The aim of the module is to deliver knowledge of management accounting techniques and systems with reference to the use of internal accounting information in planning, control and decision making processes. In particular, students will gather knowledge and understanding of a range of strategic management accounting techniques and how to apply these techniques to problem-solving.
In addition, the class examines management accounting from a range of theoretical perspectives. The aim is to understand the boundaries of what is and isn’t management accounting, contemporary thinking on management accounting and how management accounting may develop in the future. Management Accounting is described in many different ways to allow students to gather their own understanding and to develop a conceptual framework for evaluating its effectiveness in different institutional and organisational contexts.
On completing this class, students will:
i. be aware of the historical developments in management accounting and the more recent developments drawing from leading research in the area;
ii. gather a knowledge of a range of management accounting techniques applicable to the strategic management of organisations;
iii. develop understanding of the strategic organisational contexts within which management accounting processes operate;
iv. be aware of the impact of environmental issues on management accounting;
v. be aware of the different theoretical and philosophical approaches to understanding management accounting;
vi. be able to develop a theoretical or conceptual framework to help structure their understanding of management accounting;
vii. be aware of the dynamic nature of management accounting practise and theory.
The first part of the course will focus on the theoretical understanding of management accounting and its role in supporting the processes of strategic planning and control in decision making. In particular, students will gather knowledge and understanding of a range of management accounting techniques to use for strategy formulation and control: balanced scorecard, value chain analysis, activity based budgeting, activity based management, beyond budgeting, total quality management, accounting for just in time, benchmarking, environmental management accounting.
The second part of the module will focus on the theoretical and philosophical foundations of management accounting practice. The purpose is to allow students to develop their theoretical and conceptual framework to evaluate management accounting practice today and in the future. In the second part of the module, the following themes will be examined:
i. What is management accounting? What are its origins, its theoretical framework, its historical development?
ii. What can management accountants do?
iii. How important is the institutional context when evaluating management accounting practice?
iv. Are there any new 'solutions' or ‘developments’ that claim to improve 'management accounting'?
v. What are the interactions between management accounting and other forms of ‘accounting’ (e.g. social accounting) in the organisational context? How and to what extent is management accounting implicated in organisational change?
Lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars.
The course is assessed by means of a written exam, which will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects. In particular the theoretical part consists of open ended, multiple choice and/or essay-type questions. In addition, the exam includes one or two numerical and calculation type questions.
Further, details of the assessment will follow in due course.
IMPORTANT: see instructions and materials on the 'class web page'.