Customer Focus - An Accountability Dilemma
Customer-related measures are today often included in management accounting systems. In this paper, two situations are displayed where these measures are problematic to the managing process. The main argument of the paper is that customer accountability may serve to question demands for hierarchical accountability, as put forward in management accounting systems. The paper is based on a case study, in which two groups show strong customer accountability which is disturbing to the managing process. In the first group, socializing accountability processes to the customers override hierarchical accountability concerning delivery performance. In the second group, aligned accountability to customers and managers for customer-related measures override hierarchical demands for accountability for financial performance. The argument of the paper may be taken as a basis to question the broadening of management accounting to incorporate customer-related aspects. An organization needs to be managed in a balanced way. However, it should not be taken for granted that all aspects need to be incorporated into management accounting. With strong customer accountability, management accounting may need to be devoted to classical tasks of emphasizing financial performance and formalized processes.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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