31 Management accounts

‘Two accountants are in a car. The financial accountant looks out the back window and records its journey. The management accountant is in the driving seat, plans where the car is going and aligns its direction.’

Popular accounting allegory

In a nutshell

Management accounts are best understood by contrasting them with financial accounts.

The purpose of financial accounts is to report the historic financial results of a company to shareholders as well as other internal and external stakeholders (such as employees and creditors).

The purpose of management accounts is to help internal stakeholders, such as company directors, run a business efficiently and effectively.

Management accounts use past and present information, ...

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