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Accounting for Managers: Interpreting Accounting Information for Decision Making, 4th Edition by Paul M. Collier

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Preface to the Fourth Edition

Rationale for the book

My own education as an accountant many years ago was aimed at achieving professional recognition and emphasized an uncritical acceptance of the tools and techniques that I was taught. Teaching accounting hasn’t changed much since then. However, it was only after moving from financial to general management positions in industry that I began to see the limitations and questionable assumptions that underlay accounting tools and techniques. When I returned to study later in my career, I was exposed for the first time to alternative perspectives on accounting that helped me to understand the assumptions and limitations of accounting that I had seen in practice. This book is therefore as much a result of my practical experience as a producer and user of accounting information as it is a result of my teaching and training experience.

The title of the book, Accounting for Managers: Interpreting accounting information for decision making, emphasizes the focus on accounting to meet the needs of managers. As accounting increasingly becomes decentred from the accounting department in organizations, line managers in all functional areas of business are expected to be able to prepare budgets, develop business cases for capital investment, calculate prices and exercise cost control to ensure that profit targets are achieved. Managers are also expected to be able to analyse and interpret accounting information so that marketing, operations and ...

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