Reflective Journal- Managerial Accounting

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Introduction

Any academic course is a journey where the goal is not just completing the course, but learning from it as I think learning as a journey is not unidimensional and involves several experiences. I think that writing a reflective journal can help the student summarise the learning and for the teacher to understand what must be done to enhance the learning. 

In this reflective journal, I reflect upon my learning of the course of ‘Managerial Accounting’. Before taking this course I used to consider the course to be important for managers to make key business decisions, however during the course, I realised that the importance of this course is much more than I initially considered, as discussed below. 

Topics 

There were several topics that were covered in the unit and I learnt a lot from each topic. The first topic that I learnt was Product Costing System. The most important learning from the topic is that there are several costing methods, however, identifying the appropriate costing method can be tricky as different methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, I have learnt that the decision to implement a system should focus on three aspects- correctness, convenience, and implementation cost.  These aspects can be applied to deciding between job costing and process costing in an organisation. In terms of correctness, I learnt that if production is done only against special orders, then job costing is a better alternative, however, if several production stages are involved then process costing must be used. In terms of convenience, job costing is preferred for specific orders that are different from one another and process-based costing is preferred for standardised orders. The underlying cause is that a new approach would be needed every time in case of specific orders, and the same approach can be applied to process-based orders. In terms of implementation cost, I learnt that in terms of job costing it is difficult to reduce costs as each order may be different from earlier orders, whereas costs can be easily reduced in process costing as due to the standardised processes, inefficiencies can be easily identified. 

I also learnt about overhead costing that is concerned with how indirect costs can be associated with direct costs. I learnt about the traditional overhead costing and Activity Based costing. I learnt that while traditional costing is focussed on allocating indirect cost on products and services, Activity-based costing is focussed on allocating indirect cost on the activity. The reason Activity-based costing is used by organisations is to identify unprofitable products, improve the efficiency of the production process, and price products more effectively.

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