Management accounting in Saudi Arabia : a comparative analysis of Saudi and Western approaches
The purpose of this study is to investigate the similarities and differences in management accounting practices between the Saudi owned and managed companies and the joint venture companies located in Saudi Arabia . The investigation included the degree of sophistication of management accounting systems , the managerial use of accounting and the role of accountants in decision making and control. In the first part the background characteristics of the research in perspective is provided .Along with a general overview of the literature ,the development of the research themes are presented. The second part of the research is concerned with the similarities and differences between the participating companies regarding the degree of sophistication of the accounting system the managerial use of accounting and the role of acountants in decision making and control . This part is descriptive and no attempt is made to explain why such similarities or differences have occuiied . However , the results of the investigation indicate that the western joint venture companies have a more sophisticated accounting system and their accountants have a greater role to play in decision making and control . In addition ,the managers of the joiit venture companies rely more on accounting information in decision making and control compared to their Saudi counterparts. The third part is devoted to provide an explanation of the reasons behind the differences in management accounting practices between the participating companies. This involves the investigation of the relationship between the variables (organizational, managerial , and environmental) and the degree of sophistication of management accounting systems , the managerial use of accounting and the role of the controllers in decision making and control The main results of this part indicate that top management is an important factor which appears to have contributed to the differences of the practices of the participating companies . The other influential factors are the organizational and environmental factors such as organizational goals ownership , price competition and accounting education. Part three ends with the summary and principal findings and a review of the research along with suggestions of how this research can be carried forword.