ACCT2522 Management Accounting 1 - 2020

Term 2
6 Units of Credit
The course outline is not available for current semester. To view outlines from other year and/or semesters visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

This course examines management accounting practices directed towards the effective use of organisational resources in order to create value for customers and shareholders. It focuses on three interrelated themes: first, the design and operation of management accounting systems for planning and control; second, the role of management accounting practices in supporting effective resource management and process improvement; and, third, the manner in which these practices affect and are affected by human processes within organisations. We aim to encourage critical thinking about such issues, and to improve students' abilities to address these with confidence and creativity in a professional and work-based context. The course draws upon business practice, contemporary and international research, case studies, and the applied research experiences of course participants.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

This course is offered as part of an accounting major, double major or disciplinary minor in the Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Economics degrees. A prerequisite for this course is ACCT1511 Accounting and Financial Management 1B. This course also constitutes part of the core curriculum of studies required by CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

This course builds on the basic cost accounting knowledge gleaned in ACCT1511; and further presents various management accounting practices and techniques that are adopted to ensure that organizational resources are used effectively and efficiently in creating value for customer and shareholders. As part of the course, we explore how the management of customer value parameters (such as cost, quality, and time) is critical to value creation; and how management accounting practices can support value creation by focusing on three main interrelated themes as follows:

  1. The design and operation of management accounting technologies and systems;  
  2. The role of such technologies and systems in supporting effective resource management and process improvement; and
  3. The manner in which these technologies and systems affect, and are affected in turn, by human processes within organisations.

We aim to encourage critical thinking about issues that may arise as these themes are covered, and to improve students’ abilities to address such issues with confidence and creativity in a professional and work-based context. This course draws upon business practices, contemporary and international research, and case studies.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrYee Shih PhuaRoom 3062, Quadrangle building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5812TBA
LecturerDrLinda ChangRoom 3074, Quadrangle building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5817TBA
TutorProfMandy ChengRoom 3087, Quadrangle building - Ref E15 +61 2 9385 6343TBA

​Students will be notified of staff consultation hours in week 1. You are encouraged to seek help from any staff member teaching on this course during their consultation hours. Each lecturer will be available for up to two hours per week to conduct online interactive consultations. Staff members will generally not conduct any extensive consultations by email unless explicitly stated.

Common etiquette must be observed when conducting any written communication with staff members. In the case of email, make sure that you comply with the following:

  1. Your email is sent from your official UNSW email account;

  2. Your email contains proper salutations, sign-offs, and your full name and student identification number;

  3. If your email is in relation to your tutorial, you should identify the tutorial number and the name of your tutor; and

  4. Your email has been checked for spelling, and does not contain shorthand or text/SMS

If your email does not meet any of the above requirements, do not expect a response. Please be aware that staff members will only address email queries that require reasonably short replies during their consultation times after dealing with students who visit online consultations and phone queries.

If a number of students ask the same question, the teaching staff will post up an announcement on Moodle to respond to the question instead of sending individual replies to each student. The teaching staff will also indicate on the announcement that it was made to replace emails to students.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​At university, the focus is on your self-directed search for knowledge, and the assessments in this course are designed with this in mind. Lectures, tutorials, textbooks, assessments and other resources are all provided to help you fully comprehend and appreciate the concepts of this subject.

It is up to you to choose how much work you do in each part of the course: preparing for classes; completing assessments; studying for exams; and seeking assistance or extra work to extend and clarify your understanding. You must choose an approach that best suits your learning style and goals in this course. Interactive pre-tutorial practice questions and tutorial questions are provided to guide your learning process. It is important to keep up-to-date as the material covered in each week builds on the material covered in prior weeks.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Online Lectures

The purpose of lectures is to introduce and explain concepts that are critical to the core themes of the course, and to provide a logical structure for the topics. Each lecture will provide a brief overview of the topic and then focus on explaining key concepts, frameworks, and issues. In order to maximise the benefits of attending lectures, students are encouraged to read the relevant study materials thoroughly before listening to lecture recordings. Lecture notes will be posted on Moodle before the Monday of the week the lecture is held.

Online Tutorials

Tutorials constitute the core learning experience of this course. During online tutorials, students will be encouraged to discuss and critique accounting concepts in a group environment, present their findings to their class, and apply their knowledge to solve problems via homework questions and class exercises. It is essential that you read the relevant course materials and prepare written responses to tutorial questions prior to the tutorial each week. Tutorial questions will be posted on Moodle on the Monday of the week prior to the tutorial being held.

Interactive Pre-tutorial Practice Questions

Self-study is a key element of the learning design of this course. Students are expected to attempt the pre-tutorial practice questions prior to tutorial questions as part of their preparation for tutorial classes. A scaffolding approach is adopted where these pre-tutorial practice questions allow students to assess and enhance their understanding of fundamental concepts, and further provide step-by-step guidance to completing questions which are shorter and simplified versions of tutorial questions. Learning is facilitated by the provision of extensive feedback on these questions. The aim of these pre-tutorial practice questions is to encourage students to assume responsibility for the learning process, and to enhance the effectiveness of tutorials. The onus is on students to review and complete these materials, and to seek further assistance from staff during their consultation hours to assist with difficulties experienced. Pre-tutorial practice questions will be posted on Moodle on the Monday of the week prior to the tutorial being held.

5. Course Resources

  • ​Langfield-Smith, K., D. Smith, P. Andon, R. W. Hilton and H. Thorne (2018). Management Accounting: Information for Managing and Creating Value, 8th ed, McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd.

The UNSW bookshop has both the print version ( and the digital version ( of this textbook. Please advise the Lecturer-in-Charge immediately if you experience difficulty in obtaining the textbook from the bookshop. Copies of the textbook are also available in the High Use Collection in the UNSW library.

  • In addition to the prescribed text, supplementary reading materials may be issued during the session as required.

Other suggested textbooks in the library that can be referred to if you should wish to conduct further self-study in the topics covered by this course are:

  • Briers, M., J. Macmullen, M. Dyball, & H. Mahama (eds.) (2004). Management Accounting for Change: Process Improvement and Innovation (4th Edition).

  • Horngren, C.T., Wynder, M., Maguire, W., Tan, R., Datar, S.M., Foster, G., Rajan, M.V., & C. Ittner (2011). Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis (1st Australian Edition). Pearson Australia.

Course website: UNSW Moodle (

Please note that students are responsible for updating themselves on any information that is posted on Moodle. Information provided on Moodle may include:

  • Course outline;

  • Supplementary reading material;

  • PowerPoint lecture notes (which may include announcements made in lectures);

  • Brief solutions to numerical tutorial questions;

  • Assessment results;

  • Contact and consultation details of staff; and

  • Course-related announcements and other administrative matters.

Library information and subject guides etc (

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 0: 25 MayPodcast

Introduction of the course; and

Revision Topic: Cost Basics (Taught in first year accounting courses)

References: Textbook Ch. 2 p.39-52, Ch. 3 p.80-81, 87-92, & Ch. 7 p.291-299.

Week 1: 1 JuneLecture

Topic 1: Understanding Processes and Value Creation, and Managing Costs I - Overhead Costs

References: Textbook Ch. 16 p.760-769 & Ch. 7 p.307-318, & Additional Reading.


Revision Topic

Week 2: 8 JuneLecture

Topic 2: Managing Costs II - Activity-based Costing

References: Textbook Ch. 3 p.82 & Ch. 8 (including Appendix).

Assessment: Homework I (weekly, starting this week)


Topic 1

Note: Monday (8 June) is a public holiday.

Week 3: 15 JuneLecture

Topic 3: Standard Costs and Variance Analysis

Reference: Textbook Ch. 10 (excluding journal entries p.498-499) and Ch. 9 p.437 – 441.

Assessment: Homework II (2% component); and Formative Online Quiz I (Topics 0-2)


Topic 2

Week 4: 22 JuneLecture

Topic 4: Costing and Tactical Decisions

References: Textbook Ch. 16 p.769-776 & Ch. 19 (excluding Appendix)

Assessment: Online Test 1 (Friday, Topics 0-2); and Homework II (random component starts)



Topic 3

Week 5: 29 JuneLecture

Topic 5: Transfer Pricing and Managing Quality

References: Textbook Ch. 12, Ch. 16 p.778-785, & Ch 14 p.663-669.



Topic 4

Week 6: 6 JulyFlexibility Week

Assessment: Formative Online Quiz II (Topics 3-5)

Week 7: 13 JulyLecture

Topic 6: Managing Time - the Theory of Constraints

References: Textbook Ch. 16 p.776-778 & Additional Reading


Topic 5

Assessment: Online Test 2 (Friday, Topics 3-5)

Week 8: 20 JulyLecture

Topic 7: Project Management

Reference: Additional Reading


Topic 6

Week 9: 27 JulyLecture

Topic 8: Performance Evaluation and Management Control

References: Textbook Ch. 13 p.636-643 & Additional Reading


Topic 7

Week 10: 3 AugustLecture/Workshop

Topic 9: Capital Expenditure Decisions

Reference: Textbook Ch. 21



Topic 8

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

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