AC490      Half Unit
Management Accounting, Decisions and Control

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alnoor Bhimani OLD 3.08


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions. This course is available on the Diploma in Accounting and Finance, MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Law and Accounting, MSc in Management, MSc in Management and Strategy, MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, MSc in Public Management and Governance and MSc in Regulation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This introductory course may also be taken by MSc students who have not previously studied accounting subjects. Students in the MSc Accounting and Finance programme are not permitted to enrol in this course or in AC491. This course cannot be taken concurrently with AC415 Management Accounting for Decision Making.

The course is capped at 115 students.

Course content

Enterprises must today tackle markets that are affected by global economic and social forces and the extensive advances in internet-based technologies. They must seek success in the face of intense competition including the ever more sophisticated corporate strategies of their competitors. At the same time, the interface between business decisions and management accounting is regarded as becoming more complex and a more significant determinant of high corporate performance. This course provides students with an introduction to issues of accounting information and cost management, managerial decision making and performance measurement. It discusses also the interface between management accounting and technology, corporate strategy, e-business and marketing.

The course will cover:

- established managerial accounting concepts such as cost-volume-profit relationships, overhead cost allocations, activity based costing, the balanced scorecard, target cost management and quality costing;

- the implications for accounting of flexible organisational technologies such as just-in-time systems, enterprise resource planning, computer integrated system and collaborative manufacturing;

- operational, marketing and corporate strategy issues including cost management, e-business and internet-based business models;

- organisational arrangements such as functional and multidivisional firms as well as strategic alliances, joint ventures and virtual enterprises;

- comparative international management accounting systems;

- accounting controls and organisational designs including responsibility centres, financial performance measurements, variance analysis, and incentives;

- strategic accounting tools and practices.

The course will provide participants with:

- an understanding of strategic, market and technological links to management accounting and control practices;

- the ability to apply cutting edge management accounting techniques within competitive business environments;

- a knowledge of interrelationships between behavioural, organisational and cultural issues and management accounting systems.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of LT. A 2-hour revision lecture will be held in ST or extra office hours will be held.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to produce several pieces of written work, including accounting exercises, analyses of case studies, and essays. At least two pieces of written work will be collected for feedback during the course. Students are also required to participate actively in a variety of discussions and debates as part of the class activities.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be given out at the start of the course. Illustrative references include: Bhimani A, Strategic Finance, Strategy Press, 2013; Bhimani A,and Bromwich M, Management Accounting: Retrospect and Prospect, Elsevier/CIMA, 2010.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes) in the main exam period.

The first 15 minutes will be reading time.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 35.1
Merit 43.1
Pass 12.3
Fail 9.5

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2014/15: 109

Average class size 2014/15: 14

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness