What Knowledge is Useful? > Companies and Functions
Bob Anthony on Control
That was Charlie Bliss and Ross Walker, together, tried to combine what was formerly accounting and statistics. But changing the accounting part from strictly financial accounting to financial accounting and management accounting. . . .
But why they put the two things together, I don't know, although it was a good idea, I think. . . .
But Walker was sort of the dominant person. And we were all supposed to teach it.
What was it called—Control?
Control. Now, and that was strictly because Bliss didn’t want to call it accounting and Walker didn’t want to call it statistics. There’s no more rationale for that than that. Although it turned out to be a pretty good name, actually. . . .
Now, we developed a raft of cases. And the tendency was—and you could trace this if you wanted to take the trouble of going through the year-by-year outlines—tendency was for the financial accounting part to get less and less and the management accounting part to get more and more. Now, I’m going to say, usually, management accounting, which will relate to everything of interest to the internal management.
And I’m going to, if you want to be specific about it, say that management control is a subset of management accounting. That there is a need to find out what things cost, and that’s cost accounting. And then there is the need to implement strategies, which is my short definition of management control. Then there are two different things. And one of the problems is that they require two different kinds of cost constructions.
So I say this because now the cost accounting books deal with the same topics that come under the heading of “management control.”