This paper contributes to the role of management accountants and how their role
differs from popular culture stereotype of being boring and dull. It outlines
the external business partner role that management accountants can provide and
do provide in the popular culture setting of soccer in France. The link between
soccer and popular culture in France can show how the stereotype can be changed
and how they can impact in future views of the profession.
This paper contributes to how Performance Measurement Systems(PMS) can be used
in conditions of “institutional complexity” where competing demands and logics
are determining overall performance. This locus is undoubtedly presents in
modern day football which is examined more specifically in a Swedish football
organization context. It explores the trade-off between excellence in sport which
could be associated with buying the best soccer players and financial stability.
Is the problem/puzzle worth solving?
The problem is critical because most basic accounting skills are being replaced
by new ERP systems. The profession of management accounting could fall in the
ladder in public perception as their so call perceived bookkeeping tasks can be
completed by enterprise systems. The paper examines how the stereotype is well
off the mark and how really management accountants engage in a wide range of
activities beyond bookkeeping and other menial tasks most importantly being engaging
with external “business partners”.
problem is worth solving because most organisation face for example budgeting constraints
where competing logics are found. In this example you have competing business
logic, governance logic and professional logic. The paper examines a soccer
organisation but realistically it can be applied to any organisation across the
board. This makes the puzzle of how comprises are designed and on what basis it
is made very applicable for every organisation.
Does it add
up? Claims and Evidence supporting those
The claims are supported by the evidence which clearly indicate FCB management
accountants engaged in roles as internal/external business partners. The
evidence showed that they engaged in internal business partners roles in
deciding on players’ salaries and bonuses and even presenting the minimum
players bonus amounts to the president of the club for discussion. They also played an external role by engaging
with the requests of the DNCG (Direction National du Contrôle de Gestion) who
set specific accounting and finance rules for French football. DNCG have
opposite views regarding the funding and financing with the club in question
where the management accountants “strive for greater entrepreneurial freedom
for the club’s financial backer”. This came to light especially when both
parties argued about the possible worse case scenario that the DNCG had
requested. Their views varied between whether the worst-case scenario meant
relegation from the division or just avoiding which could result in the club
financially dependent president would have to commit 20 million per year to
keep the club afloat versus just avoiding that expense.
Overall the evidence does add up, but
it only focused on two management accountants while trying to judge the roll of
management in different organisations which does seem quite a stretch. The lack
of different organisations and countries could further compare the role of
business partners and how it might change in different countries depending on
factors like culture and industry complexity etc.
All the claims are gathered and supported through the interviewees with FClub. The
three critical performance metrics for top management at FClub where: 1 League
Table (Sports Related) 2 Financial Result (business related) 3 the amount of
equity in the balance sheet (business related). The evidence clearly adds up
with shows that PMS is a metric for management to review at each meeting integrating
performance measure and “accounting talk”
Involved examining a professional soccer club in France Ligue 2 for a yearlong
period starting in February 2012. The club was like a public limited company
with a wealthy business as their majority shareholder and whom the club were
completely financially dependent. This ownership style places the potential for
conflict with the regulatory body over financial stability and self-sufficiency
for the club in the future. The research design mainly focused on the two-man
accountants at the club. Firstly, it used observation of the activities and
interactions with stakeholders and conducted five formal interviews ranging from
45 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes with the man accountants. Also, they
conducted three interviews with the football governing body including the chief
man accountant of the FFF, a finance director and third with a senior auditor
of the DNCG.
The research design provided a solid
grounding but in my own opinion the practices in FBC should have been compared
to another professional soccer team in France that did not solely rely on
funding by the director. This could potentially affect the role a management could
have within the club and the different relationship with the DNCG.
includes creating different hypothetical situations in which FClub might find
itself. The five possible outcomes varied depending on league position,
financial stability and threat of relegation. The author summarised all situations
into extensive table all dealing with different headings under distance from performance measure, relationship between the institutional
logics and compromising behaviour.
An example of this is situation five where the club is placed 4th or
5th in the league. FClub is close to its performance measure but the
sports and business logics are conflicting with the sports logic being
prioritized. This is partly due to the external pressures from fans where emotions
are running high with the possibility of winning the league.
paper provides meaningful contributions on previous literature and extends
further to show through empowerment with the necessary legitimacy that
management accountants role can be extended externally. It discusses the
critical competences of management accountants to challenge the institutional
domination of the regulatory body. These conclusions are meaningful to industry
leaders in general and other agencies who recognise through emancipating roles,
that the profession skills can be extended externally against regulatory bodies.
This results in the profession reputation of the management accountant being
enhanced and allows organisations to really utilise the external decision-making
capabilities. This difference encourages managers to gently spur its management
accountants to deliver superior performance without any additional costs.
conclusions are specifically meaningful to the field of football clubs but also
more broadly to most organisations who face institutional complexity across the
board. The conclusions expand institutional logics literature where the author findings
put forward the idea of that the relationship between logics are situation
specific. This was highlighted with the different league positions, where the sports
and business logics where either adverse or appropriate. Additionally, the author deals with the idea of
the zone of indifference where with non-linearity in achievement benefits
helped to explain the compromises reached in certain situations. These findings
were displayed where large gains or losses were anticipated where highly
emotional decisions were made as a result.
The authors also conclude that further
research needs to examine specific decision-making situations for institutional
logics and the role of emotions related to accounting. These where their main
findings and they are encouraging future research into the area.
Comparison or synthesis
examine football clubs and their day to day operations. Both clubs had to
conform with governing bodies with the French club being DNCG and the Swedish
Football Association. Each governing body was trying to safeguard the financial
stability of the clubs.
theme common in each paper is the relationship between logics and situation-specific
events. This is clearly seen in the Swedish club as mentioned before but also the
French club where final league position is proportionate to the amount of
television revenue the club receives.
The pair of
research papers both encourage and need further research to build on their
findings. E.G. how management accountants impact prevailing culture with their
day to day decisions.
difference is the ownership structure where the French club was privately owned
by a wealthy investor while the Swedish club is control remains with its
members to safeguard against potential investors. This affected the culture in
the clubs where the Swedish club business related PMS amounted for two out of
the three measures showing the importance of financial stability. Meanwhile the
French club were against DNCG measures and thrived for more financial and
entrepreneurial independence to get promoted and to flex the owners financial
Janin focuses on
the role of management accountants while the other paper focuses on PMS and how
compromises come about. Both have different research focuses within the similar