Management Accounting, Financial Management and Organisational Control

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Ms Nadine de Gannes, OLD 2.23


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

Available to students on other undergraduate/Diploma programmes with the permission of the Accounting Departmental Tutor.


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 addresses contemporary issues in management accounting, financial management, and organisational control. The course consists of four modules, all of which are taught by faculty with specific expertise in the area. The exact composition of the course may vary from year to year, but issues which are typically addressed include financial controls, organisational structures, performance measurement and incentive systems, budgetary control and public-sector and non-profit financial management.

The Function of management control systems: The course starts with the study of the quintessential role of management control systems in decentralised organisations, with a focus on the measurement and evaluation of the performance of organisational entities and their managers. Focusing on financial control systems, this module analyses issues related to financial target setting (as part of organisations’ planning and budgeting processes), performance measurement and evaluation, and the assignment of various forms of organisational rewards, such as bonuses and promotions.

Management accounting, budgets and behaviour: Building on the first module, this module focuses primarily on budgeting issues and on understanding how budgets impact employee behaviours and their decisions and actions. This module also discusses “beyond budgeting” and capital budgeting. This is done through the lens of different organisational theories, including contingency theory.

Accounting in non-governmental organisations: Many of the concepts from the prior two modules are then studied in the context of NGOs, including measuring the performance and effectiveness of NGOs, the use of 'business-like' management control and financial management systems (like budgets), the evaluation of programme efficiency and impact, and the accountability to donors and beneficiaries.

Accounting in the new public sector: The final module studies management accounting and financial management in the 'new public sector', including performance measurement, cost accounting, cost management and pricing; the roles of accounting controls in the health system reforms in the UK and elsewhere.


The first half of MT will comprise 10 hours of lectures and 5 hours of classes.  The second half of MT, the module on 'Accounting in non-governmental organisations' is taught using a 'flipped-lecture' approach, with a series of on-line lectures, and five 2-hour classes. In LT, there will be 20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes. Please note that there is no Reading Week in AC310 in either term.

Formative coursework

Case studies and applications will be used extensively. Students will be expected to present cases and contribute to in-class discussions. Students will also be expected to produce four written assignments; two in MT and two in LT. Assignment 2 in MT  and Assignment 4 in LT will count towards the final mark in the course.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be distributed at the start of each Module of the course. Illustrative references include: Bhimani and Bromwich, Management Accounting: Retrospect and Prospect, Elsevier/CIMA (2009); Bhimani, Contemporary Issues in Management Accounting, OUP (2006); Olson, Guthrie & Humphrey (Eds), Global Warning: Debating International Developments in New Public Financial Management, Cappelan Akademisk Forlag As, Oslo (1998); Merchant & Van der Stede, Management Control Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives, FT/Prentice Hall (2012).


Exam (80%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Coursework (20%) in the MT and LT.

Exam (80%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period; the other 20% of the mark will be based on the two summative assignments submitted during the year. Assignment 2 (MT) and Assignment 4 (LT) will each count for 10% of the final mark for this course.

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 18
2:1 63
2:2 16.6
Third 1.4
Fail 1.1

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2016/17: 129

Average class size 2016/17: 25

Capped 2016/17: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 66%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)