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Politecnico di Milano

Fundamentals of financial and management accounting

This edition is closed. To enroll in this course, please go to Find courses and search for the running edition.

[Course in English] Learn how to read and analyze financial statements and understand basic techniques to manage costs and capital investment decisions.

About This Course

This is an introductory course on financial and management accounting. How many times have you heard of net profit, operating profit, operating margin, cash, earning and so on? But are they referring to the same concepts or are they different things?

The first part of this course will introduce the basic accounting principles and accounting terminology to understand how a company keeps control of financial events and provides information on how it is performing. These basic concepts will support the analysis of financial reports companies prepare. We will go through balance sheet, income statement, financial statement, learning how to read and analyze them.

The course will also provide the basis of management accounting introducing some techniques (e.g. break- even analysis or NPV) to support managers in making short-term and long-term decisions, such as "Is it convenient to dispose a production machine and buy a new one?" or "How many products should the company sell in order to break-even?"

The course will bring examples and case studies that will help students better understand the practical applications of the basic accounting principles and techniques. At the end of the course, students will be able to read, understand and analyze financial documents and to apply simple techniques to analyse costs and evaluate capital investment decisions.

At the end of this course a new edition will be activated.

Course Length

The course is divided into 5 "weeks".


No prerequisite knowledge is required. It is particularly recommended for students with little background in financial and managerial accounting.

Course Staff

Deborah Agostino

Deborah Agostino

Deborah Agostino is lecturer in Management and Organizations at Politecnico di Milano (B.Sc in Computing Systems Engineering). She is also lecturer in Management Accounting and Control at MIP (the Business School of Politecnico di Milano) where she teaches in international MBA courses. She received a B.Sc. in Management Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2006, a Master and PhD in Management Engineering in the same university respectively in 2008 and 2012. In 2011, she was visiting scholar at the Edinburgh business school, developing skills on accounting in the private and the public sphere. She researches management accounting (i.e. performance management) in organizational networks. This topic has been largely investigated during the three years of the Ph.D cycle, with a specific focus on the organizational network for the provision of the local public transport. Recently, she has developed a new field of research on accounting in the social media era. This area addresses the usage of social technologies by local administrations to engage with citizens, with a specific attention to the measurement issue and the impact of social media on the management control cycle.

Domande frequenti - FAQ

How much does the course cost?

Nothing! You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online 24/7.

Will I receive a Certificate of Accomplishment at the end of the course?

Yes, at the end of the course you will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment to show that you successfully completed the course (by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions).
The Certificate is not valid for university credits, nor it represents a statement to prove the passing of the university admission test at Politecnico di Milano or at any other university.

What should I do in order to receive the Certificate?

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course (by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions). You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on the website. Pay attention: the certificate will be generated only after the closing of the edition. In order to view and download it you will have to wait a few days after the completion of the course.

I wasn’t able to view all course materials and to complete the quizzes before the end of the edition; what should I do?

The course materials will still be available to all registered users for a long time, even after the closing of the edition.

In order to obtain a Certificate of Accomplishment, instead, you will have to register to an active edition of the course and answer correctly to the quizzes.

Are there any specific pre requisites to attend the course?

No, no particular pre requisites are needed.

  1. Classes Start

    Nov 10, 2014
  2. Classes End

    Jan 04, 2015
  3. Estimated Effort

    4/6 hours per week
  4. Course Number