Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Financial Analysis and Decision Making
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Lecture 22 x 2 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 hour in class test (unseen)  20%
Semester Assessment 4,000 word group project  20%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   60%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Retake failed elements or equivalent  (or repeat failed elements/equivalent if end-of-semester examination was passed)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

List, describe, explain, compare and contrast different elements in:

  • Accounting context, usage, approaches, regulation, practices and analysis
  • Business funding
  • Financial decision making
  • Business planning and monitoring

Account for simple transactions and produce simple financial and management accounting statements

Interpret financial accounting statements

Cite, explain, appropriately select and apply formulae/techniques to

  • Analyse accounting and market-based information
  • Make short and long-run financial decisions
  • Calculate costs of capital
  • Describe and present data

Integrate different forms of analysis in order to generate a well-reasoned and holistic assessment of an organization'r financial performance and position

Brief description

This module aims to give students a well-informed, practical grasp of accounting, finance, financial analysis and financial decision-making as pertinent to the aspiring general manager. It brings together key topics from financial accounting, management accounting, finance, and data analysis.

From financial accounting, the form of accounting aimed at parties external to the business, we cover key topics in the preparation of financial accounts; and analysis and interpretation of the principal financial accounting statements ? which are the income statement (or profit and loss account), statement of financial position (or balance sheet) and cash flow statement. From management accounting, we deal with the requirements for and practices of accounting for the benefit of parties internal to the business, as they seek to plan, monitor and control the business in a well-informed and effective manner. From finance, we consider how businesses may be funded and how that funding should be managed; decisions as to where the business should invest its resources; and analysis of business performance in stock market terms. As regards generally applicable quantitative techniques, the module covers the calculation and use of descriptive statistics, and the graphical presentation of data.

The over-riding concern is that students should be able to speak the accounting and financial language of business; be able to take an active and constructive part in discussions of or based on accounting and financial information; and understand and appropriately employ accounting and financial information and techniques in making business decisions.

Underlying themes for the module are the need for interpretation as well as raw analysis; relating accounting and finance to other aspects of business to allow for integrated insight; appreciation of uncertainty and risk; and creation of value.


1. Introduction and context
Alternative forms of reporting entity
Different users and uses of accounting information
Financial versus management accounting
Desirable qualitative characteristics of accounting information
Regulatory requirements of accounting

2. Understanding and interpreting financial accounting information
Accounting concepts and conventions
Principal financial accounting statements
Approaches to financial statement analysis

3. Choosing and managing business funding
Sources of business finance
Cost of capital

4. Summarizing and representing data
Mean, median, mode
Variance, standard deviation, covariance
Plotting data, charts

5. Understanding and interpreting stock market information
Market'rased returns
Risk and return characteristics

6. Management accounting techniques and short'rerm decision making
Various cost types and cost classifications
Alternative approaches to the costing of goods and services
Short run decision making

7. Long'rerm investment appraisal techniques and decisions
Alternative methods for capital project appraisal / long'run decision making

8. Planning and monitoring business activities
Approaches to and perspectives on budgeting
Simple variance analysis
Sub'rrganizational performance evaluation

9. Review

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number • Develop an easy familiarity with numerical data sources and numerical data • Apply numerical data to problem solving with care and accuracy • Assess the reasonableness of and interpret numerical solutions • Support assertions/arguments with appropriately developed and presented numerical data • Calculate and use descriptive statistics
Communication • Develop confidence in and clarity of oral communication via: o tutorial participation o project team group discussions • Develop clarity and focus of written communication via: o group project production o development of answers to self study questions • Develop and use appropriate subject-specific vocabulary
Improving own Learning and Performance • Identify and distil the key issues covered by lectures, tutorials and self study • Identify and use a range of learning resources • Investigate benefits of small group working on self study • Structure study to accommodate intensive learning
Information Technology • Use a variety of electronic web- and library-based resources to review available information and retrieve pertinent information • Use various software packages for the production of the group project report (text, numerical tables and analysis, graphics) • Use software to complete elements of the self study (e.g., spreadsheets for ease of tabulated numerical calculations, production of summary statistics, production of graphs, etc.)
Personal Development and Career planning • Develop skills in financial analysis and decision making which are essential to the aspiring general manager • Identify a variety of potential career routes within the financial and professional services sector
Problem solving • Identify the precise problem to be solved • Assess which data are pertinent to the problem • Recognize that alternative solution methods might be available • Select and apply appropriate methods for solving the problem • Assess the reasonableness of problem solutions and interpret those solutions
Research skills • Identify which information sources are available to: o facilitate module study (understanding, wider reading) o provide information to facilitate the analysis of business performance and prospects o provide raw input to the production of the group project • Select the most pertinent information for retrieval • Retrieve information • Re-assess the pertinence and assess the credibility of retrieved information • Properly reference/attribute information sources
Subject Specific Skills • Identify and use sources of financial information • Understand, analyze, interpret and synthesize between financial accounting, management accounting and market-based financial information • Make well-based financial recommendations and decisions • Bring financial analysis and decision making skills to the service of the business – in strategizing, marketing, operating, etc.
Team work • Develop experience of team work and develop team working skills via group project


This module is at CQFW Level 7