Study guide: Third edition

Strategic management accounting is a key component of the overall skills base of today’s professional accountant

This subject examines the strategic management accountant's role in dynamic organisations operating in the global business environment. In this role, the professional accountant engages with the organisation's management team and contributes to strategy development and implementation with the aim of creating customer and shareholder value, and a strong competitive position for the organisation. The subject highlights the management accounting tools and techniques of value chain analysis and project management which have become increasingly important in contemporary operational environments.

The subject includes discussions on the professional accountant's responsibilities and judgement as introduced in the Ethics and Governance subject. Also discussed are investment evaluation and strategic business analysis in the context of assessing and responding to risk, as covered in the Financial Risk Management and Advanced Audit and Assurance subjects. You are introduced to strategic management concepts which are expanded on in the Global Strategy and Leadership subject.

Exam structure

The Strategic Management Accounting exam comprises a combination of multiple-choice and extended-response questions.

General objectives

On completion of this subject, you should be able to:

  • apply the strategic management process and organisational and industry value analysis to understand value drivers, cost drivers and the reconfiguring of value chains
  • explain the role of the management accountant as a trusted adviser and a business partner in supporting strategy development and the day-to-day operations of an organization
  • understand stakeholders’ various decision-making needs and provide adaptive information solutions
  • design an effective budgeting system that incorporates uncertainty to assist in strategy implementation
  • discuss the role of project selection, planning, monitoring and completion in strategy implementation
  • explain the role of performance measurement and control systems in value creation, strategy implementation and monitoring performance to improve strategies
  • apply strategic management accounting tools and techniques to improve the contribution and sustainability of value-creating activities.

Subject content

The ‘weighting’ column in the following table provides an indication of the emphasis placed on each module in the exam, while the ‘proportion of study time’ column is a guide for you to allocate your study time for each module.

Module Recommended proportion of study time (%) Weighting (%)
1. Introduction to strategic management accounting 10 10
2. Information for decision-making 14 15
3. Planning, budgeting and forecasting 20 22
4. Project management 13 13
5. Performance management 21 23
6. Tools for creating and managing value 17 17
Case study 5 0
100 100

For further information, see the subject outline (PDF).