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Title: The use of management accounting techniques in small and medium-size enterprise decision-making
Author: Williams, Fiona Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 0610
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2010
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Research literature on management accounting is sparse and its importance within organisations decision-making processes has not been fully appreciated. Furthermore, although historical research has considered the development of the techniques holistically known as management accounting, no study has considered whether there is a potential link between those techniques used by the early cost clerk and those used within SME owner/mangers decision-making processes today. An empirical study consisting of a questionnaire was sent using a mixture of delivery methods and from a sample of 1100,100 usable returns were received. Initial responses led to a series of questions to be formulated as a framework for case interviews, with the narratives giving additional data towards the overall findings and conclusions drawn from this research. A pilot empirical study and a pilot case interview were undertaken. Additionally, prior research was utilised to confirm or refute findings, giving a richness of data for the research to draw conclusions from. Consideration of the uses of management accounting techniques employed has indicated that there is a potential link between the historical context of the techniques and its application within an SME organisation. Techniques aligned to the technicians operating within the newly formed and developing businesses of the Industrial Revolution were visibly utilised in businesses, but those affiliated with academic, mathematician or economic `births' were not. The omnipresence of the SME owner/manager was evidenced, demonstrating that the owner/manager retains control of the business decision-making even when employing personnel to undertake such decision-making processes, with intuition appearing to play a dominating role. Additionally, although management accounting is routinely used in the day to day running of the business; there was little evidence of it being employed in long-term planning, which is confirmed by past research, with certain case narratives being particularly rich in evidence of planning being performed informally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N100 Business studies ; N200 Management studies ; N400 Accounting