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An Evaluation of the Changing Role of Management Accountants in Recent Years


  • Sheehan Rahman
  • Jashim Uddin Ahmed

    () (North South University, Bashundhara R/A, Dhaka 1229, BANGLADESH)


This paper critically evaluates the role of management accountants in firms to examine if the use of emerging sophisticated management accounting tools and techniques since mid 1980s has prompted a change in their roles from what were traditionally perceived as cost recorders and controllers to broader strategic roles vitally important in planning and decision-making. Literature review: Literature review reveals that there are two types of suggestion from scholars (i) role has changed and (ii) role has not changed. This paper is a modest study of the existing literature to identify why some scholars suggest that the role of management accountants in firms have changed where as others suggest that it has remained the same, and it attempts to critically evaluate both sets of arguments to find which side has the greater weight. Methods: Existing literature on the activities, roles and skill requirements of management accountants have been investigated to arrive at the conclusion. Conclusion: It is concluded that their roles have widened in recent years but the role change is more pertinent to those firms adopting new MA techniques although it cannot be generalized for management accountants in all firms alike. Classification-D01;D02;D24;G31;G32;M40;M41;M42

Suggested Citation

  • Sheehan Rahman & Jashim Uddin Ahmed, 2012. "An Evaluation of the Changing Role of Management Accountants in Recent Years," Indus Journal of Management & Social Science (IJMSS), Department of Business Administration, vol. 6(1), pages 18-30, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:iih:journl:v:6:y:2012:i:1:p:18-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Haka, Susan F. & Heitger, Dan L., 2004. "International managerial accounting research: A contracting framework and opportunities," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 21-69.
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    3. Robert Scapens & Mostafa Jazayeri, 2003. "ERP systems and management accounting change: opportunities or impacts? A research note," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 201-233.
    4. Nilsson, Fredrik & Rapp, Birger, 1999. "Implementing business unit strategies: the role of management control systems," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 65-88, March.
    5. Abernethy, Margaret A. & Brownell, Peter, 1999. "The role of budgets in organizations facing strategic change: an exploratory study," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 189-204, April.
    6. Quattrone, Paolo & Hopper, Trevor, 2005. "A 'time-space odyssey': management control systems in two multinational organisations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(7-8), pages 735-764.
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