Comparative Management Accounting: Analysis of differences in cost accounting methods between Germany and the United States

  • Typ:Bachelor's thesis
  • Betreuer:

    Marc Wouters

  • Zusatzfeld:


  • In times of increasing internationalization and convergence of economic systems a mutual understanding of methodology and approach of other cultures is essential. This study examines and defines US-American methods of cost accounting and analyzes them with regard to differences compared to the German approaches. The detected differences make a contribution to improving communication, to preventing misunderstandings and conflicts, to creating a basis for common understanding, and to pointing out further applications and research fields. The goal is a sensitization for national arising peculiarities and emphasis. To achieve this goal, a great variety of textbooks and relevant literature is considered.

    The study stresses the inventory valuation in the context of product costing, process orientated cost accounting systems and Resource Consumption Accounting. It becomes obvious that relevant and basic differences occur between comparable approaches. The methods exhibit discrepancies concerning the quality and complexity as well as regarding their application fields. The fact that many international technical terms are not occupied uniformly is quite remarkable. Consequently, substantial potential for conflict exists. Finally, it can be concluded that the United States and Germany set different areas of emphasis in their accounting practices. However, the systems of both countries have recognized a necessary demand of change. In contrast to the German approach towards the American standards within the range of Management Accounting, a thesis of the opposite development within the United States can be made as well. Therefore, a mutual approach of the two systems can be expected.