Module Details

BE854-7-SP-CO: Managerial Accounting

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Year: 2017/18
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 10
ECTS credit: 5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Mohamed Fadzly
Teaching Staff: Mohamed Fadzly, Ricardo De Santana,
Contact details:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

Managerial Accounting


The course is concerned with ensuring that students who do not have a first degree in accounting or an accounting related subject that gives them a sufficient grounding in management accounting and control principles, understand the accounting information and tools that they need to plan and control the strategic direction of their organisations. The course will critically examine a range of technical and contextual issues that relate to business decision making, including cost terms, concepts and classifications, short term decisions using relevant and variable costing, product costing and pricing, budgeting, and capital investment decisions. The course will introduce the topics gradually, explaining technical terminology, and will include a number of discussion questions and national and international level case studies (e.g. emerging economies) to help students to understand the issues and challenges they might face as business decision makers in modern organisations.


The aims of the module are:

1) to provide students with wider understanding of managerial accounting and business decisions in certain, risk and uncertain environments;
2) to enable students to understand the managerial accounting techniques used by modern businesses;
3) through class discussion, reading, participation, case analysis and assessment develop students to tackle theoretical and empirical issues regarding managerial decision making.


After completing the course students should:

1) have a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the objectives, form and roles of managerial accounting information and techniques in business decisions;
2) demonstrate clear conceptual understanding of the basic cost elements and cost classifications, and critically explain the effect of different costing methods on business decisions;
3) have a critical awareness of the purpose, process and behavioural aspects of budgeting in organisations;
4) be able to discuss, debate and critically evaluate the acceptability of investment projects and analyse the impact of uncertainty and risk on investment appraisal;
5) be able to comprehensively understand the current issues and challenges in managerial accounting and business decisions in the global environment,
6) be able to critically review and evaluate both professional and academic literature dealing with theoretical debates, empirical issues and criticisms of managerial accounting and business decisions in modern organisations.


Week 1, S1 Introduction to managerial accounting and business decisions
Week 1, S2 Cost terms, concepts and classifications
Week 2, S1 Short term decisions using relevant costing
Week 2, S2 Short term decisions using variable costing and breakeven analysis
Week 3, S1 Product costing and pricing
Week 3, S2 Profit planning and the role of budgeting
Week 4, S1 Budgeting for control: the behavioural issues
Week 4, S2 Making capital investment decisions
Week 5, S1 Decision making under risk and uncertainty
Week 5, S2 Global issues in managerial accounting and business decisions

S1 = Session 1
S2 = Session 2


The module will run for 5 weeks. There will be 2 three hour sessions each week (total of six contact hours per week). Each individual session will consist of an approximately one and half hour lecture on theory and a one and half hour class, and students will be expected to participate in seminar and other activities as indicated in the module outline (e.g. case study discussion on practice). Students will be expected to have done the required readings before the class.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures, seminars, case study discussions


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


An independent, 2500 word essay (50%) and a 2-hour written examination (50%).

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.

Other information

COMPULSORY module. This module will be taught over one full day per week, during a 5-week teaching block (Weeks 21-24).


  • Recommended Books:
  • Collier, P. (2006) Accounting for Managers: Interpreting Accounting Information for Decision making 2nd Edition. London: John Wiley and Sons.
  • Other Useful Books:
  • Atrill, P. and McLaney, E. (2009) Management Accounting for Decision Makers, 6th Edition, Prentice Hall.
  • Proctor, R. (2006) Managerial Accounting for Business Decisions, 2nd Edition, Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.
  • Drury, C. (2005), Management Accounting for Business, 3rd Edition, Thomson Learning.
  • Hopper, T., Northcott, D and Scapens, R., (2007) (ed.), Issues in Management Accounting, 3rd Edition, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Seal, W., Garrison, R.H. and Noreen, E.W. (2009) Management Accounting, 3rd Edition, McGraw Hill.
  • Butler, R., Davies, L., Pike, R. and Sharp, J. (1993) Strategic Investment Decisions: Theory, Practice and Process, Routledge.
  • Pierce, B. and O'Dea, T. (2003) 'Management accounting information and the needs of managers: perceptions of managers and accountants compared'. British Accounting Review.
  • Anderson, M., Banker, R., and Janakiraman, S. (2003) 'Are selling, general, and administrative costs "sticky"?' Journal of Accounting Research.
  • Parker, L. (2000) 'Green strategy costing: early days'. Australian Accounting Review.
  • Milne, M. (1996) 'On sustainability: the environment and management accounting'. Management Accounting Research.
  • Guidry, F., Horrigan, J., and Craycraft, C. (1998) 'CVP analysis: a new look'. Journal of Managerial Issues.

Further information