THE USE OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING PRACTICES IN MALAYSIAN SMES
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
There have been the recent calls for additional research in order to enhance the understanding of the adoption of management accounting practices (MAPs) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This, allied to an increasing importance of SMEs around the world especially in developing countries, is the motivation for this research. This research explores the uptake of a broad range of MAPs in Malaysian SMEs; identifies the roles of MAPs in the management of SMEs; determines factors that affect the extent of use of MAPs in SMEs and lastly examines the relationship between the use of MAPs and organizational performance of SMEs. A postal questionnaire was conducted to 1,000 Malaysian SMEs in manufacturing sector which elicited 160 useable responses. The results show that the majority of respondents have used the five management accounting areas identified. Use of the costing system, budgeting system and performance evaluation system are significantly higher than for the decision support system and strategic management accounting, which indicates that the uptake of traditional MAPs is greater than for sophisticated MAPs. The results indicate that medium sized firms make greater use of all MAPs as opposed to small sized enterprises. The most significant differences relate to the use of decision support system and strategic management accounting. The increased uptake of sophisticated MAPs by larger firms is in line with size being a contingent variable explaining the use of such practices. The results also suggest that MAPs were perceived as playing very important roles in the management of Malaysian SMEs. Performance evaluation and controlling activities were the major roles of MAPs in the management of SMEs. Overall the study suggests that MAPs are perceived by SMEs as relevant and useful in their management processes. Further, the study found that four out of five contingent factors; size of the firm, intensity of market competition; participation of the owner/manager in the development of MAPs in firm and advanced manufacturing technology have a positive and statistically significant relationship with the use of certain MAPs. The research however found weak support for the positive relationship between the use of MAPs and organizational performance of SMEs. This study enriches the existing body of knowledge of management accounting by providing information as to the use of MAPs in SMEs in Malaysia. The findings can be specifically informative for policy makers intent on developing management accounting skills among Malaysian SMEs. This research will provide valuable insights into the nature of MAPs in SMEs in a developing country and will promote interest among Malaysian researchers as well as researchers of other countries to make the SME sector a focus of interest in management accounting research.
Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia
PhD in Accountancy