenders. However, a forecast automatically includes subjectivity in the estimation of future occasions. Therefore, due to a low degree of dependability, generally accepted accounting key points do not require companies to provide forecasts of any financial parameters. Trustworthiness and relevance often impinge on one another. Reliability may suffer from when an accounting method is modified to get relevance and vice versa. Sometimes, it may well not be clear whether there's been a reduction or either on relevance or trustworthiness. The launch of current cost accounting will demonstrate the point. Proponents of current cost accounting believe current cost income from carrying on operations is a far more relevant measure of working performance than is operating profit computed based on historical cost. They also believe if holding gains and losses which may have accrued in earlier periods are separately shown, current cost income from continuing functions better portrays working performance. The uncertainties adjoining the persistence of current costs, however, are extensive, and variants among estimates with their magnitude can be expected. Due to those versions, verifiability or representational faithfulness, the different parts of reliability, might diminish. Whether there is a net gain to users of the info obviously will depend on the relative weights mounted on relevance and trustworthiness (presuming, of course, that the boasts designed for current cost accounting are accepted).

Comparability vs Consistency

Comparability is another important requirements for planning control and decision making. Comparability which allows users to recognize similarities in and differences between economic phenomena should be distinguished from regularity; the constant use of accounting methods. Concerns about comparability or steadiness should not preclude confirming information that is of better relevance or that more faithfully represents the economic phenomena it purports to stand for. If such concerns occur, disclosures can help compensate for lessened comparability or regularity.

Timeliness vs verifiability

Timeliness and verifiability is necessary all times for decision making. Information is useful when it's timely. Being timely, the info must be accessible when had a need to define problem or even to be begin to recognize possible solutions. Those conditions might conflict with verifiability. For the reason that when needed verifiability information, it may take time to analyze or to obtain it after development process is end. Verifiability is the useful information when it's accurate. Before relying on information to make decisions, it's important to ensure that the info is correct. For example, a production supervisor has to determine the real amount of lychee to be used in produce of 10000 systems of lychee drink. But, due to time given is limited, he has to prepare the report to the top management by forecasting the quantity of lychee that'll be used. Although he has meet up with the conditions of timeliness, he is might not meet up with the conditions of verifiable. This is because, he did not use the actual amount of lychee which will be used. This may cause some problems to occur during the production process. The cost of lychee is leaner or others factors. When the development has come to a finish, he will be able to know the real amount of lychee that was been used. So, there is a discord between timeliness and verifiability.

Timeliness vs reliability

Another discord is between timeliness and consistency. Information is said to be reliable when they incorporate all areas of a transaction as well as other events in order to help users in choosing any issue about the latter. However, almost all of the days in providing timely reporting, those aforesaid orders or events are never taken into account as it occurs after the report is ready and thus impairing stability. In interest of timeliness, the reliability of the information is sacrificed, every lack of trustworthiness diminishes the usefulness of information so that as time forward, and either the trustworthiness of the info drops or increase appropriately. For example, the material dealer decides to supply only one of the Materials A. Company Y is very interested which is capable to choose the Materials A. The company is interested on advertising the Materials A to Company Y, but there is no contract signed between them. After a while, the company received an offer from Company Z's, with a higher price and shorter time compared to Company Y. Therefore, Materials A is selling to Company Z and Y loses the Material A. Company Y is reliable on materials supplier to obtain the Material A the supplier had a need to sell the Materials A in a shorter period to get the profit. So, supplier makes a decision to sell it to Company Z. Thus, the criterion of timeliness is discord with standards of trustworthiness.

Question 2(a)

The process discovering problems and opportunities and resolving them is named as Decision Making. Decision making is intertwined with the other functions such as planning, coordinating and managing. Decisions are created in order to change the business's current status to a more desirable express of affair. Professionals, teams, and specific employees make company decisions, will depend on the scope of the decision and the look and composition of the organization. Organizations that have decentralized set ups will delegate more decisions to teams and front-line employees. Programmability, doubt, risk, conflict, scope, and crisis are the characteristics of decision making.

Programmability is divided into two. They can be designed decisions and non-programmed decision. Programmed decision means discovering a challenge and matching the condition with established regimens and techniques for resolving it. Whereas, the non-programmed decision is the process of discovering and solving a problem when a situation is exclusive and there are no any previously established exercises or procedures you can use as rules.

Uncertainty also has two types. They can be certainty and uncertainty. Certainty is the condition when everything is needed to make a decision. However, uncertainty is the problem when the info available to make a management decision is incomplete.

Risk is the level of uncertainty regarding the outcome of an management decision. Risk has negative and positive aspects too. Decision environment for risk change depending on company size and culture. Those that work in entrepreneurial company must become more comfortable with making risky decisions than those who work in large corporations with established steps.

Next attribute of decision making is conflict. It is always hard to get everyone to recognize about what to do. Discord over opposing goals, utilization of scarce resources, and other priorities tend to be characterized in decision making.

Decision opportunity is the effect and time horizon of the decision. The effect of any decision includes who's involved in choosing and who's affected because of it. Enough time horizon of any decision may range between a single day to five years or even more. You will find three different level of management. They will be the top-level management, midsection level management and the lower management. The top-level management can take the tactical decisions. The middle level management uses tactical decision. And the low level management can take the functional decision.

The top level management who makes the Strategic decisions encompasses a long term perspective of two to five years and influence the entire corporation. Top level managers, or strategic manager are also known as older management and professionals. They are really those people who are at the very best a couple of levels in an organization. Types of top level management are The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Key Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operational Official (COO), Chief Informational Official (CIO), Leader, Vice Leader, Chairman and Mother board of Directors. They have got the long-term eyesight for the business. They aren't involved with day-to-day jobs need to possess conceptual skill to be able to arranged the goals for the business as a whole. For example, Jerry Yang, the previous chief executive of YAHOO, was criticized whenever a $44. 6 billion acquisition bid from Microsoft failed under his watch. They shape the organizational coverage. Also, they are accountable for mobilization of resources. They generally make large budgetary decisions for the business and are accountable to the shareholders and everyone. The success or inability of the organization rests on the shoulder blades of the very best level management.

Middle level managers are those in the levels below the very best managers. Middle level management makes Tactical decisions that have a short-term point of view of one time or less and give attention to subunits of the organization, such as departments or project groups. Tactical decision is the combination of proper decision and functional decision. Example of middle management is General Manager (GM), Seed Manager, Regional director and Divisional supervisor. Middle level managers are responsible for undertaking the goals lay out by top management with placing goals for his or her departments and other business units. Tactical decisions, the medium term decisions about how exactly to execute strategy, are delegated to middle managers. Midsection management decisions might include marketing a fresh product, communicating with and managing lower management and deciding what issues have to be addressed with top level managers. Each individual middle management division develops a technique to meet its internal departmental goals.

Lower level management makes Operational decisions which cover the shortest time perspective, generally less than yearly. Operational decisions, short term decision or also known as administrative decisions about how to implement the tactics influence daily responsibilities and generally completed by lower level professionals. They are often made on the daily or every week basis and concentrate on the daily habit activities of the company such as development, customer service, and managing parts and equipment. Office managers, switch supervisor, department administrator, foreperson, crew leader and store supervisor, are accountable for the daily management of collection workers. For example, supervisor may decide to pay back the most successful employee with an employee of the month prize, or offer bonuses such as gift certificates.

The last attribute of decision making is Crisis. Decision making during crisis is more challenging and difficult than under standard conditions. Making a decision in an emergency situation can make or break the job of a director.

Question 2(b)

A management accountant's duty is to provide information to users who are area of the business from various levels. However, different level of management has different information needs. Thus, a management accountant must tailor the info for these people.

The first step that should be taken before the management accountant provides any kind of information is the fact he should be clear and understand the company vision as the top, middle and underlying part management of an organization. The top-level management is responsible for the long term strategis plan with proper decisions for approximately 5 to a decade time. Which means top management will create a mission, that will consist of a more specific goal that unifies company's attempts. So, the management accountant should prepare budgets for top management accountant to decide which projects have to undertaken to achieve the company's goals. Budget is a proper plan that details the action that must definitely be taken through the following year. It also pinpoint the responsibility of attaining the finances to respective professionals inline the business policies. For instance, management accountant prepare the imposed costs to top management before enforced to middle management to attain targets. In the top-level management, a management accountant should be responsible for all or an integral part of a company's financial position, actions and ventures. The management accountant also needs to maintain budgets, perform financial research, build business strategies and also control their relationships with traders and auditors.

In middle management, they are simply responsible for expanding and transporting the tactical strategies to perform the organization's quest. Tactical plans designate how company will use resource, budgets and people to accomplish company goals within its quest. Within this level, management accountant will use various solutions to decide the profit with minimum development costs. Profit amount examination is one of the techniques to analyze changes in cost and sales in determine the profit. Management accountant will assess breakeven point where the degree of sales of company needs to achieve at zero earnings. After that, management accountant also prepared the survey on scare resources which the supply of resources is limited by define the limit factor. Then, management accountant will produce the product that provide higher contribution per limiting factor and take things to consider of qualitative factors before last decisions is manufactured. Last decisions is means whether to make or even to buy the decision. It is situation where an organization is given a decision to produce by own resources or pay other group to make the product. After management accountant prepare the info in form of cost volume level profit, restricting factors examination and decisions about activities either to buy or even to make, middle management have to decide, holding the tactical programs and delegating the duty of jobs to the operational management. In a summary, the types of information a management accountant should tailor to middle-level management is similar to preparing financial assertions, assess internal handles, supervise accounting staffs, complete and review taxation statements and also help manage the general ledger.

Lower lever management is sensible to carry the operational strategies where it is related to daily ideas in producing products. For instance, management accountant will determine the economic order amount for lower management to learn the amount of inventory they ought to reorder order to minimize buying cost and positioning costs. Therefore, lower level management will order the maximum order. In the lower level, the types of informations a management accountant should tailor are receivables and payrolls, financial record and compliance audit, assist in the budget team and also put together reviews for the controller's team.

Question 2(c)

An example of an average management decision is Proper Decision. Strategic Decision would normally be studied at first level which is top management.

A top management approach is one where an executive, decision manufacturer, or other person or body makes a decision. This approach is disseminated under their authority to lower levels in the hierarchy, who are, to a larger or lesser amount, destined by them. For instance, a structure in which decisions either are approved by a administrator, or approved by his or her authorized representatives based on the manager's previous guidelines, is top to bottom level management. Top management translates the plan (developed by the board-of-directors) into goals, targets, and strategies, and projects a shared-vision into the future. It creates decisions that have an effect on everyone in the business, and is kept entirely accountable for the success or failing of the business Strategic decisions are wide based, qualitative kind of decisions such as or reveal goals and goals. Proper decisions are non quantitative in characteristics. Strategic decisions are based on the subjective thinking of management relating to goals and objectives.

Besides that, there are impact of mergers and acquisitions on top level management.

Impact of mergers and acquisitions on top level management may actually require a "clash of the egos". There might be variations in the cultures of the two organizations. Beneath the new set up the supervisor may be asked to put into action such guidelines or strategies, which might not exactly be quite approved by him. When such a predicament arises, the key focus of the business gets diverted and executives become active either settling concerns among themselves or shifting. However, the decision manufacturer must be well outfitted with a qualification or will need to have sufficient qualification to solve the problems that arises.

Knowledge of management accounting is needed by the decision-maker to turn out with relevant information. An integral part of that, there might be a direct effect on tax for that reason decision made. The info provided not only for the within people also for the external people such as shareholders or provider.

On the other hands, top management will practises non-routine principle for all your activities organised. Non-routine is known as nonrecurring decision like the following to accept or reject a particular order; to make or buy a certain part, to market or process further, or even to keep or drop a certain product line or section. In these kind of decisions, the decision maker must have understanding of relevant costs and contribution margin.

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