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School of Business | Department of Accounting | Accounting | 2014
Thesis number: 13611
The meaning of management accounting in postmerger integration - empirical insights from the case company
Author: Heikkilä, Karoliina
Title: The meaning of management accounting in postmerger integration - empirical insights from the case company
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: laskentatoimi; accounting; johdon laskentatoimi; managerial accounting; budjetointi; budgeting; yrityskaupat; corporate acquisitions; integraatio; integration
Pages: 93
Key terms: Management accounting, management accounting systems, budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, M&A problematic, postmerger integration, joint venture

The aim of the present study was to better understand management accounting's role formation in the light of theoretical framework going through postmerger integration. Specifically, aim was try to understand the main influences of management accounting systems in postmerger integration process. The present study tried to make a contribution to the literature describing and explaining management accounting systems in corporate mergers and acquisitions postmerger integration phase. The present study illustrated management accounting's role as upholding organizational routines and management accounting systems role as critical source of information for decision-making. The present study was motivated by the lack of management accounting's perspective in M&A literature. The present study represents one of the first attempts to provide a framework for MAS integration and therefore contributes to an under-researched area of management accounting.


The qualitative method was used in the present study. This study is a single case study in the target company, whereas data is collected by means of semi-structured interviews. This study examined the postmerger integration in one case company, which wished to remain anonymous. The scope of the present study was to investigate a particular postmerger integration process in one case company operating in one industry. Management accounting is addressed in part of the organization. The purpose was to investigate management accounting on one level of the organizational hierarchy. The methods of the present study consisted of semi-structured interviews of the case company's management accounting professionals and postmerger integration executives. Moreover, an external advisor's perspective was addressed in the present study to complete the understanding of the process overall. The goal of the present study is to reveal some underlying contradictions and problems through semi-structured interviews. The theoretical framework for the present study is conducted from the previous literature regarding M&A, specifically postmerger integration combining with theories regarding management accounting and its systems. Thus, theoretical support is sought in the literature of management accounting systems and postmerger integration.


The results of the study are revealing the management accounting's role to be important as supporting function, because it "does not leave any room for creativity" and MAS integration does play an important role in this control process that was generally acknowledged. The main findings of the present study showed that when examining most important influences of MAS in postmerger integration was found that MAS operate as common language and provide critical communication tool. Most firms use accounting information for decision-making and control purposes. Moreover, the study findings suggested that even the role of management accounting in the MAS integration is generally thought to mainly focus on task aspects such as producing information, after examination of the MAS in integration process was found little attention paid on human aspects of integration. Furthermore, the meaning of cultural aspect was noticed from the point of management accounting's view.

The important conclusion to be drawn from the present study is the importance of communication during the postmerger integration. The empirical result suggests MAS as a major tool for communication. Main influences of MAS in postmerger integration process are providing communication tool and common language.
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