Firstly, the present paper proposes a theoretical framework of Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) in the context of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Additionally, it examines the actual diffusion of SMA with reference to a sample of 40 SMEs from central Italy. Finally, it presents a contingent model based on a regression analysis in order to identify the determinants of traditional and SMA tool introduction and their influence on the financial performance distinguishing between high- and low-complexity companies. For this purpose, a mixed quantitative and qualitative information was employed. The quantitative data was acquired through a survey and the study of AIDA database while the qualitative one through interviews. In contrast with some earlier assumptions, the findings show a higher than expected SMA diffusion in SMEs, combined with a proactive approach in the organizations which introduced it, largely in an informal way. The study also reveals that SMEs which operate in a high-complexity environment use SMA tools more extensively to achieve higher financial performance.
Keywords: Strategic Management Accounting, Financial Performance, Small And Medium Sized Enterprises