AF7023 : MSc Accounting and Finance


Northumbria University


MSc Accounting and Finance

Module Code

AF7023 : MSc Accounting and Finance

Assessment Information:
Group Presentation: 40 Marks
In groups of 5-6*, students should select a contemporary issue on management accounting and control
and prepare a presentation (plus 2-page briefing note) lasting 20 minutes (including 5 mins Q &A).
The presentation must demonstrate your ability to understand and explain the chosen topic and
connect it with real-world business practices through detailed research. In addition, the presentation
should highlight the impact of the contemporary issue on firms’ strategic planning, decision-making,
performance measurement and control systems. Please note that your ability to select and justify a
relevant presentation topic is an integral feature of this assessment component. Hence, your module
tutor will not comment on that before the presentation.
*Where students have extenuating circumstances, smaller groups may be permitted at the discretion
of module tutor.

Coursework (Individual Assignment): 60 Marks
You must complete the following two tasks as part of your coursework assignment:
Task: 1
Though budgets have historically played a crucial role in management planning and control, several
researchers have strongly criticised traditional budgeting methods as fundamentally flawed and have
lost relevance to fulfilling contemporary business demands. They contend that organisations should
rethink and find a better budgeting method to encourage business efficiency and value creation.
Based on extant review of current budgeting and management control literature, write a critical essay
on the role of budgeting in modern business and non-business entities and evaluate three alternative
budgeting techniques (including ‘beyond budgeting’).
[Max. words limit for task 1: 1500]
[Total Marks: 30]

Task: 2

The Alpha and Beta divisions are part of Symbol Technology Ltd, an electronics company based in
the UK. One of the products manufactured by the Alpha division is Product X (an intermediate
product). This intermediate product is transferred to the Beta division, where it is converted into
Product Y (a final product) for sale on the external market. One unit of product X is used in the
production of the final product Y. Alpha division has quoted a transfer price of £60 (based on full
cost plus mark-up) to the Beta division for each unit of the intermediate product. Symbol
Technology’s policy is to reward divisional managers and employees based on divisional return on
capital employed (ROCE).

Besides optimising the overall company’s profitability, the top management of Symbol Technology
aim to ensure divisional autonomy and provide the highest level of motivation to its divisional
managers and employees. Hence, you, a management accounting consultant, have been solicited to
prepare a detailed report, analysing and recommending a more suitable transfer pricing method.
(i) Critically discuss three basic transfer pricing approaches and their impact on divisional
autonomy, performance evaluation and goal congruence.
(Marks 10)
(ii) Based on a transfer price of £60, calculate the optimal sales quantity (output) of
Product Y that would maximize the monthly profit for the Symbol technology, Alpha
Division and Beta Division. Explain any observed potential conflicts originating from
the optimal output decisions, and the implications for goal congruence.
(Marks 5)
(iii) The manager of the Beta division suggests that a transfer pricing method based on
variable cost of Product X will be suitable for optimal output decisions. Briefly discuss
this proposition, indicating agreement or disagreement, and validate your position with
a relevant supporting calculation.
(Marks 5)
(iv) Recommend and critically discuss two alternative transfer pricing methods for
resolving conflicts over performance evaluation and deciding optimal output in the
absence of perfectly competitive market for intermediate product X.
(Marks 10)
[Max. words limit for task 2: 1500]
[Total Marks: 30]

Coursework Assessment structure guidelines are as follows:
 Answer should be written in an essay format with an introduction, main body and conclusion.
 While answering the questions, you are required to refer authentic literature sources (e.g.,
books, academic and professional journals, etc.). Do not use Wikipedia, Investopedia and other
non-academic sources.
 Length of coursework assignment is maximum of 3000 words (with a +/- 10% tolerance
level) which must be stated.
 Font – Arial whole document being fully justified with 1.5 line spacing.
 Quotations should be in italics with the reference and page number stated. Quotations of more
than 40 words must be shown as a separate indented paragraph.
 Tables and figures should be inserted at an appropriate point in the text and should be easily
 Referencing must be APA 6th style.