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University of Exeter Business School

Advanced Management Accounting

Module titleAdvanced Management Accounting
Module codeBEA3017
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Chie Min Teng (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description


Management control systems play an important role in the success of organisations. It is essential that organisations maintain strategic and management control by having the necessary systems in place to influence the behaviour of employees towards achievement of the organisation’s objectives. The design of such systems, however, is a challenging task; one that requires the consideration of the interplay and interconnections between the various components that make up the package of systems, and the effects of situational contingencies. This module will provide students with valuable insights, aided by case studies, on the design of management control systems and the unintended consequences arising from the use of the different types of controls.


Additional Information:

  • Internationalisation
  • The principles, concepts, tools and techniques taught in this module are applicable worldwide due to their universal nature
  • This module also offers students an online forum where students may initiate discussions with peers and the module convenor. Students will also have access to recordings of the lectures
  • Sustainable development
  • The concept and accounting for sustainable development will be embedded within the various aspects of management control systems covered within this module
  • All the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).
  • External Engagement
  • Students are encouraged to participate in global business competitions
  • This module is accredited by professional accounting bodies
  • Employability
  • Students will acquire transferable skills valued by prospective employers such as numerical, decision-making, analytical, communication, presentation and teamwork skills
  • Students will also have the opportunity to meet sponsors and representatives from various companies should they participate in business competitions

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide students with an appreciation and understanding of the complexities involved in the design of management control systems. This is achieved by firstly introducing students to the need for management control and the causes of management control problems. Students will then be familiarised with the different types of controls and their characteristics, before being presented with the criteria for the evaluation of the design of management control systems. The interplay and interconnections between the components within the package of controls will be highlighted and the consideration of unintended consequences brought to the fore. Students will be equipped with knowledge of contemporary performance measurement and management frameworks used within for-profit and not-for-profit organisations. The effects of situational contingencies on the design of management control systems will be discussed.                                           

Case studies will be used to facilitate the effective delivery of the module, providing students with interesting and relevant insights of how the whole system works in the real world.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Discuss the need for management and strategic control
  • 2. Explain the causes of management control problems
  • 3. Identify and describe the various forms of controls
  • 4. Evaluate the design of management control systems
  • 5. Explain the different types of incentives and evaluate the design of incentive systems
  • 6. Discuss the use of financial performance measures and their effects
  • 7. Compute and apply the various financial performance measures used by divisionalised organisations
  • 8. Propose remedies to the myopia problem and solutions to account for uncontrollable factors
  • 9. Explain the need for transfer pricing; and explain, apply and evaluate the various methods used for the setting of transfer prices
  • 10. Explain, apply and evaluate the various contemporary performance measurement and management frameworks
  • 11. Discuss performance measurement and management in not-for-profit organisations
  • 12. Discuss situational influences such as the effects of environmental uncertainty, organisational strategy and multinationality on management control systems

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 13. Identify the information needs for the strategic planning and control process and demonstrate the ability to construct an effective management control system
  • 14. Apply the various techniques and frameworks to measure, analyse and manage the performance of organisations
  • 15. Appreciate the situational contingencies surrounding the design of management control systems, and the political and social context of such systems

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 16. Demonstrate the ability to identify and analyse relevant information contained in case studies
  • 17. Demonstrate the ability to propose solutions that make business sense
  • 18. Demonstrate written communication skills
  • 19. Demonstrate an ability to undertake group work, independent learning and effective time management

Syllabus plan

Management control systems

• Management control systems design 1

• Management control systems design 2


Financial results control systems

• Incentive systems


Performance measurement issues and their effects

• Financial performance measures and their effects

• Remedies to the myopia problem and the presence of uncontrollable factors

• Transfer pricing in divisionalised companies


Performance measurement and management and situational influences

• Performance measurement and management frameworks

• Performance measurement and management in not-for-profit organisations

• Situational influences on management control systems

• Revision

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning & teaching activities10Whole cohort sessions
Scheduled learning & teaching activities9 Tutorials
Guided independent study131Asynchronous material on ELE, reading, research and preparation for tutorials and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tutorial problems for discussionFour to five hours a week (inclusive of preparation time)1-19Tutor comments and suggested solutions
Discussion of group assignment30 minutes1-19Tutor comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written group assignment203,000 words1-19Mark awarded and written feedback
Examination802 hours, 15 minutes1-19Mark awarded, suggested solution on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written group assignment (20%) 3,000 words written individual assignment (20%) 1-19August reassessment period
Examination (80%)2 hours, 15 minutes examination (80%) 1-19August reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Where you have been referred/deferred for an assessment, you will have the opportunity to undertake the assessment during the August examination period. You will not be allowed to refer an assessment component if the total of both assessment components result in you passing the module (i.e. at least 40%). In the event of referral, you will only be reassessed on the component that you failed.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Merchant, K.A., & Van der Stede, W.A. (2017). Management control systems: Performance measurement, evaluation and incentives (4th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education
  • Burns, J., Quinn, M., Warren, L. & Oliveira, J. (2013). Management accounting. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Drury, C. (2018). Management and cost accounting (10th ed.). Andover: Cengage

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • The majority of additional readings will be academic journal articles – where possible, there are direct links to these articles via the module reading list which is located on the ELE site

Key words search

Management Control Systems, Performance Management, Performance Measurement

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

Cannot be taken with BEA2010 managerial accounting

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date