Users of Accounting Information Accounting for Managers

Once the total costs for both the specialty ice cream and the standard flavored ice cream are known, the cost per unit can be determined for each type. These types of analyses help a company evaluate how to set pricing, evaluate the need for new or substitute ingredients, manage product additions and deletions, and make many other decisions. Now that you have a basic understanding of managerial accounting, consider how it is similar to and different from financial accounting. After completing a financial accounting class, many students do not look forward to another semester of debits, credits, and journal entries.

  • Measuring financial performance in monetary terms allows managers to compare the organization’s performance to previous periods, to expectations, and to other organizations or industry standards.
  • Financial reports prepared for internal use are different from the financial reports that are available to the public.
  • Each group uses accounting information differently, and requires the information to be presented differently.
  • These data are then compiled and presented to decision makers within the organization.

For example, you will learn how to use estimates to determine bad debt expenses or depreciation expenses for assets that will be used over a multiyear lifetime. That is, accountants prepare financial reports that summarize what has already occurred in an organization. The benefit of reporting what has already occurred is the reliability of the information. Accountants can, with a fair amount of confidence, accurately report the financial performance of the organization related to past activities. The feedback value offered by the accounting information is particularly useful to internal users.


Lenders use accounting information of borrowers to assess their credit worthiness, i.e. their ability to pay back any loan. Moreover, potential employees are also interested to learn about the financial health of the organization they aspire to join in the future. In case of investment decisions for example, managers would require the return on investment calculation of a proposed project supported by reliable estimates of the costs and revenues. The management may then follow up with customers who have defaulted on payments or decide whether to continue extending credit to the specific customers or discontinue further credit terms.

The most important issue is whether the reporting is useful for the planning, controlling, and evaluation purposes. Financial accounting provides information to enable stockholders, creditors, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions. This information can be used to evaluate and make decisions for an individual company or to compare two or more companies. However, the information provided by financial accounting is primarily historical and therefore is not sufficient and is often synthesized too late to be overly useful to management. Managerial accounting has a more specific focus, and the information is more detailed and timelier.

As you have learned, management accounting information uses both financial and nonfinancial information. This is important because there are situations in which a purely financial analysis might lead to one decision, while considering nonfinancial information might lead to a different decision. For example, suppose a financial analysis indicates that a particular product is unprofitable and should no longer be offered by a company. If the company fails to consider that customers also purchase a complementary good (you might recall that term from your study of economics), the company may be making the wrong decision. For example, assume that you have a company that produces and sells both computer printers and the replacement ink cartridges. If the company decided to eliminate the printers, then it would also lose the cartridge sales.

(i) Internal Users:

In the United States, the dollar is used as the standard measurement basis. Measuring financial performance in monetary terms allows managers to compare the organization’s performance to previous periods, to expectations, and to other organizations or industry standards. The financial reports or information resulting from the accounting process that is transferred to the users in two forms-internal and external. Managerial accounting identifies measures, analyzes, and communicates the financial information management needs to plan, control, and evaluate a company’s operations for internal users.

Investment Analysts

The audit report is included in the annual filing of form 10-K with the SEC and in the company’s annual report that includes the financial statements. Internal financial reports may be used to provide information about employees. The management may require internal employee reports that provide information on employee performance, operational efficiency at the department level, whistleblowing activities, etc. The management may use the reports to make decisions on promotions, deployment, and layoffs.


Comparability refers to information that has been measured and reported in a consistent manner across different enterprises. Bookkeeping is a part how to plan create use budgets. budget variance analysis steps. of accounting that solely involves recording economic events. The information must be relevant to meet the decision-making needs of users.

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Suppliers may also require financial statements before they will be willing to extend trade credit. The SEC requires public traded companies to undergo, at their own cost, an annual financial audit by independent Certified Public Accountant. A financial statement audit is the examination of an entity’s financial statements and accompanying disclosures. The result of this examination is a report by the auditor, attesting to the fairness of presentation of the financial statements and related disclosures.

Management accountants make available the information that could assist companies in increasing their performance and profitability. Unlike financial reports, management reporting centers on components of the business. By dividing the business into smaller sections, a company is able to get into the details and analyze the smallest segments of the business. Since these external people do not have access to the documents and records used to produce the financial statements, they depend on Generally Applied Accounting Principles (GAAP). Government agencies, including regulatory bodies and taxing authorities, also use financial statements to monitor the financial conditions of the companies they have jurisdiction over. For example, the government may require companies in certain industries to meet mandatory capital injections as measured against total risky business investments a company may undertake.

That is, reviewing how the organization performed in the past can help managers and other employees make better decisions about and adjustments to future activities. The general purpose of financial statement reporting is to provide information about the results of operations, financial position, and cash flows of an organization. This data is useful to a wide range of users in order to make economic decisions. The purpose of the reporting done by management accountants is more specific to internal users.

DQ1 External users of financial statements use the information to make key business decisions. Participate in follow-up discussion by providing additional reasons and examples that have not already been listed related to the stakeholders’ evaluation of financial statements. The entire purpose of financial accounting is to record business events and communicate them with external users in a meaningful way. Since external users have no first hand knowledge of a company’s financial position or plans for the future, they are dependent on the financial information that is provided to them by the company. Potential investors are interested in the past performance of a business and its potential for future earnings.

The main external financial reports include the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. The financial statements are typically generated quarterly and annually, although some entities also require monthly statements. Much work is involved in creating the financial statements, and any adjustments to accounts must be made before the statements can be produced. A physical count inventory must be done to adjust the inventory and cost of goods sold accounts, depreciation must be calculated and entered, all prepaid asset accounts must be reviewed for adjustments, and so forth. This audit cannot be completed until after the end of the company’s fiscal year, because the auditors need access to all of the information for the company for that year.

The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Accountants use their knowledge and training to provide relevant, accurate, detailed, and timely accounting information that is useful for many types of decision-making.