Wilber C. Haseman
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI - COLUMBIA
MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING LITERATURE: 1925 AND 1975
Abstract: A comparative analysis of management accounting articles from the technical journals of the National Association of Accountants in each of the peri-ods 1919 to 1925 and May to June 1975 discloses changes in the nature of the articles and of their authors.
Several advances in Management Accounting have been made in the past few decades. The modern managerial accountant is called upon to do things which his antecedent probably never even heard of. For many companies, the computer has revolutionized the re-cording and analysis of data about the past and present. With new simulation techniques, managerial accountants are now reporting with considerable accuracy many things that will happen in, and to, their companies even before the events take place. It is not un-common to find accountants in industry using linear programming, regression analysis, Monte Carlo methods., PERT, the learning curve, and input-output analysis. We seem to be entering the era of the information explosion, where information becomes the critical element for success in all types of economic endeavor, where com-petition reduces itself to a rivalry over better and more timely in-formation.
Reflecting on these developments, one would expect that man-agement accounting literature also would change. What were man-agerial accountants writing about, say, 50 years ago? Who were writing the articles? How did they express themselves? Were the managerial accounting issues of that time greatly different, and in what ways from those of today?
Purpose of Study and Summary of Findings
The purpose of this study was to determine how managerial ac-counting literature has changed during the last 50 years. The main findings of the study may be summarized as follows:
1. Managerial accounting literature has become much more prolific.