An exploratory analysis of management accounting practices in the Arab Gulf Cooperative countries

John Daniel Mclellan, Esam Moustafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


PurposeThe aim of this research project is to examine the adoption rate of management accounting tools by businesses in the Gulf Co-operative Council (GCC) countries and attempts to determine if significant variances in the use of management accounting tools by GCC businesses are contingent on a companies' ownership, legal structure, size or industry sector. The study covers a broad range of businesses, from many different business sectors in six different Arab countries. Design/methodology/approachAn online survey on the adoption rate of 41 Management Accounting Tools was used to collect data. The Institute of Management Accountants invited 453 CMA's in the Gulf region to participate in the Survey of Management Accounting Practices in the GCC area. Factor analysis was employed to test the effects of company characteristics on the choice of management accounting tools. FindingsThe study finds that companies in the GCC rely on the more traditional management accounting practices such as budgeting rather than the more recently developed strategically focused tools such as activity based management and the use of the balanced scorecard. The research also shows that company characteristics play a significant role in the use of management accounting tools by businesses. Overall, international ownership and incorporation tend to increase the use of many management accounting practices. Research limitations/implicationsResults should be generalized cautiously due to the small number of responding companies. The use of individual tools may not be completely explained by the chosen independent variables; other factors such as management's preference and/or the cost and benefit of the tool may affect choice. Originality/valueManagement accounting practices of businesses in the GCC have never been studied before. This study updates the literature on the management accounting tools by businesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 12 2013


  • Company characteristics
  • Factor analysis
  • Finance and accounting
  • Gulf Co-operative Council (GCC) countries
  • Institute of Management Accountants
  • Management accounting
  • Management accounting tools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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