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Control (Accountancy and Control)
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The study programme

In the study programme of the Control track, the focus is on processing information in such a way that an organisation can take full profit from it. A good controller anticipates the information needs of management and provides timely financial data, analysis and recommendations. The Control track emphasises the role that information plays in the management of organisations, focusing on both departments and people.

The programme

Control is one of the tracks of the MSc Accountancy and Control. During your Master's you will follow 7 general courses and 2 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis. If you have a fundamental drive to challenge the corporate environment, you can participate in our Honours programme.

  • Compulsory courses

    International Financial Reporting

    The course provides an overview of the major elements of reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The emphasis is on understanding the key accounting concepts within IFRS but also the practice of applying these standards in real-life situations.

    Incentives & Control

    With this course you learn how corporations can align the interests of employees with those of their organisation. You examine the challenges of various financial and non-financial measures in incentive systems for employees, and the relationship between control, (operational) risk management and corporate governance.

    Accountability & Risk Management

    This course focusses on the roles of internal control and risk management in ensuring organisational accountability, both social and environmental. We consider and critique theories, philosophies and concepts of corporate governance and accountability emanating from a variety of theoretical perspectives and apply these to real-world examples.

    Data Analytics

    Accountants need to be capable of analysing large amounts of financial and non-financial data to address business challenges. This course helps you to develop an analytical mindset and learn how to use tools to analyse both structured and unstructured data.

    Financial Statement Analysis & Valuation

    This course applies conceptual aspects of financial accounting and reporting to the financial statements of real-world companies. You will learn to analyse financial statements of well-known companies from the perspective of a financial analyst and to use the insights in company valuation analyses.

    Judgment & Decision Making in Accounting

    This course provides you with an introduction to the psychology of judgment and decision making. We discuss important behavioural models of human decision making, and contrast these with economically rational models.

    Business Lab & Professional Skills

    Explore the practical aspects of Accounting. Learn programming with Python. Together with your fellow students, you will work on cases that an audit firm or company struggles with, such as the implementation of new accounting standards or the use of data analytics and process mining to improve an audit. This course develops your professional skills such as presentation skills and negotiating with clients, to help you develop the skill required in practice.

  • Track-specific courses

    Strategic Value Management

    This course focuses on the role of controllers in managing costs, revenues and value. Topics that will be covered include short and long term cost management, customer profitability and innovation.

    Corporate Financial Management

    This course offers you a blend of lectures, case discussions and hands-on exercise sessions to enhance your understanding of corporate finance and corporate valuation.

  • Thesis

    The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic that you are enthusiastic about. A professor in your field of choice (track) will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

    Upon graduation, you will be awarded the title Master of Science (MSc).

  • Honours programme

    Highly motivated students can participate in the MSc Accountancy and Control Honours programme. This challenging programme is a great chance to stand out for future employers.

Real-life case: how productive is a manager?

In modern economies, most people work in service organisations. But how do you measure the productivity and efficiency of for example a manager or consultant? Or the contributions of a researcher in developing a new medicine? And if it's difficult to measure their output, how do you manage these professionals?

Copyright: FEB
I liked that I could choose specialised modules which would equip me with the skills and knowledge demanded by the workforce in the future. Chandralekha Thanabalan - track Control Read about Chandralekha's experiences with this Master's

Contemporary issues

Examples of relevant issues that could be discussed in your classroom.

  • Costing - Companies can use several costing methods, each with its own (dis)advantages. Well-known costing methods which are used in companies include direct costing, full costing and activity-based costing. In the academic literature, there is a discussion as to whether firms should include all costs (including environmental and social costs, such as use of water and clean air) in the costs allocated to products or services. This practice is referred to as full cost accounting, true costing, or true pricing. In practice, firms provide insights in the true price of products. Proponents claim that the inclusion of environmental and social costs provides firms with the 'right' information to make long-term decisions. Opponents suggest that the firm’s objective should be to make a profit and deliver dividends to shareholders; it should not be concerned with societal demands, other than legal boundaries.  
  • Planning, budgeting and forecasting - Planning, budgeting and forecasting are an essential part of management. Most companies use planning and budgeting systems in order to set annual targets for managers in the firm. However, budgeting has been criticised by several authors in the academic literature: it fixes targets, and takes a lot of time and money. Firms have started to experiment with 'beyond budgeting': a practice that works with more flexible budgets. Alternatively, firms use monthly forecasts to provide short-term planning schedules internally.
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