Towards A Changing Role of Management Accounting and Management Accountants in Nigeria
ODIA, J.O. (PhD)
The paper examines the changing functions of management accounting and roles of management accountants from companies listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The paper builds on previous studies by Forsaith,Tilt and Xydias-Lobo (2003),Yazdifar and Tsamenyi (2005) ,and Copper and Dant (2009). To consider how management accountants view their past, present and future roles, tasks/ activities, the tools/techniques used by them as well as the factors and barriers responsible for the change in Nigeria. Based on the survey of sixty-two (62) management accountants and the used of analysis of variance (ANOVA) for data analysis, the findings revealed that whereas there were small significant changes in the function of management accounting (planning, strategy formulation and decision making), the roles of management accountants, techniques and the activities or tasks performed by management accountants are likely to be unchanged in the future period. Specifically, management accounting will continue to place more emphasis on information provision, budgeting and controlling whereas management accountants will move away from performing the traditional roles of informational providers, bean counters and corporate police towards the modern roles of becoming business partners, analysts, internal consultants, problem solvers, strategy formulators, decision makers, team player and change agents in the organizations. The major drivers of change were advances in technology, globalization and competition while the barriers included ignorance of management accountants about their activities, organizational culture, role misalignment and insufficient skills. The implications of the findings for management accounting as a discipline, management accountants, accounting faculties and professional bodies in the training of management accountants as well as (top) management of organizations are also highlighted.
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