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New management accounting executive committee off to fast start.

The first meeting of the new AICPA management accounting executive committee (MAEC) held in May was much more than an organizational meeting. The fledgling committee created three task forces to study areas crucial to management accountants. It also approved a survey of management accountants and practitioners with management accountant clients to identify subjects that need to be addressed by the MAEC and to locate cases in which innovative management accounting techniques were implemented successfully.

MAEC Chairman John K. Shank, Noble Professor of Managerial Accounting and Management Control at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, said in a Journal interview after the meeting, "We've decided to start by forming task forces in three areas where members are crying out for help. We're not competing with anyone, and we want to be supportive of all other efforts out there." Shank added, "Our general goal will be to develop management accounting techniques that can help businesses attain competitive advantages."

Professional productivity

One of the task forces will study financial management professionals' productivity. Shank pointed out that the task force has two major jobs. "The first," he said, "is to identify what financial management professionals are doing but shouldn't do at all. In short, we need to figure out what we can stop doing." The second job will be "identifying the most cost-effective means of doing what management accountants still need to do."

Looking at old problems in new ways

A second task force will study the use of merged financial and nonfinancial performance measures in managing a business. Shank said these techniques are used in areas such as just-in-time inventory systems. He added, "The manufacturing and distribution world is changing, and there are new management accounting techniques to keep up with it. Our task force will pull the best of those new techniques together."

The third task force will study activity-based costing and activity-based management, which attempts to assign more realistic costs to various components of a product line.

Getting the word out

Shank stressed that the task forces are not expected to come up with anything new. "Their job is to find the best available information on each subject and the best way to disseminate that information to our membership. The dissemination may be through continuing professional education courses, conferences or articles in the Journal. The important thing is we intend to get the word out to our members in the most efficient way possible."
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Title Annotation:American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' committee
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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