The aim of the module is to develop knowledge of management accounting techniques and systems with reference to the use of internal accounting information in planning, control and decision making processes. In particular, students will gather knowledge and understanding of a range of strategic management accounting techniques and how to apply these techniques to problem-solving.
In addition, the class examines management accounting from a range of theoretical perspectives. The aim is to understand the boundaries of what is and isn’t management accounting, contemporary thinking on management accounting and how management accounting may develop in the future. Management Accounting is described in many different ways to allow students to gather their own understanding and to develop a conceptual framework for evaluating its effectiveness in different institutional and organisational contexts.
On completing this class, students will:
i. be aware of the historical developments in management accounting and the more recent developments drawing from leading research in the area;
ii. gather a knowledge of a range of management accounting techniques applicable to the strategic management of organisations;
iii. develop understanding of the strategic organisational contexts within which management accounting processes operate;
iv. be aware of the impact of environmental issues on management accounting;
v. be aware of the different theoretical and philosophical approaches to understanding management accounting;
vi. be able to develop a theoretical or conceptual framework to help structure their understanding of management accounting;
vii. be aware of the dynamic nature of management accounting practise and theory.
The first part of the course will focus on the theoretical understanding of management accounting and its role in supporting the processes of strategic planning and control in decision making. In particular, students will gather knowledge and understanding of a range of management accounting techniques to use for strategy formulation and control: balanced scorecard, value chain analysis, activity based budgeting, activity based management, beyond budgeting, total quality management, accounting for just in time, benchmarking, environmental management accounting.
The second part of the module will focus on the theoretical and philosophical foundations of management accounting practice. The purpose is to allow students to develop their theoretical and conceptual framework to evaluate management accounting practice today and in the future. In the second part of the module, the following themes will be examined:
i. What is management accounting? What are its origins, its theoretical framework, its historical development?
ii. What can management accountants do?
iii. How important is the institutional context when evaluating management accounting practice?
iv. Are there any new 'solutions' or ‘developments’ that claim to improve 'management accounting'?
v. What are the interactions between management accounting and other forms of ‘accounting’ (e.g. social accounting) in the organisational context? How and to what extent is management accounting implicated in organisational change?
1. Main recommended textbook: Drury, J C., 2015, Management and Cost Accounting, 9th ed., International Thomson Business Press. Please note that previous editions (e.g. the 7th ed.), will be sufficient in the majority of situations.
2. Academic articles: Note that in a number of lectures (especially in the second part of the module), additional required reading will be provided.
Further information about the reading list for each class is provided online in the ‘class’ web page.
3. Other: We also encourage wider independent reading around different topics by browsing the management accounting journals in the library including, Management Accounting, Management Accounting Research (UK), Journal of Management Accounting Research (USA). Other journals such as, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, and Accounting, Organisations and Society often include papers on management accounting.
Lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars.
The course is assessed by means of a written exam, which will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects. In particular the theoretical part consists of open ended, multiple choice and/or essay-type questions. In addition, the exam includes one or two numerical and calculation type questions.
Further, details of the assessment will follow in due course.
IMPORTANT: see instructions and materials on the 'class web page'.
Midterm exams are scheduled for November (1st part at the end of the first 8 weeks) and January (2nd part at the end of 12 weeks). Please note that:
1. Each student needs to achieve a mark of 18/30 or above to obtain a ‘pass’ grade in the assessment. Any mark below 18 will be considered as a ‘fail’ and students will be required to resit.
2. The November mid-term exam mark is valid until the end of March 2020. This means that students are required to pass the ‘second part’ of the exam either in January or February. If students fail to do so, a resit for the entire module is required.
The final grade of the entire exam will be the weighted mean of the two mid-term exams (first weighting 2/3 and the second 1/3). Students will pass the exam if they achieve a mark of 18/30 or above.
3. Students who are not doing the pre-exam in November (or do not ‘pass’ it) are required to take the exam for the entire module at any of the scheduled exam dates starting from January onwards.