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balanced scorecard


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An approach to management that integrates both financial and non-financial performance measures in a framework proposed by Professors Kaplan and Norton. The BSC was first reported in the Harvard Business Review in 1992 and has since been adopted by a wide range of organizations. It is considered one of the most significant recent developments in management accounting. The approach looks at performance from four interrelated dimensions: the financial perspective – how do we measure financial performance? Possible performance measures include operating profits, return on capital employed, and unit costs. the customer perspective – how do we measure customer satisfaction? Possible performance measures include customer profitability, customer satisfaction, and market share. the internal business-process perspective – what must we excel at? Possible measures include time to develop new products, defect rates, and product returns. the learning and growth perspective – how can we continue to improve and create value? Possible measures include employee satisfaction and employee productivity.

the financial perspective – how do we measure financial performance? Possible performance measures include operating profits, return on capital employed, and unit costs.

the customer perspective – how do we measure customer satisfaction? Possible performance measures include customer profitability, customer satisfaction, and market share.

the internal business-process perspective – what must we excel at? Possible measures include time to develop new products, defect rates, and product returns.

the learning and growth perspective – how can we continue to improve and create value? Possible measures include employee satisfaction and employee productivity.

The balanced scorecard approach requires managers to identify both lagging and leading measures. Lagging measures are financial measures that show the impact of decisions made in the past, whereas leading measures are non-financial measures relating to the customer, internal business-process, and learning and growth perspectives. The latter are the drivers of future financial performance.

Subjects: Accounting.


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