The purpose of this paper is to investigate change processes within German and Spanish management accounting which are induced by the recent economic crisis. To illuminate these changes, a particular emphasis is put on budgeting processes and the role of management accountants. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A cross-sectional field study that mainly builds on interviews with senior management accounting executives in nine German and nine Spanish companies was conducted. The German and Spanish companies were matched in terms of industry and size to assure comparability of the two national samples. Findings ‐ The most recent economic crisis represents a crucial driver of management accounting change in the companies comprising my sample. Whereas budgeting is increasingly performed continuously, the empirical evidence suggests that opportunities are continually evolving that might result in a more powerful position of management accountants within corporate decision-making processes and an improved image of management accountants. Research limitations/implications ‐ The findings of this study should not be generalised in a statistical sense. However, the results may be used as the basis for qualitative and quantitative follow-up studies. Practical implications ‐ The paper provides several examples which demonstrate, that management accountants can improve their image and their influence on corporate decision making in times of economic crisis. Originality/value ‐ This paper contributes to the literature by providing both theoretical refinement of and empirical evidence on propositions on the influence of the economic crisis on management accounting.
ENDENICH, C. (2014). Economic Crisis as a Driver of Management Accounting Change – Comparative Evidence from Germany and Spain. Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 15(1), pp. 123-149.