Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Business Management: Fundamentals of Management Accounting

Develop your accounting skills and knowledge to help you make better business decisions and achieve your professional goals.

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The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Gain the key accounting knowledge you need to level-up your management career

Develop your understanding of how management accounting contributes to a successful business with this microcredential from the Open University.

Discover best-practice approaches to management accounting and inform your professional decision making. You’ll develop new skills to improve your effectiveness and ability to adapt your approach to solving business challenges.

Develop your management accounting skills

This microcredential will provide you with the skills to interpret information, calculate costs, prepare a budget for planning and control purposes, and evaluate costing methods to make financial decisions.

Designed for non-financial experts, it will give you confidence in understanding and using management accounting terminology.

You’ll study critical business problems from a wide range of sectors and contexts to help you prepare for challenges you may face. This can include determining how much your organisation should charge for a new product and analysing how much revenue a future product or service will generate.

By the end of this microcredential, you’ll be able to immediately apply what you have learnt to your work.

How is management accounting different from financial accounting?

Accounting consists of management and financial accounting. Management accounting is an internal process for business transactions and is aimed at helping decision makers within the organisation make well-informed business decisions. Financial accounting involves collecting accounting data to create financial statements.

The Open University will be launching a microcredential on Financial Accounting later this year.

Why are management accounting skills important for career development?

Management accounting skills are critical in helping to plan for the future of a business. These skills can help you set objectives and provide valuable data-driven input to inform business decisions.

What skills will you learn?

  • Applying financial information to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Developing budgets for planning and control
  • Assessing the different types of cost for decision making
  • Understanding management accounting principles
  • Identifying the importance of management accounting in organisations
  • Problem solving using management accounting techniques
  • Understanding the importance of contribution in decision making
  • Identifying the break-even level of output

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Identify the need for accounting information when managing organisations.
  • Prepare a budget for planning and control purposes.
  • Calculate the cost of different types of products, processes and services.
  • Interpret a variety of different types of information from different information sources.
  • Evaluate and implement appropriate costing methods to make financial decisions.

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This is an introductory course and no previous knowledge of accounting is required. You do not require any specific experience or qualifications to enrol.

The course draws on practical examples from many industries and will help you to develop management accounting skills that are transferable to a diverse range of sectors and organisations, including government, local authorities and the not-for-profit sector.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential will increase your confidence in applying management accounting principles to solve business problems.

In particular, it will enhance the employability of:

  • Professionals who would like to progress to management level.
  • Professionals who are new to an accounting role but lack formal qualifications
  • Senior professionals looking to develop their management accounting skills
  • Self-employed professionals looking to develop their skills and knowledge of management accounting

The skills you’ll learn will be relevant for learners from countries around the world.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to start conversations with fellow learners and read any announcements relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 25 Oct 2021

    Business Management: Fundamentals of Management Accounting

    Develop your accounting skills and knowledge to help you make better business decisions and achieve your professional goals.

    10 weeks

    10 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Introduction to the course
      • Welcome to the course
      • What is accounting?
      • Management accounting in organisations
      • Organisational concerns
      • Week 1 review
    • Week 2

      The importance of your studies of accounting and financial information
      • Welcome to Week 2
      • The need for financial information
      • The uses of financial information
      • Financial and operational management
      • Accounting and organisations
      • Week 2 review
    • Week 3

      Budgets for planning and control
      • Welcome to Week 3
      • What is a budget?
      • Preparing a household budget
      • Why do organisations prepare budgets?
      • What are the key functions of budgets?
      • Budgeting in your organisation
      • Week 3 review
    • Week 4

      Practical budgeting for organisations
      • Welcome to Week 4
      • The control loop
      • The budget method
      • Preparing a budget for a new business
      • Budgeting in a larger organisation
      • Budgets and people
      • Week 4 review
    • Week 5

      Measuring costs in organisations
      • Welcome to Week 5
      • Cost concepts and financial decision-making
      • Cost structures and decision-making
      • Costs and management functions
      • Costs for decision-making
      • Understanding direct and indirect costs
      • Understanding the assessment
      • Week 5 review
    • Week 6

      Contribution on break-even analysis
      • Welcome to Week 6
      • Contribution
      • Absorption and contribution costing in practice
      • Understanding the relevant range
      • Break-even point in practice
      • Break-even analysis and stepped costs in practice
      • Week 6 review
    • Week 7

      Costing products and services
      • Welcome to Week 7
      • Thinking about costing and pricing
      • Exploring contribution further
      • Practical costing and pricing
      • Absorption costing in the not-for-profit sector
      • Activity-based costing
      • An activity-based costing task
      • Week 7 review
    • Week 8

      Cost Information and decision-making
      • Welcome to Week 8
      • Identifying relevant costs
      • Assessing the viability of part of an organisation
      • Making the best use of scarce resources
      • Deciding if an organisation should outsource some of its operations
      • Week 8 review
    • Week 9

      Cost information and decision-making
      • Welcome to Week 9
      • Determining selling prices
      • Contribution costing and setting selling prices
      • Costs and pricing
      • Your assessment
      • Week 9 review
    • Week 10

      Finalising and submitting your assessment
      • Assessment overview
      • Important guidance about your assessment
      • Thank you and good luck!
  • After learning

    Once you’ve successfully completed the microcredential, you’ll receive your academic credits from The Open University. You’ll also have ongoing, unlimited access to the course materials.

What you will receive

10 UK credits at Undergraduate level from The Open University

You’ll receive an Open University certificate confirming that you have received 10 academic credits at undergraduate level. Credits are awarded on passing the final assessment.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over 12-16 weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Mark Taylor is a consultant and educator whose interests including strategy, finance and management. As well as teaching, he is involved in course design for companies and universities across the UK.

I am an Associate Lecturer with the OU. I have 16 years experience with other institutions as a Senior Lecturer covering all business subjects at Undergraduate, Postgraduate & Professional level.

Paul is a Chartered Accountant, an Open University Associate Lecturer (since 2006), and author of accounting module materials. He was awarded SFHEA for his teaching leadership in October 2017.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear from an enrolment advisor about future runs and updates.

Speak to an advisor

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Microcredentials are stand-alone products, designed to meet specific learner and employer needs and offer a credential in their own right. Those awarded by The Open University have a credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and this may in the future be used towards qualifications (for example, a Bachelor’s Degree, Diploma of Higher Education or Postgraduate Certificate) at The Open University, or potentially at another university (subject to the agreement of the receiving institution).

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.