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Accounting for Business Decision Making: Measurement and Operational Decisions

Accounting information is the lifeblood of the organization as it facilitates and influences operational and strategic decisions intended to achieve organizational goals. Organizations benefit from three decision-oriented roles of accounting: measurement, control, and communication.

This course provides an introduction to accounting’s measurement role inside of an organization and how accountants communicate information that helps managers and employees make operational decisions. In particular, you will learn how cost information is created and organized to help managers and employees conduct profitability analyses, develop and choose products, make pricing decisions, and make common business decisions.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Identify the nature, purpose, and importance of different types of decision-useful accounting information.
• Create, organize, and communicate cost information to best suit common operational decisions.
• Use accounting information to manage products, control costs, and leverage other drivers of operational success.

If you enjoy this business course and are interested in an MBA, consider applying to the iMBA, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price offered by the University of Illinois. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and


Course Orientation
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.

Module 1: Introduction to Business Decision Making
Any organization – no matter how large or small – is extremely complex. It is made up of processes, systems, products, and – perhaps most important – people. Why are people most important? Because they are the ones making decisions, guiding the firm towards success. Wondering what these decisions are and how they’re made? Join in on Module 1!

Module 2: Cost Concepts and Perspectives
Every decision – no matter how big or small – comes down to trading off benefits versus costs. Sounds simple, right? Potential benefits are often easy to envision, and even fun to think about. Costs – a bit less fun – but isn’t it just the price you pay? Not quite. As you’ll see in Module 2, nothing is as simple as it seems!

Module 3: Managing Products and Profitability
Making decisions can be quite daunting. You need to be able to make predictions about the consequences of your actions so that you can make the best decision. Where do you start? Crystal balls are in short supply. So, how about the next best thing? Jump into Module 3 to learn about cost-volume-profit analysis!

Module 4: Managing Operations and Sales
Owners, managers, and employees often run into two obstacles when making decisions: (1) not enough of the information they need, and (2) too much of the information they don’t need. Surprisingly, the second problem is often harder to overcome than the first, especially in today’s information-rich environment. How do accountants help managers solve this problem? Jump into Module 4 to find out!

MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT ) offered to anyone with an internet connection.

How do I register?

To register for a course, click on “Go to Class” button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.

How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?

MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

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