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An examination of customer accounting in an Australian context


McManus, L, An examination of customer accounting in an Australian context (2006) [PhD]

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This thesis reports on a study that examined customer accounting (CA) in Australian companies. The broad aims of the thesis are to develop an understanding of the organisational role played by CA practice and the role accounting plays in providing information about a firm's customer base. Three empirical phases have been undertaken in the study. The first phase involved exploratory interviews with accountants and marketers from a number of Australian firms. The second phase comprised an in-depth case study that involved the development of a segmental customer profitability analysis in a major Australian telecommunications company. The third empirical phase involved the administration of a survey questionnaire to chief accountants and marketing managers from a number of large Australian companies. A number of significant findings are reported and include: (1) A level of CA practice has been observed that is reasonably in line with what was anticipated based on the minimal previous academic interest in this area. (2) There appears to be a potential for further CA development in Australian companies. (3) The interview findings identified 'short-term tactical decisions' and 'focus attention on maximising customer value' as the two most important organisational roles CA may play. (4) CA systems were found to provide important information for marketing resource allocation decisions, customer retention decisions, customer service management decisions and customer pricing decisions. (5) The main barriers to CA implementation identified during the segmental CPA case study and exploratory interviews concerned information technology and data acquisition problems. This finding was supported by the results of the survey questionnaire phase of the study where in addition to these two barriers, 'other competing organisational priorities' was rated highly as an impediment to CA system development. (6) Some support was found for the proposed relationships between CA and the contingent factors of company size, customisation, and organisational structure. (7) Limited support was found for the proposed positive association between CA systems and competition intensity and marketing orientation. (8) No support was found for the proposed relationships between perceived environmental uncertainty, organisational strategy, organisational performance and CA systems. (9) Customisation was the only contingent factor found to have a significant impact upon the potential of CA to aid management.

Item Details

Item Type:PhD
Keywords:customer accounting, Australian companies, short-term tactical decisions, maximising customer value
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting theory and standards
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:McManus, L (Professor Lisa McManus)
ID Code:133497
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2019-06-28
Last Modified:2019-06-28

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