Foto sezione
Logo Bocconi

Course 2020-2021 a.y.


Department of Accounting

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza

Suggested background knowledge

The course assumes a good command of basic financial accounting topics.

Mission & Content Summary

This course has two primary goals. First, it intends to develop students’ skills in understanding, analyzing, and interpreting financial statements. Conceptually, the course emphasizes that producers and users of financial statements have different objectives and informational needs. At the same time, the course is applied in that it teaches students how to analyze actual financial statements data to make informed business decisions and assessments. Second this course is designed to broaden and deepen students’ conceptual and technical understanding of accounting as it is used for management purposes. The emphasis in the course is on financial controls, which provides the dominant form of control in the vast majority of decentralized organizations. This module provides support in business decisions, evaluation of organizational performance, or in evaluation of others (and/or be evaluated) through the use of financial and non-financial information.

  1. The first goal of the course is to advance your understanding of how financial statements are analyzed and used in various decision-making and investment settings. This goal is accomplished through four individual steps:
    • Business strategy analysis.
    • Accounting analysis.
    • Financial analysis.
    • Prospective analysis.
  2. The second goal of the course is to focus on management and control systems for ensuring good enterprise control. Using financial controls requires managers to make decisions about:
    • Responsibility structures.
    • Performance measures.
    • Performance evaluations.
    • Rewards.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Be knowledgeable users of financial statements as part of their professional responsibilities as financial analysts or managers.
  • Understand the structure of performance measurement systems in complex environments.
At the end of the course student will be able to...

Carry-out the following analyses:

  • Business strategy analysis.
  • Accounting analysis.
  • Financial analysis.
  • Analysis of responsibility and performance management systems.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • In class assignments (individual ) may be a short textbook problem, a set of questions related to an article discussed in class.
  • Group assignments consists in a case study to be prepared with your classmates, but each student composes his or her answers, which are graded by instructors. 

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
    • In class individual assignments: during the lessons, 4 small optional assignments are distributed to students without notice. The assignments are individually solved by students and returned to the instructor after 10-15 minutes. Each assignment receives a “pass or fail” grade. Each pass provides one additional point (there are no negative points for fails). In any case, the additional points accumulated during the lessons are optional and not necessary to reach the maximum grade. The points obtained trought in class assigment (max 4) will be added to the final grade (group assignments +final test).
    • Group assignments: students have 2 group work (one for each part of the course). Groups are created by instructors, and include 4 students. Each student has a specific question to answer throught a ppt presentation. Each answer is evalutated separately. The grade is measured on base 31, and the weight of group works is 20% of the final grade
    • Final written test: at the end of the course students undertake a final written exam. The grade is measured on base 31, and the weight of final test is 80% of the final grade. Students with group assignements can avoid to answer to two open question (one realted to each group assignment) but have the same overall time than other students.

    Teaching materials
    • Slides, exercises and cases are uploaded on Bboard platform.
    • Articles and papers (for the first part of the course) are uploaded on blackboard platform.
    • Text book (for the second part of the course): K.A. MERCHANT, W.A. VAN DER STEDE, Management Control Systems: performance measurement, evaluation and incentives, 2017, 4th edition, (ISBN-13: 9781292110554 (print) / 9781292110585 (PDF) / 9781292181875 (ePub). Chapter included are specified in the detailed schedule).
    Last change 28/07/2020 15:22