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Management accounting vs financial accounting


Financial accounts

Management accounts

Detail the performance of an organization over a defined period and the state of affairs at the end of that period.

Used to aid management to record, plan and control activities and to help the decision-making process.

Limited companies must, by law, prepare financial accounts

There is no legal requirement to prepare management accounts

The format of published financial accounts is determined by law and by accounting standards. In principle the accounts of different organizations can therefore be easily compared.

The format of management accounts is entirely at management discretion: no strict rules govern the way they are prepared or presente

Financial accounts concentrate on the business as a whole, aggregating revenues and costs from different operations, and are an end in themselves

Management accounts can focus on specific areas of an organization’s activities. Information may aid a decision rather than be an end product of a decision.

Most financial accounting information is of a monetary nature

Management accounts incorporate non-monetary measures

Financial accounts present an essentially historic picture of past operations.

Management accounts are both a historical record and a future planning tool.



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