Ezzamel sector and not for profits. J&K argue that

Ezzamel does not agree with J&K’s views that
accounting practice was good in 1925 and thereafter it all went wrong. They
argue that it was inevitable that cost accounting was “to be problematic from
its outset and this is what the history of 19th century accounting
shows” (Ezzamel,1990:157). They believe that the problems lie within accounting
itself and that a solution to fix it will take time. Different accounting
practice needs to be developed to tackle different cost accounting problems. For
example, Lyman Mills records which J studied, “incorporated the cost of
cotton goods produced” in their double entry system and “the work of scholars
in recent years” means “there is no shortage of early examples of cost
calculation” Ezzamel (1990:157), e.g. as well as the early
textbooks (Mepham,1988)”.

 

Ezzamel et al. (1990:157) disputed J&K development of cost and
management innovations. As mentioned above, they deemed cost management accounting
numbers as essentially problematic which was completely different to J&K
views that these numbers were relevant for managerial decisions. According to Ezzamel, textile mills were not the first
examples of the new accounting system but Springfield Armory was. “The ‘market’
piece-rates being paid” for Springfield “were not imposing the necessary
discipline or securing the necessary efficiency in labour” Ezzamel (1990:158). The armory’s objective was to benefit the public sector
and not for profits. J&K argue that entrepreneurs and owners did not need
cost accounting because of this piece rate.

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It can be concluded that Johnson & Kaplan’s views on the relevance
of management accounting illustrates the the size of the gap between management
accounting theory and management accounting practice. On the whole, I think that Johnson and Kaplan’s argument
was true, from 1920 to the mid 1980s as no new innovative management accounting
technique was established from accounting experts. However, I disagree
with blaming university education and textbooks because common sense prevails
in that there is bound to be a time lag before new research can been
incorporated into textbooks and the curriculum. Kaplan (1987:27)
are correct in thinking “it is time to create new information that is more
relevant to new strategies” if direct labour no longer creates profits. Hopper
and Armstrong provide solutions to management accounting problems but do not
suggest or implement any new systems. Ezzamel et al predicted that management
accounting systems would be problematic but the market piece rate was not
enough to suggest that cost accounting evolved.