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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Managerial Accounting: Cost Behaviors, Systems, and Analysis

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


In this course, you will learn how to use accounting to facilitate and align decisions made by owners, managers, and employees. You will learn how accountants create, organize, interpret, and communicate information that improves internal processes and allows organizations to identify and leverage opportunities to create value within the supply chain and with customers.

You will be able to:

• Understand what managerial accounting is and why it is an important function for successful businesses
• Identify problems associated with relying on financial accounting information for internal decision making
• Organize cost information according to the decision-making needs of the organization
• Apply activity-based costing (ABC) and recognize circumstances and decisions for which ABC systems are relevant
• Address common "what-if" questions using cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis and apply CVP in a variety of scenarios

This course is part of Gies College of Business’ suite of online programs, including the iMBA and iMSM. Learn more about admission into these programs and explore how your Coursera work can be leveraged if accepted into a degree program at


  • Course Overview and Introduction to Managerial Accounting
    • In this module, you will become familiar with the course, your instructor, your classmates, and our learning environment. Then, you will be introduced to Managerial Accounting and Costing Concepts.
  • Costing Systems I - Elements and Design
    • Organizations can organize cost information however best suits their decisions. In this module, we introduce the role of costing systems, identify some example systems and settings in which they are most useful, and explore how accounting for overhead costs influences the value of cost information.
  • Costing Systems II - Activity-Based Costing
    • Activity-based costing systems adopt a more refined view of the organization, and can increase the accuracy of cost information. In this module, we introduce the fundamentals of activity-based costing systems, identify related advantages and disadvantages, and demonstrate how such systems are implemented using an in-depth example.
  • Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) Analysis
    • Cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis is the tool that managers can use to better understand the answers to "what-if" questions in order to make better decisions for their companies. In this module you will explore the power of CVP analysis.

Taught by

Gregory Davis


4.6 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 1307 ratings

Start your review of Managerial Accounting: Cost Behaviors, Systems, and Analysis

  • Anonymous
    It's a good course especially if you're in a management position since all materials covered are relevant to real-life business decisions. The professor is very knowledgeable of the subject matter. However, I would ask for the module on Variance to be revised since the wording used was confusing and redundant. I read the module transcript on variance 3 or 4 times from beginning to end just to be able to make sense of what was being covered. I'm pretty sure I can explain it in less complicated ways than how it currently is. Other than this module, I found everything else to be quite interesting.
  • Anonymous
    Very good for non accounting background managers. Thanks Professor for such a nice course.
    Good presentation also the pdf material is very helpful.
  • Dustin Blanton
    I would recommend this course for anyone who wants an introduction to the very basic fundamentals of managerial accounting. The course provides a very simple overview of the topic as a whole and provides some opportunities to perform calculations so that the student can understand more about the process of managerial accounting.
  • Anonymous
    The course format is presented in easy to consume parts, each flowing logically from explaining the concept to implementing it in real-world exercises. The learning curve is not too steep and i found the difficulty of the course to be medium.
  • Anonymous
    As a Project Manager, I learned the structure of management accounting, its tools and how to facilitate understanding and guide internal and external business decisions. (ABV, CPV), Excellent Course, Congratulations.
  • Anonymous
    Great Course! Excellent materials, both video lectures and readings. The outcome is definitely useful and applicable. Take it if accounting is the topic of your interest!
  • Anonymous
    It is brilliantly paced and quite easy to catch on. The two mini projects is quite helpful to understand the concepts.
  • Profile image for Joe Neumann
    Joe Neumann
    Very relevant data for today's business world. Helps break out costs and revenues to start analyzing what is relevant or irrelevant. Also helps show tools to evaluate common reasons why costs and revenues might differ from expectations. The instructor is a very good lecturer, very engaging, easy to communicate with, seems to understand foreign accents very well. He is very active via email, office hours, and the forums. Lots of CA's to help as well. I hope all courses offered through Coursera and Illinois are like this!
  • Anonymous
    I thought it was a beautifully designed course, articulated well and delivered superbly. I recommend it for all students and managers, as the concepts elaborated upon enable a succinct understanding of the difference between managerial and financial accounting, the contexts in which they are used, and equip all with the tools to take important managerial decisions through correct allocation of overheads and the very important CVP Analysis.
  • Dan Kehoe
    I really enjoyed taking this course! I thought the combination of the lectures on Coursera and the free textbook were really helpful and enlightening. My only gripe is with the textbook, which is missing some links and formulas can be incorrect/hard to interpret. The course itself is great, and takes a tough subject and brings it to life. Would definitely recommend.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent introduction into Managerial Accounting filled with real-life scenario examples and excellent concept detail. Gary is an excellent instructor who fosters learning in a fun and engaging way.
  • Anonymous
    Every second spent in taking this course is totally worth it. The lecture videos are very simple to understand since the lecturer uses uncomplicated words to explain the topics.
  • Anonymous
    Really good course, easy to follow and well structured. Not very high level but perfect to have things clear. I would recommend it.

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