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Cost Accounting in Germany and Japan

A Comparative Analysis


Matthias Moeschler

Cost accounting has developed differently across countries due to cross-national variance in national financial reporting systems, education and culture. Differences in cost accounting impede a uniform and coherent business management in multinational companies. For this reason it is necessary to sensitize practitioners for national specifics in cost accounting. This study empirically shows that significant differences prevail between German and Japanese cost accounting systems due to variances in national culture and the education of cost accountants. It further provides recommendations for practitioners how to install successful cost accounting systems.


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I have written this thesis during my time as a PhD student at the Chair of International Accounting at the University of Münster. This work was accepted as a dissertation by the Münster School of Business and Economics in January 2012. Writing an ambitious PhD thesis is a great challenge, which I could not have completed on my own. Therefore, I would like to thank all those who have supported me in various ways. I am very gratefully obliged to my academic teacher and supervisor, Prof. Dr. Peter Kajüter, who has welcomed me as a PhD student at his chair and who has encouraged my work and provided many valuable suggestions to improve this study. I would also like to thank him for the numerous opportunities to present my work on conferences. I express my sincere gratitude to Prof. Dr. Shinsuke Wada. Without his help it would not have been possible to collect this large number of Japanese responses. I have further received great motivation for my research project from him and I have obtained valuable insights about Japanese particularities in society, management, and accounting. I would further like to thank Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Berens who reviewed and evaluated my study as a se- cond referee. Sincere thanks are further given to Prof. Dr. van Suntum for being the third referee. I have further received valuable suggestions for my research project by my dear colleagues and friends at the Chair of International Accounting. In particular, I would...

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