Investigating how a strategic management accountant will benefit Jessup Essay

The cardinal issue in this context is how a strategic direction comptroller will add value to Jessup Ltd. The company is successful but it is felt that there should be a better direction of the accounting map. This study analyzes some of the cardinal functions played by strategic direction comptrollers and how they will profit a service organisation. It besides outlines the significance of relevant and irrelevant costs and gross and how they influence determination devising. Finally, the benefits and jobs of activity based costing are discussed.


Harmonizing to CIMA ( 2000 ) , strategic direction accounting is defined as a signifier of direction accounting in which accent is placed on information which relates to factors external to the house every bit good as non-financial information and internal generated information.

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Strategic direction accounting differs from traditional direction accounting in three of import respects. One, the former is an extension of traditional direction accounting ‘s internal focal point to include external information about rivals. Two, it identifies the relationship between strategic place chosen by the house and the expected accent on direction accounting. Finally, strategic direction accounting helps the steadfast addition competitory advantage by analysing how to diminish costs or heighten the distinction of a house ‘s merchandises through working linkages in the value concatenation and optimising cost drivers.

While Jessup is a really successful company, clearly it is outdated when it comes to the latest film editing border accounting patterns. Traditional direction accounting has ceased to go relevant in the modern competitory workplace and is being superseded by strategic direction accounting. There are a overplus of strategic direction accounting patterns that could be successfully implemented at Jessup including strategic pricing and costing, value concatenation costing and life rhythm bing. All these are extremely utile to an organisation but they require the cognition and expertness of a strategic direction comptroller.

A strategic direction comptroller has the possible to transform an organisation. He or she can assist explicate the competitory scheme to accomplish competitory advantage. Harmonizing to Porter ( 1990 ) , competitory advantage can be achieved either through cost leading or distinction. A strategic direction comptroller can help in accomplishing the first map by establishing greater cost decrease and nest eggs. Otherwise, the strategic direction comptroller can help in the 2nd map by working linkages in the value concatenation and optimising cost drivers ( Langfield-Smith, 2008 ) . Other strategic tools like quality costing can assist increase client satisfaction and all this contribute to accomplishing competitory advantage.

In traditional direction accounting, merely fiscal steps are considered. Though of import, they distort the existent place of the company as success is a combination of fiscal and non-financial factors. Strategic direction accounting encompasses non-financial steps and incorporates them into meaningful action. Hence, in strategic direction accounting, all schemes come from the company ‘s vision and mission and dribble down to all facets of operations. A corporate scheme describes how a company will derive competitory advantage by being different or better than its rivals. Examples of schemes include low cost, complete client solutions and merchandise leading.

One of the best strategic direction accounting tools that is used to heighten competitory advantage is the balance scorecard. This is a system that translates an organisation ‘s scheme into clear aims, steps, marks and enterprises organized by four positions. They are the fiscal, client, procedure and acquisition and growing positions. In add-on to keeping past public presentation fiscal steps, the balanced scorecard incorporates the drivers of fiscal public presentation of the hereafter. These drivers are found in the client, procedure and acquisition and growing positions, are selected from an explicit and strict interlingual rendition of the organisation ‘s scheme into touchable aims and steps.

The benefits from the scorecard are realized as the organisation integrates its new measuring system into direction processes that communicate the scheme to employees, align employees ‘ single aims and inducements to successful scheme execution and incorporate the scheme with on-going direction procedure: planning, budgeting, coverage and direction meetings.


Directors must measure the fiscal deductions of determinations that require tradeoffs between the costs and the benefits of different options. Fiscal deductions are of import when sing determinations in the service industry such as whether to buy services such as advisers or to merely engage in-house advisers. Financial information about the different types of costs forms the footing of determinations about the organisation ‘s activities and procedures.

Whether peculiar costs and grosss are relevant for determination doing depends on the determination context and the options available. When taking among different options, directors should concentrate merely on the costs and grosss that differ across the determination options. These are the relevant costs or grosss.

One class of costs that frequently causes confusion for determination shapers consists of those incurred in the past, or sunk costs. Sunk costs are the costs of resources that already have been committed and can non be influenced by any current action of determination. In other words, sunk costs are necessary for an activity and can non be recovered or reversed if that activity ceases. Since sunk costs can non be influenced by whatever alternate the director chooses, they are non relevant to the rating of options. It should be remembered that non all sunk costs are fixed costs.

In some instances, a fixed cost may be recoverable after the activity has ceased. For illustration, a Broadway company is seting on a drama and has signed a rental on a theatre for 6 months. If the drama is a floating-point operation and stopping points within a hebdomad, the fixed cost of the rental may non be sunk if the company can sublease the theatre and retrieve its money. Uncertainty is an of import qualitative factor that must be considered in determination devising.

Relevant costing is particularly important in some state of affairss. They include determinations on whether to do or purchase a merchandise, to farther procedure a merchandise in the instance of joint costing, shuting down a section or subordinate and in restricting factors. Let us now consider a few illustrations in item.

Restricting Factor

It is impossible for concerns to bring forth and sell every bit much as they want. Restrictions on production may be due to shortage of resources such as direct stuff, labor, machine clip and capacity. Factors of production that are scarce are known as restricting factors/ cardinal factors of production. Therefore, a concern must prioritise production.

Example 1

ABC Limited industries three merchandises X, Y and Z.

The confining factor is labour hours. The entire labour clip available is 3, 000 hours.

Which merchandise is the most profitable?

Which merchandise should be given precedence for the clip available?

Entire clip to fabricate X = 2 x 1, 500 = 3, 000 hours is non plenty to fabricate the remainder so we will fabricate X merely to maximise net incomes.

Make or Buy

Businesss really frequently have to make up one’s mind whether to purchase a constituent from outside or to do it internally. Sometimes, outside providers can offer the company a merchandise or constituent at a monetary value below the concern ‘ ain sum costs. Companies use outside providers because of pressing orders from clients, production constrictions such as machine dislocations and restricting factors of production. On the other manus, companies may non desire to purchase from outside providers for grounds such as fright that the provider may non run into bringing times or supply good quality times or to keep control over its operations.

Example 2

Brown Manufacturing Ltd uses a component ‘noir ‘ in its merchandises. To do the constituent internally would take five hours and would affect a fringy cost of RM15. To fabricate the constituent would affect work on a machine that is being used to do merchandise ‘blanche ‘ . The merchandise takes one hr to do and its fringy cost is RM5. The merchandise ‘s selling monetary value is RM8. An outside provider has offered to provide the constituent ‘noir ‘ at RM20 each. Should the company make or purchase the constituent?

Therefore, it is better to purchase the constituent.

Replacement Decisions

Management is sometimes faced with the job of replacing an old machine with a new one. Sometimes a determination to replace a machine which has non completed its utile life with a better machine which reduces operating cost has to be made. In such determinations, merely the expected hereafter costs should be considered. The book value of the old machine and net income or loss on disposal is irrelevant.

Example 3

Cecilia Ltd operates a machine bing RM30, 000. The current book value of the plus is RM10, 000. The staying productive life of the machine is 4 old ages. The machine is depreciated on a consecutive line footing. Its present disposal value is RM1, 000 and in 4 old ages, it will hold no disposal value. At a trade exhibition, the production director saw a machine to which he was peculiarly attracted. The new machine cost RM15, 000. It has a productive life of 4 old ages and has no disposal value at the terminal of its life. What appears most attractive is that the variable production cost will be drastically reduced by the new machine from the current RM20, 000 to RM14, 000 per annum. The director has informed the board of the new machine and has suggested that the old machine be replaced instantly. Should the board accept the new machine?

Therefore, the company should replace the old machine.

These are a few illustrations of how relevant and irrelevant costs and gross play a function in determination devising in strategic direction accounting. Directors must be able to place the costs and grosss relevant for the rating of options. Equally of import, they must acknowledge that some costs and grosss are non relevant in such ratings.


Activity based costing ( ABC ) systems typically use a simple two-stage attack similar to but more general than traditional cost systems. Traditional cost systems use existent sections or cost Centres for specifying cost pools to roll up and redistribute costs. ABC systems alternatively, usage activities for roll uping costs. The design of an ABC system starts by inquiring what activities are being performed by a section ‘s resource. ABC so assigns the resource disbursals to activities on the footing of how much of the resources each activity uses.

The chief advantage of ABC is that it overcomes some of the restrictions of traditional bing systems. Traditional systems frequently tend to trust on arbitrary allotments of indirect costs. In peculiar, they rely extensively on volume-based allotments. Many indirect costs are non volume-based, but if volume-based allotment bases are used, high-volume merchandises are likely to be assigned with a greater proportion of indirect costs than they have consumed whereas low-volume merchandises will be assigned a lower proportion. In these fortunes, traditional systems will over-cost high-volume merchandises and under-cost low-volume merchandises. In contrast, ABC systems recognize that many indirect costs vary in proportion to alterations other than production volume. By placing the cost drivers that cause the costs to alter and delegating costs to costs objects on the footing of cost driver use, costs can be more accurately traced. It is claimed that this cause-and-effect relationship provides a superior manner of finding relevant costs.

Although ABC had its beginnings in fabrication companies, today many service organisations are obtaining great benefits from this attack. Service companies in general are ideal campaigners for ABC, even more than fabrication companies. First, virtually all the costs for a service company are constituents of costs, such as direct stuffs to single merchandises. Service companies have few or no direct stuffs, and many of their forces provide indirect support to merchandises and clients. Consequently, service companies do non hold direct, traceable costs to function as convenient allotment bases.

The big constituent of seemingly fixed costs in service companies arises because they have virtually no stuff costs. Service companies must provide virtually all their resources in progress to supply the capacity to execute work for clients during each period. Fluctuations during the period of demand by single merchandises and clients for the activities performed by these resources do non act upon short term disbursement to provide the resources.

Therefore, the variable cost from an incremental dealing for many service industries is close to nothing. For illustration, a dealing at a bank ‘s ATM requires an extra ingestion of a little piece of paper to publish the reception – but no extra spending. Therefore, service companies doing determinations about merchandises and clients on the footing of short-run variable costs might supply a full scope of all merchandises and services to clients at monetary values that could run down to near nothing.

In pattern, many companies ‘ ABC theoretical accounts are non quiet as simple to implement as illustrations in textbooks appear. Companies have experienced several jobs when they attempt to use ABC to their complex endeavors. First, the procedure to interview and study employees to acquire their clip allotments to multiple activities is clip devouring and dearly-won. And because of the high cost of continually updating the ABC theoretical account, many ABC systems are updated merely infrequently, taking to outdated activity cost driver rates and inaccurate estimations of procedure, merchandise and client costs.

Directors besides question the truth of the system since cost assignments are based on persons ‘ subjective estimations of how they spend their clip. Apart from the measuring mistake introduced by employees ‘ best efforts to remember their clip allotments, the people providing the information might bias or falsify their response. As a consequence, directors frequently argue about the truth of the theoretical account ‘s estimated costs and profitableness instead than turn to how to better the inefficient processes, unprofitable merchandises and clients, and considerable extra capacity that the theoretical account has seemingly revealed.

Another job is that the traditional ABC theoretical accounts find it hard to add new activities or add more item to an bing activity. As the activity dictionary expands either to reflect more coarseness and item about activities performed or to spread out the range of the theoretical account to the full endeavor, the demands on the computing machine theoretical account used to hive away and treat the information escalate dramatically. Such enlargement has caused many homegrown ABC systems to transcend the capacity of their generic spreadsheet tools. The systems frequently take yearss to treat one month of informations, presuming the solution converges at all.

These informations aggregation, storage and processing jobs have become obvious to many ABC implementers. But a elusive and more serious job arises from the interview and study procedure itself. When people estimate how much clip they spend on a list of activities handed to them, constantly they report per centums that add up to 100 % . Few persons report that a important per centum of their clip is idle or fresh. Therefore, cost driver rates are calculated presuming that resources are working at full capacity. However, this is more the exclusion than the norm. Beyond the deformation caused by delegating fresh capacity costs to merchandises, a second-order consequence occurs when directors take activity based direction ( ABM ) actions. They can diminish the production of unprofitable merchandises, increase the production tally sizes, change merchandise mix and better procedure efficiencies. In the short tally, these actions increase fresh capacity, but unless the cost of the fresh capacity is excluded from future cost assignments to merchandise and clients, the evident additions from these seemingly desirable ABM actions get reallocated back to the staying merchandises, raising their costs and take downing their reported profitableness.


In decision, a strategic direction comptroller will be really good to Jessup Ltd as we will hold a better thought of how to better manage costs and grosss. The comptroller will be of priceless aid when explicating the long term strategic program of the company so that we can make greater highs of success.


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