Strategic Management Accounting module (BU52013)

Learn how the tools and concepts of management accounting support the planning, implementation, and control of strategic objectives and operational targets.

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Module code


Major trends in strategic management and management accounting are explained and evaluated in order to better understand management challenges.

A case study in the automotive industry will be used to exemplify how businesses adapt to their external environment by integrating the ‘three meshed gears’ of marketing, engineering, and finance.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • understand how strategic management accounting can help to balance tensions among the disparate marketing, engineering, and financial requirements (‘the three meshed gears’)
  • learn how concepts, such as the theory of complementarities and contingency theory, can enhance the role of strategic management accounting in performance management
  • learn how concepts, such as the theory of complementarities and contingency theory above can enhance the ability of students to participate constructively in multidisciplinary teams at both project and organisational performance management levels
  • gain transferable, employability and enterprise skills and attributes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • know strategic and organisational design (especially the financial and risk management imperatives) of dynamic external environments
  • understand advanced (new and emerging) management accounting techniques in their varying strategic and operational contexts
  • understand the calculative tools used in investment appraisal, risk management, cost and value management, and performance measurement
  • know that management accounting should be used as an integral part of a set of complementary, reinforcing, and organisational components in order to support the strategic management (the planning, implementation, and control) of new product design and development projects
  • understand the potential limitations and behavioural consequences of the incorrect use of accounting tools

Assignments / assessment

This module has two types of assessment:

Coursework (20%):

  • essay (maximum of 1,000 words)
  • assessing the alignment of purpose, strategy, culture, and performance (financial and non-financial) of an FTSE 100 company
  • applying longitudinal and system perspective approaches

Written Exam (80%):

  • select 2 out of 4 essay-based questions covering strategic management (SM) and strategic management accounting (SMA) issues
  • essay (maximum of 1000 words per question)

Teaching methods / timetable

The learning activity for this module consists of 20 hours of scheduled contact time (10% ) and 180 hours (90%) of guided independent time. 

Scheduled contact time covers 10 lecture sessions of 2 hours face to face meetings including a guest lecturer. The guided independent time will cover answering questions on strategic management and management accounting that relates to the weekly topic, in addition to reading relevant articles and watching short videos and podcasts.

Week Topic
1 Introduction and overview of the module

Evolution of management accounting Conceptual and Practice Perspectives of Strategy

Case study: Toyota vs. Mercedes Benz


Evolution of Strategic Management (SM) and Strategic Management Accounting (SMA)

Case study: Volkswagen (Bentley)

7-8 The Role of SMA in the SM of New Product Design and Development Projects in a Global Motor Manufacturing Company. Emphasis on Management Control, Strategic Orientation, and Adaptability Cycle.
9 The Role of SMA in the SM of Competitive Strategies through Sustainability. Guest Lecturer from Industry and Academics on “Strategic Management Accounting towards Low-Carbon Economy.
10 Revision


This module is available on following courses: