Strategic accounting: revisiting the agenda

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Rapid changes in the external environment of organisations have been accompanied by calls for accountants to change the nature of information they provide, the skills they possess and the role they play in the organisation. The proposed changes, which are encapsulated under the phrase accounting for strategic positioning or strategic management accounting are two pronged. On one hand accountants are required to reposition themselves in the organisation hierarchy where they will be involved in the formulation, implementation and choice of strategies. Accountants are also being urged to adopt a range of techniques whose emphasis is futuristic and external to the firm especially emphasizing the importance of monitoring customers and competitors. A review of the literature has revealed that while considerable effort has been put into the development of rational techniques for proposed use less has gone into whether, how and with what effect the proposed techniques have been implemented in organisations and society. The literature has adopted an uncritical approach to the proposals for a strategic accounting, providing little insight into how the discourse of strategy has come to occupy such a position of centrality in organisations and society with other functions seeking to be branded “strategic”.
Management accounting, Strategic planning