GRA 8199 Management Accounting (2016/2017)


GRA 8199 Management Accounting (2016/2017)

Responsible for the course
Hanno Roberts

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Business Analytics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Management Accounting (‘økonomistyring’) develops structures, conceptual templates, and computational approaches that allow for the quantitative interpretation and comparison of business decisions. The EMBA course does not purport to turn participants into shrink-washed, mini-accountants but aims to link the management accounting outcomes to other functional areas and decisions, thus “connecting the dots”.
This course interprets the management accounting toolkit against a background of flexible, decentralized organizations with a strong strategic and service orientation. The accounting toolkit itself has evolved rapidly and now includes instruments and approaches that explicitly incorporate strategic, organizational, and market arguments while adopting multiple levels of analysis. This course addresses these new characteristics of management accounting. Notably, the course assumes a management accounting context of a knowledge-based firm, delivering its services and operating in a global environment, competing on the basis of its intangible resources and assets.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge:
To understand Management Accounting as a social science, using numerical approaches and quantitative tools to frame and direct behavior.
To understand how management accounting is embedded in a context of multidisciplinary decision-making and is not a neutral, stand-alone toolbox.

Acquired skills:
To have the ability to use management accounting concepts and tools.
To interpret decision-making situations as to which management accounting tool and approach to use and which are the various limitations and biases of the selected tools and approaches.

To not fear or get confused by numbers but instead know what message is carried within them and be able to translate and communicate that message to other disciplinary fields.

Granted admission to the EMBA programme.

Compulsory reading
Wouters, M., Selto, F.H., Hilton, R.W., and M.W. Maher. 2012. Cost Management: Strategies for Business Decisions. International ed.. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Selected chapters are available as PDF-files on it's learning; no hard copy of the book needs to be purchased by the student.

Recommended reading

Every single teaching session will contain a series of relevant articles addressing the management accounting context and concepts from a broader managerial perspective. These articles are made available as PDFs on the It’s Learning e-learning platform. The total reading load, excluding cases, will average around 300 pages for the full course. The course calendar will contain a specific list of readings, each of which will be updated and changed for every single time this course is run; this in order to make the course as contemporaneous and practically relevant as possible. All literature and other course organisation information will be made available online well in advance of the formal start of the course

Course outline
Topics covered include:
· cost concepts and product/service costing systems;
. cost estimation and cost behaviour;
· cost allocation systems and activity-based costing;
· customer profitability analysis.

Computer-based tools
The course uses a series of computer-based tools such as the e-learning platform It’s Learning as “electronic bookshelf”, and existing collaboration and communication tools for student-to-student interaction at case group and at classroom levels. These communication tools are selected by the students and will necessarily change with the speedy evolution of portable ICT devices and applications.
All readings, slides (also of guest speakers), cases and other material will only be provided as downloadable PDF-files and not as hard copy. It is explicitly allowed to use your laptop/tablet in the classroom

Learning process and workload
1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours.

Starting out from the instruments and metrics in the management accounting toolbox, the link with a firm’s competitive strategy, organization design, and organisational behavior will be exemplified in case studies, illustrative videos and lectures.
The course is designed as a continuous flow of interaction and exchange that is not limited to the days of face-to-face classroom encounters. The course starts online several weeks in advance of the classroom sessions and will terminate online one week after the classroom sessions. Participants can expect an intensive exchange of information and frequent online communication, before, during and after the course. The teacher is an active participant in these learning dialogues and will not limit himself to a classroom lecturing presence.

The course revolves around casework and the discussion of case-related topics. Every case is assigned a set of questions that need to be answered by the case group. Case answers are not goals in themselves but act as a vehicle for starting the case discussion. The cases focus on the relationship between the outcome of an (accounting) computation and its wider, managerial interpretation and decision-making consequences. Cases are purposely selected to reflect the context of managerial interpretation and meaning, and are not to be considered as enriched computational exercises. Cases will change and be updated every single teaching period.

Two sorts of cases are used: discussion cases presented by guest speakers and class members (morning sessions) and more elaborate presentation cases (afternoon sessions). The presentation cases are group work and need to be prepared and presented by the group. The guest-speaker cases are intended to stimulate discussion and do not require preparation; their purpose is to contextualise the lecture topic and leverage the class's understanding. Class members sharing their experience via a personalized case will receive the maximum participation grade score for the relevant part of the day.

The course involves active collaboration with the MBA Alumni Society at BI.

Attendance to all sessions in the course is compulsory. If you have to miss part(s) of the course you must ask in advance for leave of absence. More than 20% absence in a course will require retaking the entire course. It's the student's own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ It's learning or other course materials

Participation (individual) 50%, casework 50%. The casework refers to the presentation cases; the guest-speaker and discussions cases enter into the participation grade. There is no final examination or final paper.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam elements) and one final exam code. Each exam element will be graded using points on a scale (e.g. 0-100). The elements will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course.

Specific information regarding student evaluation beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation

Examination code(s)
GRA 81991 - Continuous assessment; counts for 100 % to pass the course GRA 8199; 3 credits

Examination support materials

Re-sit examination
Re-takes are only possible at the next time a course will be held. When course evaluation consists of class participation or continuous assessment, the whole course must be re-evaluated when a student wants to retake a exam. Retake examinations entail an extra examination fee.

Additional information