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MN10668: Fundamentals of accounting

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: School of Management
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 40%, EX 60%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 40% - Qualifying Mark: 35)
  • Examination (EX 60% - Qualifying Mark: 35)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: In taking this module you cannot take MN10248 OR take MN10331 OR take MN10476 OR take MN10008 OR take MN10500 OR take MN10571 OR take MN10566
Aims: The unit aims to test the students' ability to:
* Explain the conceptual and regulatory framework of accounting and the role of auditing.
* Apply interpretative techniques to published financial statements.
* Apply double entry techniques to record transactions and prepare financial statements for sole traders and limited companies (profit & loss account, statement of financial position and statement of cash flows)
* Understand and construct the prime books of account (petty cash book, sales and purchase ledgers and cash book)
* Understand the use of internal control accounts and to apply them in practical situations
* Describe and evaluate the sources of financing available to limited companies
* Understand the differences between management and financial accounting.
* Explain and apply the basic concepts and processes used to determine product and service costs.
* Understand and apply absorption and marginal costing.
* Calculate and interpret breakeven analysis in both single and multi-product environments and the interpretation of its results.
* Understand and explain the role of budgets and standard costing within organisations.
* Undertake budget preparation and interpretation.
* Discuss and evaluate organisational control via the use of standard costing.

Learning Outcomes: On completion of this module students should be able to:
* Understand how financial accounting serves the purpose of developing and operating a business.
* Apply a broad knowledge of the different dimensions of financial accounting which they may study in depth in later years of the course and an introductory working knowledge of basic tools of financial analysis and practice.
* Describe the purpose of accounting and assess its utility to user groups.
* Identify basic types of cost; prepare cost statements for allocation and apportionment of overheads.
* Prepare profit statements using a variety of costing methods.
* Explain the behaviour of costs and their use in breakeven analysis, in both single and multi-product environments.
* Describe the process of budgeting and prepare simple budgets for an entity.
* Identify and utilise a range of management accounting techniques used as a basis for control and decision making.

Skills: Intellectual skills
* Manipulation of appropriate financial data and interpretation of results in a management accounting context (TFA)
* Evaluate and assess the relative merits of quantitative techniques used (TFA)
* Identifying financial information and analytical techniques relevant to a particular purpose (T/A)
Professional/Practical Skills
* Understand how managers use accounting information to aid decision making, planning and control (T)
* Apply management accounting concepts and practices to analyse business problems (T/A)
* Identify and present appropriate information to assist management with controlling the business and taking financial decisions (T/F/A)
* Construction of cost analysis and budget statements in a format suitable for general readership (T/F/A);
Transferable/Key Skills
* Analytical and communication skills in relation to financial information in a variety of business environments (F)
* Critical skills in the application of techniques and the interpretation of results (F/A)
* Accreditation for some professional exams

Content: a) Financial planning and control
* The financial dimension of businesses and other organisations
* Recording and reconciling financial data and the application of control accounts
b) Reporting results in financial terms
* Basic distinctions between the accounts of sole traders and companies
* Preparation of final accounts from incomplete records
* Preparation of trial balance
* Reporting the results to shareholders and other outside parties: preparation of final accounts, structure and interpretation of final accounts, underlying concepts (going concern, prudence, materiality, etc.)
* Measures of performance in the financial press: share prices, earnings per share, p/e ratios, assessing the quality of earnings announcements, etc.
* Outline of the role of company law, the accounting profession and Accounting Standards in controlling the content of published information
* Outline of complications created by going international / global for investment analysis, financing the business, financial control and financial reporting.
c) Appreciation and application of management accounting techniques and information
* Introduction to management accounting
* Cost classification and costing systems
* Accounting for materials, labour and production overheads
* Overhead accounting
* Absorption and marginal costing
* Contribution and breakeven analysis
* The budgeting process
* Preparation of budgets for sales, production, materials (usage and purchases), labour and overheads
Introduction to standard costing and variance analysis.

Programme availability:

MN10668 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

School of Management
  • UMMN-AFB02 : BSc(Hons) Accounting and Finance (Year 1)
  • UMMN-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Accounting and Finance with Year long work placement (Year 1)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.