Relationship between cost accounting, financial accounting, management accounting and financial management

Cost Accounting is a branch of accounting, which has been developed because of the limitations of Financial Accounting from the point of view of management control and internal reporting. Financial accounting performs admirably, the function of portraying a true and fair overall picture of the results or activities carried on by an enterprise during a period and its financial position at the end of the year. Also, on the basis of financial accounting, effective control can be exercised on the property and assets of the enterprise to ensure that they are not misused or misappropriated. To that extent financial accounting helps to assess the overall progress of a concern, its strength and weaknesses by providing the figures relating to several previous years.

Data provided by Cost and Financial Accounting is further used for the management of all processes associated with the efficient acquisition and deployment of short, medium and long term financial resources. Such a process of management is known as Financial Management. The objective of Financial Management is to maximize the wealth of shareholders by taking effective Investment, Financing and Dividend decisions. Investment decisions relate to the effective deployment of scarce resources in terms of funds while the Financing decisions are concerned with acquiring optimum finance for attaining financial objectives.

The last and very important 'Dividend decision' relates to the determination of the amount and frequency of cash which can be paid out of profits to shareholders. On the other hand, Management Accounting refers to managerial processes and technologies that are focused on adding value to organizations by attaining the effective use of resources, in dynamic and competitive contexts. Hence, Management Accounting is a distinctive form of resource management which facilitates management's 'decision making' by producing information for managers within an organization.