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The Business School at the University of Colorado Denver

Course Title: Course Number: Term: Instructor: Managerial Accounting Seminar ACCT 6260 Fall 2010 Gary Colbert Phone: (Work) (303) 315-8443 (Home) (303) 716-9831 Email:

Course Description: This course emphasizes how cost management and control systems can be used in setting and executing strategy and in making tactical decisions. The course covers managerial accounting methods and concepts that are available and their related behavioral and organizational considerations. The first part of the course includes a review of traditional managerial accounting topics. The remainder of the course covers more recent innovative approaches to cost management and control systems that support competitive strategy. Course readings, case studies and discussion will highlight key concepts and issues. Course Objectives: The primary objective is for you to gain a good understanding of how to design and use an organization's cost management and control systems in today’s intensely competitive environment. Two secondary objectives are to * improve your oral and written communication skills, and * improve your individual and collective group work skills. Materials: Required Materials: A required packet of Harvard Business School cases is available for purchase online at Other problems, cases and readings will be made available electronically using Blackboard at The cases and readings are designed to highlight issues confronted by managers in today's challenging environment and the related managerial accounting and control techniques that are available. These cases provide rich real world contexts in which managerial accounting issues can be explored in depth. Our analysis and discussion will reveal how a balance of theory/concept and judgment is often required to effectively address management accounting and control problems. Other Materials: There is no textbook required for this class. I will give you a set of PowerPoint slides for many of the classes that cover relevant sections typically found in managerial accounting or cost accounting texts. That may be sufficient in most cases. I can put a textbook on reserve at the library if that helps. You may also choose to review/use a managerial accounting or cost accounting text that you have available or can access. Grading Policies/Assignment Descriptions: There will be three principal components to your class grade as detailed below. The weights listed may change somewhat depending on additional assignments, etc. Class Preparation and Participation (including case write-ups) Exam I 35% 35%

Final Paper Total 30% 100% According to College of Business policy. See the class schedule at the end of this syllabus for a listing of the problems. Limit the length of the write-up to one or two (max) typed pages. when you submit a formal write-up or executive summary it is subject to the academic honesty policy described below. The advantage of the case method is that it emphasizes analyzing issues in real-world contexts. You will not turn these in. A positive or negative tendency in your assigned case work will impact your preparation and participation score for the class. etc. However.2 and 3. Presentation and Composition (20%) Was the report well written. cases. I expect that you will be prepared to discuss the case. If you will not be in class that evening email a copy of the case to me before class starts. I expect you to work over these before we cover them in class.6. Students have been enthusiastic about learning by the case method. That is.” “Plus” and “minus” grades will be used. Cases are the "lifeblood" of this course. Grades will be assigned based on a “class curve. You are expected to prepare and turn in a brief write-up on all of the assigned cases. There are several problems we cover in class that focus on these matters. Approximately half of your preparation and participation score will be based on the case write-ups you submit. The purpose of collecting these write-ups is to insure that everyone is prepared to contribute. plus exhibits. the average GPA for this course should fall in the range between 3. particularly early in the term. Assigned Cases – to be turned in by you: There are a number of assigned cases that we will discuss during the term. ideas and words. properly edited and easy to read? Was the report as laid out visually appealing? 2 . Evaluation of your case write-ups will be based primarily on content quality using the following criteria: Content Quality (80%) Was the case well analyzed and put into context? Were the ideas and points made substantive and insightful? Were the ideas and points made presented clearly and persuasively? Did they address the key issues? Were strong conclusions drawn from the analysis? Was there good use of case data to support the analysis? Was the depth of coverage appropriate? Was the case linked to the readings and other cases as appropriate? Organization. The final grading scheme often approximately follows the standard curve as follows: A B C D 90%-100% 80%-89% 70%-79% 60%-69% Make-up exams will be given rarely. with others. your submissions should be your analysis. Assigned Problems – to be discussed in class: I expect you to individually master certain problem solving or procedural matters. and only when circumstances beyond your control prevent you from attending our scheduled exam. I advise that you contact me as soon as possible in advance when such circumstances arise. I will read them over to monitor and evaluate how you are doing. It is acceptable to discuss problems. These are due at the beginning of each class.

problems and cases) and 2) active participation in the classroom discussion. I must however be the final judge in this matter. class participation does not mean that you talk a lot. cases. subheadings and lists? Was the length kept within the maximum page limitation? Class Participation: This is a graduate level seminar. One must participate in class in order to share ideas. 3 . I would be pleased. and in fact I would welcome an opportunity. I particularly appreciate those who are willing to take a chance by offering an informed speculation when an issue is not well defined or understood. The project should address an issue or problem of interest to you. problems. Your paper should incorporate two thematic essays: adoption of activity based costing and implementing an enhanced performance measurement system.).Did the report make appropriate use of headings. One of the goals for the course is for you to hone your analytical skills. Rather it means that you share with the class focused. The most important requirement for a successful learning experience in this class is 1) thorough preparation of the assigned material (readings. Exams: One required exam is scheduled for this class. Characteristics of effective class participation include: Are the underlying ideas substantive and do they provide insight and direction for the class? Are the comments made relevant to the discussion. The learning in this class focuses in large part on the thought processes involved in analyzing business situations. etc. However. thoughtful ideas. The exam should be about two hours long. increasing everyone's understanding? Do the comments made reflect thoughtful preparation? Do the comments go beyond a restatement of facts or previously covered material? When arguments are offered are they well substantiated and persuasively presented? Is there a willingness to test new ideas or are all comments safe and cautious? Is there a willingness to interact with others by asking questions and challenging conclusions? Approximately half of your preparation and participation score will be based on attendance and inclass participation. Here are some ideas along those lines. not just the solution to one particular problem per se. Final Paper: The point of this project is to get you involved in doing hands on research and analysis that is related to managerial accounting and control. This will enable all of us to get the most out of each class session. This is meant to test your knowledge of fundamental managerial accounting concepts and your analysis skills. but their contributions are insightful and persuasive. problems and cases. You may be asked to solve problems. Many of the best contributors only speak occasionally. comments and questions. to review your status on participation at any time during the term. As an alternative you could investigate a matter that pertains to a real-world organization and involves collecting data about the organization. The issue is one of quality not merely quantity. Absenteeism will also be factored into your class participation grade. I will evaluate the quality and frequency of your participation during the term. analyze a case and/or write short essays on particular topics that we have covered. To help you in preparing I will provide you with class notes where applicable and questions to consider for articles. I will provide you with additional details after the term starts. To me this means that it is primarily a class that is based on thoughtful discussion of course materials (readings. I will also ask you to provide a written selfevaluation at the end of the term. broadly defined.

I am interested in suggestions about how I can improve the class and your learning experience. That is the ethic I bring to the class. or one which you are familiar with and write a paper that applies and/or evaluates one or more aspects of the management accounting and control system practices of that organization. to commit a minimum of 100 hours (6 hours per week) outside of class during the term. Dropping the Course and Incompletes: If you remain enrolled in this course you are accepting the fact that you will receive a grade in this course. Also. one that you work for. Your final papers should be typewritten and in good form. The same can be said for your group activities and assignments. The written element of this project is due on or before December 16. Within reason. 2010. comments and concerns. Appropriate citation of sources of content is required. with additional pages for any exhibits such as tables or graphs. I feel very strongly that what you get out of this class is in proportion to what you put into it. Other possible topics include profit planning. on average. You should feel comfortable calling me at work or home. An incomplete is not a substitute for dropping the course. I will make a strong effort to respond to your questions. After the scheduled drop date deadline. except as otherwise indicated and permitted. An incomplete will be granted only if there are extenuating circumstances that preclude you from finishing some particular aspect of the course requirements. If that is not the case. Ethic and Commitment: Your learning and experience in this class is important to me. please discuss this with me early in the term. I also expect that you will bring a certain ethic to the class as well. etc. 4 . The bottom line: I expect this is a class you will enjoy as well as learn from this class. In many regards it is the collective impact that you all have on one another that can lead to excellence. To succeed in this class one must keep up with the assigned readings. problems and cases. Traditionally topics have mainly been on activity analysis and costing of a particular product or program or cost analysis (including value chain/strategic cost analysis). performance measurement. Academic Honesty: Whenever you put your name on a piece of work for this class you are asserting that it is your own work. I also encourage you to use email as a mode of communicating . balanced scorecards. I will do whatever I can to facilitate your learning and make your experience a good one.I typically check my account several times during the day. Although in the end I have a certain expectation about what is your responsibility to work out on your own. you are being academically dishonest which is unacceptable and will be handled in accordance with the College’s procedures. But the compelling part is that each one of you can and will influence the collective learning experience. risk management. Expectation of Time Commitment: It is expected that the volume of work for this course would require a student. once you have settled on a topic. In the end this is your class to make of it what you will. It is your responsibility to drop if you do not intend to complete the course. other management control systems. If you intend to do a different kind of project. I will only sign a drop form if you are passing the course at that time.Select an organization or industry. Limit your paper to 8 to 10 (max) typewritten double-spaced pages.

You can also get agendas.. I will keep you informed if you are coming to class.e.) will be made available as we progress during the term. objectives.Course Schedule . instructions. etc. It is your responsibility to stay attuned to these changes. from our Blackboard site. Date Aug 26 Topic/Assignments Course and Management Accounting Introduction The Strategic Context Cost-Volume-Profit and Contribution Analysis Problem Kiwi Cellars Product and Service Costing Problem Denver Medical Case High Country Telephone Short Term Decision Making. etc. Assigned Problems. As circumstance require we will make adjustments to the schedule below. There will also be assigned readings from time to time.Subject to Change: Listed below is the general class schedule of topics. Cases and the Exam have been highlighted in bold for your attention. comments. Weekly agendas with further important details (i. Relevant Costs and Contribution Analysis Problem Rust Belt Instruments Case Cliff Jumper Bicycles Activity-Based Costing/Management Problem Colorado Stain Case Western States Stationary Activity-Based Costing/Management Extensions Case Sippican Understanding Customer Profitability at Charles Schwab Value Chain Analysis Problem Levi’s Case Chalice Wine Capital Budgeting Case Stryker Corporation: In-sourcing PCBs Target Corporation Sep 2 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 5 . assignments.

Oct 21 Oct 28 EXAM Strategy and Control Review Exam Profit Planning and Business Models Case Virgin Mobile USA Cafes Monte Bianco Control Levers Case Nov 4 Nov 11 Nordstrom Siebel Systems Organizing for the Customer Nov 18 Balanced Scorecards Case Genaceutics Wells Fargo Online Thanksgiving – no class Strategic Risk Case Hamilton Financial Investments Readings from the Academic Perspective Final Paper Due Nov 25 Dec 2 Dec 9 Dec 16 6 .