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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

ACCT 4251: Advanced Management Accounting

Building on ACCT 3251: Intermediate Management Accounting, students explore the integrative and interdisciplinary role of management accounting and its contribution to the strategic management process. Students discuss the provision of quantitative and non-quantitative information for planning, control, and decision making. Topics include costing systems; allocating costs and revenues including support service costs, fixed costs, joint product costs, bundled product revenues, and customer profitability; management information systems; the importance of budgeting; the importance of variance analysis; capital budgeting and investment decision making; quality issues and supply chain strategies; transfer pricing; performance measurement; compensation issues; and strategic processes and balanced scorecards.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply management accounting concepts in a case-based, collaborative setting, communicating the results effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Locate the role of management control systems (MCS) in both strategy and operations.
  • Describe results control and its applications.
  • Distinguish indirect controls from the direct controls, based on action and personnel/culture.
  • Determine whether an entity or an area is better suited to tight or loose controls, and the types of action and/or personnel/cultural controls that ensure the desired level of tightness.
  • Design and evaluate management controls in terms of methods applied and tightness, and the indirect costs of a poor MCS design and/or implementation.
  • Select the best type of financial responsibility-centre, based on desired levels of control, and identify behavioural impacts of different transfer pricing schemes.
  • Prepare and interpret budgets, and identify their limitations.
  • Design and evaluate various types of incentive systems.
  • Evaluate financial performance market and accounting measures in terms of seven criteria to determine optimal performance metrics.
  • Critically analyze corporate governance structures of various companies and common management-control related ethical issues.
  • Assess the ways that performance evaluators can reduce, and perhaps eliminate, the distorting effects of uncontrollable factors on measuring performance.
  • Analyze and apply six financial results control remedies to alleviate myopic behaviour.

Course topics

Introduction to Case-Based Collaboration

  • Module 1: Introduction to Case-Based Collaboration

Control Function

  • Module 2: Introduction to Management Control Systems (MCS)

Control Alternatives and Effects

  • Module 3: Control Alternatives and Effects--Results Controls
  • Module 4: Action and Personnel/Cultural Controls
  • Module 5: Control System Tightness
  • Module 6: Control System Design, Evaluation, and Indirect Costs

Financial Results Control Systems

  • Module 7: Financial Responsibility Centres and Transfer Pricing
  • Module 8: Planning and Budgeting (Performance Definition and Measurement)
  • Module 9: Incentive Systems (Performance Rewards)

Performance Measurement and Issues

  • Module 10: Financial Performance Measures
  • Module 11: Corporate Governance and Ethics
  • Module 12: Controls and Risk
  • Module 13: The Myopia Problem

Required text and materials

Merchant, K. A, Wim A. Van der Stede, (2017). Management Control Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives. 4th ed. Pearson Education Canada.
Textbook, ISBN: 1292110554


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Case Assignment 1: Leo’s Four-Plex Theater 6%
Case Assignment 2: Axeon N.V. 12%
Case Assignment 3: Zumwald AG 12%
Case Assignment 4: Entropic Communications Inc. 12%
Case Writing Assignment 28%
Final Exam* 30%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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