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Advanced Management Accounting

  • Enseignant(s):  
  • Titre en français: Comptabilité Analytique Approfondie
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS:
  • Horaire: Semestre de printemps 2018-2019, 2.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formation concernée: Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en comptabilité, contrôle et finance



The objectives of this course are manyfold. First, students will access to a comprehensive and critical review of how to design and implement Activity-Based Cost (ABC) systems across different types of organizations and specific business-related, as well as organizational factors. Second, students will develop a sound understanding and appreciation of the risks and opportunities for firms associated with the use of cost information to achieve profit goals and strategic objectives. Third, students will get familiar with ABC systems to foster strategy implementation. Finally, the course aims to motivate students to share in class their opinions and constructively discuss the design and implementation of ABC systems. After completing this course, students are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of how to design and implement ABC systems in various organizational contexts.


Accurate cost information is key to effective decision-making in business. Manager who dispose of biased product and service cost estimates are likely to make wrong or sub-optimal decisions, potentially leading to negative returns on investments. Advanced cost accounting systems, such as ABC systems, have been conceived to help manager estimate the costs of products and services with greater accuracy.

Designing and implementing an effective ABC system, however, is not an easy task. Many ABC systems fail because of poor design and implementation. Effective ABC systems, indeed, require managers to take into consideration multiple business-related and organizational factors. Business-related factors include the firm’s business strategy, the horizon of managers’ decision-making, and the level of capacity utilization. Organizational factors include the incentive systems of users, and the way ABC information is used by managers for decision-making and control.

This course has been designed for Master students in Accounting, Control and Finance. The course consists of seven sessions - an introductory lecture and six case study discussions and additional exercises.

Main topics covered during the course are the following:

  • ABC and employee incentives;
  • Horizon of managerial decisions, capacity constraints, and ABC system flexibility;
  • Cost allocation under excess capacity;
  • Business strategy and ABC system design;
  • Increasing customer profitability using the Activity-Based Pricing.

Students are expected to review and prepare all case studies that will be discussed in class, and participate actively in class discussion. Moreover, each student will be asked to work in groups on one Case assignment (group size will be defined depending on the number of participants). More specifically, each group will be required to address specific questions to an assigned case study and prepare a presentation (max 15 slides) to show their solutions to the class.


This course is based on analyses of case-studies, in-class exercises and class-dicussions.

Please, note students are required to purchase only official Harvard Business School cases (that are copyright). The list of cases is indicated in the syllabus. Links to purchase and download the case study will be posted on the course Moodle.

Moreover, a list of free-assessable academic papers and practice-based reports is also indicated in the syllabus as suggested readings and will be posted on the course Moodle. This reading list may be adapted during the course.

Please be prepared to invest 3-4 hours of preparation (bi-weekly) prior to each session.


As a pre-requisite, participants must have expertise in introductory financial accounting and management accounting, as well as strategic control

This course places emphasis both on the technical and on the complex, implementaation aspects of cost accounting systems. We examine the managerial problems and tensions associated with the use of cost information and how it may significantly affect managers' decision-making and therefore a company's success.


1ère tentative

Ecrit 2h00 heures

Students are expected to individually prepare all case studies and the exercises that will be discussed in class and must participate actively in class discussion. Classroom discussion should be provocative, enlightening, and fun. During the introductory lesson, Case assignments will be briefly presented together with some indications regarding how to tackle and present the assignment questions.

After the course, students will be evaluated in a 2-hours open book exam session.

The weights applied for students’ evaluation are the following:

  • Individual class participation (10%)
  • (Group-work) Case assignment (25%)
  • Written final exam (65%)


Ecrit 2h00 heures

Students who fail the course are tested in a 2-hours retake open book exam session.

  • Written final exam (100%)

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