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Management accounting and the idea of machine learning

Steen Nielsen

Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University

Abstract: Not only is the role of data changing in a most dramatic way, but also the way we can handle and use the data through a number of new technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The changes, their speed and scale, as well as their impact on almost every aspect of daily life and, of course, on Management Accounting are almost unbelievable. The term ‘data’ in this context means business data in the broadest possible sense. ML teaches computers to do what comes naturally to humans and decision makers: that is to learn from experience. ML and AI for management accountants have only been sporadically discussed within the last 5-10 years, even though these concepts have been used for a long time now within other business fields such as logistics and finance. ML and AI are extensions of Business Analytics. This paper discusses how machine learning will provide new opportunities and implications for the management accountants in the future. First, it was found that many classical areas and topics within Management Accounting and Performance Management are natural candidates for ML and AI. The true value of the paper lies in making practitioners and researchers more aware of the possibilities of ML for Management Accounting, thereby making the management accountants a real value driver for the company.

Keywords: Management accounting; machine learning; algorithms; decisions; analytics; management accountant; business translator; performance management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C15 M41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31
Date: 2020-08-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-cmp and nep-pay
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