Unit Information Management System

Strategic Management Accounting (ACCT3323, SEM-1, 2017, Crawley)

UWA Business School

Unit Outline

Strategic Management Accounting


SEM-1, 2017

Campus: Crawley

Unit Coordinator: Dr Stijn Masschelein

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Unit details

Unit title Strategic Management Accounting
Unit code ACCT3323 Credit points 6
Availability SEM-1, 2017 (27/02/2017 - 24/06/2017)
Location Crawley Mode Face to face

Contact details

Faculty Business School
School UWA Business School
School website http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/
Unit coordinator Dr Stijn Masschelein
Email stijn.masschelein@uwa.edu.au
Telephone 6488 3764
Consultation hours By appointment on Monday - Thursday
NamePositionEmailTelephone Number
Stijn MasscheleinLecturerstijn.masschelein@uwa.edu.au+61 8 6488 3764
Tutors/ Demonstrators/ Facilitators
Unit contact hours

Lecture time:

Thursdays, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lecture venue: Please refer to http://www.timetable.uwa.edu.au for the unit timetable.
Workshop: 2-hour workshops on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
Lecture capture system LCS is implemented for this unit.
Online handbook http://handbooks.uwa.edu.au/units/unitdetails?code=ACCT3323
Unit website https://www.lms.uwa.edu.au

Unit rules

Prerequisites ACCT2112 Management Accounting; for pre-2012 courses: ACCT2203 Contemporary Managerial Accounting
Advisable prior study
Approved quota

Unit description

This unit focuses on the strategic application of management accounting concepts, tools and techniques to analyse and resolve problems of local and international firms. Topics include the implementation of strategies through budgets and balanced scorecards, the development of strategic supply chain alliances with activity based costing, the role of transfer prices in aligning the incentives of autonomous divisions, and the value and cost of production capacity. In depth group discussions and evaluations of case studies are used to develop an appreciation of how strategic management accounting concepts, tools and techniques can be deployed in the context of the complex, real world situations of many firms and the behavioural consequences that can flow from such use.


Welcome to ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting. This is the third unit in a sequence of management accounting units and it builds on the foundations laid by ACCT2112 Management Accounting and ACCT3203 Contemporary Managerial Accounting (formerly ACCT3203 Management Accounting). As indicated by the unit name, we will be undertaking an advanced study of managerial accounting from a strategic perspective.

Unit content

The world of business and commerce continues to experience unprecedented levels of change and turbulence. With accelerating rates of technological innovation, the penetration of information technology through various forms such as e-commerce and the Internet and the growth in international commerce through the deregulation of markets, the contemporary business environment is significantly different to that of even the recent past. These changes, along with the onset of the global financial credit crisis in September 2008, pose significant challenges for firms in all sectors of the global economy. In the current economic environment in Australasia, Asia and elsewhere, firms are becoming increasingly aware of the need to be responsive to consumer needs and to be able to deliver quality products and/or services at the best possible cost if they are to secure defensible competitive positions in the global marketplace of 2016 and beyond. In light of this emerging strategic insight of firms, management accounting systems (MAS) have been developed and continue to be refined so as to facilitate the survival of the firm in a rapidly changing and increasingly more competitive global market place.

ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting focuses on the many significant developments that have occurred in the practice of management accounting, many of which have occurred within the last 20 years. Whilst both ACCT2112 Management Accounting and ACCT3203 Contemporary Managerial Accounting have examined some of these developments (e.g. examining tools such as the Balanced Scorecard and activity based costing), ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting consolidates upon the technical understanding of how these tools are applied in practice by taking a more strategic orientation to the application of these techniques to managerial decision-making.

Many strategic decisions, whilst appearing to be raising complex issues, are fairly simple. For example, a firm’s management might be required to decide if the firm should: (a) grow larger through vertical or horizontal acquisition, (b) move into a new market niche, (c) confront a competitor by initiating a price war, (d) expand the firm’s markets by seeking export customers, (e) entering into a joint venture with an Asian partner to manufacture components or products offshore. The complexity for strategic proposals such as these is in making the “right” decision. When is it the right time to tackle a competitor through an aggressive pricing strategy? How should the firm expand into international markets and which markets should be entered? Which is the most attractive niche market to develop? As with any complex decision making task, the quality of the information and the manner within which it is analysed contributes significantly to the quality of the decision taken.

As indicated above, information has long been regarded as being an important element to sound decision making. However, in recent years, information is increasingly being viewed as a commodity in its own right where decisions about if and when particular pieces of information will be collected, analysed and used are influenced by considerations of cost/benefit. In ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting, we will focus upon a particular type of information: accounting information that is primarily produced for the benefit of a firm’s managers. Typically this management accounting information is used to facilitate the decisions of managers about the allocation and control over the scarce economic resources of their firm. However, it can also be used to influence the decisions of managers through allowing the firm to monitor the consequences of a manager’s decisions. Through the work that you will complete for ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting, you will become more aware of the choices that have to be made about what management accounting information is to be collected and reported and for which purpose it serves (e.g. decision facilitating or decision influencing).

Unit goals

ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting focuses on the contribution management accountants can make to strategic decision making in for-profit private sector firms and not-for-profit and public sector agencies [1]. As the custodian for a significant body of economic data (e.g., product and service costs), the management accountant is in a privileged position in terms of how strategic information can be deconstructed and analysed by the firm’s senior managers. Thus, we examine the roles of the management accountant: (a) as the internal business consultant, in supplying relevant information to senior managers, many acting within the structure of cross-functional teams; and (b) in providing to those managers the tools and modes of analysis that will result in the making of logical and rational decisions.

[1]        Strategic management accounting practices are applied across a broad range of organisational settings. Whilst the focus of ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting is on the for-profit private sector, the relevance of strategic management accounting practices to the not-for-profit and public sectors must not be ignored.

Learning outcomes

Students are able to (1) develop a cost-benefit analysis of management accounting information systems to evaluate products and employees; (2) visually and orally present the implementation of a management accounting information system; (3) evaluate the success of a real implementation of a management accounting information system; (4) learn from other's points of view to critically evaluate a management accounting information system; and (5) work in teams to formulate advice to improve an existing management accounting information system in a written report.

Unit structure

Your class commitments for ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting will require your attendance at an hour long lecture and a two-hour workshop per week.

Four workshop timeslots are offered for ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting and you will be required to attend the one that you have been assigned to. 

(See Timetable)

Unit schedule

WeekDate - Week beginningLecture topicWorkshop
127 FebruaryStrategy and management Accounting 1
26 MarchStrategy and management Accounting 2Case 1: Easy business company Limited
313 MarchBudgets: Planning and incentivesCase 2: Charley's family steakhouse
420 MarchBudgets: Organisational design and coordinationCase 3: Whirlpool R&E division
527 MarchImplementation and change managementCase 3: Whirlpool R&E division
63 AprilActivity based costingCase 4: Lehigh Steel
710 AprilInventory and cost accounting Case 4: Lehigh Steel
Mid-semester study break17 - 21 April
824 AprilSupply chain and cost accountingCase 5: Virginia Mason and Owens & Minor
91 MayCost accounting and market pricesCase 5: Virginia Mason and Owens & Minor
108 MayBudgets: Transfer pricingCase 6: Converse HMO transfer pricing
1115 MayNon-financial measures and balanced scorecardCase 6: Converse HMO transfer pricing
1222 MayBalanced scorecardCase 7: Fulton County school system
1329 MayOverview and final examCase 7: Fulton County school system
Pre-examination study break5 - 9 June
Semester 1 examination period10 - 24 June

Teaching and learning responsibilities

Teaching and learning strategies

Given the capstone nature of this unit, most of your energy will be devoted to case studies and group projects that are based upon or reflect real world business practices. This material will be wide ranging and is so partly because of the nature of the material to be discussed. We will be addressing inherently dynamic and complex problems for which there are no simplistic right answers. Many conclusions will be open ended and the merit of any particular decision will be conditioned by the quality of the analysis and evaluation undertaken before a conclusion is reached. Thus, please understand that there will be fewer “right” answers than you might wish to obtain from your analysis of a strategic management accounting problem. Be prepared to work with fuzzy numbers and be confident, as best you can, in making decisions with them.

In appreciating the diversity that each class has had in past educational, work and extra-curricular experiences, each student will bring different insights and understandings to class problem solving and discussions. The lecturer and tutor's task will be to draw upon this diversity in a way that allows each of you to fully contribute to the work that is to be done during the semester. Class participation is an important element of how the unit is to be delivered and through your active participation, your skills to think critically, creatively and intelligently; to present your ideas and respond to others will be further consolidated. Naturally, these are the skills that future employers will want of you as you move into your careers beyond university.

Your attendance at workshops is expected. In workshop one and two, we will perform the same exercise (presentation and critical evaluation) as for case 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. These workshops are not evaluated but they provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with the format and receive feedback on your presentation and discussion skills. You will have the time to work in groups of three to four students to solve part of the business problem. One group will shortly present its solution and another group will critically evaluate the proposed solution. The first workshop on case 3,  4,  5, 6, and 7 will introduce the cases that will be evaluated. Again, in these workshops some groups will present an initial solution and others will evaluate that solution. The first workshop will provide an excellent start for the assessed presentation and evaluation in the next week. The main requirement for the workshop is that you have read the business case so that you can immediately start working on the solution in the workshop.

Teaching and learning evaluation

You may be asked to complete two evaluations during this unit: The Student Perception of Teaching (SPOT) and the Students’ Unit Reflective Feedback (SURF). The SPOT is optional and is an evaluation of the lecturer and the unit. The SURF is completed online and is a university wide survey and deals only with the unit. You will receive an email from the SURF office inviting you to complete the SURF when it is activated. We encourage you to complete the forms as your feedback is extremely important and can be used to make changes to the unit or lecturing style when appropriate.


Participation in class, whether it is listening to a lecture or getting involved in other activities, is an important part of the learning process. Therefore, it is important that you attend classes. More formally, the University regulations state that ‘to complete a course or unit students shall attend prescribed classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials’.

Charter of student rights and responsibilities

The Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities upholds the fundamental rights of students who undertake their education at the University of Western Australia.  The University's charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities is available at www.governance.uwa.edu.au/procedures/policies/policies-and-procedures?method=document&id=UP07/132

Student Guild contact details

The Guild represents all students enrolled at UWA. They can help you in a number of ways by providing financial, academic, and welfare support. Contact details for the University Student Guild can be found at www.guild.uwa.edu.au/. The Guild Education Officer is available to provide assistance and advice on a range of issues.

Student Services contact details

There is a wealth of material provided by UWA Student Services that can help you settle into university life and help with many other issues you may encounter as a university student.  Contact details for Student Services can be found at http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/contact


UniAccess provides free services and support to UWA students who want to disclose a disability or a medical condition and request assistance http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/experience/health/uniaccess

The Library

The University Library http://www.library.uwa.edu.au/has many services available to support you academically.  The Business collection is located in the Barry J Marshall Library in the Science building http://www.library.uwa.edu.au/contact/science , otherwise a Business librarian is available at the School at specified times. 

Uses of student feedback


Your academic orientation includes three online units which you must complete within the first 10 weeks of your enrolment:

AACE1000 Academic Conduct Essentials (ACE)  (just this for postgraduate)
INDG1000 Indigenous Study Essentials
CARS1000 Communication and Research Skills

Information for students with disabilities

The University has a range of support services, equipment and facilities for students with a disability. If you would like to receive advice on these services please email uniline@uwa.edu.au or visit www.student.uwa.edu.au/life/health/uniaccess

Using peer feedback to assess team contributions

The online tool SPARKPLUS may be used to assess individual contributions to team work. Where Spark is used you will be required to provide feedback to, and receive feedback from, your team members. Based on a series of answers from each team member SPARKPLUS automatically produces two weighting factors: your RPF and SAPA. The use of SPARKPLUS will be explained in class and more information is available on LMS.


Assessment overview

Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) group report; (2) individual reflection; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

For Semester 1, 2017, please refer to assessment mechanism below.

Assessment mechanism

#ComponentWeightDue dateRelates to outcomes
1Presentation (group)15%In workshop1 - 4
2Critical evaluation (group)10%In workshop5
3Report (group)15%One week after the workshop5
4Evaluation by group members10%June 53, 4 and 5
5Final examination50 %Semester 1 examination period: 10 - 24 June1 - 5

Assessment items

Item DescriptionSubmission Procedure
#1 Presentation (group)You will be required to present the solution to one business case with your group of three to four students. For the second workshop on case 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, two groups in a workshop will present their solution to one question for the business case. The presentation of each group is limited to 15 minutes. The important element in the evaluation for this component is the quality of the solution and whether you can convince the other students in the workshop of your solution.
One other group will critically evaluate your presentation. How well your group responds to their questions is also part of the assessment for this component. It is NOT a weakness to change your mind if the other group provides valid criticism.
You are required to email the group presentation to me three days before the workshop to the group that performs the critical evaluation. The email addresses will be available on LMS.
#2 Critical evaluation (group)After one of the other group presentations, your group will critically evaluate the proposed solution by the other group in the workshop. You are expected to ask questions and seek clarification for 10 minutes after the presentation. You can also discuss improvements and corrections with the other group. The assessment of this component focuses on your willingness to improve the other group's work and critical evaluation of their work.In the workshop.
#3 Report (group)As a group you will be required to write a two to four page report. In that report, your group summarizes the proposed solution that is presented by another group and the critical evaluation by your own group. The report should be submitted with a cover letter six days after the workshop when your group did the critical evaluation.
Submit via LMS
#4 Evaluation by group membersThe other group members will be able to evaluate your cooperativeness and contribution to the group presentation, critical evaluation and report.Online via SPARK 7 days before the final exam.
#5 Final examinationThe final examination is 2 hours in duration. The final examination is open book and will contain three open ended questions about three business cases. You will receive the business cases by Week 13. You are allowed to bring the cases to the final examination.

Academic literacy and academic misconduct

The University of Western Australia takes very seriously the matter of academic misconduct by students and has policies in place that define misconduct (including plagiarism) and the penalties that apply. The consequences for misconduct can be severe, including exclusion from the University.

All students are expected to make themselves aware of the definitions and the policies relating to academic misconduct, found at the websites below, and with any additional requirements or stipulations that may be provided by individual coordinators www.governance.uwa.edu.au/procedures/policies/policies-and-procedures?policy=UP07%2F21

Appeals against academic assessment

The full regulations governing appeals procedures are available in the University Handbook at http://rules.handbooks.uwa.edu.au/rules/student_rules/

Penalty for late submission

A penalty of 5 per cent of the total mark allocated for the assessment item is deducted per day for the first 7 days (including weekends and public holidays) after which the assigned work is not accepted. Each 24-hour block is recorded from the time the assignment is due.

 Penalty for exceeding word limit

Where an assignment exceeds the word limit, a penalty of 1 per cent of the total mark allocated for the assessment task applies for each 1 per cent in excess of the word limit.

Textbooks and resources

Recommended texts

As ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting is a capstone unit in management accounting, it will integrate both the theory and practice of management accounting. The foundation for your learning will be the course notes taken, journal articles assigned and read and case studies completed that will be reviewed in each workshop.

As no one text book is suitable for ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting, no formal text has been assigned for the unit. However, you may find that your text from ACCT2112 and ACCT3203 will be of some value. This text is: Horngren, CT, SM Datar G Foster, M Rajan, and C Ittner, Cost accounting: a managerial emphasis, Prentice Hall. Another useful source of material is Langfield-Smith, Thorn and Hilton’s Management accounting: information for creating and managing value, McGraw Hill, 5th edn, 2009 or Groot and Selto's Advanced Management Accounting, Pearson, 1st edn, 2013.

Many other management accounting texts have been published and you will find material relevant to ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting in many of these publications. The Reid Arts and Business Library holds a fairly extensive collection of management accounting texts and the more recent the publication date (i.e., post 2004 editions), the more valuable the material will be to the topics that are covered in ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting. The table of contents and subject index of each text can be used to locate material that you should find useful to your studies in this unit.

Suggested alternate texts

Additional texts

Technical requirements

Software requirements

Consistent with other Accounting and Finance units, you will be expected to have in ACCT3323 Strategic Management Accounting access to and competence in using software packages for such things as word processing (e.g., Microsoft Word), spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel) and audio-visual presentations (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint).

Additional resources and reading

No other resources and reading materials are currently prescribed. However, additional resources and/or reading material may be assigned as need arises.

Other important information

Submission of assignments

Submit your assignment during lecture. Please remember to attach an Assignment Cover Sheet to the front of your assignment. You can download and print your Assignment Cover Sheet from the Students web page http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/students/assessments.

Using peer feedback to assess team contributions

The online tool SPARKPLUS will be used to assess individual contributions to team work. You will be required to provide feedback to, and receive feedback from, your team members. Based on a series of answers from each team member SPARKPLUS automatically produces two weighting factors: your RPF and SAPA. The use of SPARKPLUS will be explained in class and more information is available on LMS at www.lms.uwa.edu.au.

Standard of assessment

The Business School must ensure that the processes of assessment are fair and are designed to maintain the standards of the School and its students. The School follows the UWA marks and grades distribution:

Higher distinction






Credit pass












Failed component




The scaling of marks to ensure comparability between classes is an acceptable academic practice. The School and Board of Examiners have the right to scale marks where it is considered necessary to maintain consistency and fairness.

Quality assurance

Your assessed work may also be used for quality assurance purposes, such as to assess the level of achievement of learning outcomes as required for accreditation and audit purposes. The findings may be used to inform changes aimed at improving the quality of Business School programs. All material used for such processes will be treated as confidential, and the outcome will not affect your grade for the unit.

Approved calculators for examinations

The University permits only the use of calculators in examinations when the calculator has an approved sticker and the examiner permits their use.  If the student does not have an approved sticker on their calculator, they will not be permitted to use the calculator.  Calculators can be approved at the Undergraduate Student Centre, the Postgraduate Student Centre or at Student Administration.  Further information is available on the Business School website at www.business.uwa.edu.au/students/assessments

Special consideration/alternative arrangements

If you are unable to attend a class, tutorial or examination due to circumstances beyond your control and are seeking an extension for submission of an assignment or a deferred exam, please read valid reasons for special consideration at www.student.uwa.edu.au/life/health/uniaccess/special-consideration, complete the application form and submit at the Student Centre.
PLEASE NOTE that deferred exams are not available in Summer School units.

Acknowledging Sources of Information and the Business School Policy on Plagiarism

Student Services provides an online plagiarism portal that includes a definition of plagiarism and a link to FAQ www.studentservices.uwa.edu.au/ss/learning/online_services/plagiarism_portal

‘Turnitin' Originality Checking & Plagiarism Prevention is used in the Faculty to allow both educators and their students check written work for improper citation or misappropriated content. More information about 'Turnitin' can be found at http://turnitin.com/static/index.html

eBooks and open book exams

eBooks cannot be accessed at an examination. Please check your exam details and purchase a printed version of any book you would select to take into an open book exam.


It is important that the referencing of any sources used in your written work is done properly, if only to substantiate the points you are making in your assignment or project.  The Harvard style is the preferred and there are some notes for guidance which have been prepared by the library staff:  ‘Citing your Sources Harvard Style’ http://libguides.library.uwa.edu.au/harvard

The EndNote software package is a really good system for building up a database of references.  Not everyone will want to invest the time in using this system but you should consider it if you intend to build up resource materials or plan to undertake extensive research in a particular area.  The library staff have also developed a tutoring package: ‘A Quick Guide to Using EndNote’ which provides the basics for using EndNote with an essay http://libguides.library.uwa.edu.au/endnote

Last day to add a unit offered in a semester

The final date to add a unit is the end of week 2 of the semester.  For further information on important dates for 2017, refer to www.student.uwa.edu.au/course/dates/important


STUDYSmarter helps students get more out of their study by equipping you with additional skills needed at university. Explore the range of free on-campus and online services to help you develop academic communication, research, critical analysis, numeracy and study skills. http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/learning/studysmarter