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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Managerial Accounting: A Strategic Emphasis
Module Code AC572
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Julie Bertz
Semester 2: Julie Bertz
Autumn: Julie Bertz
Module TeachersJulie Bertz
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

The purpose of this module is to bring students' knowledge of the principles and practice of management accounting to an advanced level. It seeks to integrate the study of management accounting with the study of strategy, behavioural science, organisation theory and sustainability. It also aims to develop students' ability to interpret and communicate management accounting information, including knowledge of underlying information systems tools and software. The module examines, from both research and practice perspectives, issues relating to the role of management accounting in organisations, cost management, control and performance management and decision support.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critique the role of management accounting in modern organisations.
2. Ascertain current developments (research and practice) in cost management and illustrate the application of various costing approaches and techniques.
3. Examine traditional budgetary control techniques and calculate and interpret advanced variances.
4. Appraise current developments (research and practice) in control and performance management and evaluate their relevance and usefulness to modern organisations.
5. Evaluate advanced decision-making theory and tools and apply various techniques to complex scenarios.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Online activity88A combination of live zoom and asynchronous lectures during semester 1 and semester 2
Independent Study254Revising module material; reading assigned articles/chapters; attempting assigned questions; revising for continuous assessment and final exam.
Directed learning20Regular readings
Assignment Completion10Preparation and completion of continuous assessment.
Directed learning3Final exam
Total Workload: 375

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

The changing environment of management accounting
Multiple roles of management accounting; Changes in external and internal environments and implications for management accountants; Criticisms of management accounting and pressures for change; Conceptual foundations of management accounting and the importance of interdisciplinarity; The accounting profession, professional competence and professional responsibilities and ethics.

Cost management
Problems with traditional cost allocation; Activity-based analysis - ABC and ABM; Value analysis, cost reduction, customer profitability analysis, target costing, life cycle costing, theory of constraints, total quality management.

Management control and performance management
Budgetary Control - the role of budgets, budget setting, criticisms of budgets, activity-based budgets, zero-based budgeting; Standard costing and variance analysis - criticisms of standard costing, calculation of advanced variances (e.g. mix/yield variances for materials and labour, sales mix and sales quantity/yield variances, market share and market size variances, planning and operational variances and reconciliation from actual to budget) interpretation, disposition and investigation of variances, opportunity cost approach; Management control frameworks - designing control systems, contingency theory; Behavioural issues - motivation theories, use of quantified targets, dysfunctional behaviour, style of evaluation, target difficulty, participation; Performance management (i.e. linking strategy to performance management) within organisations - non-financial factors, KPIs and the balanced scorecard, the beyond budgeting debate, interpreting conflicting performance measures.

Decision making
Decision making framework; Decision making scenarios including consideration of scarce resources using linear programming, theory of constraints and throughput accounting; Uncertainty, decision tree analysis, expected value of perfect information, utility functions, maximin, maximax, minimax and regret criteria; Qualitative factors in decision making. Responsibility centres and performance evaluation, centralisation v decentralisation of decision-making, accounting measures and alternative measures of performance, including use of return on investment, residual income and economic value added; varying scenarios and dealing with conflict; Transfer pricing - context, issues, methods/approaches of calculating transfer prices, varying scenarios and dealing with conflict.

Future roles of management accountants as value-adding members of organisations; Challenges and potential conflicts; Data Analytics.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class TestOpen book (in-class) Question.20%As required
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

  • Will, Rhode, Garrison and Noreen: 2018, Management Accounting, 6th, McGrawHill,
  • Colin Drury,: 0, Management and Cost Accounting, 11th,
  • Burns, Quinn, Warren, Oliveira.: 2013, Management Accounting, 9780077121617
  • Clarke, Peter: 2016, Managerial Accounting, Costing, Decision Making & Control, 3rd, Chartered Accountants Ireland,
  • Blocher, E. Stout, D, Cokins, G. and Chen, K.: 2008, Cost Management: A Strategic emphasis. , 4th, McGraw Hill.,
  • Emmanuel, C.R., Otley, D.T. and Merchant, K.A: 1990, Accounting for Management Control, Chapman Hall,
  • Johnson, H.T & Kaplan, R.S.: 1987, Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, Harvard Business School Press,
  • References to other books will provided during lectures and seminars: 0, Various,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MBSMSc in Accounting

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