An examination of the meaning and definitions of cost accounting and management accounting indicates that the distinction between the two is quite vague. Some writers even consider these two areas as synonyms while others distinguish between the two. One point on which all agree is that two types of accounting do not have clear-cut territorial boundaries. The scope of management accounting is broader than that of cost accounting. Cost accounting provides only cost information for managerial use whereas management accounting provides all types of accounting information i.e., cost accounting as well as financial accounting information. In cost accounting, the main emphasis is on cost ascertainment and cost control. In management accounting the main emphasis is on decision-making. The various techniques used by cost accounting are standard costing, budgetary control, marginal costing and cost-volume-profit analysis, uniform costing and inter-firm comparison, etc. Management accounting also uses these techniques but in addition it also uses techniques like ratio analysis, funds flow statement, statistical analysis, operations research and certain techniques from various branches of knowledge like mathematics, economics etc., which so ever can help management in achieving business goals.
Management accounting is a forward looking concept with the help use of cost accounting techniques.