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Managerial: Accounting by Elizabeth Davis, Charles E. Davis

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Instructor Preface

Today's business environment is a complex assortment of relationships, all of which are necessary for an organization's success in the marketplace. These relationships can involve external parties such as suppliers and customers or internal parties such as employees. And all of these relationships rely on some form of managerial accounting information to support decision-making activities.

Non-accounting business majors frequently ask, “Why do I need to take accounting? I'm not going to do accounting; I'll hire an accountant to do that for me.” What these students fail to understand is that a working knowledge of accounting is essential to success in business, even when the accounting “work” is left to the trained accountants. Decision makers at all levels in the organization must know what accounting information to ask for and must know how to interpret that information before reaching a conclusion about a course of action. For instance, how can a marketing manager decide on a price for a product without fully understanding the product's cost to manufacture? How can a plant manager determine how to reward employees' performance without understanding their ability to control costs and quality?

Those of us teaching introductory accounting courses may be partly to blame for this misconception. Often we place too much emphasis on the “accounting” and not enough emphasis on the “business”. We are more concerned with students getting the “right” answer rather than ...

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