Management Accounting

An accounting website states: “Managerial accounting is concerned with providing information to managers – that is, to those who are inside an organization and who direct and control its operations. Managerial accounting can be contrasted with financial accounting, which is concerned with providing information to stockholders, creditors and others who are outside an organization (Garrison and Noreen, 1999).” The term managerial accounting is another name for management accounting.

This type of accounting course is especially helpful for people who need to understand how production costs affect the selling prices of the end product. Also, anyone who is responsible for setting budgets or developing performance standards and reports will benefit from this type of accounting course. Managers who are responsible for planning and controlling the activities of a company or division will find this accounting course helpful.

The very same site explains: “Traditionally, management accountants’ principal performance report was variance analysis, which is a systematic approach to the comparison of the actual and budgeted costs and revenues during a production period. While some form of variance analysis is still used by most manufacturing firms, it nowadays tends to be used in conjunction with other performance reports such as the balanced scorecard. A balanced scorecard is a set of financial measures, operational measures on customer satisfaction, internal processes and the organization’s innovation and improvement activities (Kaplan and Norton, 1992).”

The University of Texas offers managerial accounting courses for MBA students. According to the University of Texas McCombs School of Business website, the purpose of these courses is to help managers link strategies to operations; align people with corporate objectives; and measure results to control, learn, and improve performance. For example, in order to link strategies to operations, managers must organize and allocate resources in ways that support the implementation of strategies.

Major universities offer management accounting courses; however, these are usually part of degree programs and often require that students take Fundamentals of Financial Accounting as a prerequisite. Some universities might offer stand-alone courses for business managers that are available in the evenings or on weekends. Many universities offer online management accounting courses.

Management Accounting

Private companies that specialize in business training classes might also offer management accounting classes. These courses often target senior-level executives, and the cost of the courses reflects this. For example, the International Institute of Management (IIM) offers a four-day course for $3,999 and an online course for $995. The IIM website indicates that the courses are for Finance Managers, Treasurers, Investor Relations Managers, and Accounting Managers. Other types of managers who could benefit from the course include entrepreneurs, general managers, business unit managers, operations managers, project managers, and management accounting consultants. This course covers financial and business information used for planning, analysis, and control. It also focuses on best practices, tools, and models that facilitate managerial decision-making. Also included are insights on how to develop strategies, initiatives, and programs to introduce and manage financial controls.

American Management Association (AMA) also offers a course entitled “Fundamentals of Finance and Accounting for Non-financial Managers.” According to the AMA website the course covers a large number of topics, including the following: keeping your plan on target with budgetary controls, using profit-planning tools, break-even analysis, financial forecasting, and criteria for examining the performance of divisions and product lines. This accounting course is three days long, and the cost for non-members is $2,195. The cost for members is $1,995.

This type of accounting course is valuable for anyone who is a business owner or those who are responsible for managing a business unit, function, or company. Understanding how the business makes a profit is critical for effective decision-making.