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Management Accounting

Management accounting is also known as managerial accounting. It is a field of accounting that involves identifying, measuring, analysing, and interpreting accounting data to assist managers in making informed business decisions.

In other words, it is the production of financial and accounting information to support the company's internal operations, such as formulating policies, planning, and management of the other operations.

What is Management Accounting?

Management accountants (sometimes known as managerial accountants) examines the events in and around a firm while keeping the business's needs and objective in mind. Data and estimates are derived from this. So, cost accounting converts estimates and data into knowledge that can influence decision-making.

Financial accounting is different from managerial accounting in that managerial accounting emphasizes internal reporting and helps the internal team in decision-making. On the other hand, financial accounting is concerned with preparing and evaluating financial statements to benefit external audiences such as creditors and investors.

Management Accounting

Managerial accountants are responsible for various aspects of accounting. Margin, restrictions, capital budgeting, trends and forecasts, valuation, and product costing are examples. Furthermore, management accounting analysis and results are kept internal, allowing business leaders to drive decision-making and run their business more effectively.

Consider the following example.

Dharma, for example, is the CEO of a small consulting firm. He'd like to recruit a management accountant and a financial accountant. He has created a list of job responsibilities. He needs to categorize them as those to be handled by the managerial accountant and those performed by the financial accountant. Anderson has devised the following list of tasks:

  • Cash flow statements must be prepared.
  • Reporting on income statements
  • Budgeting
  • Calculating Stockholder Equity Changes
  • Preparing the organization's taxes
  • Budget Analysis
  • Costing of the Product

In the above list, budgeting and taxes-related work are the only tasks allocated to the management accountant, whereas the financial accountant would handle the other tasks which are related to finance.

Advantages of Management Accounting

Management Accounting
  • Improved Decision Making
    Management accounting helps organizations have an effective decision-making process. It provides all necessary information to the management team in charts, tables, and forecasts for proper management. This data enables managers to conduct extensive analyses and make sound judgments or final decisions.
  • Increase Business Efficiency
    It strives to improve the company's overall efficiency. Management accounting assesses corporate performance and detects variances and problems using different types of scientific methodologies. It takes appropriate corrective actions to eliminate flaws that improve business productivity.
  • Financial Statements
    This field of accounting simplifies the information in financial statements. Management accountants thoroughly examine financial statements and offer all facts to management in simplified tables or charts for better comprehension or understanding.
  • Increases Profitability
    Management accounting helps businesses increase their profitability. It reduces excess expenditures associated with corporate activities through capital budgeting and budgetary control. So as a result, it helps companies lower the cost of their products while increasing their earnings.
  • Employees Are Motivated
    Management accounting is used to motivate staff, and the manager will prepare a report on business operations and submit it to management regularly. Managers may quickly analyze employee performance and decide whether to promote or demote them.
  • Transparency in Costs
    Management accounting also plays a vital role in cost transparency. It correctly monitors all financial inputs and outflows of the business and guarantees that no money is misappropriately used in the organization. Management accounting team works closely with the IT department to make sure that all expenditures are within the budget.
  • Reliability
    Management accounting delivers credible and relevant information because it employs appropriate scientific techniques and tools for analysis. Managers can effectively manage commercial issues with access to accurate and factual information.

Management Accounting Drawbacks

  • No Specification
    Management accounting has no set of standards or principles to follow, and this branch of accounting may offer wrong or provide inaccurate data without any guidelines.
  • Costly
    Establishing a management accounting system incurs high costs due to hiring a management accountant. It is very difficult for small size businesses to manage or bear such a high price/ cost.
  • Dependency
    For different types of data, management accounting relies on financial and cost accounting. The credibility of management accounting information depends entirely on the accuracy of records kept by cost and financial accounting.
  • Personal Prejudice
    The management has personal biases and prejudices toward this accounting branch. The ability of individuals to interpret and analyse data may have an impact on management accounting effectiveness.
  • Uncertain
    Management of accounts is closely linked to the time ahead since it provides data for future activities, management and planning. The future, however, is unclear, and management accounting may not make beneficial results.
  • Only Data Is Provided
    It does not offer management any plans of action or decisions; it merely provides data. Management accounting can only support management in their function by providing the necessary data, not replacing them.

Management Accounting Characteristics

Management accounting provides management with data to make decisions to achieve organizational goals and increase efficiency. So let us go through some of the key features of management accounting.

  • To Provide Accounting Information
    The management accounting department collects, analyses and categorizes the information and presents it to the internal team, who then use it while making business decisions.
  • Analysis of Cause and Effect
    Management accounting is a step beyond financial accounting in that it seeks to understand the causes of an organization's profit or loss. It investigates the causes of loss and the elements that influence profitability. As a result, cause and effect are a characteristic of management accounting.
  • Unique Concepts and Techniquess
    Budgetary control, margin analysis, constraint analysis, and product costs are some of the critical approaches in management accounting for effective financial planning and analysis and to make financial data more meaningful.
  • Making a Decision
    Management accounting includes:
    • Researching numerous alternative decisions.
    • Analysing the impact of financial data on the future.
    • Providing valuable data to management.
    • Assisting management in making decisions.
  • Task Completion
    The organization utilizes financial data to define and achieve goals. Corrective procedures are applied if there is a difference between the actual and targeted tasks. All of this is accomplished through management accounting with the assistance of budgetary control and standard costing.
  • No Fixed Norms
    Management accounting tools are the same for all departments and organizations, but how they are used depends on the firm's demand, size, and structure. As a result, no fixed standards are utilized to implement management accounting. On the other hand, financial accounting is entirely dependent on a set of rules and principles. However, the presentation and analysis of accounting data may vary from one firm to another.
  • Increasing Productivity
    Management accounting can identify a company's efficient and wasteful areas while reviewing each department's performance. With its assistance, corrective action can be taken to fix the inefficient part for improved performance. As a result, we may say that accounting information can improve a company's efficiency.
  • Informative Instead of Making a Decision
    Decision-making does not fall under the purview of accountants; only top management can make decisions based on information provided by management accountants. Thus, an organization's decision is determined by the calibre and efficiency of its administration.
  • Forecasting
    Using past accounting data, management accountants assist management in future planning and forecasting for better decision-making.

Objectives of Management Accounting

  • Policy Development Goals
    A management accountant provides the essential and relevant information required to accomplish the organizations goals and objectives while planning and formulating policies. Forecasting approaches in management accounting include regression analysis and time series analysis.
  • Performance Management
    A management accountant creates a variety of approaches and process techniques to provide adequate control, such as budgetary control, standard costing, management auditing, and so on. Management accounting offers management a proper managerial control system, and management receives reports on the effective and efficient utilization of resources.
  • Financial Statement Interpretation
    A primary function of management accounting is to collect and analyze accounting data. Management accounting delivers essential information in an organized manner that management may utilize for planning and decision-making. The tools commonly used in management accounting to assess and analyze accounting data are cash flow, fund flow, ratio analysis, trend analysis, comparative financial statements and income statements.
  • Employee Motivation
    Management accounting offers a selection of the most significant alternative ways to conduct things. It encourages employees to enhance their performance by creating goals, providing training and extra benefits and launching incentive programs.
  • Making Decisions
    Any organization's success is dependent on correct decision-making, and effective decision-making is based on the informational network supplied by management accounting. Differential costing, absorption costing, marginal costing, and management accounting procedures provide essential data to management to help in corrective decision-making.
  • Management Reporting
    The primary function of management accounting is to inform and advise management on the company's current status. It provides regular information to management regarding the performance of various departments, which helps make prompt and timely actions regarding the specific task. A management accountant also serves as an advisor to an organization to solve any existing financial or other problems.
  • Coordination Among Departments
    Management accounting helps coordinate an organization's departments by utilizing detailed functional budgeting and regularly giving frequent reports to management.
  • Administrating Tax
    For management of taxes any organization must adhere to the tax systems in the country in which it operates. However, it has become difficult due to the rising complexity of the tax structure. Also, organizations must file numerous types of returns with various tax authorities. So, they must calculate the exact amount of tax and ensure that it is deposited on time. As a result, management accountants advise management on how to comply with the law.

Management Accounting Applications

  • Budgeting and Planning
    This is one of the fundamental reasons for the existence of managerial accounting. Budgeting and forecasting are essential activities supported by management accounting. Budgeting indicates the expected revenues that the business wants to achieve in the upcoming years and forecasting estimates the amount of profit or the income that an organization can achieve in the future period.
  • Performance Measurement
    It helps in the functioning of operations that focus on measuring the performance of a specific department, business sector, or the entire firm. Performance can be monitored as well as compared to previous accounting periods.
  • Cost Accounting
    Cost accounting, sometimes known as managerial or management accounting, is responsible for giving business decision-makers inside the organization access to economic and financial data. Managerial accounting helps in cost control, cost reduction, product pricing, etc. Cost accounting differs from other areas of the accountancy profession in that it focuses on providing data for internal usage within the organization (to help management plan, direct, and control activities).
  • Planning
    Planning is an essential aspect of the decision-making process. Operational, strategic, and financial planning are all possible in every aspect. When combined with other data sources, management accounting will help us achieve efficient planning. In every organization, planning is done in advance for getting success in the coming future. They decide on a different course of action for achieving the desired outcome. It occurs almost at every level of the organization.
  • Problem Solving
    Financial accounting is more concerned with recording and reporting what has occurred, whereas management accounting is more concerned with making decisions based on what has already happened in the organization. Facts and figures are acquired to identify the issue of specific areas and, as a result, implement appropriate solutions. Accounting management makes future-oriented decisions based on present data. There are many more areas where we can use managerial accounting.

Managerial Accounting Classifications

Managerial accounting is about analyzing and recognizing an organization's financial situation to make vital business decisions. Managers must consult several critical financial reports to conclude it. Consider the following reports to assist corporate managers in making faster decisions:

  • Budget Statements
    A budget is a plan for the distribution of funds in an organization according to the activity. It includes financial instructions for the plan of action for a specified time period. A budget mainly helps in the refinement of goals and efficient utilization of cash. It gives reliable information for financial activity evaluation, assists in decision-making, and serves as a reference for future planning.
    Since budgeting is a continuous process, so your business management software must be adaptable enough to allow you to modify/delete budgets based on your present and future plans. You should also be able to build Budgets for Banks, Head Offices, and Departmental Budgets, such as Marketing Budgets, Finance Budgets, and so on, which will assist you in assessing vital facts regarding the company's finances.
  • Reports On Accounts Receivable and Age-Wise Analysis
    Management of receivables is defining the planning and control of debt owing to customers on account of credit sales. The successful completion of your order to sales is determined solely when your sales are converted into cash. You must handle 'how much you need to receive and from whom and when till the company's sales are transformed into cash. Management receivable is also known as a credit management system.
    Another reason is that accounts receivable are a significant source of cash input or Inflow of cash. Given the volume of credit sales, a significant amount of money is locked up in accounts receivable. It simply means that a certain amount of money is not available until it is paid. If these are not handled effectively, they directly influence and impact the business's working capital and may harm its growth.
    The ageing analysis of outstanding bills is performed to identify bills for which the amount is due for an extended period. Depending on the results of the ageing study, these bills might be classed as bad debts, or provisions for such losses can be generated in the books of accounts. If too many defaulters do not pay the money they owe you, the company may need to implement a far more tough approach with tighter credit standards to maintain optimal cash flow.
    Late payments may negatively influence your organization if they become a habit for businesses/individuals. As a result, they know who owes you and what is critical.
  • Analysis Of Cash Flow
    Business managers use cash flow analysis reports to assess the cash impact of various business choices. Based on this study, a managerial accountant can plan and implement working capital strategies to maximize profitability and ensure a consistent cash flow for long-term survival. This also helps to guarantee that the organization has adequate liquid assets to meet its short-term obligations.
    It is vital to highlight that a managerial accountant reviews and analyses the cash flow, i.e. Inflow and outflow report of a specific time and business decision. This comparison is significant because it will provide the necessary information about how much the company spent/gained/lost on a specific action that was performed so that it is not repeated in the future.
  • Inventory Turnover Evaluation
    The inventory turnover ratio is a financial ratio that establishes a relationship between revenue costs, also known as the cost of goods sold, and the average inventory carried throughout the time period. It's also known as a stock turnover ratio. The inventory turnover ratio reveals how much of the company's stock has been transformed into sales. Also, the number of times the company's inventory is sold during the period.
    A high inventory turnover ratio indicates that a corporation employs effective inventory control systems with sound sales policies, which explains how effectively you convert stock into sales. A higher ratio is a good and positive sign for any firm.


Thus, management accounting assists in analyzing and storing financial data that may be utilized by a business to improve productivity and efficiency. It uses simple methods like standard costing, marginal costing, project evaluation, and control accounting to display the financial data at regular intervals. However, financial statements are the only source of data used to make administrative choices. Thus, keeping accurate records becomes crucial. Despite several drawbacks, it serves as a helpful tool for better business administration.

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