Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting by H. Thomas Johnson

By H. Thomas Johnson

"Relevance misplaced" is an outline of the evolution of administration accounting in American company, from cloth turbines within the Eighteen Eighties and the large railroad, metal, and retail organizations, to latest atmosphere of world festival and computer-automated brands. The e-book indicates that sleek enterprises needs to paintings towards designing new administration accounting structures that may help managers extra absolutely of their long term making plans. it's the winner of the yank Accounting Association's Deloitte Haskins & Sells/Wildman Award Medal. it's also to be had in paperback: ISBN 0875842542.

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Auditors and regulators, mindful of their responsibility to users of financial statements, preferred conservative accounting practices based on objective, verifiable, and realized financial transactions. When measuring cost of goods sold and valuing inventory, auditors insisted on product costs based on the historical transactions recorded in the firms' ledger accounts. Further, they wanted the financial statements—the income statement and the balance sheet— to be integrated. That is, the two financial statements had to be based on the same transactions and events.

Managing these enormous entities was an unprecedented task, but by 1870 several railroad administrators had devised ingenious solutions that became the core of modern administrative practice. Alfred D. 18 Among the solutions achieved by railroads were internal accounting systems designed to provide information and control within large-scale administrative entities. 19 Railroads handled a vastly greater number and dollar volume of transactions than had any previous business. The recordkeeping techniques they created to handle and control efficaciously vast flows of dollars are familiar to businesspersons even today.

Every accounting period, each mill account, one for coarse goods and the other for fine goods, was charged with its respective share of cotton, factory labor, and factory overhead expense. Charges to the mill accounts were transferred from separate control accounts kept in Holyoke. Cotton, the largest single item of expense, was charged to the mill accounts at the end of each six-month accounting period at the cost of raw material that had been used in production through the weaving stage. "Cost" was based on the contract price of cotton, including freight and insurance charges, and was calculated semiannually (after inventory taking) on a first-in, first-out basis.

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