Management accounting change has become a topic of much debate in recent years. These debates comprise various issues including whether management accounting has not changed, has changed or should change. Nevertheless, little research attention has been paid to the processes of change through which new management accounting practices have emerged. Management accounting change is a complex multiple dimensional phenomenon and has to be studied as an ongoing, cumulative process, not in isolation from the organizational context in which it is located. To highlight the unfolding characteristics of management accounting change as process rather than as outcome, a ‘processual’ approach is appropriate. Furthermore, to address management accounting change in its specific context, a conceptual framework will also be useful. The conceptual framework adopted in this study is drawn from institutional theory, a theoretical approach which is congruent with a processual approach. The present study aims to tease out, conceptually at least, the temporal dimensions of management accounting change; and, demonstrates why and how new forms of management accounting practice evolve in the manner they do.