The Strategic and Dynamic Role of Management Accountants
Management accountants have traditionally been responsible for the collection and provision of
useful and relevant information to decision-makers (Aaver, Aaver & Cadez, 2009). Since their role
entails a vast array of different activities that are closely linked with firms’ needs, expectations and
corporate goals, their priorities and responsibilities depend greatly upon the environment in which
they operate (Coombs, Hobbs, & Jenkins, 2005, p.2). Specifically, with competitive environments
becoming increasingly concerned with corporate governance, effectiveness, efficiency and value,
management accountants must assist managers in developing effective strategies and using resources
as efficiently as possible, whilst balancing various stakeholders’ expectations and creating value for
shareholders (Coombs et al., 2005, pp.2-3).
As explained by the Institute of Management Accountants (2008), during the past few decades the
global market has become remarkably competitive, thus making it necessary for management
accountants to stop focussing exclusively on transactions and compliance in order to play a more
active role in firms’ decision-making processes. As a result of that, the management accounting field
currently extends to strategic management, performance management, planning, control, budgeting,
risk management and financial reporting; moreover, management accountants are also required to
help firms become more successful by advising them on a wide range of additional matters, including
cost management and corporate governance (Institute of Management Accountants, 2008).
Now that the management accounting profession has been briefly introduced, the breadth of
expectation required from management accountants and their role within actual organisations will be
analysed in greater detail.