Management accounting system design and controllership output quality : evidence of a preparer-user perception gap
Our paper deals with the research question whether the association betweenmanagement accounting system (MAS) design and controllership output quality is made by controllers, i.e., preparers of management accounting information, and managers, i.e., users of management accounting information, in a similar fashion. Based on data surveyed in 2007 with ... controllers and managers of German Top-1,500 firms we find empirical evidence for a preparer-user perception gap. For example, controllers associate the consistency of the financial language provided by the MAS in a significantly weaker fashion with controllership output quality than the managers.Underlying reasons for this perception gap might be found in the way managementaccounting information is used and hence demanded within the organization.Our paper contributes to the literature on MAS design in three respects. First, the evidence provided in our paper supports the notion that MAS design cannot beevaluated independently from an institutional reference point. Second, the identified preparer-user perception gap sheds light on observed frictions between controllers and managers. Third, we give an example on how a key-informant bias can be used as a source of research information.