Weighting – 100% of the marks for this module
This is an individual assignment of 3,000 words, excluding the bibliography and any appendices. The word count MUST be shown on the front cover of the assignment.
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. All three questions carry the same maximum mark and all three questions are compulsory.
The hand in date is: Monday 10th January 2011
Background information on the imaginary organisation to which the three questions relate:
You are a consultant management accountant who has been engaged by a medium to large, fast growing company Jessup ltd. The company is involved in advertising and public relations and is run by four directors who are all advertising experts. While the company is doing very well they feel it has reached a stage where they need better management of the accounting function. Generally, they are unsure of the strategic benefits a senior management accountant would bring and particularly they have concerns with which costs are most relevant to decision making and of any methods by which they can accurately cost their activities.
You are required to produce a report to the directors which addresses the following three questions:
Question 1: What are the key roles which a strategic management accountant would undertake in an organisation such as Jessup?
Question 2: What is meant by the terms relevant and irrelevant costs and revenues in Strategic Management Accounting decision making? Include several small numerical examples in your answer. .
Question 3: What are the benefits and problems of introducing activity based costing into an organisation such as Jessup?
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 medium to large organisation. 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 some 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.