Transactional accounting is about recording the financial events of the business according to acceptable practices. The accuracy of those records is important, even critical. However, they aren't the managerial tool the organization needs or wants. The purely financial representation and analysis of business results doesn't tell the full story. While marketing is an "expense" under financial accounting treatment, managerially it is an investment. There are other such examples of scorekeeping versus results measurement.
Businesses need both scorekeeping and results. Businesses get results from gaining a managerial understanding and perspective on the numeric representation of the business. Businesses also must recognize information beyond the numbers. There are events, factors, and decisions that aren't captured real-time by the financial results. The organization which has the capability to address the non-financial aspects of the business in the context of their ultimate impact on financial performance is the one that will be able to generate significant financial results.
Every activity in the organization ultimately generates cash, uses cash, or both. The results are either direct or indirect from each activity. For instance, manufacturing a product is a direct use of cash for raw materials, purchased parts, and labor. The ordering of the raw materials and purchased parts is not directly related to the conversion into a finished good - but is a necessary activity to the organization. The purchasing and manufacturing processes both play a role in producing a product for sale. Both use cash. Both ultimately contribute to generating cash. Either process executed poorly impacts the sales process and the bottom-line.
This becomes the question: what is the measure of results for each group? How is purchasing performance measured? What metrics does manufacturing have to meet? How are sales people evaluated?
Numbers should be incentives to perform and a means of identifying results. The results measured must be meaningful to the business and to the performer. When members of the organization view accounting measures as an obstacle and not as a tool for achieving results, setting priorities, and measuring performance, then it is time to reevaluate how the numbers are being used and determine how to generate relevant metrics which drive the organization forward. Relevant metrics are necessary; merely keeping score doesn't benefit the organization.