ACCT 356 (Strategic and Competitive Analysis) is a three-credit upper-level accounting course that provides students with an intermediate level coverage of managerial accounting concepts and the use of managerial accounting tools for strategic planning, measurement, and analysis. Students will develop an understanding of the role of management accounting information in building and managing a company’s strategies—whether a for-profit or non-profit organization. There are no prerequisites for this course, however, MKTG 396 (Introduction to Marketing) is recommended. ACCT 356 is not available for challenge.
Strategic and Competitive Analysis is made up of nine lessons, three assignments weighing fifteen percent, and a final examination worth fifty-five percent. The nine lessons within this course cover several interesting topics such as sustainability, revenue, customer profitability analysis, budgetary control, risk management, and much more. To receive credit for ACCT 356, students must achieve a composite course grade of at least “D” (fifty percent) and a grade of at least fifty percent on the final examination. The examination for this course will be written in traditional pen and paper format.
Students that are planning to transfer this course to a Chartered Professional Accountant designation are advised that they will be required to achieve a grade higher than the minimum passing grade. See the CPA Requirements for details.
Eve Daneva transferred to Athabasca University in November of 2018 and is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program. She provides a bit of an introduction, stating “Hello! My name is Eve and I transferred to Athabasca University after completing a three-year college diploma. I am now working on obtaining the last few credits toward my bachelors before moving on to CPA certification. I am currently working at a small local accounting firm here in Barrie, Ontario, with my main work revolving around corporate NTRs, corporate tax returns, some bookkeeping, and personal tax return preparation. I work full-time in between AU semesters and part-time during semesters.”
When asked to explain ACCT 356 to students, she states “This course provides coverage of intermediate managerial accounting concepts, building on ACCT 355 (Cost Analysis), however it a lot more theoretical in nature. It covers internal planning in a business and how to achieve optimal costs, improve performance, and stay on top of competition.”
Eve provides some insight into the structure of the course, explaining “The course grade is built on two assignments (15% each), three discussion posts (5% each), and a paper final (55%). Assignments were around four to five questions each, some case based requiring written answers and others calculation based. Assignments are not hard if you read the textbook and go through the end of chapter exercises. The final is made up entirely of both quantitative and qualitative questions similar to those on the assignments (no multiple choice). For studying purposes, I recommend going through the assignments and making sure you can complete those without referring to any formulas and theory from the text as no formula sheet is provided.”
Eve says that she would recommend ACCT 356 to other students, stating “I really enjoyed ACCT356 and enjoy managerial accounting in general, so this course was interesting for me. I did not find anything overly difficult. Some quantitative problems took some time to wrap my head around, but nothing too complex.”
As for any tips and tricks for completing this course, she states “Study off the assignments for the final exam and make sure you have all formulas memorized, especially all ratios (turnover formulas, ROA, ROE, etc). A formula sheet is NOT provided! Also, for the forum discussions, make sure you cite sources and in text reference each one otherwise you will not get full marks. Edspira has some helpful videos on managerial accounting to help with this course.”
When asked how communications with her tutors have been, she explains “No issues with communication, but then again, I did not really contact anyone throughout the course because material was very straightforward. The exams, assignments, and discussions were graded fairly and in a very quick and timely manner.”
Whether ACCT 356 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning interesting material surrounding the topic of strategic and competitive analysis.