ABSTRACT: Cost management has been tied in the past to the concepts of score‐keeping, attention directing, and problem solving, but the expectations of accountants in today's world have changed dramatically, extending well beyond these concepts. This paper presents a different way to view cost management. It is not a planning or decision‐making focus, but instead a focus on helping the organization be successful, through the implementation of an effective competitive strategy. Strategy is implemented by the appropriate use of cost management methods. The “why strategy?” question is answered by a review of survey findings, a discussion of the potential errors in nonstrategic decision making, and a review of changes at the Institute of Management Accountants that reflect a greater emphasis on strategy, including a new definition of management accounting which focuses on strategy. The paper shows the strategy‐based content flowcharts for each of the three courses: management accounting, cost accounting, and advanced management accounting.

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