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BUU33520 Management Accounting for Business Decisions

(10 ECTS credits)


Ms. Supun Chandrasena / Dr. Ranadeva Jayasekera

Module Content/Outline:

This module will offer students an introduction to the role of management accounting within the modern organisation. The student will be introduced to the following techniques that aid decision-making, improve planning, control and performance measurement in a variety of business contexts.

  • Cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis
  • Limiting factors
  • Make-or-buy and other short-term decisions
  • Dealing with risk and uncertainty in decision-making
  • Quantitative analysis in budgeting
  • Capital investment appraisal
  • Budgets and standard costing
  • Performance analysis in private sector organisations
  • Environmental accounting concepts

The discipline is an evolving one, and topical issues will also be considered, including the application of these techniques in a practical business context.

Learning Outcomes:

An emphasis will be placed on the practical application of the key principals, in the form of worked examples and mini case studies. This module is primarily focused on the practical application of techniques rather than an in-depth understanding of conventional cost accounting, given that students taking the module will not be specialising in accounting.

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Understand the theories, concepts and methods pertaining to management accounting, and distinguish between management accounting and other business functions, particularly financial accounting
  2. Identify the core cost terms and concepts, and describe the purposes for which cost information may be required
  3. Construct break-even, contribution and profit-volume graphs, and apply these in a multi-product setting
  4. Describe and apply the various approaches to pricing, including target-costing and cost-plus pricing
  5. Contrast activity-based and traditional costing systems, and explain why traditional systems can produce incomplete or incorrect information
  6. Possess an up-to-date understanding of the various budgeting techniques available to an organisation
  7. Calculate, analyse and apply variances as an aid to decision-making, and explain the importance of qualitative factors in this area
  8. Understand and apply Life-cycle costing, Environmental accounting in a variety of practical business contexts
  9. Distinguish between a traditional management accounting system and strategic cost management

Recommended Texts/Key Reading:

Drury (2013), Management Accounting for Business (5th edition), South Western Cengage Learning

General Supplemental Readings

Drury, C. M. (2013). Management and cost accounting. Springer.

Hofstede, G. (1981). Management control of public and not-for-profit activities. Accounting, Organizations and society, 6(3), 193-211.

Theodore H. Poister (2003); measuring performance in public
and non-profit organizations, Wiley.

It is also recommended that students maintain an awareness of financial matters through regular use of the FT website, and sources such as and

Module Prerequisite:

Pre-Requisite: BUU22530 Introduction to Accounting (SF Year)


  • Michaelmas Term exam – Value 25%
    Final End of year exam – Value 75%