A common misconception about human resource accounting (HRA) is that it focuses narrowly upon financial accounting, that its purpose is to reflect the asset value of people on financial statements. The major purpose of HRA is to provide concepts and measurements to facilitate the effective and efficient management of human resources. It, therefore, represents a management accounting development.

Management science has played an important role in facilitating the development of human resource accounting as a managerial tool. The theories underlying HRA are derived from and consistent with the concepts and philosophy of management science developed after WW II. The rationality and multidisciplinary problem solving approaches which characterize management science were applied to HRA and together with other economic and social factors of the 1960's produced human resource accounting.*

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