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NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2010

Instructor Details

Vaysman, Igor



T 1:00pm - 1:50pm; R 8:30am - 9:20am

KMEC 10-177


Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Tisch T-UC21

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

This course explores the use of accounting information for internal planning, analysis, and decision-making.  The main objective of the course is to equip you with the knowledge to understand, evaluate, and act upon the many financial and non-financial reports used in managing modern firms.


Managing and evaluating the modern firm requires financial and non-financial information about the firm’s products, processes, assets, and customers.  This information is a key input into a wide range of analytical tools to support decisions: analyzing profitability of various products, managing product-line portfolios, setting prices, measuring and managing profitability of customers, making operational and strategic decisions, evaluating investments, investigating efficiency, and so on.


The focus of this course is on information generated by internal accounting systems.  Along the way, we will discover that many companies have not provided their managers with useful information.  These managers have to rely on information systems designed years ago for very different business processes and with very different technologies.  We will take a look at a number of pitfalls that these systems can induce and at the dangers in using these systems to make business decisions.  We will also investigate some modern ideas in how an organization’s information system should be designed.


To attain the right level of understanding, you will need to be familiar with the mechanics of the many techniques used to prepare management reports.  But the emphasis in this course is very much on interpretation, evaluation, and decision-making.


Course Outline





Introduction to the course.

Managerial information systems: theory and practice.







Information systems and process complexity. 

Measuring and managing the costs of capacity (introduction). 


Surface Mount Technologies





Measuring and managing the costs of capacity (conclusion). 

Activity-based costing (introduction).


Coffee Services Company





Activity-based costing (conclusion).

Recap quiz.  Customer profitability: introduction.  







Estimating and managing customer profitability.

Wrap-up: ABC, customer profitability, and practical capacity.

Infinity Bank






Introduction to business decisions: CVP analysis.

Business decisions: relevant costs and relevant revenues.







Decision analysis: strategic considerations.

Course takeaways.  Review for the final exam. 

Ace Moped



Required Course Materials

The required textbook is a custom text based on Managerial Accounting, by Garrison, Noreen, and Brewer, 13th edition, 2009.  Roughly half the course sessions will rely on pre-readings from this text.  Also, for most course topics, I will suggest several problems from the text for self-study and self-evaluation.


Additional readings and cases are in the course packet.  I will provide extensive lecture notes.


Assessment Components

Class participation          5%;

Recap quiz                      30%;

Final examination          65%.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

  • 25-35% of students can expect to receive A’s for excellent work
  • 50-70% of students can expect to receive B’s for good or very good work
  • 5-15% of students can expect to receive C’s or less for adequate or below work 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course


  • Class attendance is essential to your success in this course and is part of your grade. An excused absence can only be granted in cases of serious illness, grave family emergencies, or religious observance and must be documented. Job interviews and incompatible travel plans are considered unexcused absences. Where possible, please notify me in advance of an excused absence.



In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:

  • Providing strong evidence of having thought through the material.
  • Advancing the discussion by contributing insightful comments and questions.
  • Listening attentively in class.
  • Demonstrating interest in your peers' comments, questions, and presentations.
  • Giving constructive feedback to your peers when appropriate.



  • Late assignments will either not be accepted or will incur a grade penalty unless due to documented serious illness or family emergency. Exceptions to this policy for reasons of religious observance or civic obligation will only be made available when the assignment cannot reasonably be completed prior to the due date and you make arrangements for late submission in advance.


Classroom Norms

  • Arrive to class on time and stay to the end of the class period. Chronically arriving late or leaving class early is unprofessional and disruptive to the entire class.  Repeated tardiness will have an impact on your grade.
  • Turn off all electronic devices prior to the start of class. Laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices are a distraction to everyone.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

  • Exercise integrity in all aspects of one's academic work including, but not limited to, the preparation and completion of exams, papers and all other course requirements by not engaging in any method or means that provides an unfair advantage.
  • Clearly acknowledge the work and efforts of others when submitting written work as one’s own. Ideas, data, direct quotations (which should be designated with quotation marks), paraphrasing, creative expression, or any other incorporation of the work of others should be fully referenced. 
  • Refrain from behaving in ways that knowingly support, assist, or in any way attempt to enable another person to engage in any violation of the Code of Conduct. Our support also includes reporting any observed violations of this Code of Conduct or other School and University policies that are deemed to adversely affect the NYU Stern community.

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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