Business intelligence implementation and its significance for management accounting: A case study
The term business intelligence (BI) is increasing in importance to management accountants who must make decisions and assess performance in organizations. After all, it is an intersection of management accounting (MA) and information systems support, which has gained more attention from researchers and practitioners alike. This paper is an approach to combine these topics based on a case study conducted in the business unit controlling department of an international catalyst supplier. Two BI related initiatives were developed and the implementation and feedback were documented. One is regarding the creation of an automated plant performance reporting system, the other deals with the development of a planning tool for a new business activity. Problems that are mentioned in the existing literature are examined, and the results of the practical research are put into the context of management accounting and BI, presenting important implications. We explore, among other, the importance of standardization and end-user participation during implementation. Besides, we identify which technical features of BI can support MA tasks and how this is changing the role of a management accountant in a firm. Even though it might not have universal validity, this paper can be useful for readers, that are planning to use BI tools and want to know about the ramifications.