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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Accounting for Business Decision Making
Module Code AC570
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alan McMahon
Semester 2: Alan McMahon
Autumn: Alan McMahon
Module TeachersPatrick Mulcahy
Thomas McCluskey
John Nolan
Aideen O'Dochartaigh
John Perry
Alan McMahon
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

This module provides students with an introduction to and overview of financial and management accounting. Students will be introduced to key topics in accounting such as financial statement analysis, cost volume profit analysis, basic investment appraisal tchniques, performance measurement, financial v management accounting and cash flow analysis. In addition, students will address core issues facing the professional accountant such as corporate governance, earnings management, the regulatory environment and models of both short term and long term decision making and performance appraisal. Students will undertake a significant group based continuous assessment focusing on the techniques of financial statement analysis and informed investment decision making. The module is delivered via a serious of lectures.

Learning Outcomes

1. Outline the fundamental principles underlying the preparation of financial statements
2. Understand planning and control techniques and be able to prepare simple budgets.
3. Describe and explain the main tools of performance measurement, including non-financial metrics.
4. Describe the main cost concepts used in management accounting
5. Discuss current issues in accounting including corporate governance and accounting regulation

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Weekly lectures
Group work50Preparation for group-based continuous assessment.
Independent Study18Revision of lecture materials following lecture
Independent Study33Preparation for year-end examination.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Accounting
Nature and purpose of accounting, users of accounting information, role of finacial accounting and management accounting and their inter-relationship, accounting information system, fundamental accounting concepts, desirable characteristics of accounting information, the current operating enviornment and the firms competitive strategies, uses and limitations of accounting information.

Financial Statement Analysis
Core financial statements, the annual report and its contents, Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement and how it differs from profit, directors report, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, auditors report, relationship between accounting information, share price and company performance, limitations of financial statements, other information sources, exercises in the use of financial statement analysis using ratios and critical commentary focusing on profitability, efficiency, liquidity, gearing and investment, limitations of ratio analysis, regulation of accounting (legal, taxation, stock exchange and professional).

Planning and Decision Making
Long-term and short -term planning, translating strategy into financial plans, financial analysis in typical decision-making situations including Cost-Volume Profit Analysis.

Control and Performance Measurement
The nature of performance and control, the role of budgets, budget period, budget administration, budgetary process, master budget and the various individual budgets, interrelationship of budgets, effective budgeting, problems associated with budgeting, different types of controls, controls at organizational level, responsibility centres, management accounting control systems, critique of using profit as a performance measure and the need for alternative, non-financial indicators, critical success factors and the Balanced Scorecard, performance measurement for various sectors, how firm dependent factors and industry based factors can effect a firms performance measurement and management. Dysfunctional consequences of performance measurement.

Corporate Governance and the Regulatory Framework of Financial Reporting
Board's responsibilities for the management of stakeholders' interests. The separation of CEO and Chairman. The role of non-executive directors. The roles of audit committee, remuneration committee, risk committee and examinations committee. Directors' remuneration. The agency implications of performance-related pay.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentGroup Project involving students forming into groups and conducting an evaluation of either a firm over a number of periods or a number of firms in a specific period using financial ratios and other tools of financial analysis to assess performance.30%Week 8
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Peter Atrill,Eddie McLaney: 2018, Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists, Pearson Higher Ed, 9781292244051
  • Collier, P.M.: 2015, Accounting for Managers, 5, Wiley, 9781119097
  • Philip O'Regan: 2016, Financial information analysis for Managers, Wiley, Chichester, 978-0-471-48923-8
  • Carsten Rohde,W. B. Seal: 2018, Management Accounting, 6, UK Higher Education Psychology Psychology, 9780077185534
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MSBMMSc in Management (Business)
MSSMMSc in Management (Strategy)
Date of Last Revision03-FEB-09

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