Internal Users, Internal Information, and Planning and Control

Annual reports provide an overview of an entities financial performance in the past year. They are of little use to managers who require frequent, up-to-date information tailored to their needs for decision and control.

External users may have access to internal information through statutory right (e.g., the tax office) or those who are able to exert influence (e.g., a lender or banker).

A small business is unlikely to want additional internal information as it is already probably known. For a large company owners and managers need a breakdown of each business unit and unit of operation.

The planning process involves the setting of objectives and how they will be achieved; the control processes involves the implementation. Planning consists of setting objectives, making strategic decisions, making operating decisions and monitoring and taking corrective action. The efficient use of short-term resources is an operating decision, usually tied to a budget.

Responsibility accounting is a method of measuring and controlling performance through the use of accounting results. Performance and control can be met by putting monetary values on the inputs and outputs of a business cycle.

The control system monitors and controls performance so that appropriate corrective action can be taken. Control can be achieved on a daily basis with computerised systems, assuming positive cost-benefit analysis.