This subject seeks to provide specialisation-level knowledge to accountants and financially motivated general managers in the interface areas between accounting and the other business functions. The subject is an advanced level course that enables students to apply the basic conventions and doctrines of managerial and cost accounting and other generally accepted managerial principles, in order to strategically analyse business situations across the various functions of a business organisation. A number of cost and management accounting issues relating to the design and implementation of strategic, marketing, risk management, value analysis and other management models in modern firms are discussed, and major contemporary issues that have emerged in business accounting in recent years are identified. This subject provides an advanced study of the interface between modern managerial accounting and the business functions of strategic planning, marketing, manufacturing and human resource management. The accountant’s role in the marketing decision areas is specifically considered.

Synopsis:

  • Describe the basic conventions and doctrines of managerial and cost accounting and other generally accepted principles that may be strategically applied across the various functions of a business organisation.
  • Identify major contemporary issues that have emerged in strategic management accounting.
  • Critically evaluate a number of cost and management accounting issues relating to the design and implementation of strategic, marketing, strategic value and other management models in modern firms.
  • Explain the management accountant’s role in the implementation of cost management systems for marketing decision-making and business valuation.

Topics Covered :

Topic 1:  Strategic Thinking

This topic overviews the concepts and development of strategic planning in modern business enterprises. The traditional areas of corporate strategy; such as strategic objectives and strategic planning decision models are first introduced to the student. The state of strategic thinking in the current environment is then considered, especially in relation to multiple approaches to analysing corporate strategy. The use of Big Data in strategic planning and thinking is specifically considered.

Topics 2 Strategic Marketing Analysis and Budgeting

Here the marketing concept is introduced and the links between marketing and strategic business analysis are illustrated; and the impact of Big Data analytics in customer-data driven marketing strategies is considered. It is shown how concepts such as the product life cycle and product portfolio matrix are linked to managerial accounting techniques such as budgeting and life cycle costing to provide relevant information for strategic decision making. A comprehensive strategic segmental marketing budget is developed in this topic.

Topic 3:  Financial Analysis in Product Portfolio Management

This topic looks at the interface between management accounting and marketing related “product or services management” especially in competitive environments. The “product” is the first “P” in the 4-Ps of marketing, the others being price, promotion and place distribution, which will be discussed in detail in later topics.  It is shown that as a product/service moves through various stages of its life cycle, there are differing financial aspects that need to be focused on for competitive positioning. It is demonstrated that the company’s management accountant possesses the tools and techniques required to provide the product/service managers with decision-orientated information, especially in financing technological innovation in the digital age.

Topic 4:  Pricing Methods and Strategies

Here the various aspects of pricing decisions are covered, especially in competitive environments. Pricing methods and pricing strategies are specifically contrasted, and the use of such techniques as CVP analysis and linear programming in the pricing area are discussed. Risk averse pricing strategies and their limitations are also covered in this topic.

Topic 5:  Financial Dimensions of Pricing in International Business Strategies

This topic extends the discussion of the previous topic on pricing, and considers pricing within a competitive international market. It is shown that setting a selling price in a foreign market has, in addition to strategic marketing considerations, some unique international financial dimensions, especially due to the lengthening of the channels of distribution and the impact of multiple currencies.

Topic 6:  Promotion: Push Strategy and Human Resource Management

Here the principal ways of communicating with the market, referred to collectively as the “promotional mix” are overviewed.  The objective of this mix is to make a sale, either by “pulling” customers towards the product (using advertising) or by “pushing” the product to the customer (using personal selling).  It is shown that the management accountant has a significant role “push strategy”, especially in the human resource management areas of controlling field sales operations and evaluating sales force performance.

Topic 7:  Promotion: Pull Strategy and Integrated Marketing Communication

This topic continues with the discussion on promotion, and specifically looks at “pull strategy” and integrated marketing communication (IMC) with its heavy reliance on advertising; especially via digital marketing platforms. It is demonstrated that the management accountant has a significant role in formulating advertising budgets, especially using specific budget models, and in the difficult areas of controlling advertising outlays and evaluating advertising effectiveness.

Topic 8: Supply Chain Management and the Place-Distribution Decision

This topic considers the last “P” of the 4-P’s of marketing; i.e. place (or physical distribution). It is shown that the control of the supply-chain distribution function involves a “trade-off” between maximising customer service and minimising distribution costs, and that the management accountant has a significant role to play in achieving this balance. The tools and techniques of distribution cost analysis and control that are used in providing customers value and maintaining efficient cost management in the digital world are highlighted in this topic.

Topic 9:  Performance Valuation and Strategic Financial Structures

This topic introduces Business Performance Measures and provides a link as to how these measures are interrelated with the capital structure of the firm. The impact of financial structure on planning performance evaluation is considered, specifically the relative measures (ratios) used in financial statement analysis. Investment and Financing issues are separated; and capital structure and its role in obtaining an appropriate discount rate for capital projects is particularly considered. The topic also covers the more recent approaches to project and corporate funding such as venture capital and crowdfunding.

Topic 10:  Strategic Value Analysis

This topic overview the different approaches to ‘value investing’; and introduces the concept of Strategic Value Analysis. The topic compares this concept to the more traditional concept of net present value; and demonstrates the impact of ‘free-cash flows’ on operational value, business value, and shareholder value. It is demonstrated that the concepts of ‘value’ and ‘strategic value’ can be quantified for planning purposes, and in valuing companies.

Topic 11:  Risk Management – Corporate Radar and Early Warning Systems

Here the concept of risk; and the approaches to risk management using short-term (weekly) and long-term (annual) corporate radar systems are considered, in order to determine the health of a business organisation. Popular bankruptcy prediction models (such as Z-scores) and their reliability and relevance in the 2000s are specifically considered.

Topic 12:  Strategic Scorecards

This topic focuses on corporate success, and the role of non-financial indicators in measuring and controlling this success. The importance of monitoring both the internal and external environment is highlighted, especially in terms of a firm’s ‘critical success factors’. The strategic consequences of having intangible assets such as Brands and Human Capital on strategic scorecards is also considered. Finally, a strategic scorecard that recognises the seven underlying principles of ‘sustainable value creation’ in the design and marketing of products and services is highlighted.