UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0161: Accounting for Decision Makers

Taught by
2nd year IMB only
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) plus 1-hour seminar (x 10 weeks).
Unseen three hour examination 60%, group coursework 40%
Previous Module Code

Course overview

The module will introduce students to the principles and practices of financial and management accounting. It will enable students to identify how accounting techniques can be used to support the management processes of planning, controlling and decision-making.

The module will help the student to understand, analyse and appraise the systems used by organisations to measure and manage their performance and to implement their strategies in a changing environment. The module will encourage students to consider why organisations measure, what the characteristics of good measures and good measurement systems are.

The module is aimed at developing knowledge and skills in the application of accounting techniques to information for planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control. The module also aims to provide students with a good grounding and appreciation of accounting essentials that any analyst, manager or business owner should possess and in doing so, develop the students ability to assemble, from data available, relevant information and prepare appropriate reports.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Understand the context and purpose of financial accounting.
  • Be able to appreciate the key financial statements and recognise their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Evaluate and interpret accounting data accurately and appropriately.
  • Explain and critically evaluate various key theories and techniques of management accounting.
  • Understand the principles of costing and apply them in a variety of scenarios.
  • Critically evaluate alternative choices for future decisions.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Measuring and Reporting Financial Position (The Balance Sheet)
  • Measuring and Reporting Financial Performance (The Income Statement)
  • Measuring and Reporting Cash Flow (Statement of Cash Flows)
  • Analysing and Interpreting Financial Statements (Ratio Analysis)
  • The Relevance and Behaviour of Costs (Relevant Costing and CVP Analysis)
  • Full Costing (Traditional Absorption Costing)
  • Budgeting and Control (Budgets and Variance Analysis)
  • Cash Budgeting (Planning for Cash)
  • Investment Appraisal (Payback/ARR/NPV/IRR)

Assessment summary

Unseen three hour examination 60%, group coursework 40%

Essential reading

Core Reading:

McLaney, E. & Atrill, P. (2017) Accounting & Finance for Non-Specialists, 10th Edition. Pearson.

Optional Reading:

Dyson, J. & Franklin, E. (2017) Accounting for non-accounting students, 9th Edition. Pearson.

Weetman, P. (2016) Financial and Management Accounting: An Introduction, 7th Edition. Pearson.

Background Reading (websites):

ACCA -   http://www.accaglobal.com

ICAEW - http://www.icaew.com/

CIMA - http://www.cimaglobal.com/


The Moodle site for the module will adhere to, as a minimum, UCL’s E-Learning Baseline structure.

Moodle will be extensively used in the following ways:

Weekly material will be placed in advance of classes; Lecturecast will be used, where available, to enable student reflection and revision; Weekly “bite-sized” videos will be uploaded for students to watch prior to lectures; Quizzes and tests (not part of the formal assessment) will be included throughout to enable progress tracking by both tutors and students; Moodle will be used to monitor student engagement.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0161 18/19

Last updated Tuesday, 17 July 2018