ADVANCED MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING
LEARNING OUTCOMES OF THE COURSE UNIT
The aim of the course is to give the students higher insights to apply various management accounting techniques to all types of organizations for planning, decision making and control purposes in practical situations and to strengthen their theoretical knowledge and critical skills. Hence a suggested prerequisite is to have successfully completed a course of Management Accounting at Bachelor degree level.
More specifically an objective of the the Master course (Second cycle course) of Advanced Management Accounting, AMA, is to develop ability to apply quantitative techniques to business problems.
Therefore the theory of Management Accounting, MA, as well as the applications at business level are studied on a more advanced stage compared to the basic knowledge acquired on the First Cycle Level Course of MA.
Another aim is to decrease the differences, if any, in knowledge and competence in management accounting and control, due to different backgrounds among the students.
Mastering the course, the student will have deeper knowledge and understanding about MA issues, including its problems and difficulties; they will be updated concerning the more recent development in MA and the emergence of new methods and have insight in and understanding of the philosophy behind MA methods.
The course module Strategic Management Accounting aim is to familiarize the students with the more advanced techniques of cost accounting and strategic management accounting (e.g. RCA). This module builds on the basics of cost accounting already studied in deep during the Bachelor Degree and will allow students to use and evaluate the more advanced techniques in a concrete setting.
The course module Management Control aim is to provide insights in how financial (accounting, market) and non-financial information can be used to steer all employees towards the overall goals of an organization.
The MA Decision Technique module takes a holistic approach, combining both quantitative and qualitative aspects of management decision making with a strong interdisciplinary perspective. Quantitative tools are shown in context so that students can see their relevance to day-to-day decision making. The role of IT in decision making is also addressed. The modules explores the relationship between hard and soft aspects of decision making by addressing their philosophical underpinnings.
Becoming proficient in the course the student will be able to critically analyze both older and newer MA methods and their effects in organizations. Beside the student will improve the ability a) to reason independently, logically and clearly, in an internally consistent and content-oriented manner and all of this in line with accepted scientific methods; b) to reflect critically and to question scientific findings, c) to reflect critically beyond the boundaries of established paradigms, d) to reflect critically on one's own knowledge, skills and attitudes and follow up on the possible consequences of these reflections, e) to set personal knowledge acquisition as a goal and act accordingly.
The student on a real business basis will be able to take part in the design and use of the management accounting system in organizations and will be able to analyze complex problems in absence of a clear-cut solution and do so from various vantage points, to solve real-world problems in a critical and systematic way, to use accounting data adequately in support of management decisions.
Strict prerequisite of the course: Management Accounting.
COURSE CONTENTS SUMMARY
Management accounting helps organizations to create value through improved decision making and control of organizational members.
This course yields insights into both planning, decision-making and into performance evaluation and control.
The decision-making element focuses on the techniques that enable a firm to find solutions for management accounting problems; the control part provides the insights and techniques that enable a firm to bring these solutions to fruition.
The course is consistent with modern micro-economic theory, but the maths content (if any) is presented in an intuitive way. The integration of management accounting and modern microeconomics facilitates pursuing a career in consulting.
The Advanced Management Accounting course is didactically split in three main areas:
the course module Strategic Management Accounting is the first study area; the course module Management Control is the second one and the Management Accounting Business Decision Techniques represent the last crosswise and overlapping subject of study.
The main reference textbooks are:
Horngren, C.T., S. Datar, M. Rajan (2015) "Cost accounting - a managerial emphasis", Pearson, Global Edition, 15e edition.
Merchant, K.A. & W.A. Van der Stede (2012) "Management Control Systems, Performance measurement, evaluation and incentives", Pearson Education, 3rd edition.
ASSESSMENT METHODS AND CRITERIA
Students will be examined and assessed on knowledge and skills taught either directly or indirectly (such as through class reading assignments) on class materials covered during Lectures. Hence students will be evaluated either during the term and ex post by a final examination,
As usual the Registrar schedules all final examinations, including deferred and supplemental examinations. The Registrar will post the schedules of final examinations as early in a term as possible.
Writing periods for final examinations usually start at 11 am. The class will have final examinations of 1 hour and 30 minutes duration.
The evaluation methodology of AMA encourages group assignments for several reasons. They provide students with opportunities to develop and enhance interpersonal communication, leadership, follower-ship and other group skills. Group assignments are also good for learning integrative skills for putting together a complex task. During the classes it will be assign one or more group tasks/assignments/projects. Tests on Moodle Elly System will be provided during the teaching period.
The teaching will consist of lectures, seminars and individual literature studies and, beside, active learning methodologies are applied thus giving the course a rather un-traditional, highly interactive design. The pedagogical idea is to help the students understand sophisticated and sometimes abstract theories through the use of illustrative examples and cases that are easy to relate to.
Seminars, in which first the new theory is discussed, are followed by a highly interactive session in which groups of students present their solution to selected case material or present the content of a scientific article.
During the first lecture, the students form groups of 4 to 5 people.
Each group will discuss one or two case study problems.
For each case, one group is appointed as the presenter, while a second group is appointed to discuss the answer suggested by the first group.
Both presenter and discussant groups present their solutions on slides to the rest of the group, so that further discussion in the group is allowed.
Disability Support: any student with a documented disability condition (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations should contact me as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester. Students with special needs should also contact Disability Support Services on campus.
The Control function of Management.
Management Control alternatives and their effects.
(e.g. Results Controls; Action, Personnel, and Cultural Controls; Control System Tightness; Control System Costs; Designing and Evaluating Management Control Systems).
Financial Results Control Systems (e.g. Financial Responsibility Centers and Incentive Systems).
Performance measurement issues and their effects. Combinations of Measures and Other Remedies to the Myopia Problem. Using Financial Results Control in the Presence of Uncontrollable Factor.
Corporate Governance, Important Control-related roles and Ethics. Corporate Governance and Boards of Directors. Controllers and Auditors. Management Control-Related Ethical Issues and Analyses.
Significant Situational influences on management control systems. The Effects of Environmental Uncertainty, Organizational Strategy, and Multi-nationality on Management Control Systems.
Management Control in Non-Profit Organizations.