Management accounting change. Case: Finlayson Pop Up -shops

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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This case study aims to describe the management accounting change taking place at a Finnish home textile company Finlayson Oy. The focus of the study is on the development and adoption of a new business model for Pop Up -Shops business area as part of renewing the retail strategy and analyzing how the changes in management accounting systems linked to the new business model took place. Furthermore, the nature of the management accounting change as a phenomenon at the case company is discussed. In the literature review the following areas are covered: retail as business; management accounting practices such as management accounting systems, performance measurement and management accounting tools; and management accounting change. The management accounting change is analyzed in accord to the management accounting change models provided by Innes & Mitchell (1990), Cobb et al (1995) and Kasurinen (2002). Furthermore, scholars such as Burns & Vaivio (2001) provide further framework by which management accounting change as a phenomenon can be perceived and analyzed. This research was conducted as a longitudinal single case study. The study took place from June 2014 to February 2016. During this time new strategy was introduced at Finlayson including also a new strategy for Retail business division where the developments of the Pop Up -Shops business area took place. During the study period the company developed reporting and introduced new type of ad hoc analysis that supported the development and evaluation of the new Pop Up -Shops business model. Different data sources including documentation, archival records, 13 interviews, direct observations and participant-observation were used. In the findings such changes in the management accounting systems took place as a change in the role of a management accountant; new organizational and accounting structures; new style of reporting; and an introduction of internal benchmarking practice that was new to the company. The factors advancing the change included competition in the markets, organizational structure, culture of "measurement", availability of resources, a leader for the changes and recent experience of organizational changes endorsing momentum of change in the process of management accounting change. Barriers of change included the uncertain role of the new Pop Up -Shops business model, increased certainty about the future in the business operations, lack of resources in the accounting staff and inadequate IT systems. Overall, the management accounting change at Finlayson could be perceived as a centrally driven effort with some informal elements. The developments in the management accounting systems raised also questions about the role of non-financial measurement at Finlayson and whether the management systems were focused in the right areas in the company.
management accounting, management accounting change, management accounting systems, case study
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