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Strategic Accounting Issues in Multinational Corporations MNC

What is Strategic Accounting 

Strategies are large scale plans that reflect the desired direction of the company. ƒ
 Strategy formulation involves determining organizational goals and strategies to achieve those goals. ƒ Strategy implementation involves managerial efforts to influence employees to attain organizational goals. ƒ 
Managerial influence is also referred to as management control. ƒ
 Accounting has a significant role to play in strategy formulation and implementation.
Information is a key ingredient in the strategy formulation process providing information about both internal and external factors. ƒ 
This involves analysis of customer, market, and competitor information, risk assessment. ƒ 
It also includes financial expressions of firm strategy and preparation of budgets. ƒ
 Capital budgeting is an important part of strategy formulation.
Accounting and Strategy Formulation

Budgeting  :-  Budgeting is the primary use of accounting information in strategy formulation. ƒ Budgeting assists in strategy formulation by providing managers with information about short-term and long term planning responsibilities. ƒ Budgeting also provides expectations against which future results can be judged.

capital Budgeting :- 

  • The fundamental concepts of capital budgeting are the same in either a domestic or international context. ƒ 
  • Large, long-term investments are referred to as capital investments. 
  • ƒ Capital budgeting is a key activity in selecting capital investments. ƒ 
  • Capital budgeting involves three steps: project identification and definition, evaluation and selection, and monitoring and review.

Steps of Capital Budgeting 
  1. Project identification and definition provides a clear basis for understanding the project and predicting the associated cash flows. ƒ 
  2. Evaluation and selection involves identifying cash flows and then using one or more of the capital budgeting methods to evaluate the project. ƒ 
  3. Monitoring and review involves updating the analysis and project plan during the implementation stage.
Capital Budgeting Technique  
  1. Payback period. ƒ 
  2. Return on investment. ƒ 
  3. Net present value. ƒ 
  4. Internal rate of return.

Payback Period  
  • Represents the length of time it takes to recoup the initial investment. ƒ 
  • Equal to the initial investment amount divided by the annual after-tax cash flows. ƒ 
  • The project will be accepted if the payback period does not exceed a predetermined length. ƒ
  •  The primary weaknesses of this method are that it ignores the time value of money, and it ignores the total profitability of the project.
Return On Investment 
  • Represents an average annual return on the initial investment. ƒ 
  • Equal to the average annual net income divided by the initial investment. ƒ 
  • The project will be accepted if the return on investment exceeds a predetermined rate. ƒ 
  • The primary weaknesses of this method are that it ignores the time value of money, and it ignores possible cash outlays subsequent to initial investment.
Net Present Value 
  • Equal to the present value of net future cash flows less the initial investment. ƒ 
  • Requires the estimate of minimum rate of return to be used as the discount rate. ƒ 
  • The project will be accepted if the net present value is equal to or greater than zero. ƒ 
  • The primary weaknesses of this method are that it cannot be used for comparing projects of different sizes and that it tends to be biased toward large investments.

Internal rate of Return 

  • Represents the discount rate that results in a net present value of zero. ƒ 
  • It is equal to the discount rate that causes the net present value of future cash flows to equal the initial investment. ƒ 
  • The project will be accepted if the IRR is greater than the companies desired rate of return (hurdle rate). 
  • ƒ The primary weaknesses of this method are that it sometimes requires unrealistic assumptions about reinvestment of funds, and manual calculation is difficult.

Strategy Implementation

  • Management control ƒ The management control system is the primary mechanism for implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of strategy. ƒ Accounting is involved in management control primarily through its role in operating budgets and performance evaluation. ƒ Operating budgets provide a link between strategy and performance. ƒ A number of organizational and cultural factors influence management control.

  •  Formulation of strategic objectives: The formulation of strategic objectives must be
    regarded as the key issue in the whole process of the strategic planning, and this is
    confirmed by all top managers. It is very important to include all top managers in the
    process of strategic planning, to ensure efficient executing of these strategies. The process
    of strategic planning that depends on the prevailing structure value in the given
    organization is generally agreed about. Since the process of strategic planning is directly
    related to subjective assessments of the future and the attitude toward risk taking, very
    little could be found about the working of such these processes.
  •  Environmental analysis:  Analyzing the business environment serves some purposes:38
    At firstly, determination of the statue quo (the present position), secondly, diagnosis of the
    exiting trends and their implications for their operations, thirdly, forecasting future trends,
    fourthly, determining particular opportunities and treats.
    The environment analysis must cover all environment fields including the economic,
    political, social, cultural, regulatory, and technological environment.
  • Market and product analysis: It is very important that MNCs do analysis of the market
    and products, because the market analysis phase demonstrates the best approaches used in
    micro analysis, and requires a strict product orientation.
  • Formulation of the key strategies, individual plans, and budgets: To see the basic
    strategies of the MNC and a definition of the long- and short-term mission of subsidiaries,
    the collected information in the previous steps is usually shown in reports, schedules and
    graphic summaries.

Factors affecting strategy implementation
  • Organizational structure affects strategy implementation. ƒ 
  • Different forms of organizational structures include: ethnocentric, polycentric, and geocentric. 
  • ƒ Ethnocentric firms use an approach that assumes that the cultural background of the firm is universal. 
  • ƒ Polycentric firms consider the culture of the host country to be most important and adopt it.
  • Geocentric firms often consist of units that play very distinct roles. 
  • These roles include: global innovator, integrated player, implementer, and local innovator. ƒ 
  • Levels of control and delegation are factors that influence management control system type. ƒ 
  • One major type of management control system is bureaucratic control which employs a significant amount of structure. ƒ 
  • The other major type is cultural control which is more informal and less structured.

Strategy Performance Evaluation

Major aspects of performance evaluation ƒ 
  • The measure or measures of performance. ƒ 
  • Classification of the foreign operation as cost, profit or investment center. 
  • ƒ Joint or separate evaluation of the foreign operation and the manager of the operation. ƒ 
  • The profit measurement method.
  • Financial measures are based directly on financial statement data. ƒ Examples include net profit, return on investment and comparison of budgeted to actual profit. ƒ
  •  Non financial measures are based on data not obtained directly from financial statements. ƒ Examples include market share, relationship with host country government, and labor turnover.
Measures of  Strategy Performance Evaluation 
  1. Balanced scorecard
  2. Responsibility centers
  3. Separating managerial and unit performance
  4. Choice of currency in measuring profit
  5. Translation to parent currency
  6. Choice of currency in operational budgeting
  7. Cultural considerations in management control

Balanced scorecard :-  
  • This approach gives “balanced” consideration to both financial and nonfinancial measures. ƒ
  •  It considers the perspectives of four stakeholder groups. ƒ Shareholder’s perspectives are considered by financial performance measures. ƒ
  •  The internal business perspective is reflected in business process measures. ƒ
  •  Innovation and learning perspectives and customer’s perspectives are also considered.
Responsibility centers
  • The idea of responsibility centers is to identify the activities that individual units perform and for which they should be held accountable. ƒ
  •  Cost centers are responsible for producing output using a certain amount of resources. ƒ Profit centers are responsible for costs and revenues. ƒ 
  • Investment centers have the responsibilities of a profit center plus responsibility for investment decisions. ƒ
  •  Return on investment (ROI) is the most common performance measure for an investment center.
Separating managerial and unit performance 
  • In an international context a number of factors exist that cause a disconnect between manager performance and unit performance. ƒ 
  • 'These factors that the manager cannot control are known as uncontrollable items.
  •  ƒ Responsibility accounting implies that managers should not be held accountable for uncontrollable items. ƒ
  •  Uncontrollable items include those controlled by the parent, the host government, or controlled by others.
Choice of currency in measuring profit
  • Profit can be measured in either the local currency or parent currency. ƒ 
  • Local currency is appropriate if the subsidiary is not expected to pay parent currency dividends. ƒ Otherwise, parent currency is appropriate. ƒ 
  • When parent currency is used, the company also must choose a translation method. ƒ
  •  Further, a decision must be made about whether to include the translation adjustment in the profit measure.

Translation to parent currency
  • Since the translation is for internal purposes, financial accounting standards need not be followed. ƒ
  •  Likewise, the inclusion of the translation adjustment in the profit measure is based on internal needs rather than accounting standards. 
  • ƒ One factor in this decision is whether the adjustment reflects the impact of exchange rates on parent currency cash flows. ƒ
  •  A second factor whether the local manager has the authority to hedge against exchange rate changes.

Choice of currency in operational budgeting
  • Operational budgets often include budget-to-actual comparisons. ƒ 
  • The international context adds an element of complexity due to exchange rate fluctuations. ƒ 
  • Exchange rates may change during the period between making the budget and recording profits. ƒ
  •  The three available exchange rates are: actual at time of budget, projected at time of budget, actual at end of budget period.
Cultural considerations in management control
  • One of the objectives of a management control system is to influence human behavior. ƒ 
  • People in different cultures will react differently to aspects of management control systems. ƒ Japan is a more collectivist than the United States.
  •  ƒ Management control mechanisms designed in the U.S. to assign individual responsibility will not work as effectively in Japan.

Note :- This is full fledged topic of Strategic Accounting Issues in Multinational Corporations MNC including its formulation. implementation , or evaluation . chances of This Topic to comes in Exam is 80%. Question can be in three forms. 

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