Management accounting techniques make several contributions to a firm’s control procedures. They provide the means of communicating company objectives and finishing the basis for measuring performances against planned goals. However, the spectrum of opinion as to how management accounting techniques area used fall into two schools of though. The first school of thought believes that they are used for goal congruence and are powerful motivational tools that can induce workers to work towards increased profitability. The other schools of thought believed management accounting techniques are used for punitive purposes, that can lead to low morale, loss of capable workers, decreased profitability and other behaveioural problems that are determined to the organization.
The views of each of these school, of thought can be traced to the set of assumptions about management accounting associated with traditional management accounting model in which the participants are viewed as passive members of the society, or the modern organization theory which emphasized that participants are active members of the society an stressed humane ever changing value system and problems of limited information processing capability.
The study investigated the attitude of the managers and the accountants in five manufacturing firms in Enugu State in order to determine the set of assumptions they have about management accounting techniques. It also investigated how the junior workers perceived the operation of management accounting in their firms.
The study revealed that the views of the managers and accountants in the firms studies are patterned in the manner of traditional management accounting model. It also revealed that the usage of management accounting techniques are froth with behavioural problems such as, autocratic budgeting system, lack adequate communication of results of evaluation to employee concerned, rigid emphasis of the results of the techniques, non-recognition of time value of money, unrealistic view about the nature of the curve, separation of fixed and variable costs into their respective components etc.
The views of the junior workers show a marked department from that of the accountants and the mangers. They believed that management accounting is used for punitive purposes. They indicated that to be motivated they have to be made share-holders. They complained about their non-participation in budget/standard setting process. They are also of the view that the standard are always too light and this usually effect their efficiency.
The researcher highlighted some behavioural problems associated with traditional management accounting model and advantages to be gained when decision-making, problem –solving approach is adopted. She also recommends some measures that can reduce or eliminate the difficulties highlighted above.