ACC/MAN 560: Managerial Accounting – Evaluating Financial and Non-Financial Performance

An organization’s long-term competitive success is critically dependent on the availability and the efficient use of information about its products, services, processes, organizational units, suppliers, customers, as well as its social and environmental performance. Managerial accounting includes the concepts, models, and systems that provide managers with the information necessary to achieve both the financial and the non-financial (ESG) goals.
The course will familiarize participants with the terminology and basic concepts of managerial accounting. The topics range from the analysis of cost information for decision-making to performance measurement, financial planning, and budgeting. The design and use of internal reporting systems varies substantially across different firms and industries and is closely interlinked with a firm’s governance and control systems. To shed light on these different governance practices, the course integrates a number of real-world cases. Applications cover the manufacturing, the services, and the financial industry.

Learning outcomes
Students will become familiar with advanced issues in managerial accounting and understand the use of financial and non-financial (ESG) information in managerial decision-making. Students will also develop a thorough understanding of performance measurement systems and managerial incentives.

Necessary prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites
Bachelor-level knowledge of cost accounting

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS9 SWS
Case Study Presentation2 SWS4 SWS
Exercise class2 SWS4 SWS
ECTS credits8
Graded yes
Form of assessmentCase study presentation (25%) and written exam (90 min, 75%)
Restricted admissionno
Further informationWill be counted towards ACC.
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Jannis Bischof
Prof. Dr. Jannis Bischof (Lecture), Dr. Claudia Max and Can Toygar (Case Studies)
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. WiPäd, M.Sc. VWL, M.Sc. Wirt. Inf., LL.M.
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 3, CG 5
LiteratureWe will use ILIAS “ACC 560 Managerial Accounting [V] (FSS 2022)” for course announcements, class handouts, slides, cases, and articles. Please make sure you check the course website frequently.
Recommended Textbooks:
  • Brickley, J.A., Smith, C.W., & Zimmerman, J.L., 2021 [B/S/Z]: Managerial economics and organizational architecture, 7th edition, New York / US: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 978-1-260-57121-9.
  • Datar, S.M., & Rajan, M.V., 2021 [D/R]: Horngren’s cost accounting: a managerial emphasis, 17th edition, Harlow / UK: Pearson Education. ISBN: 978-1-292-36316-5.
  • Merchant, K., & Van der Stede, W., 2017 [M/VDS]: Management control systems: performance measurement, evaluation, and incentives, 4th edition, Harlow / UK: Pearson Education. ISBN: 978-1-292-11058-5.
Complementary Readings:
  • Weber, J., Schäffer, U., & Binder, C., 2020: Einführung in das Controlling: Übungen und Fall­studien mit Lösungen, 4th edition, Stuttgart / DE: Schäffer-Poeschel Verlag. ISBN: 978-3-791-04337-1.
Course outline(1) Lecture: The weekly lecture introduces the key content of the course. The lectures will be held in-class.
Wednesday, B3 (12:00–13:30pm), Hall O 142, Start: Feb 15, End: May 31
Two guest-lectures by high-profile practitioners will accompany the conceptual discussions in class. Janna Brokmann and Josefine Molter are responsible for the sustainability management in the investments of Prime Capital and discuss their experience with ESG information in the investments process. Stefan Schnell is head of the global group controlling at BASF and will discuss his experience with the organization of group controlling in a multinational company and the challenges of sustainability management at BASF.
(2) Case Study Session: Real world case studies will help you become familiar with the practical implementation of the lecture contents. The case studies will particularly focus on the role of financial and non-financial information in managerial decision-making as well as performance measurement systems. You will be allocated to groups of three to six students and have one week to prepare a short presentation on your results. We will provide additional information regarding the presentation mode in due course.
Dr. Claudia Max (Zurich Insurance Group): Financial and Non-Financial KPIs for Internal Performance Evaluation
Friday, March 17 – Case Study Allocation
Thursday, March 23, B5 & B6 (15:30–18:45pm), L9 1-2 Room 001 – Guest Lecture
Friday, March 24, B1 & B2 (08:30–12:00am), Hall O 145 – Case Study Presentation
Can Toygar (CVC Capital): KPIs and Internal Accounting Information in M&A Transactions
Thursday, April 27, B5 & B6 (15:30–18:45pm), L9 1-2 Room 001 – Guest Lecture & Case Study Allocation
Friday, May 5, B1 & B2 (08:30–12:00am), Hall O 145 – Case Study Presentation
In order to register for the case studies, please send us an informal mail until Wednesday, March 15.
(3) Exercise Session: An exercise session is accompanying the lecture. The exercise session intends to specifically prepare students for exam questions. We will discuss the solutions to problem sets that directly relate to the content of the lecture.
Tuesday, B5 (15:30–17:00pm), Hall O 142, Start: March 21, End: May 30
Lectures combine theoretical concepts and discussions about managerial accounting concepts and practice. I will use selected case studies based on real-world examples to explore the accounting systems and their implications for different types of companies. The accompanying exercise sessions will further deepen the understanding of issues in the practical implementation of managerial accounting and performance measurement systems.
The course is organized into three main parts:
(1) Fundamentals and Terminology of Managerial Accounting
(2) Performance Measurement and Incentive Schemes
(3) Budgeting and Forecasting
You find a more detailed outline in the course schedule below.
A successful completion of the course will earn you 8 ECTS that count towards the electives in the MMM program.
The completion of the course includes your performance in the final exam (75%) and the case study sessions (25%). The final exam is a written test of 90 minutes length. The Student Office will organize the exam and it is supposed to be held in June. Please check the announcements of the Student Office carefully. Please contact the Student Office directly if you have any questions about the exam logistics.
Registrations for the case studies must be sent to us via email until March 15 the latest. Please send your name and your student ID number to In case you miss this deadline, you will not be allocated to the case study groups and thus cannot attend the course. The case study presentations will be held on Friday, March 24 (Zurich Insurance cases) and Friday, May 5 (CVC cases).
Class courtesy: Students are expected to be in their seats with their cell-phones turned off prior to the start of class. Laptop computers are allowed in class to make notes or read class-related materials. Browsing internet (including social networks websites) and chatting is not allowed. Such activities during the class distract attention of other students and are unethical.
Getting help: E-mail is a convenient way to ask brief questions about organization and content of the course. Instead of holding inflexible office hours, I am also available by appointment to answer more detailed questions or problems. In addition, I will always be available before and after class to answer brief questions.