Managerial Accounting For Dummies
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Managerial accounting provides internal reports tailored to the needs of managers and officers inside the company. On the other hand, financial accounting provides external financial statements for general use by stockholders, creditors, and government regulators. The table compares the differences between managerial and financial accounting based on the information prepared.

Contrasting Managerial and Financial Accounting
Preparing Information Managerial Accountants Financial Accountants
What info? Internal reports Financial statements
Who uses info? Managers who work for the company and officers of the company Stockholders, creditors, and government regulators
When prepared? Whenever needed Quarterly and annually
How detailed? Very detailed, to address specific decisions to be made by managers Very general, pertaining to the whole company
How prepared? In accordance with the needs of managers and officers In accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
How verified? By internal controls among managerial accountants By external CPAs

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Mark P. Holtzman, PhD, CPA, is Chair of the Department of Accounting and Taxation at Seton Hall University. He has taught accounting at the college level for 17 years and runs the Accountinator website at, which gives practical accounting advice to entrepreneurs.

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