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Campus Connection

IMA Publishes New Textbook

A new management accounting textbook, available March 31, will provide educators with a resource that brings real-world concepts into the classroom in a more engaging way. The textbook is being developed by authors C.J. McNair-Connolly, Ph.D., and Kenneth A. Merchant, Ph.D., and will be published by IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants).

Dr. McNair-Connolly is an internationally recognized expert in cost management and control systems with more than 25 years of experience in applied academic research. She has authored 10 books on a variety of cost management topics, including value-based cost management. She earned her Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University and for many years taught accounting at Babson College and the U.S. Coast Guard. Currently, she serves as a senior business consultant. Dr. Merchant is the Deloitte & Touche LLP chair in accountancy at the University of Southern California (USC). He is an expert in management accounting, management control systems, and corporate governance, having published articles in many journals and been recognized by the American Accounting Association for lifetime contributions to the field. He earned his Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley and his MBA from Columbia. Before joining USC, he taught at Harvard Business School and UC-Berkeley.

According to Dr. Merchant, the new textbook differs from other resources currently found in academia: “Existing management accounting textbooks present topics with largely random orderings. Some of them have become almost encyclopedic. This book shows students that the management accounting field really does hang together. They will be able to see how the management accounting information and tools relate to decision domains in which they will be directly involved.”

Among the book’s three unique features:

  • An integrative framework built around a Business Planning and Analysis (BPA) model and five decision domains that illustrate how management accounting information and tools contribute to better management decision making.
  • Three industry settings (an airline, a kitchen cabinet manufacturer, and an automobile dealership) to help students understand management accounting in action. These are used throughout the text to provide realistic examples of how to apply the content material.
  • Real-world-like databases, presented in Excel format, that allow students to move beyond just simple problems, to see the effects of choices they make in complex settings without getting bogged down with the calculations.

The book also includes end-of-chapter questions, exercises, and problems that ask students to apply concepts to real-life situations, including behavioral issues.

Explained Dr. McNair-Connolly, “The text is unique in that it presents management accounting as a set of tools that are then applied to planning, decision making, and control at various organizational levels. This integrated approach builds upon the plan-do-check-adjust loop that is at the heart of the continuous improvement philosophy of management and incorporates three databases that supplement the learning process.”

Commenting on the value to educators who adopt the textbook, McNair-Connolly continued, “We expect that professors who use this text will gain the ability to present management accounting as a logical, integrated discipline that supports the management process in organizations rather than a scattered set of topics with no logical structure. In addition, the three integrated databases and their complementary examples in the text provide a platform to more deeply explore and apply the decision-making approach the text is built upon.”

The textbook is written in a much more conversational, less technical, and more engaging style than other texts on this topic. Further, the Excel databases enable students to work with realistic data, as they would for a company, which provides a foundation for business analytics skills that should be useful later in their program of study or professional pursuits.

The textbook will be available for purchase starting in late March. To request more information, please email imabooks@imanet.org.