Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Business administration
Study-unit Code
Accounting strategy and control
Andrea Cardoni
  • Andrea Cardoni - Didattica Ufficiale
  • 42 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Andrea Cardoni
Course Regulation
Coorte 2018
Learning activities
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The course includes the main concepts, approaches and tools related to the business strategy, with a particular focus on strategic analysis and business planning.
During the course particular emphasis is given to the study of strategic analysis tools and their related interpretation and implementation issues. A focus on the analysis of business performance and value creation in a strategic perspective is provided.
Additionally, the analytical tools are framed in the field of business planning. The main scopes, contexts and components of the business plan are presented and discussed with reference to operational issues and entrepreneurial implications.
Reference texts
Readings and supporting materials suggested during the lectures and the slides of the lectures available on Unistudium platform.
Recommended books:
- Robert M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, John Wiley and Sons Ltd., 2012 - Chapters I, II, III (par. 2 excluded), IV, V, VI
- Business planning guide – IFAC;
- Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur’s Handbook, Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, Boston, Massachussetts, 2018.
- Andrea Cardoni, Strategia e performance nel sistema d'impresa, Giappichelli, Torino, 2016.
Educational objectives
The learning outcomes are referred to the following:
- knowledge of the main concepts of business strategy;
- knowledge of the logical steps for the implementation of strategic analysis;
- knowledge of the approaches and criteria to define objectives, values and results of an enterprise;
- knowledge of business performance and value creation analysis in a strategic perspective;
- knowledge of analysis framework and tools for external environment, industry and competitors;
- knowledge of the framework and tools for resources, capabilities and business processes analysis;
- knowledge of the main scopes, contexts and components of the business plan.
The main competence (i.e. the ability to apply the acquired knowledge) will be:
- to analyze the strategic profile of a company;
- to identify the relevant strategic drivers and features of external environment, competitive system and competitors;
- to analyze the internal structure basing on functional perspective, value chain and resource based view;
- to analyze and assess financial performance in a strategic perspective;
- to elaborate and interpret the business plan in the right operational perspective.
In order to face the subjects described and the conceptual tools proposed with the necessary awareness, it is very important to have a good knowledge of business economics and principles of accounting.
The attendance is optional but strongly advised
Teaching methods
Face-to-face lectures, seminars, presentation and discussion of real cases.
For each topic covered in the first part a theoretical introduction is provided and the related analytical approach is presented, continuously referring to real cases and examples. To support the understanding of performance analysis and business planning some cases of calculation are performed and discussed.
During the lectures some group works will be assigned and, if applicable, evaluated on a individual basis.
Learning verification modality
The exam consists of a written test, mainly aiming to ascertain the knowledge level and the understanding capabilities acquired on the topics discussed.
Written test is performed by assigning three open questions on the topics included in the program.
One of the questions will include a written calculation task related to performance analysis or business planning. This part of the exam aims to test the analytical understanding of the quantitative perspective.
The other two questions will be referred to the conceptual and descriptive parts, aiming to ascertain the student’s ability to organize and expose the theoretical topics.
The duration of the test is one hour and half and each questions will account for one third on the total grade.
Extended program
From business strategy to strategic analysis
The concept of business strategy
General meaning. Specific meaning (Mintzberg 5 P). Levels of strategy. Strategic Business Unit.
Evolutionary perspective: from long range planning to strategic management
Evolutionary perspective of studies and schools. Formulating strategy: long range planning and strategic planning. The influence of behavioural approach and the strategic management perspective.
Strategic management: main features and the role of strategic analysis
The three steps of strategic management and the relevance of strategic analysis. Process and components of strategic analysis. FOCUS ON: SWOT analysis, VRIO analysis and Business Model analysis.

The strategic analysis and planning in a quantitative perspective
Financial statement, investments and financial structure
General structure of financial statement. Financial method of classification. Operational method of classification. Analytical relevance of financial statement components in a strategic perspective: Net Working Capital, Net Invested Capital, Equity, Net Financial Position. FOCUS ON: planning the financial investments and structure.
Income statement and economic performance
General structure of income statement. Value added method of classification and margins (Value Added and EBITDA). Functional method of classification and margin (Industrial Margin). Fixed costs and variable costs method of classification and margin (Contribution Margin), break even point and operational leverage. FOCUS ON: planning the economic performance.
Profitability, financial sustainability and economic value added analysis
Profitability ratio (ROI) and its determinants. The indicators for analyzing financial sustainability (Financial leverage, Reimbursement Capacity, Interest Incidence). The economic value added (E.V.A.) analysis: overview. NOPAT and WACC. The impact of financial leverage on value creation. FOCUS ON: planning the value creation and financial sustainability.

The strategic analysis in a qualitative perspective
The analysis of core perspectives and strategic objectives
Shareholder approach and stakeholder approach. Corporate social responsibility. Vision, mission and values. Goals and objectives setting criteria (SMART). Types of objectives and balanced scorecard logic. The unifying perspective of value creation.
The analysis of external environment
Macro-environment: PEST analysis and Stakeholder analysis. Micro-environment: Industry structure and five forces analysis. Dynamic competition and game theory. Market segmentation and strategic groups.
The analysis of internal environment
Functional approach: firm as a system. Process approach: firm as a value chain. Resource based approach and the VRIO analysis.

From strategic analysis to business planning
Business idea and business planning
The concept of entrepreneurship; from the business idea to business planning; criteria to assess a business planning for a start up.
The process of business planning
Definitions and concepts of business planning. Goals and contexts. Business planning as strategic management tool. The main components of business planning. The economic and financial plan.
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