Course 2010-2011 a.y.



Department of Accounting

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

This course emphasizes the use of accounting information for internal planning and control purposes. The course is intended as an introduction for individuals who make business decisions and evaluate the performance of business units using data obtained from the accounting system.
The course covers the vocabulary and mechanics of cost accounting, basic issues involved in the design of a cost accounting system, and the role of management accounting in decisions concerning resource allocation and performance evaluation.
Lessons generally consist of an overview of each topic and the discussion of incidents, cases and exercises.

Course Content Summary

Introduction to Management Accounting Concepts

  • Discuss the evolution of management accounting.
  • Define and illustrate cost objects, direct costs, and indirect costs.
  • Understand the associations between cost drivers, variable costs, and fixed costs, and the major assumptions underlying the definitions of variable and fixed costs.
  • Review the concepts of contribution margin, breakeven point, and cost-volume-profit analysis.

Cost Accounting Systems

  • Distinguish between job costing and process costing, and relate their value to the nature of the underlying production process.
  • Introduce cost allocation and the computation of overhead rates. 

Activity-Based Costing and Cost Allocation

  • Understand the differences between traditional cost systems and Activity-Based Costing (ABC).
  • Apply ABC concepts in an actual decision-making context to understand the effect of cost accounting methods on perceived product profitability, and the use of ABC data in operational and marketing decisions.

Budgets and Standard Cost Systems - Analysis of Variances

  • Introduce flexible budgets and standard costs as aids for planning and control.
  • Analyze the relationships between planning, programming and budgeting systems.
  • Understand the functioning of standard costing systems.
  • Learn how variances between actual and standard costs can be broken into price and efficiency variances to assist in assigning responsibility and examining the variances' causes.
  • Explain the computation and meaning of volume variances and the effects of capacity utilization on performance evaluation.

Decentralization and Performance Measurement

  • Introduce the reasons behind decentralization and understand the concept and various forms of responsibility accounting.
  • Examine more generally the nature of performance evaluation in business units.
  • Understand the nature of intra-firm transactions and the importance of proper accounting for them.
  • Analyze the optimality of various methods of determining prices for such transactions (transfer pricing policies).

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Attending students:
The exam is written. It is also possible to take two partials, one by the middle and one by the end of the course. The good result of the two partials can replace the written exam.


  • HORNGREN, SUNDEM, STRATTON, et al, Introduction to Management Accounting, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010, Fifteenth Edition, (chapters 1-14).
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 01/04/2010 18:30