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Politecnico di Milano

Fundamentals of financial and management accounting

Learn how to read and analyze financial statements and understand basic techniques to manage costs and capital investment decisions.

Introduction to Management Engineering series

This MOOC is part of the Introduction to Management Engineering series, which is designed to introduce prospect master students and people interested in managerial disciplines into the key fundamentals of Management Engineering. Through an analytical and engineering approach, the series provides basic concepts and language in the areas of Strategy, Economics, Financial Accounting, Organization, and Operations Management.

The series is the result of a collaborative design between METID, the service of Politecnico di Milano devoted to e-learning and e-collaboration, and the Study Course in Management Engineering.

See the other MOOCs of the series.

If you are a POLIMI student you have to log in using your Person Code. This is the only way to prove your participation in this course for official recognition.

Course description

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.

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

You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online.


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

Discussion forum

A Forum section is available. The Forum is designed to allow students to exchange opinions and discuss open questions. The instructors participate in the Forum as well, as Administrators, and oversee the developing of the threads.

Quizzes and scores

The course is organized into different weeks and modules. At the end of each module, you will find a self-evaluation quiz ("Practice Quiz") specifically created to help you check the status of your learning progress and your re-elaboration abilities of an acquired knowledge. At the end of the course you will also find a Final Quiz to test your knowledge.

Certificate of Accomplishment

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.

Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.


For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Faculty

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.

Marco Giorgino

Marco Giorgino

Full Professor of Financial Markets and Institutions.

  1. Classes Start

    mag 15, 2023
  2. Classes End

    gen 06, 2024
  3. Length

    5 Weeks
  4. Estimated Effort

    4-6 hours/week
  5. Language

  6. Course Number

  7. MOOCs For Professionals