AC490      Half Unit
Management Accounting, Decisions and Control

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alnoor Bhimani OLD 3.08


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Law and Accounting, MSc in Management and Strategy, MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, MSc in Regulation and Master of Public Administration. 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 business 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 includes both qualitative and quantitative material.  Students should not expect the course to be purely calculations based.

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. The following two books will be extensively used: Bhimani A,  Horngren C, Datar S and Rajan M  Management and Cost Accounting (Pearson, 2015) and   Bhimani A, Financial Management for Technology Start-ups, Kogan Page, 2017.


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

The first 15 minutes will be reading time.

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 26.6
Merit 42.1
Pass 23
Fail 8.4

Teachers' comment

This is an introductory course which emphasises applied managerial issues and basic quantitative accounting analysis.  Students interested in real life management issues and not just in-depth technical accounting calculations will enjoy the course most and perform well.

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2017/18: 59

Average class size 2017/18: 12

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Lecture capture used 2017/18: 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

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 100%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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