Curriculum

Curriculum

The RSM MScBA in Accounting & Financial Management programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 ECTS). Master electives (18 ECTS) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 ECTS).

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

    • This course integrates advanced managerial accounting topics with recent techniques of financial management and strategic analysis. It focuses on preparing, evaluating and interpreting financial information for managerial decision making in different types of organization (manufacturing and service companies; for-profit and not-for-profit). Topics covered include advanced cost allocation techniques (like Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing), evaluation of financial information to support project appraisal and capital budgeting, pricing strategies, as well as the latest techniques for customer profitability analysis and other short- and long-term investment decisions.   The course involves the extensive use of the case method to analyse and discuss how financial information integrated with non-financial information is used to effectively support managerial decision making. Students are expected to apply appropriate analytical frameworks to diagnose and solve complex problems by emphasizing the connection between financial information and data analysis techniques that fit with management’s specific needs. The course provides a highly interactive environment that combines theory and practice sessions with group assignments, presentations and discussions.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Paolo Perego

    • This course focuses on complex financial reporting topics from a stakeholder, company and auditor perspective. The recent credit crisis has shown a lot of interest from many, including politicians, in the content and impact of financial reporting. Transparency and comparability of financial statements have become more and more important, especially during the periods of financial turbulence we have seen over the past years.  

      International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a recognized international set of standards that try to secure common, high quality and internationally accepted financial reporting. At the same time the business environment becomes ever more complex and so does the accounting for the performance of an entity. Following this course means gaining an in-depth knowledge of financial reporting, the analysis of these reports and the impact of financial reporting on the business environment. The course will take the perspective of the preparers of these financial statements, the users and the auditors, but will also address the political aspects and managerial aspects of financial reporting.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. M. Koning

    • Management Control is about influencing the behaviour of managers to act in the best interest of the organization. Essentially, management control revolves around the question what techniques and instruments managers can apply to measure, guide and improve the economic performance of the organization. We therefore see management accounting as an important provider of management control, on the very essence of management: making decisions that secure the survival, viability and prosperity of the organization. The quality of managerial decisions depends to a large extent on the context in which these decisions are made and the information on which these decisions are based.

      In this course students learn how performance measurement and evaluation procedures affect managerial decision making. The main focus is on the type of measures (financial and non-financial), target setting, and the link to rewards. Ample attention is paid to the fit with the organizational context, such as the strategy, structure and environmental uncertainties. Illustrations based on real-world cases are discussed, demonstrating when specific measurement systems are a good fit, and when they lead to dysfunctional managerial behaviour. Furthermore, the course shows how the measurement system, rules and regulations, and organizational culture need to be aligned with each other.
      Management Control is an exciting and intellectually provocative topic area and one of the most challenging perspectives for the future.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. E  Reusen

    • This course takes the perspective of the user of financial statements (investment analyst, portfolio manager, financial manager) as she interprets financial reports, prepares forecasts and applies valuation techniques to derive equity or enterprise value. Using financial statements, students learn to analyse various aspects of a business, including the efficiency of operating, investment, financing and dividend decisions. Students also learn how to critically evaluate the quality of financial reports and undo distortions to financial statements to improve financial reports for use in business analysis and valuation. The course further covers the intricacies of major valuation methodologies (Discounted Cash Flow, Residual Income Model and Valuation Multiples) as well as the concept of equity and enterprise value. Key is interpreting financial statements to forecast key value drivers such as earnings, cash flows and returns. As special topics in business analysis and valuation, we look at the analysis of creditworthiness and cost of capital components. The course will have a strong practical emphasis and we will use case studies from different industries. A thorough understanding of the concepts presented in this course will enhance your ability to evaluate, analyse, and use the information in corporate financial statements, with the ultimate objective of evaluating a firm’s operating, investment, and financing decisions and value its equity and debt securities.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof.dr. E Peek

    • Financial statements are an important source of information for stakeholders like shareholders, creditors, employees, the general public etc., to value their prospective claims. Over time, accounting scandals like Enron, Worldcom, AIG and Lehman Brothers have indicated that managers have incentives to use their discretion to affect financial reporting in order to serve their own benefits. Thus, to reassure stakeholders and restore and strengthen their confidence in financial statements, regulators require firms to have their financial statements assured by third parties, namely auditors or certified public accountants (CPAs). CPAs are the equivalent to Dutch register accountants.   This course addresses the function and relevance of auditors in more detail and considers the decisions and dilemmas that auditors are faced with as part of their job.  

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by N Funcke

    • Globalisation of the economy and the mobilisation of funds between regions have brought growing attention to managing the risks of treasury and foreign exchanges. You will learn about capital markets, money markets, financial instruments and risk management, which has become essential for managing the treasury department of companies.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. MA van Achter

    • This course covers the more challenging and complex issues that analysts, investors, and financial advisors encounter when they evaluate company performance and value firms. We have selected three analytical challenges that will be discussed in more detail:

      • Understanding corporate risk management: We will explain the motives for risk management, how risk management is captured in the financial statement and whether risk management makes sense from an investor’s perspective. We will use case studies including Alcatel-Lucent, EADS and Lufthansa.
      • Challenges in valuation: We will discuss various complexities in enterprise valuation, such as how to analyse, value, and account for non-equity claims and deal with valuation of conglomerates, private firms and spin-offs.
      • Financial analysis and valuation of banks: Our aim is to explain the accounting and valuation for banks. We will discuss the valuation and accounting for banks by using the examples of global banks JP Morgan, HSBC and Goldman Sachs.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Solomon Zori

    • The role of the financial controller is changing in ways that mirror those of the broader finance function. Rather than serving as a rear-view mirror that only provides information about historical performance, the financial controller increasingly participate in the analysis and formulation of solutions to higher value-added, strategic issues. Reliance on forward-looking techniques tools allows the finance function to anticipate the future needs of the company to drive appropriate action, improve the current operating results and eventually maximize the bottom line.

      The dynamic and integrative role of the controller function in business corporations is the focus of this course. Classes cover the principles underlying planning and control decisions in functional and divisional organizations, as well the design and consequences of responsibility accounting and performance measurement systems under various market conditions. The course also extends to financial controller’s roles in budgeting, strategic planning, pricing, risk management, corporate finance and investment related decision making.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. S. Kramer

    • In the ‘datafication’ age when the myriad dimensions of reality can be quantified and analysed, one important question for companies is who within the organization will capitalize on the technological advances and prepare the business for a dynamic future? Accountants and financial managers who embrace technological innovations can be indispensable organizational resources.   More concretely, this course examines how companies generate, manage, and analyse information using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence (BI) systems and techniques like Continuous Auditing (CA) and process mining. The focus is on the description of activities and data trail involved in the main business processes (e.g., sales, purchasing, production, and payroll). Documentation tools, such as data flow diagrams (DFD), flowcharts, and business process diagrams (BPD), are introduced in the course to illustrate the processes and to assess their efficiency and effectiveness. Hands-on experience with an actual Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system reinforces the conceptual learning, exposes students to real-world business processes, and enhances the acquisition of IT skills.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. N Dalla Via

    • This course introduces you to the interdisciplinary and novel field of neuroscience as it can be applied to study and understand accounting. We define the field of neuroaccounting as the field of theoretical and empirical enquiry that applies social cognitive neuroscience to problems of accounting and financial management. This course uses insights from social cognitive neuroscience to understand and solve problems related to accounting, financial decision making and financial management in a broad sense. The course covers some basic brain physiology and brain functions, but focuses mainly on studying brain and brain related processes that are involved in (financial) decision making and control of humans in organizations.
       
      The topics that are addressed in this course include choice and decision making, information and communication, and cognitive control. The course pays special attention to some of the challenges faced by accountants and controllers in the organization. To this aim, the course uses a selection of academic research papers, as well as invites participants to develop research proposal and research material that can be used in neuroaccounting studies. The course also presents some basic neuroscience empirical techniques, specifically EEG and fMRI.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. fr. FGH Hartmann

    • The goal of this course is to identify key psychological and sociological obstacles in corporate financial decision-making. This course complements traditional finance programs and teaches students to use tools of corporate finance in a real-world setting where behavioural biases influence decision-making. In basic corporate finance courses tools for optimal decision-making in financial and strategic choices are provided under the assumption that managers are fully rational. Psychologists, sociologists and historians have documented many examples of “behavioural” deviations from rational behaviour. We will discuss cases and empirical research to demonstrate the relevance of irrationality in strategic choices. In this course we identify the key behavioural concepts associated with every major topic in corporate finance and strategic decision-making, such as large investments, mergers and acquisitions, financing, corporate governance, and valuation. For each topic we will briefly summarize the traditional approach. Then we identify behavioural pitfalls, which lead to non-optimal decisions and discuss opportunities to improve decision-making.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. dr. A. de Jong

    • Taxation affects many business decisions, such as: how to finance the business, where to invest, when and where to recognize elements of revenues and expense, and what transfer prices to charge. This course provides an overview of some of the major tax issues that financial managers need to consider. Moreover, the course introduces legal aspects of taxation, discussing international tax laws and regulations that apply to companies.
       
      More specifically, the course is divided into two parts:

      1. The lectures will introduce a general framework of how taxes affect the conduct of firms. During these sessions, students will form groups to apply these concepts to a case. Finally, accounting issues related to the topic will be addressed.
      2. Guest lectures will provide insights from practice (max. 4 sessions).

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • In this course students learn to evaluate firms’ corporate governance and control mechanisms, understand how such mechanisms affect firm value, and understand how mergers and acquisitions can help to improve governance and hence enhance firm value. One part of the course provides an overview of (international) mechanisms of corporate governance and how they work. A second part of the course discusses one important way of changing governance and control (corporate restructuring): mergers and acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions are transactions that define the future of a firm. Diligently managing mergers and acquisitions is therefore of key concern to executives. This involves more than analysis and valuation. It involves organizing an M&A process, selecting investment banks, financing a transaction, legal documentation, due diligence, negotiating, defence strategies, communication, and post-merger integration. In this course we will address these aspects of the M&A process. In the course, CFOs, bankers, consultants and other M&A professionals, share their experiences as our guests in class. They will discuss best practices and reflect upon the link with M&A theory.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof.dr. EM Roelofsen

    • This course helps students to: 

      • Acquire the basics of the scientific methods applied in empirical research on accounting and financial management through an overview of research methodologies including archival, experimental and survey methods,
      • Understand when and how these methodologies are used to test theories on accounting and financial management or predictions that build on academic disciplines such as economics, finance, psychology, organizational behaviour, and
      • Master the statistical tools and techniques that are required to carry out research in the area of accounting and financial management.

      The course is an intensive skills training. It consists of two introductory (plenary) lectures in the first week, introducing students to basic fundamentals of accounting and financial management research. Students then follow one of two separate research tracks, one focusing on experimental research and one focusing on archival research, depending on the choice of the MSc thesis topic. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to research topics in different areas of accounting and financial management (financial reporting and analysis, management accounting and control, and assurance).

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. C.D. Peter

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.