Louise Ross lives and breathes management accounting, as she is both a CIMA member and employed as a technical specialist by CIMA. She sincerely believes management accounting to be 'the interesting bit' of accounting. Granted, her experience of other areas is limited to a few years in the lower reaches of public sector audit - two decades ago!
Web 2.0 should be new territory for management accountants
Did you know there are two and a half million accountants in the world? Which is about the population of Latvia, apparently. And one million of those accountants are management accountants? This according to IFAC http://www.ifac.org/
Technically, that makes us a minority, but does that entirely explain why, when the public think of accountants, they think of financial accountants? Or even auditors? Mind you, given the pejorative characteristics which the public associates with all accountants - that we're boring, for example - perhaps it's a good thing to go relatively unnoticed outside the profession.
However, I do like to find new territory for management accountants. I recently urged accountants in business to get more involved in web 2.0. We're not at the moment - it's a space mainly occupied by marketing, IT and social media experts. Why this matters, is that the absence of accountants suggests that organisations are implementing web 2.0 projects without a business case. Fair enough, there's not much information to help organisations forecast the likely outcomes of the web 2.0 projects; but they should still have a go at some kind of investment appraisal... Management accountants can handle uncertain, qualitative or probabilistic information, you know, its part of our job.
I expand on the management accountant's role in my report "Beyond Enthusiasm: making the business case for your organisation's use of web 2.0", available at www.cimaglobal.com/web2.0
Anyone wondering what was the most successful viral advert ever - and just how successful was it - can find the answer in the report. There are some pretty inspirational cases about finding talent and resources outside one's organisational boundaries (the Sporepedia case); about how to work with, rather than fight the trend towards free content (the Arctic Monkeys case) and even how virtual worlds change students' behaviour.