AC490      Half Unit
Management Accounting, Decisions and Control

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alnoor Bhimani MAR 3.21


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, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Management and Strategy, MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation 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 50 students.

Course content

Enterprises must today tackle markets that are affected by global economic and business forces and advances in digital technologies. They face intense competition from ever-changing corporate strategies of their competitors and new business models. At the same time, the interface between business decisions and management accounting has become more complex but significantly impacts corporate performance. This course provides students with an introduction to how accounting information and cost management techniques shape managerial decision making and performance measurement. It discusses inter-relationships between management accounting and technology, corporate strategy, e-business and marketing. The course includes both qualitative and quantitative material and is not 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;

- how flexible organisational technologies such as just-in-time systems, enterprise resource planning, computer integrated system and 3-D manufacturing influence accounting information;

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

- organisational arrangements such as functional and multidivisional firms and virtual enterprises;

- comparative international management accounting systems;

- accounting controls associated with responsibility centres, financial performance measurement, 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 modern management accounting techniques within competitive business environments;

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


30 hours of seminars with office hours in the WT.

Teaching is delivered in two 90 minutes sessions each week. Sessions contain a variety of technical content, practical exercises, and case analyses.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of WT. 

Formative coursework

Students are expected to engage in seminar preparation, including accounting exercises and analyses of case studies. Written work, in the form of a case study analysis, will be collected during the course as advised by the instructor. 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 books will be  used: Bhimani A,  Horngren C, Datar S and Rajan M  Management and Cost Accounting (Pearson, 2023); Bhimani, A. Accounting Disrupted: How digitalization is changing finance (Wiley, 2021) and   Bhimani A, Financial Management for Technology Start-ups (Kogan Page, 2022).


Exam (80%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the spring exam period.
Case study (20%) in the WT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 40.7
Merit 41.7
Pass 13
Fail 4.6

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 2022/23: 54

Average class size 2022/23: 9

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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