Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Management Accounting

Management Accounting
First semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

to be advised


In today’s highly competitive economic climate, executives are required to apply intensive financial analysis as they evaluate business performance, weighing up potential acquisitions and global competition. This course focuses on understanding financial statements and using them to evaluate performance.

Due to the complexity of corporate management, managers are obliged to make increasingly risky decisions. Consequently, they must have access to reliable and precise information about the company’s economic activity by setting up an accounting system that addresses these needs.

Financial statements must be understood and evaluated, as they represent the results of management decisions. It is therefore essential that all those involved in the decision-making process have at least a basic understanding of them.

Managers must also understand the issues of working capital and liquidity. Efficiency and effective planning can release funds to expand and develop businesses. All too often, funds are tied up in inventories or accounts receivable producing little or no returns.

The full programme is viewable at the following website:


Pre-course requirements

Basic understanding of financial statements.

Basic ratio analysis of financial statements.


  • To review and evaluate further the key financial statements.
  • To understand basic forecasting and the time value of money.
  • To be able to evaluate financial statements and make comparisons to other companies.
  • To understand the investment criteria for businesses investing in projects.
  • To understand risk management.
  • To understand the quantitative issues in evaluating financial statements.
  • Control and management of working capital.


  • 01 - To be familiar with, understand and apply the methods, techniques and instruments specific to accounting.
  • 02 - To be familiar with and know how to interpret and apply current accounting standards.
  • 03 - To select and adequately apply applicable accounting alternatives.
  • 31 - To develop the ability to identify and interpret numerical data.
  • 32 - To acquire problem solving skills based on quantitative and qualitative information.
  • 50 - To acquire the ability to relate concepts, analyse and synthesise.
  • 51 - To develop decision making skills.
  • 52 - To develop interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
  • 53 - To acquire the skills necessary to learn autonomously.
  • 54 - To be able to express one’s ideas and formulate arguments in a logical and coherent way, both verbally and in writing.

Learning outcomes

Full understanding and interpretation of financial statements


Chapter 1 The Corporate Tax.

      1.1 Introduction and Accounting records.
      1.2 Negative Tax Base.
      1.3 Temporary and permanent differences.
Tema 2 Statement of Changes in Equity.

      2.1 Introduction. Spanish General Accounting Plan groups 8 and 9.
      2.2 Standards on Issue.
      2.3 Interpretation.
Tema 3 Cash Flow Statement.

      3.1 Introduction.
      3.2 Standards on issue.
      3.3 Interpretation.

Teaching and learning activities

In person

  • The main reading material, “A Guide to Understanding and Interpreting Financial Statements” has been recently written by the lecturer to be used directly for this course.
  • “Learn by doing”, in other words, by solving problems facilitating the comprehension of theory. In order to achieve this the methodology follows the following sequence:
  • The lecturer presents the concepts to be discussed during each session using PowerPoint presentations.
  • The students then solve problems based on the topic for that particular session.
  • Finally, they present their solutions, leading to discussion during which any queries that may arise are clarified.
  • Study packs are to be read before the session. They will be discussed and developed in the class sessions.
  • Students are also required to review several sets of published financial statements on the internet and evaluate them.
  • These basic ideas and concepts will be covered in group study projects.
  • Finally, case studies are examined to further develop the concepts covered. It must however be understood that accounting is not best suited to the case study methodology. Firstly, the subject must be taught and fully understood before case studies can be used to build on the knowledge gained. Secondly, most students have little prior accounting knowledge so to achieve the objective there is a limit to the extent that case study methodology can be used.
  • Videos are used to add external comment and explore the wider issues.

Students are expected to carry out in-class practical work, and complete all assignments, tests and examinations. They must also be cooperative and participate in solving the problems put forward in class. This is reflected in the course marking. Students must at all times conduct themselves in accordance with the university’s high ethical standards and adhere to the policies and regulations detailed in the student pack. Students must attend all course sessions. Unjustified absence from more than two sessions may result in automatically failing the course.

Case analysis Lecture Classroom practicum (solving problems/videos/text commentary/sheets) Individual study Project presentations and debates Solving problems in the classroom 01 02 19

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

- Final Exam: 70%. Minimum of 5 out of 10 to pass the subject. It is required to pass this exam to get the average with the rest of activites.

- Continuous evaluation: 30%. Homework and short tests with no previous announcement.

- Final Grade: The resulting mark will be weighted according to the attendance, with an allowance of one missed session. Inadequate behaviour in class will penalize this final grade.

Bibliography and resources

Introduction to Financial Accounting. Charles T. Horngren, Gary L. Sundem. Prentice Hall, Fourth Edition, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1990.

Financial Accounting. Belverd E. Needles Jr., Marian Powers. Houghton Mifflin Custom Publishing, Sixth Edition.

Accounting Principles. Lanny M. Solomon, Richard J. Vargo, Larry M. Walther. West Publishing Company. Third Edition. Saint Paul, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, 1990.