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Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Expert in Financial & Managerial Accounting Certified

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About the course

Successfully running a development finance institution or making decisions in such institutions requires profound knowledge of accounting, because accounting is the language of business. This course will make you familiar with this language.

Course Content

The Certified Expert in Financial & Managerial Accounting online course introduces concepts and theories of financial and managerial accounting. It focuses on leadership aspects in accounting. Participants will get acquainted with how accounting

Course Objectives

On successful completion of this course, you will have a thorough comprehension of the basic definitions, theories and concepts of financial and managerial accounting., i.e. you will be able to:

  • describe theories and concepts of financial and managerial accounting
  • point at crucial accounting standards, choices and discretion that leaders should be aware of
  • explain how the cost accounting choices influence the data presented to managers for planning and controlling, as well as for determining prices for products and services
  • be introduced to psychological aspects that should be considered in decision making, including deciding about performance measures and

Unit 1: Foundations

The first unit is an introduction to financial and managerial accounting. You will become familiar with the logic of double-entry bookkeeping and start to understand how business transactions are recorded in financial statements. You will be introduced to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is a set of globally accepted accounting standards. Furthermore, in Unit 1 you will become acquainted with the idea that incentives matter and that there might be conflicts between different objectives of accounting. This also raises concern on accounting quality. We shed light on how IFRS defines accounting quality and how accounting quality can be assessed from a capital market perspective.

Unit 2: Understanding IFRS Reports

Unit 2 aims at enabling you to read and understand complex financial statements. This is an important prerequisite to analysing financial statements. Understanding IFRS reports might be of high practical relevance for several reasons:

  • Top managers should be able to understand how the business model translates into financial statements.
  • Many stakeholders base their economic decision making on published financial statements; accounting will likely have an impact on cost of capital.
  • In banks, credit decisions require thorough financial statement analysis, in most cases the clients of a bank are not from the financial sector.

Unit 2 uses the example of Volkswagen, a German car manufacturer selling its products worldwide. The interesting feature is that Volkswagen is not only an industrial firm but also has a financial arm which includes one of Germany’s largest banks. This allows us to use Volkswagen as a convenient example both for readers interested in financial reporting issues in industrial firms and in banks. You will basically learn how business models translate into financial statements and what the accounting treatments for key assets, liabilities, expenses and income are.

Unit 3: Financial Management & Analysis

Unit 3 introduces you to financial statement analysis, i.e. how financial statements are used in economic decision making. The Unit deals with common size financial statements, introduces key financial indicators, but also more sophisticated tools that help us to assess a firm’s operating profitability. The Unit also discusses how financial accounting information is used in valuation models and credit analysis. It also sheds light on accounting discretion, an important aspect both from a financial management but also from the analyst’s perspective.

Unit 4: Basics of Cost Accounting

In Unit 4, you will learn the basics of cost accounting. This includes important concepts such as direct and indirect costs, variable and fixed costs, and total versus unit costs. To calculate profits of products or divisions, we need to allocate overhead costs. There are different options, and depending on the option you choose some product or departments will look more profitable or less profitable – although the underlying business activities do not change! Specifically, the unit will introduce you to methods for allocating support department costs, to job costing, and activity based costing. Understanding these choices is important for any performance evaluation exercise and particularly important for all if responsible for a department or business unit. Moreover, understanding cost allocation is also important, if you want to analyse investment proposals by corporate loan seekers.

Unit 5: Analysing Costs for Managerial Decision Making

Unit 5 covers important techniques to analyse costs for managerial decision making. The module will guide you through cost-volume profit analysis which addresses the question of how many units you need to sell to break-even. Moreover, absorption costing and variable costing are explained, which are highly relevant to calculate the value of inventory and to calculate operating income of businesses that have inventories. Finally, you will be introduced to lower price limits and to choosing the optimal product or service mix when capacities are lower than customer demand.

Unit 6: Behavioural Aspects in Accounting

The last unit introduces you to economic and psychological aspects of incentives. The knowledge provided in Unit 5 is important for all leaders, as people in leading positions must evaluate the performance of their subordinates. We will consider the non-monetary aspects that drive human behaviour and are relevant in accounting settings, such as social comparison, fairness, honesty and, reciprocity. Finally, the Unit will also provide you with recent insights regarding psychological pitfalls (heuristics and biases) in decision making, for example self-justification, overconfidence, and the sunk-cost effect.

Who should attend

The target group for the Certified Expert in Financial & Managerial Accounting is top managers, decision-makers, practitioners, consultants, and operational staff working at/for:

  • MFIs and other financial institutions;
  • Regulators and government authorities;
  • Donor institutions;
  • NGOs;
  • International Organizations

Trust the experts

Matthias Mahlendorf

Matthias D. Mahlendorf is Professor of Managerial Accounting. His research areas are performance measurement, target setting, and organizational design. He has published in journals such as The Accounting Review, Accounting, Organisations and Society, Contemporary Accounting Research and Organiza...

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Jörg Werner

Jörg R. Werner is Professor of Accounting at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. His research areas are international and comparative accounting with a particular focus on empirical methods, but also on regulatory issues in accounting and corporate governance. Born 1978 in Saarbrücken,...

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Philipp Stalter

Philipp Stalter works with KPMG in the audit financial service department since 2011. He is in charge of the annual audit for clients in the banking sector and other financial services institutions. He gives support to advisory projects as well. Furthermore, Philipp is in charge of the internal t...

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