A management accountant stands a better chance in an organization at taking an overview of the organization they work and provide the best response and advice that the organization should take (Vaivio, 2008). In this case where the administrator requests for a report from the management accountant on how to complete the benchmarking process as well as give valid recommendations. Such a case will help the Kanymoon University (KU) take the rights steps in reducing the costs that it accrues within a financial year after comparing with other major stakeholders in the same industry who provide the schooling services. This will help the management of Ku make the necessary changes as they learn the few secrets that the other universities use in saving a few funds even as they provide the best services to their students.
Benchmarking is a process that does not happen once. It is an ongoing process (Ward, 2012). This is because the management has to compare all the processes and the performance of the school with that of the others from the administrative costs to all other costs like the maintenance costs. It will then pick the best practices and apply them in their school that will help reduce the costs they incur after the government has stopped its funding; performance is the major indicator which reveals a metric performance allowing comparisons with others. Such is the measure of the cost per unit of measure in this case the students versus the amount in cash they pay. This process helps in the strategic management options and application of the best practice that will allow the management moves their organization in the next level (Scapens, 2006). They can then make plans from the assessment and analysis and make the necessary changes they need to hence reducing the costs incurred and increasing the aspect of performance.
This is the part of the management report that carries all the important analysis that the management accountant found as they compared the activities amongst the three universities and drawing conclusions about the reports they presented.
A look at the administrative costs that the management accrues for most of their academic year reveals that KU has the least of the costs of the accrued funds within the academic year. The facilities management in terms of the research money set aside takes up the highest percentage in the funds as they spend more than twenty six million serving a number of about seven thousand staff members and more than twenty eight thousand students. These on comparison to the amount of money spent by the BU is almost the same range serving over twenty nine thousand students and more than eight thousand staff members. If KU would choose to reduce the amount spent in the research and more so in the facilities management and the laboratory management, they would save a large amount of funds.
On the other hand, the research contract value of KU is higher than the other two universities, AU and BU that it uses as their foundation to do the benchmarking. This is a clear indication that they award their contracts and takes the highest bidder to provide them with the services they need in the learning institution. A look at the other two universities shows a difference margin of more than twenty million and thirty million respectively from the AU and BU. This is a higher amount of money they spend depending on the high number of students that BU has in their school and it emerges as the lowest spender in the research contracts. KU will benefit more from the established gaps and identification of the reason that there are huge differences in the spending. Such will help the management take the corrective measures to improve the future performance a while reducing the costs incurred.
The position that the management of Kanymoon’s University should take is a corrective actions that will help in improving the services they offer as they accommodate more students in the future. They will reduce the costs they incur in each category while they do not compromise on the contractors they award to perform the research on their behalf. Working with the government is the first indicator that their services are of high quality (Ma & Tayles, 2009).
The tools they will use in application of the benchmarking options they choose will also be another determining factor as they determine how fast the changes are implemented in the organization. The right tools applied in the school will allow the management and other members of staff the smooth transition of the changes as they accommodate the new recommendations. Such will help every member align with the new changes as they make sure they are in line with the requirements on their part in reducing the costs.
Kaplan & Atkinson, (2015) defines strategic management accounting as the analysis of the data used in the management on a business in comparison to the competitors. Such information is important in the development and the monitoring if the strategies that the business applies to its line of business. Lord, (2007) on the other hand defines the strategic accounting techniques as the backbone of support of the organization. This happened through the use of the advanced technology where more sophisticated products and services are developed to curb the competition.
Langfield-Smith, (2008) further suggests that the literature review on the matter of strategic management accounting gives ideas from different scholars who have made an attempt to define the matter. They all agree that the analysis if the information in the products and services of the firm and the competitors costs that they charge are the major areas of compassion and of interest. Recent developments in the subject of strategic management accounting reveal that it provides the information that help in supporting the strategic decisions that organizations make on a daily basis. Such decisions affect the long-term and hence their effect on the organization is significant.
Kanymoon University management could also contact the management accountant and specify that they would want another method considered as one of the strategic management accounting (SMA) that will work instead of the benchmarking technique. One of the major suggestions that the management accountant would recommend to the management is the use of Activity-Based Management (Lessmann et al, 2008). This method if applied by the management in their day to day activities may help in identifying the activities that the school does using the activity based costing method as they carry out their value chain analyses. Such will also benefit the organization in evaluation of their performance while they take the corrective measures that will benefit the school while at the same time improving the strategic and the operational decisions that take place within the authority of the administrative. Costs in all sectors in the school will reduce significantly with the adoption of the technique.
Adopting this accounting principle will help the university track down the relationship between the overheads costs to their activities such that the overhead costs could be specifically allocated to the services or the products that they are used. The management will have a better grasp in managing their activities hence reducing then costs while at the same time improving they student value. In order to have a better view at the Activity-Based Management (ABM), the management will divide its activities in either operational or the strategic (Khataie et al, 2010). In the strategic ABM, the staff will have the responsibility of doing the right thing and choosing the right option using the activity based costing information where they will decide the products they can develop and which activities they can use while at the same time focusing on the student who are the major interest of the university. On the other hand, the operational ABM will be focus on improving the efficiency in that the management will do away with activities that no longer add value to the university nor to the student activities as they need to cut the costs down that will not affect the value that the students get at the end of the day.
The technique will benefit KU through the tracking down of costs that affect the daily activities of the school within an academic year. All the management and staff having the same goals and objectives and working towards the common goal will help the school attain the goals that they set. All activities irrelevant to the costs and those that no longer matter will be reduced as that management ensures that every cost that the school pays for are traceable (Garrison et al, 2010). Any amount that the school spends and appears to stem from a source that the school cannot identify with is cut down improving the efficiency of the method used.
Major changes that the KU management will take will also depend on their future goals as well as the level of competition they would want to maintain in the market. They will make the necessary changes in their costs in reducing them making sure that they do not affect the quality of the services they provide to their students. Such will be the measure of the right actions after the benchmarking exercise as they embark in balancing the costs in the administrative costs in regards to their future in terms of increased staff members or the increased number of students.
KU should implement the best practices only that are, pick the best in the first university and the best in the second university and find channels through which they can implement the practices. Such will take the new format in reduction of costs and the improvement of service delivery. After some time, they should take periodic reviews to ensure that the best practices they implemented blend well with their organization reducing the possibility that there will be areas that fail. In any case, where there are chances that one of the best practice chosen does not work for their organization, they should take the necessary steps to remove it from their school. What works for one university might not work for another (Zimmerman & Yahya, 2011). This is an external benchmarking hence the need to take precautionary measures to adopt the best practices that will benefit the organization.
The most important aspect that the organization wants to achieve is reduced costs without affecting the quality of the services they give their students. That will be the solution through the benchmarking process and the advantages accrued for the university. This may necessitate the need to take care of its costs even after the economy recovers from the recession and do away with the government support.
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