Skip to Main Content

Volume 3 Issue 2

IMA Educational Case Journal
ISSN 1940-204X


Susan Borkowski
Mary Jeanne Welsh
Kristin Wentzel

This case is intended for students in upper division or graduate managerial accounting and business strategy/policy courses. At the undergraduate level, this case is suitable for a senior-level course such as a capstone senior seminar, current issues in accounting, business strategy/policy, business ethics, and accounting special topics courses. At the graduate level, this case can be used in managerial and cost accounting courses as well as in business ethics, strategy/policy, international business, and capstone courses.

The case provides an introduction to sustainability reporting and triple-bottom-line accounting, and details how sustainability reporting at a specific company has developed and evolved since its inception at Johnson & Johnson in 1993. Students analyze one of Johnson & Johnson’s sustainability reports and assess its content from both an external user and a management perspective. Students are also asked to identify and discuss any deficiencies in the reporting process, and to suggest ways to improve the current reporting process. The case provides an opportunity to discuss how management accounting and sustainability reporting share similar objectives of making the long-term impact of decisions more visible.
Keywords: sustainability reporting, and triple-bottom-line reporting.
James T. Mackey
H. David Brecht
This case illustrates a strategy-driven costing system combining ideas from lean management and the Theory of Constraints (TOC) to align performance measures and continuous improvement (CI) decisions with strategy. The primary theme is that a costing system can be integrated with and used to promote an organization’s strategies to maintain competitive advantage. This case demonstrates that cost accounting can be more than a full-cost allocation scheme. It can encourage adaptation in an unstable environment, for example, as Kenco uses accounting data to manage continuous improvement. A distinguishing feature of this case is the use of strategic cost drivers as more representative of cause and effect (investments in fixed costs) than operational activities that may only indirectly influence capacity costs. Where time is a problem, or students lack sufficient exposure, the instructor has presented some of the earlier questions as a lecture. Where preparation has been sufficient, the order of the questions is suggestive.
Keywords: continuous improvement, costing system, cost information culture, continuous improvement charts, lean accounting, performance measurement, strategic alignment, strategic costing, the Theory of Constraints, costing system, continuous improvement, lean, and strategy.
Jan Bell
Alfred J. Nanni, Jr
Shahid Ansari
This case describes various aspects of the strategic performance management system in place at a small, “boutique” CPA firm. Ron Weiner, the managing partner at Perelsen Weiner, is very clear about his company’s strategic position, with a precise notion about the niche the company serves, including the services it offers, the target market, and the value proposition.

Unlike the typical case where a decision maker faces a dilemma or task, here Ron Weiner is quite adamant about the optimal performance management system design for his firm. His focus is on simplicity, and he rejects the need for complicated, but trendy, tools like ABC or the Balanced Scorecard. The student’s task is to follow the logic presented in the case, evaluate it, and debate the design in the classroom.
Keywords: ABC, balanced scorecard, incentives, organizational culture, performance measurement, service operations, and strategy map.