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2017/2018  BA-BHAAV1058U  Management Accounting and Control Systems

English Title
Management Accounting and Control Systems

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Melanie Lucia Feldhues - Department of Accounting and Auditing (AA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Strategy
Last updated on 03-10-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: This course develops the student’s ability to participate in a professional debate concerning the solution to a business issue. This involves structured thinking and presentation of arguments, the ability to analyze counter-arguments in a timely fashion and relate constructively to other people’s suggestions.
  • Describe the theories and models that are taught in the course
  • Apply the theories and models of the course in case study settings
  • Identify and analyze management accounting issues and management control issues
  • Evaluate management control systems and management accounting practices
  • Recommend courses of action for management with respect to their management accounting practices and control systems
Course prerequisites
The students should have knowledge of basic concepts of Financial Accounting

Please note that the elective course is reserved for HA students who wish to write their bachelor project in this elective course.
Management Accounting and Control Systems:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Duration 20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time With the listed preparation time: 20 Minutes
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Spring
Aids Limited aids, see the list below:
The student is allowed to bring to the preparation room
  • Books (including translation dictionaries), compendiums and notes in paper format.
The student is also allowed to bring simple writing and drawing utensils (non-digital). Students are not allowed to communicate with others during the preparation time.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

The aim of the course is to provide the student with both theoretical understanding and practical skills of management control systems and management accounting practices.

Management control systems are perceived as a mechanism to increase the likelihood for an organization to 1) achieve its objectives, and 2) utilize resources efficiently when implementing strategies.

Additionally, the management control system can become an early warning system for feeding back information to the strategic planning and control system. Alternatives to management accounting are introduced, but the main focus is on financial results control systems ranging from planning and budgeting models to Balance Scorecards.

The student will learn to integrate performance measurement, evaluation, and incentives as part of a management control system to be able to influence an organization to actions and behavior that will increase goal congruence and the achievement of objectives. The course also deals with important management control roles and ethical issues faced by managers and employees.

The course contains the following elements:

  • Management control alternatives (results controls, action controls, and people controls)
  • Design criteria for management control systems including analysis of control tightness and cost vs. benefit
  • Financial result control systems used in for-profit organizations including
    • Decentralizing in financial responsibility centers
    • Allocating resources effectively with the use of transfer prices
    • Planning and budgeting processes
    • Determining financial performance targets
    • Designing performance dependent reward systems
  • Performance measurement issues and their effects on financial results control systems, most notably the problems of myopia and uncontrollable factors
  • Control remedies to performance measurement issues with particular focus on the Balanced Scorecard
  • Situational influences (e.g., corporate strategy) on management control systems
  • Management control considerations for nonprofit organization
  • Corporate control roles and the organization of corporate governance
  • Management control related ethical issues


Teaching methods
Lectures and case discussions
Feedback during the teaching period
Class feedback during and after cases solved in class
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Preparation 140 hours
Exam 30 hours
Expected literature
  • Merchant, K. A.; Van der Stede, W. A. (2017): Management Control Systems. Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives. 4 th edition, Prentice Hall, Harlow.
  • Selected scientific articles (to be announced later).
Last updated on 03-10-2017