Management Accounting

eCornell

How long?

  • online
  • on demand

What are the topics?

eCornell

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Who should attend

  • Managers and leaders responsible for a business unit
  • Marketing professionals

About the course

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. This is why management reporting is so crucial to business success. But it’s not that simple. To make sound leadership decisions and meet strategic objectives, you must measure the right things. And by properly using and communicating business metrics, you can influence performance.

This certificate consists of six two-week courses. The program provides you with the tools you need to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) and reporting systems to improve the performance of managers and units all across the organization. You’ll learn to see your organization and solve business problems using the principles and vocabulary of managerial and cost accounting. Round out your business skills and steer your organization to success with MBA-level content from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Courses

Choosing the Right Performance Measures for Your Organization

Choosing the Right Performance Measures for Your Organization introduces managers to the basics of measuring and reporting on the performance of your organization, whether it's a for-profit business, not-for profit, or governmental organization. You will learn about the different types of reporting systems these organizations use, with a focus on performance reporting systems: the systems that lay out an organization's strategy and report on how well that strategy is being executed. You will also take a detailed look at one of the most important tools for performance reporting, the Balanced Scorecard. The ultimate goal for this course is for you to be able to implement the Balanced Scorecard in your own organization.

Aligning Performance Measures with Business Strategy

Performance reporting has three main aspects that managers must understand in order to implement it properly:

  • Managers must represent organizational strategy the way a scientist would, by identifying causes and effects and linking each cause and effect to a measure can be reported, discussed and improved upon throughout the organization.
  • Managers must understand the inherent errors in your measures of performance. You need to understand the nature of the errors and how best to address them.
  • Managers must understand how the performance measures you create will influence the behavior of others.

This online course explores the types and sources of measurement error, the use of causal models in analyzing measures of performance, and the differences between managing measures and managing performance.

Measuring and Motivating Performance

Incentive compensation is one of the most powerful tools managers have to motivate and direct their employees—but like any powerful tool, it can cause great damage if not wielded carefully! This online course will help you understand how to match forms of incentive compensation to your firm's circumstances, and identify and respond to incentive-strategy mismatches.

Measuring and Improving Margins

Measuring and making sense of profit margins on an organization's different products and services requires an accurate assessment of the true costs of delivering those products and services. This online course will teach you how to analyze the true cost of products and services that rely heavily on shared resources (often called "overhead"), how common methods of reporting these costs lead to distorted decision-making, and devise reports that link reported costs to business strategy in the most effective ways.

This course provides students with an understanding of the basic tools organizations use to identify the total costs of the resources they consume, and allocate those costs to particular managers, products and services. These tools can be used to improve the overall effectiveness of the organization by:

  • Evaluating margins performance more accurately.
  • Charging costs to discourage the use of particularly costly resources.
  • Setting prices to ensure that each individual product or service is covering its costs.
  • Adjusting the mix of products and services toward those with high margins, and away from those with low margins.

Managing Business Capacity with Activity-Based Costing

The key to good managerial reporting lies in deciding which system best helps managers make better decisions, with the shortcomings that cause the fewest problems.

This online course explores one of the most challenging issues in measuring the margins created by individual managers, departments, products and services: allocating the costs that are incurred simply to provide productive capacity. You will learn the pluses and minuses of investing in capacity, the creation of surplus, and the risks associated with fixed capacity costs help you assess and plan for economic downturns or increased competition. In examining the economics of your business, you will understand which costing systems best meet your needs.

The course Measuring and Improving Margins is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Measuring and Improving Efficiency

Measuring and encouraging efficiencies in different parts of an organization rely on accurately identifying and isolating the areas responsible for those efficiencies. This online course introduces you to effective techniques for setting prices for the exchange of products and services between different units in a business. The goal is to improve decision-making and to isolate each unit's responsibility for the elements of business strategy under their control.

The course Managing Business Capacity with Activity-Based Costing is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Key course takeaways

  • Create organizational strategies using the Balanced Scorecard, dashboards, and other tools
  • Ensure your measures of performance are capturing the right data and that you are interpreting it correctly
  • Determine if your pay-for-performance systems are really rewarding the outcomes and behaviors your organization needs. If they aren’t, find ways to modify what you’re doing to better serve your organization
  • Develop methods for improving profit margins
  • Use your organization’s capacity efficiently
  • Identify sources of inefficiency to help lower costs

What you'll earn

  • Measuring and Improving Business Performance Certificate from Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
  • 48 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

Experts

Robert Bloomfield

Since coming to the Johnson Graduate School of Management in 1991, Prof. Robert Bloomfield has used laboratory experiments to study financial markets and investor behavior, and has also published in all major business disciplines, including finance, accounting, marketing, organization behavior, a...

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Management Accounting at eCornell

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