Adapting management accounting knowledge needs to functional and economic change

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Changes in the function of the management accountant and in the economic environment, particularly the shift of economic activity away from manufacturing and the internationalisation of education, raise issues of the breadth and diversity of knowledge needs for management accounting. The impact of these issues is investigated using data on perceived topic importance from an international survey of over 1600 members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. The substantial importance attached to a range of topics from outside the management accounting discipline itself, and to more strategic topics from within it, is consistent with a developing function for the practitioner associated with a broadening set of knowledge needs, since these topics add to rather than supplant many traditional core management accounting topics. Variation in the importance of topics among economic sectors tends to be specific to certain topics, such as costing, although the public sector has distinctive priorities. Diversity in knowledge needs is also apparent internationally, particularly in terms of those working in developing economies, who attach greater importance to many topics in finance and financial accounting than others do.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-300
JournalAccounting Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


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