Main Article Content

Perspectives of accounting students and teachers on the changing role of management accountants in organisations

CC Shuttleworth


Owing to a highly competitive global market, economic crises and changes in manufacturing and information technology, organisations are compelled to improve their financial planning and control functions. These and other changes have contributed to the evolving role of the management accounting function in organisations. Whereas cost accounting’s main focus was on fi nding the cost of manufacturing products, the objective of management accounting is to use financial and non-financial information to assist management with decision making. Although management accountants have long played multiple roles in organisations, there is a definite shift towards a more strategic approach, opening up new vistas of opportunity. However, this widening scope of the changing practice of management accounting demonstrates a lack of a recognisable and coherent occupational identity. The objective of this study was to determine whether prospective accounting students and accounting teachers are aware of the changing role and status of management accountants. This study presents the results of a survey among first-year accounting students as well as interviews with accounting teachers to assess their perceptions of the current role of management accountants in organisations. This study exposes a lack of knowledge of the status of management accountants and their strategic role in organisations. Recommendations are made for tertiary institutions to alleviate this information gap and for further research on this issue. Perspectives on the changing role of management accountants in organisations

Key words: management accounting, management accountant, chartered management accountant, strategic management accountant

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-8125
print ISSN: 1561-896X