Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The objective of this course is to develop cost accounting and financial planning systems design skills. The first part of the course focuses on various cost accounting system design alternatives. We discuss the use, applicability, and implications of various overhead allocation methods in different business set-ups. The second part takes a close look at financial planning and forecasting. We explore the design, use, and implications of financial planning tools in contemporary organizations. The course theory through extensive case studies. The financial planning part of the course benefits from deep collaboration with Olarin Panimo (one of the on-campus breweries). After successfully completing the course, students are able to: 

1) Evaluate the opportunities and challenges associated with different cost accounting systems in their business context

2) Evaluate the opportunities and challenges associated with different financial planning methodologies in their business context

3) Design scenario analyses and derive financial plans based on those for businesses in a variety of contexts 

4) Integrate entrepreneurial soft-skills like creativity and self-reflection to business problems

Credits: 6

Schedule: 11.01.2021 - 23.02.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): David Derichs

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): David Derichs

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    1. Lectures, reflection journals, participation activity and case reports (60% of the marking)

    2. Final exam (40% of the marking)

    Learning is based on case discussions, readings, short introductory lectures, guest lectures and reflection journals. Lectures will not cover all the content of the course readings, but will provide additional insights and practical applications on topics covered.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    - Lectures 18 h

    - Class preparation 24 h

    - Exercises/group work 50 h

    - Reflection Journals 12 h

    - Independent study 55 h

    - Exam 3 h

    TOTAL=162 h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Compulsory literature:

    Kaplan, R. & Anderson, S., (2003). Time-driven activity-based costing.

    Axson, D., (2009). Best Practices in Planning and Performance Management: Radically Rethinking Management for a Volatile World.

    Articles listed under each lecture.


    Suggested additional readings:

    Barret, R., (2007). Planning and budgeting for the agile enterprise: a driver-based budgeting toolkit. London: CIMA publishing

    For those who want to go deeper into cost accounting and activity based management: Kaplan, R. & Cooper, R (1998). Cost & effect: using integrated cost systems to drive profitability and performance. Harvard Business Press. Chapters 1 11

    For those who want to go deeper into forecasting: Morlidge, S. & Player, S (2010). Future ready: How to master business forecasting. John Wiley & Sons.

    For those with no cost accounting background: Horngren, C., Datar, S. M. & Rajan, M. (2011). Cost accounting A Managerial Emphasis.


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Students should have taken at least one course that covers issues of cost accounting. At Aalto this would be: Management Accounting II (22C00300), Financial Accounting (22C00400).