Accounting: ACCT 5016 Management Accounting M - Major Assignment

Major Assignment: Argumentative Presentation

The major assessment i.e. the argumentative presentation in this course provides and opportunity for students to develop the skills of developing and presenting an argument about a management accounting issue based on research-based evidence, persuading an audience, constructively critiquing possible opposing arguments and responding to questions from members of the audience. The purpose of this assignment is to develop students' ability to create a persuasive argument - a core skill for any professional. Such an argument is, effectively, a report to support management decision making.

Topics/issues will be randomly assigned to groups. There is no change to the allocated issue or question without the permission of the course coordinator. Any individual or group that chooses not to respond to the allocated questions without the prior written permission of the course coordinator, will receive a zero mark for this assessment. Note that tutors (unless they are the course coordinator) do not have the authority to make any variation to any part of the assessment structure for this course.

 

Stop** For full assessment details please consult your course outline. **

 

  1. Aldi has recently opened another store in Adelaide (Marion Shopping Centre), offering many similar items to other Australian well known super markets like Woolworths and Coles. Coles and Woolworths on the other hand have tried to reduce their range of products and to focus on those of competitive advantages. As a management accountant at Aldi, critically discuss and present an argument on how management accounting tools and techniques can be used to achieve Aldi’s retail strategy.

    Target Audience: Boards of directors and top management team at Aldi

     
  2. Aldi has opened another store in Adelaide (Marion Shopping Centre), offering many similar items to other Australian well known super markets like Woolies and Coles. Coles and Woolworths on the other hand have tried to reduce their range of products and to focus on those of competitive advantages. As a management account at Woolworths, critically discuss and present an argument on how management accounting tools and techniques can be used to achieve Woolworth’s retail strategy.

    Target Audience: Boards of directors and top management team at Woolworths

     
  3. According to a report issued by CIMA in 2015, cloud computing (computer resources that are available on demand, anytime, anywhere, at a relative low cost) can benefit businesses by saving costs and by simplifying system administration. However, only 34% of the businesses in their study made use of cloud technology for their management accounting processes. Critically discuss whether cloud computing can enhance the quality of reporting for management accounting purposes. You clearly need to address and discuss the benefits versus costs and risks related to cloud computing. Your discussion have to include a recommendation as to the best course of action with regards to the use of cloud computing.

    Target Audience: The partners of a large auditing and accounting firm who need to advise their clients on the best course of action.

     
  4. Messner (2016) is of the opinion that the industry in which a business operates will shape the management accounting practices that are used by the specific business.

    Critically discuss whether:
    1. It is important for management accounting practices to be different between industries and;
    2. Whether it would make sense from a financial (cost) point of view to incorporate changes in accounting systems in order to facilitate management accounting reporting. You will also need to make a recommendation as to what the most efficient course of action would be with regards to management accounting reporting.

    Target Audience: A group of management accountants (including members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) at the management accounting conference.
     

** For full details of the assessment criteria please refer to the course outline.

  1. In 2016, Alinta Energy, owners of the Northern Power Station, closed the Port Augusta’s coal-fired plant. For more than 25 years (Dow, 2010), ash from the plant has been stored in an ash dam within the grounds of the station. For almost as long, dust has spread over the town of Port Augusta (Jones 2017; Wills, 2017). The issue has come to a head in January 2017 when dust mitigation strategies failed resulting in large plumes of coal ash covering the town and causing health concerns and anxiety amongst residents (Owen, 2017; Wilkins 2017). 

    Critically discuss:
    1. The issues of the situation from a management accounting perspective.
    2. What are the consequences for the company should both a short and long term solution
    not be found?

    Target Audience: Boards of directors and the top management team - Alinta Energy

 

  1. In 2016, Alinta Energy, owners of the Northern Power Station, closed the Port Augusta’s coal-fired plant. For more than 25 years (Dow, 2010), ash from the plant has been stored in an ash dam within the grounds of the station. For almost as long, dust has spread over the town of Port Augusta (Jones 2017; Wills, 2017). The issue has come to a head in January 2017 when dust mitigation strategies failed resulting in large plumes of coal ash covering the town and causing health concerns and anxiety amongst residents (Owen, 2017; Wilkins 2017).

    Critically discuss:
    1. The issues of the situation from a management accounting perspective.
    2. What management accounting tools or techniques could the Council use to determine the financial impact of dust mitigation outside of the coal ash site?

    Target Audience: Management team from Port Augusta City Council

 

  1. Since the closure of the Northern Power Station, South Australia has experienced a series of significant power interruptions including a state-wide disruption in 2016 which severely affected telecommunications, hospital services, and traffic control. This event has highlighted the precarious nature of South Australia's energy supply which relies, in a substantial part, on the interconnector to Victoria. It has also seen significant variation to the pricing for businesses, with wholesale prices peaking at $18,000 per kilowatt hour, far exceeding prices in other states.

    Critically discuss:
    1. What is the effect of fluctuating electricity prices and intermittent interruptions to supply for small to medium businesses?
    2. What management accounting tools or techniques could these businesses use to determine the financial impact of the current South Australian situation?
    3. What recommendations could be made for the control of this cost?

    Target Audience: Small to medium businesses owners

 

  1. Since the closure of the Northern Power Station, South Australia has experienced a series of significant power interruptions including a state-wide disruption in 2016 which severely affected telecommunications, hospital services, and traffic control. This event has highlighted the precarious nature of South Australia's energy supply which relies, in a substantial part, on the interconnector to Victoria. It has also seen significant variation to the pricing for businesses, with wholesale prices peaking at $18,000 per kilowatt hour, far exceeding prices in other states.

    Critically discuss:
    1. What strategy could the South Australian government put into place to address issues related to the state's electricity supply?
    2. What management accounting tools or techniques could the government use to determine the impact of these strategies?

    Target Audience: Government representatives from South Australia
     

** For full details of the assessment criteria please refer to the course outline**

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Building an effective argument

Created by Chris Gatt, duration 8:01 min., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmKGMOFON0g

Argumentative presentations

Image source: Pixabay

Do you need help with argumentative presentation skills? These guides created by the Student Engagement Unit may assist you 

Keywords

[StudioTempura, ‘the Key’, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en), Source: Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zero101/4529212951/)]

WHAT do I want to find out? What are the main concepts and keywords?

To find information for your assignment topic you will need to identify some relevant keywords. You will then be able to use these keywords to search information resources such as the catalogue, databases and the internet.

What you need to consider:

  • What do I want to find out?
  • What keywords/phrases can I use to help me find information?
  • Always check your course outline as it details the requirements for each assignment plus assignment details and marking criteria.

For more help with keywords, watch this short (2 mins) video.

Viewminder , ‘Once They Unlocked So Many Doors’, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/), image source: flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/light_seeker/5349830135)

 

Here are some keywords you might like to consider:

  • management accounting, accounting procedures
  • management accounting reports, managerial accounting reports
  • strategic management accounting, strategic planning, competitor analysis, risk management, business planning, long-range planning, value chain analysis, business forecasting, SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, Porter’s 5 forces
  • performance management, balanced scorecard, benchmarking, activity based management, business process reengineering, value based management
  • budgeting, rolling forecasts, cash forecasts, cash flow modelling, financial year analysis, incremental budgeting, flexible budgeting, activity based budgeting, zero based budgets, budget variance, revenue variance, budgetary control
  • product delivery, service delivery, quality management
  • financial planning, financial statement analysis, funds flow, cash flow
  • cost accounting, historic cost accounting, overhead allocation, activity based costing, standard costing, costing
  • pricing, cost-plus pricing, transfer pricing, market sensitive pricing, segmental pricing, revaluation
  • profitability analysis, product profitability, service profitability, customer profitability, economic value to customer,  profitability
  • environmental management accounting, environmental impact
  • cloud computing, cloud technology, data security

These are only some of the keywords or phrases you could use, there are many others you could use to identify the concepts you are looking for information about. Can you think of any others?

Jacqui Brown, ‘Keys’, CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/), image source: flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/120600995@N07/14028600474)

 

Once you've identified your keywords, you'll need to combine them together to find information on your topic.

Have a look at this guide, which will show you how to connect and combine your keywords to enable you to search the catalogue and databases effectively.

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Finding information

Image source: unslpash

Click on the tabs above for information and tips on searching

To find journal articles for your research you can either search the Library Catalogue or relevant Library Databases.

The Library Catalogue is a search tool that enables you to find relevant information on any topic from the Library’s collection of print and electronic books,  journals and theses, together with journal and newspaper articles from numerous academic databases. You can access the Catalogue from the Library homepage

Catalogue search example:

"management accounting" AND industry  
This search has been limited using the following:

  • Limit to Format: Articles
  • Show only Peer Reviewed
  • Date: 2012 to 2017

  Tip: Limiting your search will help you to retrieve more relevant results 

 

You can search databases to find quality journal articles on your topic.  To find which databases are best suited to your subject area, go to the Business and management subject heading listed under Browse by Subject on the right of the database listings and select the heading Business.

Most databases have a limiting feature which will allow you to retrieve items published within a particular year or year range e.g. 2012-2016.

Key databases:

Here's an example of a database search using Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete search example

You can refine your search by date range and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) journals if you have too many results

 

Finding newspaper articles via databases
"Jan Kromer, 'Novinky: the news', CC Licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic, image source: flickr"
A great place to search for newspaper articles is via one of the databases. You can find newspaper databases listed under the News subject heading under multidisciplinary on the right of the A-Z database listings page.

The databases listed below contain both Australian and international content:

  • NewsBank Newspapers
    Includes Australian and international titles.

Finding newspaper articles via the Library Catalogue.

The catalogue automatically excludes newspaper articles but you can add them back in to your results after searching:

Catalogue search example:

"management accounting"

This search has been limited using the following steps:

  • Additional resources: Newspaper articles (this adds newspapers articles to your results)
  • Format: Newspaper articles (this limits your search to newspaper articles only, and excludes all other formats from your results - you add them in and then take out everything else)
  • Date: 2012-2017


For more information about finding newspaper articles, have a look at our News Media Subject Guide

You may also find suitable academic references for your topic using an internet search engine such as Google Scholar. Google Scholar searches only within academic or scholarly sites, rather than over the whole internet like a regular Google Search. For more information on using Google Scholar, visit the Beyond Google for you Research Guide.

IMPORTANT: By accessing Google Scholar within the library you are entitled to access UniSA's licensed resources and may be able to link directly to articles by clicking on the Full-text at UniSA link.

To use the advanced search option, select the down arrow in the search box. You can use many of the same search strategies you use to search the catalogue and databases to search the web.

.

Google Scholar advanced search

For a few hints on how to search Google most effectively, have a look at the Google cheat sheet

Here is an example of a search using Google Scholar:

Google Scholar search example
 
Articles with a Fulltext at UniSA link next to them are freely available to you through the Library - select this link to open a copy of the article you are interested in.
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Referencing help

Jason Grant 'Roadmap to referencing', January 2013 [Image source: UniSA Library]

Need help referencing? Follow the roadmap!

The Roadmap to referencing site shows you how to reference using the Harvard-UniSA style.

More help

If you need more help try one of these options:"Open Clip Art, 'Help Button', CC Licence: No Copyright, Image Source: openclipart.org"

  • Contact Ask the Library (via Chat, email or phone). Live chat and phone are available from 8.30am to 9.00pm Monday to Friday, 2.00pm to 6.00pm Saturday to Sunday (Australian Central Standard time), email is available 24 hours
  • If you are in Adelaide ask at a Service Point located in the Library
  • If you are studying outside of Adelaide, living remotely or have difficulty in using the Library in person the Off Campus Library Service can help
  • Have a look at our online workshops and videos
  • Contact the Student Engagement Unit for help with referencing, writing reports and essays and plagiarism
  • Use the Help, Tips or Hints screens within the Library Catalogue and the databases