Managerial Accounting

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tommaso Palermo KSW 3.07 and 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 the LT.

This course has a reading week in Week 6 of both MT and LT.

The lecture time in week 6 of the LT will be used to explain the rationales and requirements of a mandatory assignment (a case analysis) that will be carried out in the second half of the LT.

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.


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.
Case analysis (15%) and class participation (10%) in the LT.

The case analysis will require students to work in small groups.

Class participation will be assessed based on students’ engagement with course activities, including for example in-class discussions and class assignments.

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 18.9
2:1 38.5
2:2 28.1
Third 11
Fail 3.5

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2016/17: 175

Average class size 2016/17: 12

Capped 2016/17: No

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

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