Supporting Relevant Management Accounting Research

By McGuire, Brian L. | Strategic Finance, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Supporting Relevant Management Accounting Research


McGuire, Brian L., Strategic Finance


Since the 1920s, IMA[R] has been dedicated to producing research that has advanced the profession of management accounting and identified new techniques that have changed the way accounting professionals do their work.

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Most practitioners know from experience that the field of management accounting is continually changing as new approaches, methodologies, and technologies transform the way we perform our daily jobs. As part of its global leadership role, IMA is committed to supporting those who are responsible for these changes--the thought leaders in our field who alter, amend, and sometimes redefine our perspective. That's why IMA is, has been, and will remain among the profession's primary supporters of relevant management accounting research.

IMA's tradition of supporting management accounting research began in the earliest days of the organization. In 1919, IMA's initial predecessor association, the National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA), was the first organization established to conduct research for the management accounting profession. This research role continued when NACA became the National Association of Accountants (NAA) in 1957 and the Institute of Management Accountants in 1991. Throughout this time, the association was renowned for the ground-breaking, influential management accounting research it produced, particularly those studies that contributed new ideas to business, such as standard costing, budgets and flexible budgeting for cost control, new methods of inventory valuation, decision making, direct costing, electronic accounting techniques, and the new manufacturing environment.

In 1994, IMA's 75th anniversary year, the IMA Foundation for Applied Research (FAR) was formed to recognize the association's continuing role in the research area and to expand it. IMA recently changed the name of FAR to the IMA Research Foundation. Though the name changed, the mission didn't. The IMA Research Foundation will continue to fund timely research on accounting and financial management subjects that can be applied to current and emerging business issues. To date, NACA/NAA/IMA have produced more than 250 studies by approximately 500 researchers.

Among the programs the Foundation supports are its Long-standing grants for doctoral students and academic researchers. These programs provide funding to conduct, support, and disseminate relevant management accounting research in topic areas such as budgetary control, knowledge sharing, pay for performance, internal controls, and risk management, to name just a few. All research projects funded by the Foundation are evaluated based on their potential to contribute to the body of knowledge for IMA members and the management accounting profession as a whole. Since its recent name change, the Foundation has already provided support to two research studies: "How Firms Learn from the Uses of Different Types of Management Control Systems" and "Designing an Effective Cost System. …

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