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Unit information: Strategic Management Accounting in 2016/17

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Unit name Strategic Management Accounting
Unit code ECONM2024
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lyne
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Economics, Finance and Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


To enable students to develop a good understanding of strategic decision making, and control of strategic business units. The course will adopt a managerial user-perspective (not an accountant preparer-perspective). Key traditional issues relating to control will be examined, and various contemporary managerial techniques will be explored, such as, activity-based techniques, target costing, balanced scorecard. Through the use of exercises and case-studies the ability to analyse business issues and problems will be developed.

Intended learning outcomes

  • To demonstrate the ability to analyse financial information in solving product mix problems under market and capacity constraints.
  • To demonstrate investment appraisal methods and integrate non-financial issues into strategic decision-making.
  • To be able to develop product and service costs using both traditional and contemporary methods and to criticise these methods.
  • To be able to calculate traditional variances for control, discuss the resulting financial statements and criticise traditional methods in the light of the “new manufacturing environment”.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of financial and non-financial performance measures for business units and their strengths and weaknesses.
  • To be able to calculate financial metrics such as return on investment and economic value added and understand their implications for management behaviour.
  • To be able to derive transfer prices using both accounting and economic methods and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these in the context of business unit decision-making, control and evaluation.

Teaching details

Weekly lecture, bi-weekly exercise lecture alternating with small group tutorial classes. For the student: 15 hours lectures, 5 hours tutorial classes.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment:

Three hour written examination (100%) incorporating one question based on a pre-issued case study and directed research; two questions that test understanding of calculative technique and the meaning of such analysis and one question that tests understanding of key concepts.

Formative assessment

Two exercises/cases that develop the ability to undertake financially-based calculations for both decision-making and control and to interpret and discuss the results of such calculations in the context of both financial and non-financial issues.

Reading and References

Accounting for Managers (Collier)

Advanced Management Accounting (Kaplan and Atkinson)

The Design of Cost Management Systems (Cooper and Kaplan)

Harvard Business Review for activity-based costing and the balanced scorecard

Management Accounting Research and Journal of Management Accounting Research for strategic cost management.