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Strategic performance management


This module is offered on the MSc in Professional Accountancy.

This module is designed to build on professional accountancy papers to offer a route to a master’s-level qualification, incorporating accredited prior learning of professional papers benchmarked at level 7 master’s-equivalent. This module is recognised by ACCA as equivalent to an option paper at professional level for students who achieve a pass.

This module provides students with an understanding of key issues and applied methodologies relating to strategic management accounting. These issues and methodologies are concerned with performance management, information management and evaluating financial risk.

The framework for strategic management accounting is analysed in the context of providing managers in organisations with the information they need to be able to plan for and subsequently control performance.

The emphasis is on making well-informed decisions and gaining insights into the blend of financial analysis and managerial judgment required to enable managers to make appropriate decisions. As such the content of this module provides the essentials a manager should have when faced with making hard-edged financial decisions in the context of a complex and ever-changing business environment.

Topics covered

  • Making sense of performance management and measurement
  • Understanding performance contexts for strategic management accounting
  • Issues in strategic management accounting
  • Taking account of the environment
  • Understanding the nature of management control
  • Making control work
  • Managing budgets in new ways
  • Using Information and IT as resources
  • Assessing financial performance measurement
  • Evaluating divisional performance and dealing with transfer pricing
  • Applying non-financial performance indicators
  • Evaluating performance in the not-for-profit sector
  • Managing corporate failure scenarios
  • Integrating Scenarios
  • Measuring and managing process performance
  • Managing costs for value and sustainability
  • Managing quality
  • Measuring customer relationships
  • Understanding behaviour and performance
  • Identifying emerging trends and assessing their consequences

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • understand the role of strategic planning and control, and associated strategic objectives in performance management, and the implications for strategic management accounting information, and attendant systems
  • identify, assess and analyse key external influences on organisational performance, particularly relating to key stakeholders and ethical issues
  • understand and apply strategic performance measurement techniques, both financial and non-financial, in the context of improving organisational performance
  • identify, apply, and evaluate strategic planning control tools and techniques
  • advise clients and senior management on strategic business performance evaluation and make appropriate recommendations
  • understand current developments and emerging issues in performance management.
  • think critically and creatively in identifying, evaluating, and critically appraising alternative solutions to business problems
  • solve complex problems in relation to performance management systems
  • synthesise and use information and knowledge effectively
  • identify and evaluate options to in solving performance management problems
  • undertake research into a performance management related business problem and apply skills in the assembling and analysis of data collected.
  • numeracy and quantitative skills applied to performance measurement and management
  • critical self-reflection applied to business practice and experience
  • effective communication of complex solutions to performance measurement and management-related decisions
  • effective use of information technology
  • self and time management
  • high personal effectiveness, applying critical self-awareness and personal resource management in the context of a diverse business environment.


This module is assessed by:

Coursework (30% weighting)

Examination (70% weighting)

Essential reading

The following is provided as part of the course materials after you register:

  • Management Control Systems 3rd edition, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 17, Merchant and Van der Stede, Published by: FT Prentice Hall 3rd Edition 2012, ISBN 978-0-273-73761-2
  • Managerial Accounting: Decision Making and Performance Management, 4th Edition, Chapters 16, 18, Proctor, Published by: Pearson 2012, ISBN 978-0-273-76448-9
  • Management and Cost Accounting, Chapters 1, 12, 19, 20, 22, Bhimani, Horngren, Datar, Rajan, Published by: Pearson 6th Edition 2015, ISBN 978-1-292-06348 eText
  • Advanced Management Accounting, Chapters 10, 12, Groot and Selto, Published by: Pearson 1st Edition 2013 eText, ISBN 978-0-273-78070-0
  • Management Accounting, Chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, Atkinson, Kaplan, Matsumura, Young, Published by: Pearson 2012, ISBN 10: 0-273-76998-7
  • Advanced Management Accounting, Chapters 7, 12, 13, Kaplan and Atkinson, Published by: Pearson 2014, ISBN 10: 0-292-02659-6
  • Financial Statement Analysis, Chapters 7, 11, Plenborg and Petersen, Published by: Pearson 2012, ISBN 10: 0273752359
  • Essentials of Management, Chapters 3 and 8 Boddy Published by: Pearson 2012 ISBN 978-0-273-73928-9
  • Management Accounting, Chapters 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21,22 Burns, Quinn, Warren Published by: McGraw Hill 2013, ISBN 10: 0077121619
  • Management Accounting, Chapters 16, 17, 18, Seal, Garrison, Noreen, Published by: McGraw Hill 2015, ISBN 10: 007712989X