Management information is central to good management. Accounting information is central to management information. This is not talked about very much any more because accounting is fully integrated into most corporate management information systems, but it was very much a subject of debate in the 1960s when the first wave of corporate computerization was being undertaken.
I have defined management information in the following manner:
"Management information is the least amount of information that reliably ensures that the best decisions are being made"In the corporate world management information is of this type ... but in the world of academia and in the international relief and development community, information of this type is almost totally absent.
This explains to some degree why it is that the international relief and development sector has been responsible for so little success. The management information available did not ensure good decisions were being made ... and worse, the accounting information itself was very weak.
Tr-Ac-Net is of the view that a universal system of management information that provides accountability to the public for use of resources and the impact on the community is needed ... and is developing a prototype to demonstrate what such a system can do.
With good information ... and good decisions ... the potential for an improvement in the global quality of life is huge. But good information is not yet being embraced by the well known major established organizations. The reason for this is unclear.
Good management information leads to good management, and then to good results.