With the development of society and innovation within the organizational roles, some people says that the nature of management accountants has changed over the last three decades since 1980’s, from a passive financial accountant to a role that can participate in a wide range of issues that influence decision making process, but some others consider that the core values and role of the management accountants are stay the same with traditional management: using financial information deal with the proper way to make sure companies profitability and efficiency and provide useful information to support business decision makers. (Baldvinsdottir, 2010) But, with the rapid development of information and technology and globalized markets, these requires managements to shift perspective, because they might do business in other countries not their home country, hence, the cultural, legal, political and economic environment of various countries should take into consideration, also, to deal financial information with efficient tool such as excel, sage etc. (HANSEN/MOWEN) personally speaking, for management accountants in 21st century, not only they should handle the information that can improve business competitiveness and long-term profitability, but also co-ordinate with managers to work in global markets and understand how to use new technology and innovation that been used in their organization to provides accurate and timely information for organization, most importantly, to find the threats and opportunities behind these new technology and changes to improve the profitability and efficiency of whole company.
Before 1980’s, the role for management accountants are mainly focus on educate non-qualified accountants and discuss the monthly accounting figure with business managers, hence, these accountants were isolated from the rest of the business. (Hopper, 2007) On the contrary, since 1980’s, especially in 21st century, the main purpose for management accountants is to co-ordinate with the global business activities, helping everyone in the company to work together as whole team to achieve a common goal, acting as a ‘partner’ to business managers, additional, today’s MA can deal with a vast amount of accounting figures by merely click the mouse thanks to the new technology of computer and accounting software, thus, most management accountants will have more time to work with different people from various department to improve efficiency and accuracy of the business process. in other word, the ‘new’ management accountants are more all-rounded players compared to traditional scorekeeper/controllership role, furthermore, they are becoming cross-functional team key players as they will help decisions makers to analysis strategic issues and taking leadership in business with business managers also do a PEST(political, economic, social, technology) control for business to ensure the profitability and avoid unnecessary risks for business. (HANSEN/MOWEN)
Here is a ‘poem’ about how management accountants changed over the last 3 decades:
“I’m re-engineering myself:
Restructured, in-sourced, upsized and benchpressed.
You are looking at an Action Based Controller,
International best person,
And yes, a Total Quality Master.
Business class, here I come.
Mind you, refueling and ticketing have been good to me.
But its time I moved on.
Pilot, navigator, engineer—multidisciplined, upskilled
And front of house at last.
Up where I belong.
Come fly with me. (Parker, 2003)
And from that we can see how a ‘new’ management accountant could be, and what a ‘new’ management accountant could achieve compared to the dull, boring traditional management accountant, from traditional costing to ABC costing, (Carruth, 2004) from isolated financial accountants to international team leader, also,