This particular study will shed light on the management accounting system with its methods, benefits in detail. Along with this, the focus will be made on the different types of planning tools with merits and demerits in performing the necessary activities of business organizations. Furthermore, a discussion will be made on the range of management accounting techniques with the ways through which the management accounting systems will be helpful for business organizations in earning profits considerably.
Evaluation of management accounting
In general terms, management accounting refers to the specific profession that includes making effective decisions, creating beneficial plans for the sake of carrying out the operational activities of an organization. At the same time, the expertise involved in management accounting helps in formulating as well as implementing relevant strategies, needed to operate the business organization effectively as well as efficiently (Zandi et al. 2019). It is considered to be an essential part of any business organization as it can act as a bridge between the financial activities and other parts of the organization. It assists in controlling the operational activities adequately through which the business organization gets the chance to make efficacious strategies. Consequently, the organization performs its functional activities in an effective manner. With the help of management accounting, the organizations can easily achieve long term gains such as pricing, budgeting as well as unregulated reporting.
There tend to be several features of management counting such as it is flexible and unregulated. Due to these reasons, it adds an altogether new dimension based on which the bone entities can easily be able to earn profits in its functional activities on a regular basis. Financial experts, as well as professions of an organization, focus on management accounting as it gives rather creates new ways of achieving the visions and mission of the organization accordingly (Safari Sarchah et al. 2019). At the same time, future challenges can also be mitigated easily with the help of management accounting through which organizations aim to expand their operational activities profitability. At the time of making income statements, the financial experts prioritize accounting for the purpose of increasing the revenue generation considerably (Ivanovskaya et al. 2019). In this regard, it needs to be stated that accounting helps in setting the exact price of the products of a particular organization through which the company can get the scope of enhancing its profitability in a consistent manner.
Requirements of management accounting
Most business organizations focus on establishing an effective management accounting system through which the financial activities can be monitored in an effective manner. At the same time, it provides a nice scope to the business organization to formulate relevant strategies based on which the organization can take further steps to proceed with the operating activities. The essential requirements of management accounting are described below:
Costing: The cost of the products is important in this regard that helps to set the prices of the products accordingly. Mainly two types of costing methods such as absorption costing and direct costing are essential to carry out the business operations in a nice manner (Smith, 2019). However, it is important for the organization to understand and evaluate the condition of the market minutely which will provide a nice opportunity of setting reasonable costs to the products. More importantly, the people of the country will be attracted by the pricing strategy considerably which will make a considerable impact on the overall operational activities of the organization.
Budgeting: It is taken to be a promising aspect for any organization based on which the organization takes the necessary steps to perform its operational activities. More importantly, it will be crucial for the organization to look at the needs and demands of the people present in the country (Chen and Yin, 2019). In another way, it can be stated that the effective budgeting system ensures the reliability of the organization in an efficacious manner.
Decision making: Effective decision-making makes the job easier for organizations to carry on with functional activities (Jamal et al. 2019). However, the financial expertise of the organization at first focuses on understanding the situation of the organization in the market of the country which helps the individuals to formulate the relevant strategies to mitigate the discrepancy issues on a regular basis.
Methods of management accounting reporting: Manager accounting focuses on inside information by means of financial accounting. In the accounting and bookkeeping period, the reports are made on a regular basis to understand the extent of the performance of the organization in a considerable number (Wen and Mao, 2019). The managers after that take effective steps based on which necessary changes are made to the financial as well as marketing activities of the organization. Below are discussed the different types of manifest report in general:
Budget report: Budget reports are considered to be an essential aspect of continuing the operational activities of the organization. The organizations focus on making an overall budget report through which the entities easily make out the grams scheme in the business activities (Baird et al. 2019). Based on the performance of the employees, the managers can arrange for providing incentives to their employees, which proves to be a beneficial aspect for the workers within the organization.
Account receivable aging reports: It is applicable for those business organizations, which depend on the heavy credit while continuing the operational activities. In that case, the managers look to break down the left balances for identifying the discrepancy issues minutely. Matters of bad debt in this regard are vital as through it the organization can easily underpants the problematic issues of the organization.
Cost managerial accounting reports: In this regard, it is the responsibility of the financial expertise to look out the costs of the manufacturing articles. The cost report saves a lot in an organization as it provides important information regarding the business activities of the organization (Cescon et al. 2019). The margin of profits is estimated as well as evaluated through the report based on which the organization takes the necessary strategies to enhance its profitability and effectiveness.
Performance reports: These reports are made for reviewing the performance of the organization effectively. In the case of large business organizations, departmental reports are produced to lo at the approach of marketing activities within the organization. At the same time, managers can make relevant strategic decisions to uplift the profitability of the organization regularly. In addition to that, the performance reports prove to be prolific for business organizations in terms of understanding the number of profits, gained by the organization in a particular financial year.
Benefits of management accounting system
Effective management accounting proves to be prolific for any business organization in terms of carrying out the functional activities accordingly. The benefits of magnet accounting are stated below:
Scope for effective planning: Professional expertise can easily make effective plans regarding the functional activities of the organization based on which the company can gain profits in daily activities. In this regard, the preparation of budget statements along with the financial reports is important for the sake of observing the market condition of the country (Luo et al. 2019). In addition to that, information relating to accounting activities is rearranged cautiously, (in terms of department, section) which are needed for making beneficial planning accordingly.
Controlling the marketing activities: In the case of findable deviations, the magnet can focus on controlling the activities through proper planning (Pelz, 2019). Concepts like standard costing and budgetary control systems are beneficial in this respect to help the magnet in taking a prompt course of action.
Quality service to customers: The successful implementation of management accounting helps in providing efficacious service to the customers based on which the organization can easily extend its functional activities. At the same time, it helps the organization in creating its own identity in the market of the country.
Creates motivation within the organization: The system helps in maintaining a superior level of morale among the workers. The business operations reports are made periodically and submitted to the management. After looking at the report, the management makes effective decisions in terms of promoting as well as rewarding the employees (based on the performance). In this way, financial expertise takes proper steps to motivate the employees within the organization for enhancing their profitability in the years to come.
Profit maximization: Beneficial management accounting helps in generating profits for the business organization based on which the organization can easily expand its organizational activities in a considerable manner (Marnewick and Joseph, 2019). At the same time, it can fulfill the vision and mission of the organization in an efficient manner.
Improvement in efficiency: At times, management accounting assists in improving the efficiency among the employees within the organization through which the members are able to provide the best effort on a regular basis. Consequently, the organization can further its marketing activities efficiently.
Impact of management accounting system on Waitrose
Waitrose sometimes has to face severe competition in the market of UK due to the application of management accounting systems. Competitors like Lidl and Aldi always look to strive for excellence in marketing activities. Consequently, Waitrose needs to reshape and redesign the marketing strategies accordingly so that there should not be any problems for the organization to earn profits in an effective manner. More importantly, the company needs to focus on bringing the latest technologies in its marketing operations, which will provide an array of opportunities for the company to increase profits. In this regard, focus also needs to be imposed on decision making which will be beneficial for the organization to implement useful strategies. However, it is essential for the organization to understand and evaluate the demands of the people for the purpose of spreading the functional activities according to manner.
In terms of the performance review as well, the company needs to be prolific in terms of securing income consistently. It will be useful for the organization to create as well as exercise a commanding position in the market of the UK.
Role of costing in managing sales and profitability
Profit can be explained as the equality of the expenses of a company in terms of revenue. Earning a profit can be important for small as well as large businesses as profitability can give an impact securing the financial status of the company. It can also attract visitors to operating and growing the business. Thus, costing has a major role in the sales and profitability of a company. The organizations may fail to run a business if the margins of profitability become much narrower than earlier. Thus, costing is an inseparable part of the business.
The company Waitrose has generated sustainable returns in terms of the costing structure by applying appropriate cost accounting methods of absorption costing. The role of cost on sales and profitability are discussed below:
- Pricing plays a key role in increasing the profit level of the company. The tagging of the final products has been a common practice in the industry whether it may be a small or a medium-sized organization. The organizations never miss out on tagging the prices on the final products. Thus, they have to use proper pricing models for tagging the products. Pricing may become a reflective part of the costs or budgets. The costing plays a functional role in suggesting the appropriate strategic increment of the products.
- The strategies that may be used by the company for proper pricing can be putting the prices in a low but suitable amount. Well, pricing can put the products in good market positions by diminishing competition from other similar products of different brands.
- Proper pricing can play a significant role if the products can be promoted through discounts or sales. Discounts or sales can attract a huge number of customers. The equation of profitability can be effortlessly done by using certain software. If the company becomes succeeded in doing the equation of profitability correctly then there should not happen any problem in running the business.
Management Accounting Techniques for producing appropriate Financial Statements
There are different organizations that have been started in using value pricing. Value pricing can play an effective role in acting as a tool or strategy. Value pricing is important for sales and marketing. Proper pricing or cost management can be intimately associated with value pricing. According to some authors, a gut feeling cannot give sufficient outcomes to meet the expectations of the organization. Thus, the uses of Spidey Sense software are required. The software can extract effective results based on sales and management. Though gut feeling or instinct is valuable, still proof is being required nowadays. Besides this, the tools can provide valuable data that can be quantified. Quantification is required for guessing the measurable changes. The measurable data can enable a person to observe the true costing or hidden values of a product. The calculation of hidden values, as well as true costing, can impact decision-making capabilities from financial aspects. Thus, according to some experts, the value pricing has become the best practice to clarify the figures for costs and expenses. The managers can better understand the figure of costing by value pricing techniques. There are two points that can be considered while understanding value pricing. These are discussed below:
- Seeking for quantifiable data: Quantification of data has been found to become very much important for the organizations. The data should be delivered to the client in quantified forms. The quantified data is justifiable to the clients.
- Understanding overall benefits Vs costing: Expenses should not become unaffordable. If the expenses can be invested in proper tools then the efficiency of the company can be increased.
Targeting of gross profit margin
Targeting of gross profit margin can be required for switching the thought process of the organization from traditional approaches. The organizations should think of the percentage of the profit margin rather than concentrating on pounds or dollars. The power of true costing can become effective if the profit margins can be targeted. The employees should be set with the particular focus of achieving the target so that it could not be missed out. A fully loaded labor force can cost more than low labor forces. However, targeting of profit margin is needed for keeping the labor forces high. The amount of staff engaged for a particular project has been of great impact to the organization.
Most of the organizations have been found not to recommend cost-plus pricing as potential limits are there. The cost-plus pricing cannot limit everything into account. The cost-plus pricing has been found to include the fully loaded cost of labors, overhead, materials, and others. There all are important parts of the proper pricing of the items. There are other business organizations also that cannot understand the value of true costing. The organizations fail to understand labor costing as a burden. In this regard, real costing can be demonstrated as the costing of the employees. The organizations can use visibility as the leakage of time for slipping away the inefficient and ineffective processes. Thus, unaccounted costing can involve the engagement of clients, management of projects, and traveling. These are all unaccounted costing or exclusive of the budgets. There lies the difference between the failure and success of the projects. Thus, if the managers do not try to express the organizations as a commodity the exclusive budgets can be used as the worst method of pricing. This structure can be effective in revealing the efficiency of valuation or pricing.
Some strategies are being used by the management team for constructing effective financial statements of the organizations. These strategies can be used as management techniques for the same. The management strategies or tools are discussed below:
a) Understanding the cost before picking up the pricing strategy: the cost-plus pricing can work out an incorrect situation. It is important to comprehend the business scenarios under which the pricing strategies are to be implemented. These scenarios can lead business administrators in the right direction. Thus, they can use the scenario as a model for gaining a solid or concrete understanding of different aspects of cost. It can also be helpful in identifying the most profitable clients along with their jobs and services. There comes a point where most of the values can be added to focus on marketing resources and sales.
b) Evaluation of the pricing: Evaluation of pricing versus cost pricing is required to understand the correct valuation of the products or services. The business administrators should decide whether the pricing has been determined based on the products and services or the pricing has been based on the cost of production. Thus, it can be recommended for the company that the value of the brand should always supersede the valuation of superficial metrics of costing. The organizations can find out that optimal pricing can be vital more than the profitability as it may not be a simple process or it may require multiple steps. Tracking of the business or accounting of the costs can become easier if the tracking process or accounting process can be used as an important tool for enhancing the pricing model of the brands.
c) Optimal pricing can play a vital role in terms of the profitability of the company. Optimal pricing has not been a simple process that can be used by the company. Optimal processing requires both tracking and accounting. It has become an easy tool to be handled by the managers of the company. The optimization of the pricing tools can be done by gathering the marketing reports of the company for the last few years so that the CEO can figure out the most profitable clients of the company. The business owners can also incorporate their views into the concerned matter to make the optimization process profitable.
There are some important tools and techniques that can be used by the managers for producing effective financial statements. These are discussed below:
- Planning of finance: The objective or goal of the company should be comprehended by the employees. For meeting the target or objective necessary steps should be taken by the managers and the employees. Thus, financial planning is required for executing the effective financial statement
- Analysis of the statement: The analysis of the financial statement is required. Profit and loss sheet for accounting and also balance sheets are required as the financial statements. These types of analyses can be helpful for the management in guessing the growth of the organization in terms of financial gain. The analysis of the financial statement can be done by comparing the financial statements of previous years, by sizing the common statements, and also by ration analysis
- Costing account: the costing account can present the data of cost in terms of products, processes, branches, departments, and others. The costing data can be compared with the predetermined data for comparing different costs so that the management can be enabled with knowledge of reasonable cost differences
- Analysis of fund flow: The analysis of fund flow can enable the managers to get knowledge on the movable fund from one period to another. The analysis has been found to be helpful in understanding the proper utilization of the funds while compared on a yearly basis. The changes of working capital, as well as the funds, can be identified by the fund flow analysis
- Analysis of Cash Flow: The cash flow analysis can find pout the flow of cash from one time period to another. The reasons underlying the cash flow from one period to another can also be identified by this analysis. The analysis studies the operational cash and movable cash from one time period to another
- Standard Costing: Standard costing can be considered as pre-determined costs. It can provide a yardstick for the actual measurement of the performance. Standard costing can be used to find out the underlying reasons for deviation if any
- Budgetary Control: The technique budgetary control can predict the future needs or requirements of the finance and can estimate in prior times. The budgetary techniques can be arranged in an orderly basis. It can be used for controlling the financial performance of the concerned businesses. The business operations can be directed in a particular or desired direction if budgetary control can be followed
- Revaluation of accounting: Revaluation should be done on the fixed assets as per the method of revaluation accounting so that the capital can be represented properly along with the value of assets. It can be helpful in finding out the fair return of the capital involved or employed
- Accounting on decision making: The choice of best alternative can solve many problems related to the business. For selecting such alternatives the relevant costs can be compared. Thus, the accounting information can be useful in solving various problems related to business and the problems can be arisen due to increased complexity in the business
- Managing information system: The organization's demand for free communication among the employees and the managers. Thus, the management team should design the proper system through which management can assess the performance of the employees. It can be helpful in generating proper financial statements
- Statistical Techniques: A lot of statistical tools are present there in the industry for calculating the financial statements properly. The statistical tools utilize the methods of regression analysis, quality control techniques, least squares, and many others
- Management reporting: Management reporting can also be regarded as management accounting. It is the basis of the measurement of losses and profit statements as well as balance sheet preparations. The profit and loss statements and the balance sheets are to be submitted to the top management team. Thus, the reports may consider both strength and weakness of different operative areas including financial activities
- Ratio Analysis: Ratio analysis has been helpful in discharging the basic forecasting, communication, coordination, and control of the functions. Ratio analysis can make the pathways for business operations by undertaking the appraisal from both physical as well as monetary targets
Use of planning tools in Management Accounting
The accounting tools are used for management accounting in order to manage the framework, modeling, processing, and applying techniques to the management accountants so that the work quality can be improved for generating proper financial statements, facilitating the decision-making capabilities, supporting the objectives ad goals of the company, and values the whole process. The uses of planning tools in management accounting are discussed below:
- Framework: The planning tools enable the managers to construct a basic framework by following which the employees can generate better outcomes. The framework may include the proper formation of the balance sheet and cost-effectiveness. The framework also includes the important components of the ongoing project in a specific direction.
- Models: The planning tools should create a proper model for enabling the employees’ proper pathway through which they should reach the target. A model can be made from utilizing different software. The essential parts can be incorporated into the software so that it can use the parts as dimensions for making the models properly.
- Processing: Processing can be regarded as the most crucial step in planning tools for management accounting. Processing should be done by following each and every step with precision. Any flaw in any step of the processing can result in different or unexpected outcomes.
Thus, the planning of accounting is required as it is an inseparable part of financial planning. Financial planning can also be regarded as the budget of the company. It has been recognized as the process of setting performing goals or organizing systems for achieving the goals or targets in the future. Planning is the process by which business development can be done through different strategies by maintaining the vision of the company. Management accounting tools can be used for the following purposes:
- Governance as well as risk management: For governance as well as risk management the CIMA strategic tools can be used. The other tools that can be sued for risk management are ERM (Enterprise Risk Management), Risk Heat Maps, and CGMA
- Planning by maintaining the strategies: The strategic planning tools that can be used for this purposes are SWOT, PEST, Balanced Scorecards, Strategy Mapping, and Porter's Five Forces
- Execution of the strategies: KPI, Benchmarking, and Performance Prism are of important tools for executing the strategies
- Performing management along with measurement of performance: Performance Prism can be used for this measuring the performance management also
- Planning as well as forecasting: Rolling Plans and Forecasts, ABB (Activity-Based Budgeting), Scenario and Contingency Planning can be used as effective tools for planning as well as forecasting
- Product Delivery: ABC or Activity Based Costing and lean can be used for measuring the product delivery status
- Service Delivery: Quality management tools can be used for measuring the service delivery and the tools include TQM, Six Sigma, EFQM, and Cost of Quality
- Recognition of the values: Value chain analysis and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) can be used for measuring the value recognition of the company
Planning tools are considered to be important for making budgets within the organization. More importantly, it provides a scope of evaluating the success of the organizations in a nice manner.
Merits of planning tools: With the help of planning tools, business organizations can easily proceed with the daily operational activities. The senior members of the organization are responsible in terms of making effective plans through which the organization will be able to secure profits in a consistent way. Below are discussed the merits of planning tool in detail:
Commitment towards fulfilling objectives: Successful business organizations aim to make considerable advance by means of using relevant planning tools in the functional activities. Effective planning ensures the attainment of objectives within the organization based on which the company can secure its long-term goals effectively as well as efficiently.
Minimization of uncertainties: Successful planning tools prove to be effective in minimizing the uncertainty for a particular organization in performing marketing activities. It builds a path for the organization to increase profitability in the coming years.
Optimum utilization of resources: Most of the organizations focus on using their resources efficiently with the help of planning tools. It helps the organization in making its position strong in the mark of the country (Zor et al. 2019). More importantly, the company can look for recruiting skilled workers who will be helpful in maximizing the generation of the profit for the organization.
Providing encouragement in creative and creativity: Effective managers look for using relevant planning tools for the sake of devising strategies in daily operations. Consequently, new ideas are formulated which proves to be helpful for the organizations in earning profits on a regular basis (Cescon et al. 2019). It makes an impact on the employees of the organization in terms of creating a strong organizational culture within the company.
Demerits of planning tools: There are several demerits of planning tools, which are described below:
Rigidity: Formulation of frequent planning makes the administrative department inflexible due to which business organizations at times have to face serious issues at the time of commencing with the activities.
Time-consuming: There are several types of tools related to planning which are time-consuming in nature. Hence, at the time of implementing the plans, the manager needs to understand the possible consequences of the tool in the market. Otherwise, it may create issues for the organization in operating successfully.
Differentiation in results: Different types of planning tools provide different types of results, which create problematic issues for the organization to focus on market activities.
Discussion on the impact of different management accounting systems for resolving the financial problems for the organization
Cost accounting system; The cost accounting system is beneficial for the organizations in terms of understanding the number of costs incurred in operating activities (Hilorme et al. 2019). Apart from this, the system can act as a beneficial weapon for financial experts to identify the source of profit in specific sectors of organizational activities.
Inventory management system: With the help of an inventory management system, business organizations can stop the stock-outs in the functional sectors (Caputo et al. 2019). Also, the entire operation can easily be handled in multiple locations which make the job easier for the letters to make needed financial decisions considerably.
Job costing systems: This accounting system is helpful for the organizations in terms of earning better profitability in performing the functional activities within the organization (Turker et al. 2019). Besides this, project estimation, submitting financial reports timely are held through the job costing system which helps the organization to take relevant strategies as and when required.
Price optimization systems: Most of the organizations tend to use the system in terms of fixing prices of its product affordably (Zhang et al. 2019). It helps the organization in attracting the attention of a considerable number of customers in the country.
The decision of Mr. Rowe
Mr. Steve Rowe had adopted the strategy of pulling out 10 international markets by initiating a store closing program in the UK and suiting down the pension scheme to the staff for future accrual. Mr. Steve Rowe had given the focus on the food division for long term sustainability in the industry. The decisions taken by Mr. Rowe seem to be correct for the following reasons:
- The food industry can become a sustainable business if carried on successfully. The food products should be maintained with good quality so that customers can rely on the brand. Marks & Spencer has a good reputation in the clothing industry. The brand has achieved a huge level of customers' satisfaction (Modugno and Di Carlo, 2019). Thus, if they can maintain the good qualities of food with different varieties then they can gain an effective profit margin by doing this. Thus, the decision of Mr. Rowe of opening the food division seems to be correct.
- The decision of cutting down the pension plan for the staff members apparently looks like a dull one; still, if a reward system can be implemented among the staff members or they can be provided with incentives, then increased satisfaction level can be achieved from them.
The accounting tools that can be helpful for solving the problems of Marks & Spencer related to the financial problems are mentioned below:
- Zoho Finance Plus: The Zoho Finance Plus can break down the departmental offerings for the customers and can act as the integrated platform for doing all of the back-office jobs. This tool can deliver an invoice, expense management, tax compliance, accounting, and inventory (Weygandt et al., 2018). The tool can secure flexible applications for managing entire processes of finance.
- KissFlow Finance: Though it is not the exact finance management tool, still it can be helpful for the financial management of Marks & Spencer as this tool has pre-built apps for storing the purchase orders, invoices, reimbursement lists, and others. The tool has a visual interface that can let the customers know about all the enlisted products as per their requirements (Sohrabi, 2017). Thus, these tools have the inbuilt efficiency of comprehending the demands of the customers
- QuickBooks: It is the standard tool for financial management for large-sized business organizations. M & S can also think of utilizing this tool (Berg and Osestad-Røvik, 2019). It can enable the company in dealing with the high volume of data
After the thorough discussion of all the procedures, it can be concluded that financial management should be done by the respective organizations in a proper way so that profit margins can be increased. Profitability has been the inevitable process for running a business properly. Thus, organizations should think of taking over the uses of some important accounting tools for financial management. The accountant of the respective company should become responsible for checking the financial progress of the company.
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