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Advanced Management Accounting and Control

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
HS 2021
Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

The course "Advanced Management Accounting and Control" intends to give you a comprehensive perspective of both conceptualization and use of strategic Management Accounting Systems (MAS). The first objective of the course is to refresh your knowledge of a couple of strategic MAS (e.g., ABC, Target Costing, Benchmarking, etc.). Casework on these systems will complement the more operative focus of most B.Sc. lectures on management accounting. Based on this, you will be enabled to develop a profound understanding of how MAS can be used, implemented and diffused successfully, in particular how they can be put in place in order to facilitate learning processes in an organization. Finally, we will concentrate on the tasks and roles of controllers as well as CFOs, encompassing the function of controllers supporting managers and the concept of rationality assurance. Lectures will be supported by discussions of research in management accounting as well as by practitioner lectures.

You are encouraged to participate actively in class discussion!

Part I: A contingency perspective on MAS

  1. Activity Based Costing
  2. Target Costing

Part II: A learning perspective on MAS

  1. Learning with MAS & Benchmarking
  2. Learning with Reporting and Early Warning Systems

Part III: Use, implementation and diffusion of MAS

  1. How are MAS used in practice?
  2. Why do MAS implementation projects fail - and how to succeed?
  3. What drives diffusion of new MAS?

Part IV: Looking behind MAS: Controllers and CFOs

  1. Who needs controllers - and why?
  2. Tasks and Roles of CFOs
Date Time
Thursday, 28.10.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 04.11.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Wednesday, 10.11.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 18.11.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 25.11.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Friday, 26.11.2021 13:45 - 15:15
Thursday, 02.12.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 09.12.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Friday, 10.12.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Wednesday, 15.12.2021 14:00 - 15:30
Contingency and Learning Theory, Behavioral approaches, Institutional Theory, Diffusion Theory, Upper Echelon Theory
Basic literature: Hartmann, F. et al. (2021). Management Control Systems, 2nd ed., London: McGraw-Hill.Bhimani, A. et al. (2019). Management and Cost Accounting, 7th ed., Harlow: Pearson.Weber, J./Schäffer, U. (2008). Introduction to Controlling, 1st ed., Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel.Additional literature:will be announced and made available in class.
Interactive lecture, assignments and case studies, in class discussion
Case Studies and Assignments (60%), Final Exam (40%)
Basic management accounting knowledge from a BSc program
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