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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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2 Specification of the conceptual framework and hypotheses development


2.1 Context of cost accounting systems Context factors are required for this study to answer all five research questions from sec- tion 1.1.1. Two internal context factors (company size and industry) are applied as con- trol variables for the first two research questions. For the analysis of relationships on an international level (third research question), country-specifics are surveyed to explain why cost accounting differs internationally. For the analysis of relationships on a national level (fourth and fifth research question), not only country-specifics, but also other external and internal context factors are applied to explain the complexity, timeliness, and perfor- mance of cost accounting systems in Germany and Japan. Country-specifics 2.1.1 In this section the history of cost accounting as well as three country-specifics are selected. These preliminary considerations provide a basis for describing how the selected country- specifics have influenced and still influence cost accounting systems in Germany and Ja- pan (sections and Thereafter, the context of German and Japanese cost accounting are contrasted in section The country-specifics are operationalized and hypotheses are developed in section Selection and preliminary considerations To explain why cost accounting has developed differently between Germany and Japan, the cultural contingency and societal effects approach were chosen in section 1.3.8 as a theoretical basis. For reasons of simplification and because behavioral aspects are not ad- dressed in this study, the new institutionalism and historical analysis are not applied. To still consider the development of cost accounting systems that are defined as...

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