The aim of this study is to examine whether Management Accounting Systems (MAS) support business strategy. Or to put it more precisely - do various combinations of MAS and strategy result in differences in overall effectiveness for the firms, and will firms in general choose the MAS that contributes to the highest degree of effectiveness for the strategy employed? Data was collected through a survey. The objects studied were companies with at least 200 employees and with both a manufacturing and a marketing function. A questionnaire was sent to the marketing directors of 150 randomly selected companies. Response was received from 128 companies.It was found that firms could be classified according to three types of business strategy. Firms with a product developing strategy seek competitive advantages by developing and marketing new products. Firms with a marketing strategy gain competitive advantages by service and image-shaping activities and firms with a customising strategy look for solutions to problems that are specific for each individual customer.Properties of the MAS were used as input in a cluster analysis, and four different categories of MAS emerged. Companies with an extensive MAS scanned the environment, their planning systems played an important role and to a large extent they made use of non-financial measures. Focal systems were directed towards product- and customer accounting. Traditional systems displayed no distinctive features except for rather well-developed planning systems (budgets and marketing programmes). Simple systems were rather poorly equipped regarding all the features mentioned above.The conclusion was that generally firms do not choose a MAS that supports their business strategy. Firms with a product-developing strategy would be best supported by a focal system, but among those firms no preferences at all could be observed in their choice of MAS. Firms with a marketing strategy would do best with a traditional system, but a great majority of these firms preferred a focal system. Only among firms with a customisation strategy did a majority of the firms choose the MAS that proved to be the most supportive system for that strategic group, namely the simple system. However, the relation between MAS and strategy was rather weak in this group.
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Ekonomi och näringsliv -- Företagsekonomi (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Economics and Business -- Business Administration (hsv//eng)
SOCIAL SCIENCES Business and economics Business studies