UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0059: Managerial Accounting for Decision Making

Taught by
Michael Kerrison
None; Prior accounting studies are not presumed
2nd, 3rd, 4th year undergraduates from all departments, inc. 2nd year JSPs
Term 1
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) and 1-hour seminar (x 10 weeks)
70% final 2-hour examination; 20% group report; 10% individual test
Previous Module Code

Course overview

This module provides an understanding of key issues and applied methodologies relating to management accounting frameworks used by managers when faced with making financial decisions in the context of the business environment. The focus is on information for cost management, budgetary control, and short and longer term financial decision making. That information enables managers to plan for and subsequently control operations. It examines the blend of financial analysis and managerial judgment required to make sound decisions. In particular there is an emphasis on issues in overhead cost recovery; contribution costing and CVP analysis; costing and pricing in a competitive environment, including activity based costing (ABC); relevant costs for decision making; investment appraisal techniques; budgetary control, variance analysis, standard costing; issues in strategic management accounting.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  • Understand the roles of profit, cash, and ‘cost’ in decision making;
  • Understand and apply differing definitions and interpretations of the term ‘cost’;
  • Understand the nature and purpose of budgetary control, and prepare budgets;
  • Identify issues in overhead cost recovery and understand their impact on decision making, and apply ABC;
  • Understand the nature and uses of contribution and CVP analysis, apply those ideas to break even analysis, and decisions associated with scarce resources, limiting factors, and pricing;
  • Understand the nature Incremental cash flows and their role in relevant costs for decision making;
  • Undertake investment appraisal decisions, taking account of the issues of risk and cost of capital, applying the ideas of accounting rate of return (ARR), payback, net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), expected net present value (ENPV), profitability indices (PIs), Risk Premiums, WACC, probabilities;
  • Understand the nature and purpose of variance analysis, particularly in the context of standard costing;
  • Recognises and respond to challenges in strategic management accounting in the context of performance.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to Management Accounting
  • Full Costing: Absorption
  • Contribution Costing; CVP analyses
  • Activity Based Costing (ABC);
  • Relevant Costs for Decision Making
  • Capital Investment Appraisal 1
  • Capital Investment Appraisal 2
  • Budgeting for Control/Standard Costing
  • Pricing
  • Measuring Divisional Performance

Assessment summary

70% for unseen 2-hour exam in the summer term; 30% for coursework.  Coursework comprises one individual assessment carrying 10% and one group-based (2 members in each team) case study analysis carrying 20%.

Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.

Essential reading

Management Accounting for Decision Makers with MyAccountingLab access card, 8th edition, by Peter Atrill & Eddie McLaney, 2015, Pearson ISBN-10: 1292072539 • ISBN-13: 9781292072531

Past versions of this module

MSIN7016A 17/18

MSIN7016A 16/17

Last updated Wednesday, 12 September 2018