Managerial Accounting

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tommaso Palermo KSW 3.07

Dr David Twardowski KSW 3.08, Mr Per Ahblom OLD 3.13


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Accounting and Finance. This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Management and BSc in Statistics with Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Please seek permission from the Accounting Department tutor. This course is also an option for students taking the Diploma in Accounting and Finance.



Students must have completed Elements of Accounting and Finance (AC100) or Elements of Management Accounting and Financial Management (AC103) or Elements of Accounting, Financial Institutions and Financial Management (AC104).

Course content

The course analyses the roles and uses of management accounting practices in contemporary organisations and enterprises. Management accounting is extensively involved in the planning, coordination and control of complex organisations and networks of organisations competing on a global scale. The course explores key management accounting concepts and tools, and their economic, strategic, behavioural and organisational underpinnings

The course is organised around four topics.

Management Accounting for Decision Making examines how management accounting information can be used in the context of a variety of short- and long-term decision problems, ranging from costing to pricing, outsourcing and investment appraisal.

Management Accounting and Strategy looks at management accounting change and at the emerging role of management accounting in strategy making. 

Management Accounting and Organisational Control examines intra-organisational planning and control issues, focusing on how managerial action is guided by practices such as budgeting, variance analysis and transfer pricing.

Performance Measurement addresses the use of financial and non-financial performance measures in complex organisational and managerial settings, with particular emphasis on their behavioural consequences and the limits of quantification.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of classes in the ST.

There will be a 2 hour revision lecture in week 11 of LT.

Week 6 in the MT and in the LT will be a reading week. The lecture time in week 6 of the LT will be used to explain the rationales and requirements of a mandatory group project.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to complete written assignments before each class. Three of these assignments, two in the MT and one in the LT, will be collected and graded by class teachers as part of formative coursework to provide feedback on analytical and writing skills ahead of the final exam. Course work may take the form of an essay, a case analysis or a numerical exercise and may also include in-class presentation and team-based work.  Feedback on performance and progress will be provided during class, on written homework assignments, and during office hours.


Students will also work in groups on the analysis of a business case. The evaluation of the final written report for this will count towards the final mark for the course. In addition to active engagement with coursework, all students will be expected to contribute to class discussions. Class participation will also count towards the final mark of the course.

Indicative reading

Detailed course programmes and reading lists will be distributed before the first lecture of each module. A range of academic papers, professional reports and news articles will be used in the course. Illustrative texts and articles include: Bhimani A, Horngren CT, Datar SM and Rajan MV (2012), Management and cost accounting, 5th edition, FT/Prentice Hall; Shank JK (1996), Analysing technology investments – From NPV to strategic cost management, Management Accounting Research 7, 185 – 197; Van der Stede, WA and Palermo, T (2011), Scenario budgeting: Integrating risk and performance, Finance & Management 184(1), 10–13; Nocera, J (2009), Risk Mismanagement, New York Times, January 2nd; Hall, M (2010). Accounting information and managerial work. Accounting, Organizations and Society 35, 301-315.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.
In class assessment (25%) in the LT.

The 25% will comprise the marking of a group project as well active engagement with the course (e.g. participation to class discussion and submission of coursework).

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 20.3
2:1 41.7
2:2 28.8
Third 7.1
Fail 2.1

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2015/16: 216

Average class size 2015/16: 14

Capped 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills