Management accounting, Financial Management

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Management Accounting:

Management accounting on the other hand tends to focus internally. Reports generated through management accounting processes will be used by the organisation's management to assist in planning and control.

Rather than focusing on the past (as is the case with financial accounting), management accounting attempts to take information from the past and projects it into the future. The primary management accounting report is the budget, and reports analysing actual results against budgeted targets.Management accounting uses historical data to assist in establishing financial objectives, and allows managers to make rational management decisions to achieve those objectives.

Management accounting reports usually provide great detail and cover much shorter periods of time (sometimes weekly).  This allows managers to act quickly and decisively if required.

The major differences between financial and management accounting can be summarised as follows:

Financial Accounting

Management Accounting

Information for external users

General purpose

Long time periods (FY)

Reports on the past

Required by law

Subject to accounting standards

Focuses on objective data

Used primarily by internal users

Usually focused on specific purpose

Short periods (monthly, weekly)

Past and future

Not required by law

Not compelled to meet standards

Can utilise subjective data


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