MSING018: Accounting


This module provides an introduction to core accounting principles and their applications both internal and external to business organisations. As such the content of this module
provides the essentials any manager should have when working in a business, be the
manager employed or a business owner. It has a role as a standalone module but also
provides an underpinning for any subsequent studies in Finance.
The module focus is on both Financial Accounting and Management Accounting.
The Financial Accounting focus is concerned with the nature of key financial statements such as Income Statements (also known as Profit Statements), Balance Sheets, and Cash Flow Statements. It is also concerned with the measurement of performance through the use of financial ratios and non-financial measures. Contextually the world of finance is introduced.
The Management Accounting focus is on cost control and management decision making
associated with running a business. Here, approaches to determining the cost of products, services and activities are important ingredients of cost management. This focus also covers planning through budgeting, and ideas to help in financial decision making, including break even analysis and long term investment appraisal. Prior accounting studies are not presumed.


By the end of this module, a successful student will have gained an appropriate knowledge
and understanding of:

  •  Theoretical and conceptual underpinning of and frameworks for financial accounting
  •  Nature, purpose and construction of income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets
  •  Issues in revenue recognition, expense recognition, accruals, prepayments, depreciation, inventory valuation, recognition of liabilities
  •  Characteristics of and associated challenges relating to limited liability companies
  •  Financial and non-financial performance measurement
  •  The nature, purpose and characteristics of budgeting as a planning tool
  •  Approaches to the determination of the cost of products, services and activities and the implications for cost control and pricing
  •  The relationships between cost, activity volumes and profit, and their implications for planning and decision making
  •  The use of relevant costs in decision making, particularly pricing
  •  Investment appraisal
  •  The significance and techniques for the efficient and effective management of working capital
  •  Challenges in the broader arena of managing finance.

Module Textbooks

For 2011/12 there is a new Custom textbook for this module. The book is:

Understanding Accounting, by Alan Parkinson and Lynsie Chew, Pearson, ISBN 978-1-780-86245-3. It is only available for purchase from Waterstones in Torrington Place opposite UCL's Engineering Front Building.

The new Custom text will form an integral part of the module. Accordingly, please do not buy any other text books. Please note the textbook used in

2010/11 is now invalid for this module.