N1551: Advanced Management Accounting Individual coursework

Weight: 40% of total marks.

Word count: 2,000 words excluding references and appendices.
Write an essay which critically examines a recent, publicly available balanced scorecard (BSC) for a company or not-for-profit organisaton. Your essay should draw on the relevant literature on the balanced scorecard, and pay considered attention to the advantages and disadvantages mentioned in this literature.

Guidance notes:
1. You are advised to thoroughly read, draw on, and refer to relevant article related to strategy and the BSC. These have been discussed in Week 1 (Strategy & Management Accounting) and Week 4 (Strategic Cost Accounting & the BSC). A selection of articles is available on Canvas. The relevant Drury chapters are Chapter 21, 22, and 23.

2. Your selected balanced scorecard should be recent (less than five years old) and publicly available. Most annual reports of large companies will discuss the company’s balanced scorecard in great detail. A URL to the original source for your BSC is required.

3. Ideally, your essay should refer to industry-specific characteristics, and you are welcome to support some of your arguments by Balanced Scorecards from the company’s competitors.

4. The Balanced Scorecard does not have to be called “Balanced Scorecard”, as the concept goes under many different names. It is sufficient if the company uses a collection of key performance indicators (or metrics), some of which should be non-financial.

5. It will not be sufficient to simply list the elements of the Balanced Scorecard and describe them without any personal value judgement. We will need you to critically engage with the selected scorecard, and discuss its advantages and disadvantages, acknowledging previously made arguments from the literature.

6. Your essay should ideally be structured as follows:
o Introduction
o Main body:
§ Introduce the BSC of your choice.
§ With clear use of strategy theory, explain how the BSC helps the
development and implementation of the strategy of the company.
§ Explain aspects of the industry sector of the company that have helped inform the development of the BSC.
§ With clear use of BSC theory, explain potential issues with the BSC and discuss how these might be overcome.
§ Make reference to relevant academic resources (predominantly
academic articles)
o Conclusion
o A list of references you have used.

Learning outcomes to be assessed
1. Demonstrate a knowledge of management accounting systems and advanced
techniques in their broader context.
2. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the effectiveness of management
accounting techniques and systems.
3. Evaluate and apply contemporary theory and evidence to management
practice.
4. Understand the importance of both ethical and methodological assumptions for
framing accounting knowledge and practice.

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