Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for the systematic examination of management accounting practices in small businesses using a revenue management perspective.Design/methodology/approach: The framework is theoretically derived from the management accounting, revenue management, and small business literature. An illustrative case study of a small fast-food business is presented to demonstrate the applicability of this framework to practice.
Findings: We identify that various dimensions of business size have different and sometimes opposing effects on management accounting practices. Given heterogeneity is a common feature of small businesses, we identify various attributes of small businesses that provide alternative specifications of the size contingency variable.
Research limitations/implications: The synthesis of small business characteristics and revenue management perspective offers a more incisive understanding of what has traditionally been considered a simple practice. The case study is intended to illustrate some of the influences of small business characteristics identified in our framework. Given its narrow scope, our findings are used for theorisation rather than offering generalisable results. Further cross-sectional comparisons of small businesses are needed to confirm size influences.
Practical implications: The framework can assist practitioners to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their management accounting practices and can help assess the value of adopting more sophisticated management accounting practices, given their particular business environment. A synthesis of these small business attributes can help practitioners identify key barriers to implementation.
Originality/value: The revenue management perspective and the inclusion of key characteristics of small businesses provide a new approach to evaluating management accounting practices in small businesses.