Spasich, C. and Day, M. M., Disciplinary time games played in professional accounting firms, School of Accounting & Finance, University of Wollongong, Working Paper 7, 1994.
Time is money, money is time. The monetary value in today's society is intrinsically linked to the use of time, and therefore, also to management accounting processes. To use time efficiently equates with producing as much surplus value or profits as possible. In this quest, many managers have introduced surveillance mechanisms for disciplinary purposes. This study presents a historical exposition of 'clock culture' and analyses the particulars of time sheet reporting systems in three professional accounting firms, While the rational, articulated roles given for the implementation of these systems are sometimes achieved, there appears to be other forces driving the process. These forces are explicated using Foucault's framework of power. The time recording process becomes clearer when analysed through the disciplinary lens; it is a disciplinary process which is both pervasive and self-sustaining.