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Strategic governance and management accounting: Evidence from a case study

Ratnatunga, J. and Alam, M. (2011) Strategic governance and management accounting: Evidence from a case study. Abacus, 47 (3). pp. 343-382.

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This paper seeks to establish if top management (the board) of a firm should extend its overview of the governance process to the execution of strategy (i.e., strategic governance) if so, does the management accounting information system (MAIS) have a role in facilitating this strategy execution process. This study investigated the role of the board and MAIS in strategic governance by examining a company with a public record of both successful governance and integrated strategic management accounting processes in a high-risk industry. The analysis demonstrates that boards should go beyond the minimum conformance (compliance) requirements of the governance-regulatory legislation and assume ultimate responsibility for strategy execution and enterprise performance. However, while management accounting techniques, processes and reports were found to be used extensively in strategic governance to integrate the policy-management interface in numerous conformance-performance domains, the traditional role of the management accountant was found to be limited in terms of their role in such governance. The study demonstrates that a more strategic governance role offers the management accountant a way back into senior management by using the routines of management accounting to socialize the board and curb any opportunism that may arise.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: University of Sydney
Copyright: © 2011 The Authors.
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