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ACCT 450 Advanced Cost Accounting Course Guide

Course Description

ACCT 450 involves the in-depth study of the principles and objectives of the techniques and theories used in managerial accounting. Topics such as capital budgeting, manufacturing accounting, management control systems, performance measurement, and quantitative techniques for planning and control will be discussed. The strategic and behavioral implications and impacts of planning and control will form the context for study. The course involves significant student participation and experiential learning.

Specific, Assessable Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply advanced manufacturing cost accounting techniques,
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply advanced performance measurement and evaluation techniques,
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to present business analysis in both the written and oral form

Recommended Teaching Methodology

Faculty teaching the course are expected to utilize a variety of teaching styles and evaluation mechanisms throughout the semester. An emphasis will be placed on student participative learning methodologies, such as case discussion, small group problem solving, student presentations and discussion, experiential learning exercises, factory tours, etc.

In addition, a significant student group project will be assigned in the area of one of the topics covered in the course. [For example, the instructor might assign a project that involves researching, developing, and evaluating a capital budgeting proposal for expansion of a restaurant or manufacturing facility in a business].

Prerequisite Knowledge

Student must have successfully mastered Intermediate Accounting 1 and Cost Accounting. Students must also have an understanding of business statistics (including basic regression analysis and concepts).

A student is expected to possess a working knowledge of spreadsheets. The basic ability to work in groups, as well as make oral and written presentations and reports, is also required.

Course Outline

Absorption versus Variable Costing
    Include reconciliation process for multiple periods
Fixed Overhead Variances
Learning Curves
Multiple Regression Analysis
Performance Measurement Analysis
    Return on Investment
    Residual Income
    Return on Sales
Goal Congruence
Capital Budgeting
    Net Present Value
    Internal Rate of Return
    Payback Period
    Accrual Accounting Rate-of-Return
Inventory Management
    Economic Order Quantity
Decision Analysis
    Relevant Information including Qualitative and Quantitative
Theory of Constraints
Linear Programming
Pricing Decisions
    Long-run and Short-run
    Target Costing
    Target Pricing
    Cost-Based Pricing
    Life-Cycle Costing
Cost Allocation
    Allocation of Support Departments
    Downward Demand Spiral
    Allocation of Common Costs and Revenues
    Joint product Costs
Spoilage, Rework, and Scrap

Oral and Written Skill Development
    Informational Focus and Consolidation
    Graphical Analysis and Presentation
    Audience Engagement
    Audience Interaction

Other issues dependent upon Time, Availability, and Instructor Emphasis

Recommended Assessment Methodologies

The faculty teaching the course will utilize the same basic textbook and will participate in a common final examination that will stress individual analysis and decision making. Exams may be in-class or take-home, open or closed-book. Multiple-choice exams are inappropriate in this course. Significant assessment of student written, communication, and presentation skills is also recommended.

Statement of Expectations

This course is an elective for accounting majors in the School of Business. The students will be expected to show an interest in the subject, the willingness to commit the necessary resources in terms of time and intellectual effort, and the willingness to actively participate in the skill development process.

The knowledge expected to be gained from this course is important throughout the student’s career. Most of the learning that will take place will not occur in the classroom. It will occur while working on the material outside of class – when reading, thinking critically, analyzing, and applying the concepts to real problems. The amount learned and the level of skill developed will be directly proportional to the amount of effort put forth in preparing for class.

The classes are opportunities to discuss and apply the material, to develop communication ability, and to create leadership skills. There are opportunities for the faculty member to provide insight, to help when appropriate, and to evaluate performance. Like any athletic or artistic endeavor, most of the knowledge acquisition and skill development takes place when practicing, not performing.

Institutional Mechanism for Providing Feedback for Continuous Quality Improvement

The course is formally assessed by the faculty teaching the course every semester. This formal assessment is reviewed and discussed with the Accounting Department Chair (and other accounting faculty as needed) and the School of Business Dean. Accordingly, any necessary changes to the course are made following these regular reviews.


The Accounting Department policy regarding programmable calculators requires students in accounting classes to bring a simple four-function calculator without memories to use on exams. This policy is in place in order to reduce the likelihood of cheating. All personal electronic devices (including cell phones) must be stored during class.