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Managerial accounting as an important element of business activity

V. Tyutyunnik
expert on accounting and taxation


With transfer of Ukrainian companies on market economic conditions, their entry into competition, new words appeared in "working" terminology of domestic experts. Some are scared, others are forced to raise their level of qualification, but overall benefits of such concepts are essential.

"Managerial Accounting" and "accounting policies" are relatively new words in corporate vocabulary. In the broadest sense of managerial accounting - it is an effective system of identification, measurement, data collection, reporting and providing with timely and important information for decision-making. For example, information on output, its implementation, paying bills, accounts receivable and accounts payable, etc. Meaning of managerial accounting is constant and, most importantly, timely understanding of company’s condition at the moment of their activities and how to distribute available resources to improve performance of company.

Over the years, managerial accounting has undergone many changes; several interpretations were acquired and, most interestingly, were able to replenish their ranks as fans and opponents. Of course, like any other accounting, it has its "pros" and "cons" and arguing about it is useless. The main thing is that there are a lot of companies that have successfully implemented their operations managerial accounting in some form or another.

Unfortunately, over the years, development of managerial accounting did not lose one problem. Thus, it is often difficult to obtain accurate information in time for taking managerial decision. Reasons may be different: from lack of qualified professionals till "mess", forcing staff to work constantly in chaos. This contributes to appearance of additional burden on auditor, studying managerial accounting in company.

In setting up managerial accounting it is important to understand that effectiveness of this will manifest itself not only in collection and analysis of information. One of the main thrusts of this system is identification of "problematic" issues and their timely decision. Here is a simple example in which actors will be LTD "STROYDOM” and consultants of managerial accounting.

During introduction of accounting the latest faced with problem: on what basis to spread in different categories of goods, the cost of moving them to warehouse? For example, pallet for bricks weighs a lot and takes little space; at the same time packing foam weighs little, but takes place. The problem is aggravated by the fact that option of posting on weight of bricks made unprofitable product, but in terms of volume - foam.

Solution was found quite simple: think of relationship between volume and weight, that is, the density. This allowed making products more independent from each other. I would like to note that option of posting density at all costs is not objective; it just functions most accurately and reflects needs of the moment.

Managerial accounting, most often, is oriented to internal needs of enterprise, meeting needs of managers at various levels. This means that information collected and provided by it, is closed as a trade secret. Indicators for management purposes can be both monetary and natural. Furthermore, they may not only cover cash or commercial flows, and supplies, but also respond to changes in ambient conditions. This makes it unique, incomparable with accounting or tax account, means of management.

Also, do not confuse managerial accounting and calculation of production cost. The latter is a planning tool for company profits and does not constitute registration. At the same time, information used in calculation, is product of accounting, as cost, whether planned or actual, are taken into any account.

Specialists of different levels can be confused to hear about managerial accounting relating to understanding it as management tool that has beginning and an end. This is not true. In fact, in any, even most disorganized company there is a managerial accounting. Yes, it is primitive, possibly only way - taking into account amount of materials in stock, but it is managerial accounting. And its development does not mean beginning of accounting implementation.

On the other hand, a large company that uses in its operations more sophisticated, correct managerial accounting, hardly ever feel the point at which "all will be considered ideal". Primarily, this is due to the fact that there is a constant development; there are new requirements for accounting and analysis activities, etc. It turns out that no company will find time when it is safe to say it would be the end of development of managerial accounting. It is necessary to take into account during audit.

A lot of decisions and, accordingly, results of operations depend on goals and methods of managerial accounting. Therefore, in recent times a lot can be heard on audit of managerial accounting, ie evaluation of readiness of company and its employees to work effectively and fulfill tasks, methods of analysis and calculation, study of business processes. Of course, it is very hard work, because it covers a wide range of activities, requires great knowledge of auditor. They should understand basics of company management, production processes, operation of storage facilities, finance, commercial matters, personnel management, etc. And this is not all the strength.

When auditing managerial accounting it is important to focus on following tasks:

1) identify purpose for which company has managerial accounting in some form or another;

2) whose interests it has to serve in the first place;

3) what policies are there at the moment (accounting for assets, liabilities, income, expenses, etc.);

4) what reports are used by specialists, and what indicators they represent, including is there reporting on cost and relative terms. It is also important to understand how the same or different data used in these reports, identify their level of comparability;

5) determine accuracy of input data used in reports, including identification of possible errors by category (manual input error, error of automatic calculation, etc.);

6) determine efficiency of data acquisition by responsible experts;

7) it is important! Validity of allocating indirect costs. As practice shows, this decision depends on amount of product profitability, which is one of the main criteria for determining effectiveness of company;

8) not less important is problem of report readability. Sometimes experts are developing them, they think that if it is clear to them, it is clear and to other participants in process, but it is not so;

9) and the duty of every auditor should be confidentiality.

Of course, there is no point to perform audit constantly. Most often it is carried out at time to sale the company, merger, reorganization, etc. But if you are sure that there are problems in company, you can safely ask for help from audit. Particular attention during audit of managerial accounting should be paid to financial management, namely comparison of data on financial and managerial accounting. Often, during such an assessment it is necessary to examine thoroughly organizational structure, interaction of units and positions in it, although at first glance, these concepts have little to do with financial accounting. But what is even more ironic to address these issues often takes up a large part of time.

The fact is that simple, at first glance, issues of company are so complex that auditor has simply no answer for them. It is a psychological problem: employees initially sent his forces to decision, according to them, more complex tasks. Too bad that a lot of issues existing in company, are related, some are causes of other investigators. But not all can define this category.

Purpose of verification is not only a confirmation of existence of an approved accounting policies and to reflect methods of accounting for organizations, but evaluation of correctness and rationality of chosen methods and forms of governing methodological and organizational principles of accounting and taxation procedure. Result of audit should be a full assessment of system and structure of managerial accounting, identifying its strengths and weaknesses. And on basis of these data, decision is made about changes of managerial accounting and, if necessary, a program for their implementation is drawn up.

In practice, audit of quality of managerial accounting or accounting policies is divided into two stages. The first - "field", is the most difficult, in fact it involves an assessment of internal control system for organization's accounting policies. In framework of accounting policy analysis for accounting and tax records, as well as provides system of internal controls and procedures document for company. Developed tests or questionnaires with application to impose appropriate responses and respondent notes are useful for auditor to carry out such an assessment. The second stage - "office", involves analysis of collected information, filling of all forms and documents required by auditor comments.

When checking quality of managerial accounting, one should consider the following:

1. Working chart of accounts.

2. Workflow rules and principles of accounting information.

3. Method of recording and analysis of company performance.

4. Change in accounting methods in comparison with previous period, as well as methods of data analysis involved in management decisions.

It is remarkable, but auditing of accounting policy for accounting purposes till now is one of the most important parts of audit, results of which may affect auditor's opinion. In this case, it is important to get answers on following questions:

1. What is the state of accounting policy at the company?

2. Is there any provision for accounting service and job description for accountants?

3. Whether performers are familiar with provisions of final accounting policies and what is their professional opinion about it?

4. Whether a schedule of documents is approved?

5. Is there an internal audit service?

6. Whether a schedule of inventory is approved and how it corresponds with reality?

7. Is there any access to information of accounting and reporting?

Auditor should pay attention to strategic managerial accounting, from the name of which it can be understood that analyzing information is necessary to formulate strategy of organization and implementation of control strategies. They believe that company made a big bet on certain accounting methods, depending on what strategic position they occupy. Unfortunately, there is still no consensus on strategic managerial accounting. Only that it is an important element of company's accounting policies is reliably understood.

Undoubtedly, managerial accounting can not be underestimated, because it can be used to prevent a significant number of issues at the company, so audit of managerial accounting is necessary to pay much attention to examine carefully all nuances of its use. Fortunately, in recent years they began addressing audit for more companies because everyone understands its huge benefits.

We hope that this article will help both auditors in their practice, and users of audit services in difficult path of development of management accounting.

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