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4 Min. Read

What Is Management Accounting?

The process of creating organization goals by identifying, measuring, analyzing, interpreting and communicating information to managers is call management or managerial accounting.

Management accounting focuses on all accounting aimed at informing management about operational business metrics. It uses information relating to costs of products or services purchased by the company. Budgets are often used to quantify the decisions made in operational planning. Management accountants use performance reports to note variances between actual results from budgets.

The main difference between management accounting and financial accounting is financial accounting is the collection of accounting data to create financial statements, while management accounting is the internal processing used to account for business transactions.

This article will also discuss:

What Is Management Accounting and Its Functions?

What Is a Management Accounting System?

What Is the Role of Management Accounting?

NOTE: FreshBooks Support team members are not certified income tax or accounting professionals and cannot provide advice in these areas, outside of supporting questions about FreshBooks. If you need income tax advice please contact an accountant in your area.

What Is Management Accounting and Its Functions?

Management accounting is the process of preparing reports about business operations that help managers make short-term and long-term decisions. It helps a business pursue its goals by identifying, measuring, analyzing, interpreting and communicating information to managers. The main functions of management accounting include:

1.  Helping Forecast the Future

Forecasting helps decision to made and answers questions like: Should a company invest more in equipment? Should it diversify into different markets and regions? Should it buy another company?

Management accounting helps answer important questions that can forecast future trends in business.

2.  Helping in Make-or-buy Decisions

Management accounting insights on cost and production availability are deciding factors in purchasing choices. Data from managerial accounting empower decision-making at both an operational and strategic level.

3.  Forecasting Cash Flows

Estimating cash flows and the impact of cash flows on the business is essential. Considering where the costs companies will incur in the future and where its revenue will come from can help a business make its next moves. Management accounting involves creating budgets and trend chars that manager use to decide how to allocate money and resources to generate the projected revenue growth.

4.  Helping Understand Performance Variances

Performance discrepancies in business are variances between what was predicted and what was achieved. Using analytical techniques, management accounting help management build on positive variances and manager the negative ones.

5.  Analyzing the Rate of Return

Knowing the rate of return (ROR) is essential to know before embarking on a project that requires a lot of investments. Vital questions that can be answered through management accounting include. If presented with two investment opportunities, how does a business choose the most profitable one? In how many years will a company break even on a project? What are the cash flows estimated to be?


What Is a Management Accounting System?

Internal management accounting systems are used to provide critical information to management to be used in operational business decision-making. A manufacturing company might use these systems to help in the costing and managing of their process. A hospital might use management accounting systems to assist them in insurance billing and other in-house requirements.

These systems vary within the industries they are used within and allow for functionalities and reports specific to that industry.


What Is the Role of Management Accounting?

Management accounting helps managers within a company make decisions.

Also known as cost accounting, management accounting is the process of identifying, analyzing, interpreting and communicating information to managers to help achieve business goals.

The data collected encompasses all fields of accounting that informs the management of business operations relating to the costs of products or services purchased by the company. Management accountants use budgets to quantify the business’ plan of operations.

Performance reports are used to note the deviation of actual results compared what was budgeted.


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