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1.1 Critically analyse the concepts, features and importance of cost accounting in an organisation.

Strategic Financial Management

Unit Reference Number


Unit Title

Strategic Financial Management

Unit Level


Number of Credits


Total Qualification Time (TQT)


Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

100 Hours

Mandatory / Optional


Unit Grading Structure

Pass / Fail

Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to apply financial principles relevant to management in an organisational context, including analytical techniques and theories/models of management accounting, evaluation of budgetary processes, recommending funding sources and appraising investment options. 1.1 Critically analyse the concepts, features and importance of cost accounting in an organisation.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Learning Outcome – The

learner will:

Assessment Criterion – The learner can:


Be able to apply the tools and techniques of cost accounting.


Critically analyse the concepts, features and importance of cost accounting in an organisation.


Apply tools of costing design and costing systems to an organisation.


Recommend improvements to the costing and pricing systems of an organisation.

2. Be able to critically analyse the financial performance of businesses.


Analyse financial statements to assess the financial position of an organisation.


Recommend organisational decisions based on evaluation of financial statements using financial ratios.


Propose managerial recommendations on the strategic portfolio of an organisation based on financial analysis.

3. Be able to evaluate the budgetary processes of organisations.


Evaluate budgetary targets for an organisation.


Develop a master budget for an organisation.


Critically evaluate budget and budgetarynprocesses in an organisation.


Be able to recommend effective long term and short-term sources of funding.


Assess the need for short term working capital and long- term funds for an organisation.


Appraise appropriate sources of short term andnfunds for an organisation.


Justify choices of sources of funds using a range of criteria related to cost and risk.


Be able to critically

appraise investment options.


Apply financial appraisal methods to analyse competing investment projects in different kinds of organisations.



Justify strategic investment decision for an organisation using relevant financial information.


Critically analyse strategic investment decisions using information.


To achieve a pass for this unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria.

Learning Outcomes to be met

Assessment Criteria to be covered

Assessment type

Word count

(approx. length)

All 1 to 5

All ACs under LO 1 to 5


4500 words

Indicative contents

  • Introduction to financial and managerial accounting its purposes and financial strategy formulation.
  • Cost systems: Cost classifications in terms of object; function, product/service and behaviour; opportunity cost, recording and analysing costs; job costing; batch costing; process costing; contract costing; standard costing; variance calculations; variance analysis and management by exception. 1.1 Critically analyse the concepts, features and importance of cost accounting in an organisation.
  • Costing methods: absorption, marginal costing, activity-based costing (ABC); use in calculating costs and pricing policy and their relationship to cost controls and pricing.
  • Cost control of systems: cost centre; profit centres; investment centres; accountable management; planning and control methods.
  • Financial statements: estimates and assumptions relating to the profit and loss account; balance sheet and cash flow statement.
  • Financial ratios analysis, interpretation, decisions and limitations: employment of financial ratios internally and externally; financial profiles of organisations; calculation of key ratios reflecting business liquidity; efficiency and profitability.
  • Budgets: types; flexible and fixed budgets; zero-based budgeting, budgeting process from subsidiary/functional to master budget; relationship of budget to cost and quality control, resource utilisation and profitability.
  • Budgets monitoring and evaluations: budgeted and actual figures, accounting for and investigating different kind of variances in budgetary controls; corrective action; human behavioural issues relating to budgeting.
  • Sources of financial resources; types of funds: short term and long terms, sourcing funds internally and externally; venture capitalists, leverages; risk, cost and control issues with types of funding; techniques of selecting appropriate sources of funds for different projects – comparison of costs, risk and controls.
  • Managing working capitals and appraisal of investment options: capital and revenue expenditure, risk, cost and controls; cash flow statements; time value of money; different methods of project appraisal like: accounting rate of return; payback period and cash flows; discounted cash flow – net present value and internal rate of return; and allowance for inflation in money and real rates of discount, taxation and project appraisal.
  • Impacts of information and communication technology; global financial management; using excel sheets in financial analysis, MIS and financial resource plaining and control

Indicative Reading list

Core texts:

Atrill, P. and McLaney, E. (2006) Accounting & Finance for Non-specialists. (5th edition)

Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.

Chaffey, D., Bocij, P., Greasley, A. and Hickie, S. (2006) Business information systems: technology, development and management for the e-business, (3rd edition), Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall/Pearson Education.

Additional Reading:

  • Atrill, P. (2011) Financial management for decision makers. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.
  • Atrill, P. and McLaney, E. (2006) Management Accounting for Decision Makers. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Berk, J. and DeMarzo, P. (2007) Corporate Finance. London: Pearson.
  • Brealey, R., Myers, S. and Marcus, A. (2007) Fundamentals of Corporate Finance. New York: McGraw Hill Irwin.
  • Cox, D. and Fardon, M. (1997) Management of Finance. London: Osborne Books.
  • Dyson, J. R. (2004) Accounting for Non-Accounting Learners. 6th Edition. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.
  • Drury, C. (2009) Management Accounting for Business. 4 Edition. London: Cengageth 1.1 Critically analyse the concepts, features and importance of cost accounting in an organisation.

Learning EMEA.

  • Lumby, S. and Jones, C. (2000) The Fundamentals of Investment Appraisal. London: Thomson Learning.
  • Laudon, K. and Laudon J. (2007) Management Information Systems – Managing the Digital Firm. 10th Edition. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Monden, Y. (1995) Cost Reduction Systems: Target Costing and Kaizen Costing. New York, Productivity Press.
  • Marsh, C. (2009) Mastering Financial Management. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.
  • Van Horne, J. and Wachewicz, J. (2009) Fundamentals of Financial Management. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall
  • White, G. I., Sondhi, A. C. and Fried, D. (2003) The Analysis and Use of Financial Statements. 3rd Edition. Hampshire: John Wiley and Sons.

Other Indicative Reading:

  • Peer reviewed academic journals as Financial Management, Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting, International Journal of Financial Management and related.
  • Online resources, corporate industry reports, the Institute of Certified Financial Managers publications and relevant. 1.1 Critically analyse the concepts, features and importance of cost accounting in an organisation.


  • The Financial Times;
  • Management Accounting Quarterly;
  • Financial Management;
  • International Journal of Financial Management;
  • Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting;
  • Management Today;
  • Strategic Finance


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