Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of the course consists in presenting the main models and tools for business management. The course aims first to provide a wide-ranging reading of the interrelations that the company puts in place with the external context and of the governance systems that it can adopt for the pursuit of its objectives. Subsequently, the course illustrates the sources of information used by management to assess the impact of the company's strategic and operational decisions, also addressing the problem of decision-making systems through which it intends to ensure consistency between decisions and objectives.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: At the end of the course the student will have to know the fundamental principles of the business economy. In particular, through the lectures held during the course, the student will acquire knowledge of the tools and techniques of balance sheet’s analysis, costing and evaluation of industrial investments.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: Through practical exercises, students learn how to apply the knowledge acquired in a real business context. In particular, the student will have to apply the acquired knowledge and draw up, read and analyze a balance sheet, calculate the cost of a product / service, evaluate the convenience in making an investment project.
MAKING JUDGEMENTS: The student will have to be able to critically evaluate the general performance of a company, and in particular to analyze its balance sheet data, evaluate the convenience in realizing a specific product or in undertaking a specific investment project.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Through the lectures and the comparison with the professor, the student acquires the specific vocabulary of the business economy. It is expected that, at the end of the course, the student is able to transmit, in oral and written form, the main contents of the course, and to present in a clear manner the results of analysis and economic evaluations.
LEARNING SKILLS: The student who has attended the course will be able to deepen his knowledge in the field of business economics through the independent consultation of specialized texts, scientific or popular journals, even outside the topics investigated during the course, in order to effectively deal with the inclusion in the world of work or undertake further training courses.
Course contents summary
The course aims to introduce students to the use of conceptual tools and operating techniques useful to understand and address the economic dimension of the enterprise, with particular reference to the financial statements (part I), cost analysis techniques (part II) and capital budgeting (part III). As for the first part, both theoretical and practical aspects of the balance sheets are analysed, followed by the main balance indicators. In the second part of the course, after introducing the cost concept and the classification criteria, the main costing methodologies (namely, full costing and direct costing), the main criteria for the so called “cost-volumes-results analysis” are discussed. Finally, the last part of the program presents the main financial instruments for evaluating an industrial investment.
PART I: BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT
The balance: Financial accounting; Accounts documents (list of assets, financial state); Reading the statement of accounts. Balance sheet analysis.
PART II: COSTING
Cost classification systems; Cost-Volume-Profit analysis; Full costing: Cost allocation; Job costing; Process costing.
PART III: CAPITAL BUDGETING
Basic concepts: Basic concepts of investment analysis; Cash flow and investment evaluation method: Discounted Cash Flow techniques; Net present value; Internal rate of return; Profitability Index; Pay-Back period.
The suggested book is “Economia Aziendale" (a.a. 2020-21, Barbara Bigliardi, Create McGrawHill – ISBN: 9 781307 617894). Moreover, the notes of the professor, as well as exercises, their solutions and all the supporting material used during the lessons will be available for students on the home page of the course on the web platform Elly.
In addition, the students may refer to the following secondary books:
- Cerbioni, Cinquini, Sostero, -82018), "Contabilità e bilancio", McGraw-Hill, Milano.
- Anthony, R.N., Hawkins, D.F., Macrì, D.M., Merchant, K.A., (2005), “Analisi dei costi”, McGraw-Hill, Milano.
The course includes both theoretical lessons and exercises.
The theoretical lessons will take place in telepresence through the use of the Teams and Elly platforms. In particular, lessons will be realized in both synchronous (via Teams) and asynchronous mode (uploaded on the Elly page of the course). During the lessons in synchronous mode (direct), frontal moments and interactive moments with the students will be alternated. To access Teams, you must use the code provided on the course homepage (on Elly).
During the theoretical lessons the main models and tools for business management will be discussed, with the aim of providing a conceptual and operational framework of the functioning and conditions that govern the survival and development of the company. To this end, first of all, the theoretical lessons are intended to provide a broad reading of the interrelationships that the company puts in place with the external context and the systems of governance that it can adopt for the pursuit of its objectives. Then, they illustrate the sources of information used by management to assess the impact of strategic and operational decisions of the company, also addressing the problem of decision-making systems through which it intends to ensure consistency between decisions and objectives.
The exercises will take place mainly in telepresence, through the use of the Teams and Elly platforms (as described for the theoretical lessons). Some exercises may take place in presence, during the hours scheduled for the tutoring activity. During the exercises frontal and interactive moments with the students will be alternated.
During the exercises the student will be able to practically realize the solutions of the problems outlined in theoretical form during the lessons. In addition to the normal exercises, simulations of the exam will also be scheduled: during the simulations students will be asked to work independently (as during the exam) in the resolution of the exam text. The simulations will not be evaluated, they have a self-evaluation purpose: each student will be able to verify his or her level of preparation and understand, for example, which part of the program or which type of exercise he or she will have to focus on in view of the exam. Simulations also help understanding how to manage time during the exam.
The recordings of all the lessons and exercises will be made available for those who will not be able to participate in the live broadcast through a link on the Elly page of the course, in the TEACHING MATERIAL section.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final test of the students' preparation is based on a written test conducted remotely (via Teams and Elly). The test (lasting 60 minutes) focuses on the contents of the course (lessons + reference text + any documents uploaded to Elly during the course) and consists of 10 questions of theory (on the entire program, 1.5 points per question) and 3 exercises (one exercise for each part of the program, 5 points per exercise). There is no penalty for incorrect answers. The final grade will be communicated after the written test directly in Esse3.
It is mandatory to register for the exam, exclusively via internet (https://unipr.esse3.cineca.it) up to 7 days before the exam itself.
It is also possible, for students attending the course, to take two tests in itinere (the first about mid-course on part I of the program, and the second before the end of the course on parts II and III of the program) to replace the final test. The dates of the in itinere tests will be agreed at the beginning of the course. The in itinere tests, lasting 40 minutes, are composed of 6/8 questions of theory (from 1 to 2.5 points per question) and 2 exercises (7.5 points per exercise). The final grade, communicated after the written test by Elly, will correspond to the arithmetic average of the evaluations obtained in the two in itinere tests, both expressed in thirtieths.
It is mandatory to enrol for the first test in itinere, a special enrolment procedure will be opened on the Elly page of the course. Students will be notified by email of the opening of enrollment and of the deadline by which to enrol. ONLY those students who have obtained a sufficiency in the first in itinere test will have automatic access to the second in itinere test (it will not be necessary to enrol in the second in itinere test).
During the exam/in itinere test you can use a calculator as long as it is not programmable and you are not allowed to consult telephones, smartwatches, books, notes, handouts and other didactic material during the exam(s) in itinere.
During the academic year there are 7 appeals (in addition to the in itinere tests), divided into the three sessions January/February and March/April, June/July and September, of which 3 in the session immediately following the course (January/February and March/April), and 2 in the remaining two sessions.
Non-attending students are recommended to periodically check the available teaching material and the instructions provided by the professor on the Elly web platform, this is e only professor/student communication tool. On this web platform, the slides used during the lessons and any additional material provided by the teacher will be uploaded weekly.