In recent years, the role of managerial accountants has expanded from performing traditional tasks such as classic investment analyses towards providing value-adding insights by tapping into a much broader and diverse set of data. In this course we will mirror this development. More concretely, we will start off by focusing on the traditional role of managerial accountants and deepening our understanding of how investment decisions are made in organizations. We will dig deeper into the assumptions, use cases and (potentially also problematic) consequences of employing several classic instruments for investment decisions. From there, we will explore how data analytics can be fruitfully used to solve a diverse set of problems in managerial accounting. In doing so, we will learn how data preparation, modelling, and visualization can be applied in an accounting context to help create meaningful and value-adding insights in order to prepare and make managerial decisions. We will cover these topics along the following preliminary course structure:
- Session I: Roles of managerial accountants; investment decisions 1 (foundations of investment decisions, static approaches (recap), dynamic approaches: NPV)
- Session II: Investment decisions (dynamic approaches: repeating payment, IRR; investment decisions under uncertainty and risk)
- Session III: Data analytics in accounting; data preparation (fundamentals of relational databases; data dictionaries; extraction, transformation, and loading of data)
- Session IV: Modelling (common data analytics approaches, regression)
- Session V: Data visualization (determining the purpose, choosing the right chart, refining the chart, communication)
- Session VI: Integrated perspective and further application: KPIs (identify the question, master the data and perform a test plan)
- Session VII: Final exam
Overall, this course aims at creating a basic understanding of some core tools in managerial accounting – spanning from classic investment decision approaches to modern data analytics techniques. Regarding the latter, the course is not intended to be a pure analytics/statistics course. It will cover core concepts in data analytics, but always with a focus on applications in managerial accounting.
After completing this course, you should…
- … have a solid understanding of the theoretical foundations for making investment decisions and a good grasp of how to articulate business problems, identify required data, draw appropriate conclusions, and communicate them.
- … possess applied knowledge gained from employing the theoretical concepts in case studies.
- … have acquired useful hands-on skills for managerial accountants (including Excel, querying databases, Stata, Tableau)
Attendance is mandatory in this class. You may miss one class (please let me know in advance!).
This class will make use of a mix of several teaching methods, including
- Lecture components
- In-class case studies (each class will incorporate at least one hands-on example/case study – please bring your laptop or share with a partner)
- Option for individual and group coaching sessions
- Bonus content (e.g., Excel-tip of the day, etc.)
Note: We will use several different software packages in this course (most of which are free to use for students). I will let you know in advance (two weeks before the start of the course) which software to install.
Your final grade will consist of both individual and group components:
- Final Exam (40%)
- Group Assignment Case Study (40%)
- Individual Component (e.g., take-home or classroom quizzes, tbd) (20%)
Successful application for the specialization “Strategy and Managerial Accounting” (Bachelor in “Business and Economics”) or “SBWL Unternehmensführung & Controlling” (Bachelor in “Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften” or “Wirtschaftsrecht”); Registration to “Course I - Introduction to Strategy and Managerial Accounting”