COURSE 2: STRATEGIC BUSINESS ANALYSIS

Objectives: This subject seeks to provide specialization-level knowledge to accountants and financially motivated general managers in the interface areas between accounting and the other business functions. The subject is an advanced level course that enables students to apply the basic conventions and doctrines of managerial and cost accounting and other generally accepted managerial principles, in order to strategically analyze business situations across the various functions of a business organization.

A number of cost and management accounting issues relating to the design and implementation of strategic, marketing, risk management, value analysis and other management models in modern firms are discussed, and major contemporary issues that have emerged in business accounting in recent years are identified.

This subject provides an advanced study of the interface between modern managerial accounting and the business functions of strategic planning, marketing, manufacturing and human resource management. The accountant’s role in the marketing decision areas is specifically considered.

Synopsis:

  • Describe the basic conventions and doctrines of managerial and cost accounting and other generally accepted principles that may be strategically applied across the various functions of a business organization.
  • Identify major contemporary issues that have emerged in strategic management accounting.
  • Critically evaluate a number of cost and management accounting issues relating to the design and implementation of strategic, marketing, strategic value and other management models in modern firms.
  • Explain the management accountant’s role in the implementation of cost management systems for marketing decision-making and business valuation.

Topics Covered:

Topic 1: Strategic Thinking

This topic overviews the concepts and development of strategic planning in modern business enterprises. The traditional areas of corporate strategy; such as strategic objectives and strategic planning decision models are first introduced to the student. The state of strategic thinking in the current environment is then considered, especially in relation to multiple approaches to analyzing corporate strategy. The use of Big Data in strategic planning and thinking is specifically considered.

Topic 2: Strategic Marketing Analysis and Budgeting

Here the marketing concept is introduced and the links between marketing and strategic business analysis are illustrated; and the impact of Big Data analytics in customer-data driven marketing strategies is considered. It is shown how concepts such as the product life cycle and product portfolio matrix are linked to managerial accounting techniques such as budgeting and life cycle costing to provide relevant information for strategic decision making. A comprehensive strategic segmental marketing budget is developed in this topic.

Topic 3: Financial Analysis in Product Portfolio Management

This topic looks at the interface between management accounting and marketing related “product or services management” especially in competitive environments. The “product” is the first “P” in the 4-Ps of marketing, the others being price, promotion and place distribution, which will be discussed in detail in later topics. It is shown that as a product/service moves through various stages of its life cycle, there are differing financial aspects that need to be focused on for competitive positioning. It is demonstrated that the company’s management accountant possesses the tools and techniques required to provide the product/service managers with decision-orientated information, especially in financing technological innovation in the digital age.

Topic 4: Pricing Methods and Strategies

Here the various aspects of pricing decisions are covered, especially in competitive environments. Pricing methods and pricing strategies are specifically contrasted, and the use of such techniques as CVP analysis and linear programming in the pricing area are discussed. Risk averse pricing strategies and their limitations are also covered in this topic.

Topic 5: Financial Dimensions of Pricing in International Business Strategies

This topic extends the discussion of the previous topic on pricing, and considers pricing within a competitive international market. It is shown that setting a selling price in a foreign market has, in addition to strategic marketing considerations, some unique international financial dimensions, especially due to the lengthening of the channels of distribution and the impact of multiple currencies.