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Publication Date

2002

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between financial and managerial accounting as reflected in articles, editorials and letters to the editor published in Cost and Management, the Canadian trade magazine for management accountants, between 1926 and 1986. It has been claimed that during this period management accounting techniques lost their relevance to manufacturers, in part, due to the dominance of financial accounting over managerial accounting. This is also the period in which management accounting struggled to become recognized as a profession distinct from financial accounting. The analysis thus focuses on the jurisdictional dispute between financial and managerial accounting and the mechanisms by which managerial accounting was subordinated to financial accounting. The paper identifies the technical, organizational and professional mechanisms used to subordinate managerial accounting. The paper also demonstrates that management accountants were aware of the consequences of their relationship to financial accounting for the relevance of their techniques. Contemporary events suggest that the intersection of financial and managerial accounting remains disputed territory.

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