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Cost Accounting in Germany and Japan

A Comparative Analysis

Series:

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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Table 1-1: Three levels of analysis in comparative management accounting research .............................................................................................. 25 Table 1-2: Issues in equivalence, their problems, and proposals for their solution .............................................................................................. 28 Table 1-3: Investigated countries ........................................................................ 56 Table 1-4: Distribution of topics ........................................................................ 58 Table 1-5: Topics and level of analysis of comparative studies on cost accounting ......................................................................................... 62 Table 1-6: Advantages of field study and survey research for meeting the research questions .............................................................................. 73 Table 2-1: The poles long-term and short-term orientation .............................. 108 Table 2-2: Education of cost and management accountants in Anglophone countries, Germany, and Japan ........................................................ 116 Table 2-3: Overview of country-specifics, their operationalization, and the hypotheses to be tested ..................................................................... 119 Table 2-4: Characteristics of operational and strategic decision making ............ 141 Table 2-5: Systematization of the indicators for cost accounting objectives ....... 143 Table 2-6: Research hypotheses of the study ..................................................... 182 Table 3-1: Distribution of companies in Germany and Japan regarding industry and number of employees .................................................. 188 Table 3-2: Response rates for Germany ............................................................. 189 Table 3-3: Response rates for Japan .................................................................. 190 Table 3-4: Responses to the profitability indicator ............................................ 195 Table 3-5: Data bases for cross-national and cross-industry comparisons .......... 196 Table 3-6: Statistical methods applied ............................................................... 197 Table 3-7: Quality criteria for factor analysis .................................................... 201 Table 3-8: Decision rules for determining whether a construct is formative or reflective ...................................................................................... 206 Table 3-9: Quality criteria for formative measurement models.......................... 209 Table 3-10: Quality criteria for reflective measurement models .......................... 211 Table 3-11: Quality criteria for the structural model ........................................... 213 Table 3-12: Required characteristics of cost information ..................................... 215 Table 3-13: Responsible body for cost accounting...

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