Changes in accounting instruments within growing and ageing organisations: are improvements always likely,4 feasible and desirable?

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In practice, we observe a desire to use ever more sophisticated, more developed accounting instruments. This paper tries to answer the question of whether it is likely, feasible and desirable that the accounting instruments of growing and ageing organisations (i.e. organisations that get larger and become older) get more sophisticated. In order to answer this question, it combines Van Loon’s model of the dynamics of financial management with Mintzberg’s model of organisational structure. The resulting theoretical analysis shows that, indeed, it is likely that the accounting instruments of growing and ageing organisations get more sophisticated. However, it also shows that in some circumstances the use of instruments that are very sophisticated may not be feasible or desirable. This occurs, for example, when managers do not have enough time available to use such instruments or when decision makers attach more importance to professional performance indicators than to financial performance indicators.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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