1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Cost accounting (CA), which measures and reports financial and non-financial information related to the organization’s acquisition or consumption of resources, has an exceptionally important position within the entire accounting information system of an organization because it provides information to both management accounting and financial accounting as subsystems of the accounting information system. When its information is intended for the financial accounting it measures product costs in compliance with the strict legal and professional regulations. When its information is used for internal purposes it provides the basis for planning, control, and decision-making. Accounting data used for external reporting very often do not completely satisfy managersâ€Ÿ needs for decision-making purposes. Attempts at slight modifications of financial accounting systems for managerial purposes rarely end happily and far from effective (Wikipedia, 2015).
According to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA): "Management accounting is a profession that involves partnering in management decision making, devising planning and performance management systems, and providing expertise in financial reporting and control to assist management in the formulation and implementation of an organization's strategy".
The primary focus of economic planning and management in Nigeria over the years has been the transformation of the economy through industrialization, however, desired results are yet to be obtained. The Nigerian economy is far from being fully industrialized and the manufacturing sector is yet to take a prominent place in the scheme of things (Ayodele & Falokun, 2003). The country has not been able to shift its export base, from crude oil and agriculture to manufactures. Up to date, on the average, the manufacturing sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has been unimpressive ranging between 3 to 6 percent since the turn of the millennium. For instance, manufacturing contribution to GDP declined from about 6% in 2000 to 3.91% in 2006 and between 4.03% and 4.17% from 2007 to 2010 (National Bureau of Statistics 2011). The need to increase company level efficiency has been a dominant suggestion offered as the key to reversing this unimpressive performance. As Soderbom and Teal (2002) suggested, a key policy issue the Nigerian government should face is to understand and address the factors that will enable the efficiencies of companies and consequently their competitiveness to increase. Ayodele and Falokun (2003) also suggested the adoption of the combination of suitable management techniques with suitable technology and other resources in addressing the low productivity of the sector.
Cost accounting and management accounting has been suggested as one of such important management techniques that can help ensure efficiency in the use of companies’ resources (IFAC, 1998). Traditionally, the main objective of the cost accounting and management accounting systems has been to provide information for costing products and for promoting efficiency in the use of labour and materials (Johnson & Kaplan, 1987). Such traditional method adopt practices and techniques such as standard costing and flexible budgeting for cost control, cost allocation and product cost measurements; incremental analysis for decision-making; measurement of profit, contribution and return on investments for performance monitoring; and the full integration of internal cost accumulation systems with the external financial reporting systems (Shillinglaw, 1989).
Company performance is the net result of the combined efforts of all individuals and groups in an organization (Khandwalla, 1977). Companies referred to in this study are the manufacturing companies. The definition of company performance is problematic because it varies, depending on the viewpoint from which it is being assessed. For example, from society’s viewpoint, performance may be assessed in terms of efficiency of production of products or services needed by the society. From the owners’ viewpoint, profitability and growth rate in earnings may be the criteria, while employees may assess performance from how well employees are being treated. Customers may look at product quality, prompt delivery and competitive pricing. Since management must take into account the various expectations of these groups in setting its goals, management’s criteria for assessing company performance may be assumed to adequately reflect the concerns of others groups such as the society, employees, suppliers and customers (Khandwalla, 1977). However, the researcher is examining the effect of use of cost accounting and management accounting as a tool for performance evaluation in manufacturing company.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Even though a cost accounting and management accounting system is supposed to assure that manufacturing work is done according to the company strategy, this has not been the reality in many companies. It has been known for many decades that management and production systems used in manufacturing have not developed in harmony. This misalignment is a reason for why unfavourable decisions are encouraged in manufacturing (Skinner, 1971; Kaplan, 1984).
When reviewing publications regarding cost accounting and management accounting systems, it is obvious that the interest in the topic has grown in recent years. However, the researcher will provide an overview of cost accounting and management accounting as a tool for performance evaluation in manufacturing company.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to analyze cost accounting and management accounting as a tool for performance evaluation in manufacturing company. However, the following are the specific objectives:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
HO: Cost accounting and management accounting cannot be used as a tool for performance evaluation in manufacturing company
HA: Cost accounting and management accounting can be used as a tool for performance evaluation in manufacturing company
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study on cost accounting and management accounting as a tool for performance evaluation in manufacturing company will cover all the manufacturing companies in Lagos State by carefully examining their respective performance evaluation tools.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Management accounting: is the part of the management process that is focused on adding value to organizations by attaining the effective use of resources in dynamic and competitive contexts (Sharman, 2003). Management accounting consists of both cost accounting and performance measurement. It contains all the information which is officially gathered to support the decision making in production. It is used for internal purposes and therefore different from financial accounting which is used for reporting for external stakeholders.
Cost accounting: is the process of accumulating and accounting for the flows of costs in a business. It is defined as a technique or method for determining the cost of a project, process, or thing through direct measurement, arbitrary assignment, or systematic and rational allocation. The appropriate method of determining cost often depends on the circumstances that generate the need for information (Swamidass, 2000). This can be information such as material cost, production cost, product cost, investment calculations, and budget.
Performance measurement: is the process of quantifying actions, where measurement is the process of quantification and performance is the result of action (Slack, 1997). These measurements show how well the production is performing in categories such as quality, delivery precision, service level, time per operation, set up time and so on.
Ayodele, A. S. & Falokun, G. O. (2003). The Nigerian economy: Structure and pattern of development. Ibadan: Jodad publishers
IFAC (1998). Statement of management accounting concepts. Retrieved January 18, 2006 from http://www.ifac.org/members/ downloads/MAPS-1Accounting concepts pdf.
Johnson, H. T. & Kaplan, R. S. (1987) Relevance lost: The rise and fall of management accounting. Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.
Kaplan, R. S. (1983). Measuring manufacturing performance: A new challenge for managerial accounting research. The Accounting Review, 58(4), 686-705.
Khandwalla, P. N. (1977). The design of organizations. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.
National Bureau of Statistics, (2011).The review of the Nigerian Economy, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/pages/download/40.
Shillinglaw, G. (1989). Managerial cost accounting: present and future. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 1, 33-46.
Soderbom, M. and Teal, F. (2002). The performance of Nigerian manufacturing firms report on the Nigerian manufacturing enterprise survey, 2001. UK center for the study of African Economies. Retrieved from www.unido.org/file_storage/download/ ?file_id=8152.
Skinner, J. L. (2003). Accounting for decision making and control. (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education.