Tools of Management accounting
The various tools used at present in management accounting may be classified into the following groups.
1. Financial Planning
The main objective of any business organization is maximization of profits. This objective is achieved by making proper or sound financial planning. Hence, financial planning is considered as best tool for achieving business objectives.
2. Financial Statement Analysis
Profit and Loss account and Balance Sheet are important financial statements. These statements are analyzed for different period. This type of analysis helps the management to know the rate of growth of business concern. This analysis is done through comparative financial statements, common size statements and ratio analysis.
3. Cost Accounting
Cost accounting presents cost data in product wise, process wise, department wise, branch wise and the like. These cost data are compared with predetermined one. This comparison of two costs enables the management to decide the reasons responsible for the difference between these costs.
4. Fund Flow Analysis
This analysis find out the movement of fund from one period to another. Moreover, this analysis is very useful to know whether the fund is properly used or not in a year when compared to the previous year. The working capital changes and funds from operation are also find out through this analysis.
5. Cash Flow Analysis
The movement of cash from one period to another can be find out through this analysis. Besides, the reasons for cash balance and changes between two periods are also find out. It studies the cash from operation and the movement of cash in a period.
6. Management Information System
The free flow communication within the organization is essential for effective functioning of business. Hence, the management can design the system through which every employee of an organization can assess the information and used for discharging their duties and taking quality decisions.
7. Statistical Techniques
There are a lot of statistical techniques used in removing management problems. Methods of least square, regression and quality control etc. are some examples of statistical techniques.
8. Management Reporting
The management accountant is preparing the report on the basis of the contents of profit and loss account and balance sheet and submit the same before the top management. Thus prepared reports disclose the strength and weakness indifferent areas of operating activities and financial activities. These identification are highly useful to management for exercising control and decision-making.
9. Historical Cost Accounting
It means that costs are recorded after being incurred. This is used for comparing with predetermined costs to evaluate performance.
10. Ratio Analysis
It is used to management in the discharge of its basic functions of forecasting, planning, coordination, communication and control. It paves the way for effective control of business operations by undertaking an appraisal of both the physical and monetary targets.
11. Standard Costing
Standard costing is predetermined cost. It provides a yard stick for measuring actual performance. It is used to find the reasons for the deviations if any.
12. Marginal Costing
Marginal costing technique is used to fix the selling price, selection of best sales mix, best use of scarce raw materials or resources, to take make or buy decision, acceptance or rejection of bulk order and foreign order and the like. This is based on the fixed cost, variable cost and contribution.
13. Budgetary Control
Under Budgetary control techniques, future financial needs are estimated and arranged according to an orderly basis. It is used to control the financial performances of business concern. Business operations are directed in a desired direction.
14. Revaluation Accounting
The fixed assets are revalued as per the revaluation accounting method so that the capital is properly represented with the assets value. It helps to find out the fair return on capital employed.
15. Decision-making Accounting
A business problem can be solved by choosing any one of the best and most profitable alternative. To select such alternative, the relevant costs are compared. Thus, accounting information are used to solve the business problem which are arising out of increasing complexity of nature of business.
Techniques of Management Accounting
The success or failure of the management is dependent on the fact, whether requisite information is provided to the management in right form at the right time so as to enable them to carry out the functions of planning, controlling and decision-making effectively.
The management accountant will prepare the necessary reports for providing information to the different levels of management by proper selection of data to be presented, organisation of data and selecting the appropriate method of reporting.
Analysis of Financial Statements:
The analysis is an attempt to determine the significance and meaning of the financial statement data so that a forecast may be made of the prospects for future earnings, ability to pay interest and debt maturities and profitability of a sound dividend policy.
The techniques of such analysis are comparative financial statements, trend analysis, cash funds flow statements and ratio analysis. This analysis results in the presentation of information which will help the business executives, investors and creditors.
Standard costing is the establishment of standard costs under most efficient operating conditions, comparison of actual with the standard, calculation and analysis of variance, in order to know the reasons and to pinpoint the responsibility and to take remedial action so that adverse things may not happen again. This aspect is necessary to have cost control.
The management accountant uses the tool of budgetary control for planning and control of the various activities of the business. Budgetary control is an important technique of directing business operations in a desired direction, i.e., achieves a satisfactory return on investment.
Financial planning is the act of deciding in advance about the financial activities necessary for the concern to achieve its primary objectives. It includes determining both long term and short term financial objectives of the enterprise, formulating financial policies and developing the financial procedure to achieve the objectives.
The role of financial policies cannot be emphasized to achieve the maximum return on the capital employed. Financial policies may relate to the determination of the amount of capital required, sources of funds, govern the determination and distribution of income, act as a guide in the use of debt and equity capital and determination of the optimum level of investment in various assets.
Funds Flow Statement:
The management accountant uses the technique of funds flow statement in order to analyse the changes in the financial position of a business enterprise between two dates. It tells wherefrom the funds are coming in the business and how these are being used in the business. It helps a lot in financial analysis and control, future guidance and comparative studies.
The management accountant uses the technique of marginal costing, differential costing and break even analysis for cost control, decision-making and profit maximisation.
Cash Flow Statement:
A funds flow statement based on increase or decrease in working capital is very useful in long-range financial planning. It is quite possible that there may be sufficient working capital as revealed by the funds flow statement and still the company may be unable to meet its current liabilities as and when they fall due. It may be due to an accumulation of inventories and an increase in trade debtors.
In such a situation, a cash flow statement is more useful because it gives detailed information of cash inflows and outflows. Cash flow statement is an important tool of cash control because it summarises sources of cash inflows and uses of cash outflows of a firm during a particular period of time, say a month or a year. It is very useful tool for liquidity analysis of the enterprise.
Historical Cost Accounting:
The historical cost accounting provides past data to the management relating to the cost of each job, process and department so that comparison may be made with the standard costs. Such comparison may be helpful to the management for cost control and for future planning.
Whenever there are different alternatives of doing a particular work, it becomes necessary to select the best out of all alternatives. This requires decision on the part of the management. The management accounting helps the management through the techniques of marginal costing, capital budgeting, differential costing to select the best alternative which will maximise the profits of the business.
The management accountant, through this technique assures the maintenance and preservation of the capital of the enterprise. It brings into account the impact of changes in the prices on the preparation of the financial statements.
Statistical and Graphical Techniques:
The management accountant uses various statistical and graphical techniques in order to make the information more meaningful and presentation of the same in such form so that it may help the management in decision-making. The techniques used are Master Chart, Chart of Sales: and Earnings, Investment Chart, Linear Programming, Statistical Quality Control, etc.