Management Accounting and Control
Weighting – 100% of the marks for this module
This is an individual assignment limited to 3,000 words (+or- 10%), excluding the reference list, bibliography and any appendices. The word count MUST be shown on the front cover of the assignment. Note: see quality Handbook Ref AQH-F15 Guidance for students on the penalty for exceeding the limit for assessed work.
All of the learning outcomes for the module are being assessed in this assignment. The learning outcomes are shown in the section entitled “Marking Guide”, which is further on in this document.
The University’s policy on cheating collusion and plagiarism will be applied to this piece of work.
The assignment has three questions. Only two of the three questions should be answered each question carries the same maximum mark.
A printed copy of your assignment, together with a summary Turnitin report
(via canvas), should be submitted to the Assignment Submission desk in the Library by 2 p.m. on Thursday 14th June 2018
THE FRONT COVER OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT MUST SHOW:
- YOUR NAME;
2) YOUR STUDENT REGISTRATION NUMBER;
- THE WORD COUNT (excluding the reference list and bibliography and any appendices)
The assignment has three questions only two should be answered. Each question carries the same maximum mark.
Background information on the imaginary organisation to which the three questions relate:
The assignment – Background information
You are the financial director of a large, ficticious company called Saturn plc, which produces and sells a range of its own manufactured goods. Production and sales take place across a number of countries. The company uses transfer pricing and absorption costing as part of its approach to strategic management accounting.
The Board of Directors is concerned that the company is not meeting its budgeted target profits; the managing director takes the simple view that more sales mean more profits and that the products have not been priced to sell in sufficient numbers.
While you are aware that this is a possibility you recognise that the real reason for the lower than expected profits may be more complex. You have therefore decided to conduct a full review of variances to identify those areas which have not met budgeted expectations.
While this review is underway and to improve the board of directors understanding of the issues involved, you have decided to produce a report to the board of directors which addresses the following 3 topics:
You are required to produce a report to the directors which addresses two of the following three questions, each question is worth 50% of the marks:
Q1 Critically discuss the financial and non-financial (qualitative) issues that may arise when Saturn plc is considering the following decision making situations found in relevant costs and revenues:
- a) Special selling price decisions;
- b) Product mix decisions where capacity constraints exist;
- c) Outsourcing (make or buy) decisions;
Simple numerical example(s) may be used to enhance the demonstration of your understanding of the issues involved. (Maximum mark 50%).
Q2. The role of transfer pricing in divisionalized companies and a critical discussion of the value and limitations of three of the most notable transfer pricing methods identified in management accounting literature. (maximum mark 50%).
Q3 Outline the purposes of ‘the balanced scorecard’ and critically evaluate how Saturn could apply the four perspectives. (Maximum mark 50%).
The report should include critical evaluation of the models and concepts proposed outlining their merits and limitations. You may incorporate logical assumptions with regard to the company and use numerical examples to illustrate the models and concepts that you propose to adopt
The University policy on cheating collusion and plagiarism will be applied to this piece of work.
Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and innovative in their approach as to what should be included in this report the following may be of some use in providing guidance as to what could possibly be included, although this is in no way meant to be prescriptive.
The aim of the assignment is to help you understand how key areas of strategic management accounting are demonstrated in practice by a large, international company. This will include investigating topics from throughout the course linked to the above issues. Some of the principles, concepts ad models will be more relevant to your chosen approach than others and so it is likely that different students will formulate different approaches to the problems. This is normal, it is not expected that all of the course content will be used in the analysis, concentrate on that which you feel is most important.
As part of your work you might find it helpful to briefly explore the underlying theory behind the key areas of investigation that you identify before applying them to report.
With a total of 3,000 words you do not have a lot of room for long introductions so assume you are writing to a sophisticated audience who has a working knowledge of strategic management accounting and is well versed in business theory. Numerical example for illustrative purposes may be of use but should not be the main thrust of the work. If used they should be to provide evidence to support your findings from your other analysis of position and policies. If other sources are used remember to reference everything!
Please avoid relying too heavily on descriptive sections reproducing information available from course material or the set text. It is your own logical, evaluation of the situation, the interpretation of course material and presentation, with critical analysis, of a coherent strategic plan that will attract high marks.
The learning outcomes for this module assessed by this piece of work are:
- A Critical understanding of a range of key strategic management accounting models and concepts.
- A Critical understanding of the strategic role of management accounting at local and international level
- A Critical understanding of the merits and limitations of management accounting theory.
- How to apply the key management accounting concepts and methodologies in order to contribute to successful decision making in an organisation.
In light of this the assessment criteria in the grid below will be used when assessing your work.
Generic Assessment Criteria – Postgraduate These should be interpreted according to the level at which you are working
|Grade||Relevance||Knowledge||Analysis||Argument and Structure||Critical Evaluation||Presentation||Reference to Literature|
|Pass||86 – 100%||The work examined is exemplary and provides clear evidence of a complete grasp of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also unequivocal evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be exemplary in all the categories cited above. It will demonstrate a particularly compelling evaluation, originality, and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.|
|76-85%||The work examined is excellent and demonstrates comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be excellent in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse and some evidence of originality.|
70 – 75%
|The work examined is of a high standard and there is evidence of comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is clearly articulated evidence demonstrating that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are satisfied. At this level it is expected that the standard of the work will be high in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.|
60 – 69%
|Directly relevant to the requirements of the assessment||A substantial knowledge of relevant material, showing a clear grasp of themes, questions and issues therein||Comprehensive analysis – clear and orderly presentation||Well supported, focussed argument which is clear and logically structured.||Contains distinctive or independent thinking; and begins to formulate an independent position in relation to theory and/or practice.||Well written, with standard spelling and grammar, in a readable style with acceptable format||Critical appraisal of up-to-date and/or appropriate literature. Recognition of different perspectives. Very good use of a wide range of sophisticated source material.|
50 – 59%
|Some attempt to address the requirements of the assessment: may drift away from this in less focused passages||Adequate knowledge of a fair range of relevant material, with intermittent evidence of an appreciation of its significance||Significant analytical treatment which has a clear purpose||Generally coherent and logically structured, using an appropriate mode of argument and/or theoretical mode(s)||May contain some distinctive or independent thinking; may begin to formulate an independent position in relation to theory and/or practice.||Competently written, with only minor lapses from standard grammar, with acceptable format||Uses a good variety of literature which includes recent texts and/or appropriate literature, including a substantive amount beyond library texts. Competent use of source material.|
|40 – 49%||Some correlation with the requirements of the assessment but there are instances of irrelevance||Basic understanding of the subject but addressing a limited range of material||Some analytical treatment, but may be prone to description, or to narrative, which lacks clear analytical purpose||Some attempt to construct a coherent argument, but may suffer loss of focus and consistency, with issues at stake stated only vaguely, or theoretical mode(s) couched in simplistic terms||Sound work which expresses a coherent position only in broad terms and in uncritical conformity to one or more standard views of the topic||A simple basic style but with significant deficiencies in expression or format that may pose obstacles for the reader||Evidence of use of appropriate literature which goes beyond that referred to by the tutor. Frequently only uses a single source to support a point.|
|Fail||35 – 39%||Relevance to the requirements of the assessment may be very intermittent, and may be reduced to its vaguest and least challenging terms||A limited understanding of a narrow range of material||Largely descriptive or narrative, with little evidence of analysis||A basic argument is evident, but mainly supported by assertion and there may be a lack of clarity and coherence||Some evidence of a view starting to be formed but mainly derivative.||Numerous deficiencies in expression and presentation; the writer may achieve clarity (if at all) only by using a simplistic or repetitious style||Barely adequate use of literature. Over reliance on material provided by the tutor.|
|The evidence provided shows that the majority of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied – for compensation consideration.|
|30 – 34%||The work examined provides insufficient evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence provided shows that some of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in some of the indicators.|
|15-29%||The work examined is unacceptable and provides little evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence shows that few of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in several of the indicators.|
|0-14%||The work examined is unacceptable and provides almost no evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence fails to show that any of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in the majority or all of the indicators.|