accounting rule-making bodies have a number of incentives not to pursue highly refined cost accounting and control techniques for environmental wastes. The following section discusses in more detail what such systems might look like, and how they might best be established.
Environmental accounting often means different things to different writers on the subject. I will define environmental accounting for purposes of this discussion as the incorporation and treatment of "environment"-related information in internal accounting (i.e., management accounting) systems.
The role of management accounting systems is threefold: (1) to direct managerial attention to problem areas, (2) to provide informational support for managerial decisions, and (3) in decentralized organizations, to promote the harmonization of divisional goals with corporate goals through performance measurement and incentive (management control) mechanisms. The major components of a managerial information system that includes cost accounting data collection are shown schematically in Figure 1. The first two components, standard setting and