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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Management Accounting - Decision Making
Module Code AC320
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Michael Metzger
Semester 2: Michael Metzger
Autumn: Michael Metzger
Module TeachersBarbara Flood
Julie Bertz
Niamh Penrose
Liam O'Donovan
Michael Metzger
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to build on students' previous knowledge of management accounting and introduce them to a range of techniques and approaches that management accountants use to assist organisational decision-making. It also examines decentralised organisations and the evaluation of performance in such organisations. The module will develop students’ abilities to prepare, analyse, interpret and communicate accounting information for decision-making purposes. It will also enhance their awareness of how practice compares to theory, by examining some academic literature and the literature from the professional accountancy bodies on how the accounting and finance function in organisations is changing to support managers' information needs for decision-making and performance evaluation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate understanding of organisational decision-making and the role of accounting (accounting information and the accountant) in that process.
2. Analyse information in a range of decision-making scenarios, and prepare and interpret appropriate cost and revenue information to support decision recommendations.
3. Explain the implications of organisational structure for decision-making and performance evaluation and prepare and interpret relevant information to support decision-making and performance evaluation in divisional organisations.
4. Appreciate the changes impacting on the Accounting and Finance function in organisations and implications for decision-making and performance evaluation.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Attending two lectures every week for 12 weeks.
Tutorial8Attending eight tutorials ( one session each week) in total starting in Week 4 and finishing in Week 11
Independent Study44Preparing for lectures, attempting questions assigned in lectures and reviewing effort relative to outline solutions.
Independent Study16Preparation for tutorials- trying questions beforehand, checking solution afterwards
Independent Study33Revision for, and completion of, end of semester final 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

Decision Making in the Organisational Context
Models of the decision-making process. The role of accounting information in the decision-making process. Types of decisions in manufacturing, service and not-for-profit organisations.

Cost Behaviour and Cost Estimation
Importance for decision making. Linear and non-linear cost behaviour patterns. Approaches to estimating cost functions, including statistical and non-statistical approaches. The learning curve, including the learning curve formula. Recap of CVP analysis.

Relevant Cost Analysis
Relevant and irrelevant costs, incremental costs, opportunity costs, sunk costs. Preparation and interpretation of information for specific types of decisions, for example make or buy, sell or process further, continue or close down, pricing and special order decisions. Derivation of long run costs for strategic decision-making. Qualitative factors in decision-making. An introduction to current issues in decision making.

Product mix decisions when capacity constraints exist
Meaning of capacity constraints/limiting factors and computation of product mix decisions for single limiting factor situations, using the simple contribution per unit of the limiting factor rule. Consideration of multiple constraints and application and preparation of information using linear programming (graphical approach only).

Economists’ and accountants’ views on pricing. Cost-based pricing and market-based pricing. Pricing policies and strategies.

Uncertainty and Decision Making
The role of decision models. Sensitivity, decision-tree and probability analyses. Expected monetary value and utility value. Buying perfect and imperfect information.

Decentralisation and Performance Evaluation
Centralisation versus decentralisation. Cost centres, profit centres and investment centres- including behavioural issues in the application of performance measures. An introduction to different measures of divisional performance, strengths and weaknesses of various measures. An introduction to the issue of transfer pricing between divisions (including relevance to international operations).

The changing role of the management accountant
Dynamic organisational environment. The need for ongoing development in the role of the management accountant. Factors influencing change in the accounting and finance function of organisations.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment10% Examination Weight90%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
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

  • Burns, J.E., Quinn, M., Oliveira, J. Warren, L.: 2013, Management Accounting, 1st, McGraw Hill, London,
  • Drury. C.: 2018, Management and Cost Accounting, 10th, Cengage Learning,
  • Clarke, P.: 2016, Managerial Accounting: Costing, Decision Making & Control., 3rd, Chartered Accountants Ireland,
  • Seal, W., Rohde, C., Garrison, R.H., Noreen, E.W.: 2019, Management Accounting, 6th, McGraw Hill.,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFBA in Accounting and Finance
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
Date of Last Revision18-DEC-09

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