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Charity Accounting and Financial Management MSc/Pg Dip

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  • Academic Title
    Charity Accounting and Financial Management MSc/Pg Dip
  • Course description
    There is a growing recognition, that in addition to a common body of knowledge all managers need in order to succeed, there are critical specialist areas for managers which provide a sound understanding of all aspects of their work and a springboard for further career progression.

    This is an advanced course aimed at experienced finance managers working in an organisation’s finance department or those who act as financial advisors to charities and not-for-profit organisations. It aims to equip students with a knowledge of :

        * specialist charity taxation and unique tax privileges
        * the distinctive financial accounting practice and management

    Students should be highly motivated managers and will normally have a good first degree, a related professional qualification or at least three years wholly relevant experience.

    Course Structure & Content

    Postgraduate Diploma

    The Postgraduate Diploma is offered on a part time basis and is taught over a period of 12 months. The Diploma consists of 5 core modules, common to all Centre for Charity Effectiveness postgraduate courses, which provide the essential underpinning of management skills, plus three specialist pathway modules.

    All courses are taught at Cass Business School and will require attendance one weekend a month commencing on the Friday afternoon at 13:00 to 21:00 and finishing on Saturday at 18:00.

    Additional times of attendance will be required:

        * On the Induction Day.
        * For Action Learning Set meetings (usually alternate month on Friday morning of the teaching weekend).
        * The Resource Management module exam.


        * Introduction to the course by Professor Paul Palmer

        * Introduction to Learning

    This module aims to enable the student to:

        * map out their learning and development needs for the forthcoming 3 years
        * set these needs within the context of the Masters (or Diploma) Programme
        * learn new learning and study skills


    The Theory of Learning

        * Assessing your learning style
        * Learning and polishing study skills
        * Making use of all the available tools
        * Drawing up a Learning Contract

        * Voluntary Sector Policy

    This module aims to enable the student to:

        * develop an informed and critical understanding of the public policy environments in which voluntary organisations operate, to which they variously respond or help shape


    Policy concepts and the contested nature of public policy

        * Developments in new public management and public policy trends – marketisation, modernisation, joint working, partnerships
        * Fissures, links and building blocks in public policy networks in and for voluntary organisations
        * Policy actors in governmental and voluntary organisations and models of governmental/voluntary sector relations in UK  and international contexts
        * Structuring and restructuring policy problems; new and enduring responses (eg faith based provisions, cross sectoral working)
        * Reputational impact on policy advocacy; the impact of mergers, alliances, closures and scandal on organisations’ policy roles
        * Policy outcomes – the voluntary sector as provider, evaluator and critics
        * Lesson drawing in public policy and forecasting public policy futures; the voluntary sector as provider of policy evidence, policy learner and policy leader and advocate
        * Sectoral policy contributions to the development of civil society.

        * Resource Management

    This module aims to:

        * provide students with an understanding of the principles of resource management within the specialist context of charities.


        * Definitions and the legal framework of charities and voluntary organisations
        * The role of the Charity Commission
        * Sources of  finance for the charity sector
        * Introduction to general accounting principles
        * Charity accounts and regulatory framework
        * Understanding, interpreting and analysing charity accounting statements
        * Costing and budgeting in voluntary organisations
        * Risk assessment
        * Outsourcing
        * Appraising, appointing and dismissing auditors and other resource consultants and experts
        * IT Strategic appraisal and implementation
        * The nature of Human Resource Management
        * Human resource and personnel issues including training and development, reward and retention and effective selection and recruitment

        * Marketing and Fundraising

    The aims of the module are:

        * to provide students with the concepts, underpinning knowledge, skills and techniques to plan and develop marketing and operations systems.
        * enable students to analyse marketing needs, evaluate marketing plans, in the context of applying marketing concepts to  their own organisation


        * Effective Marketing Information Systems
        * Development of a marketing strategy
        * Product/Service policy and new product development
        * Role of Communications
        * Branding
        * Pricing as a value-added marketing tool
        * Capacity planning – resources planning and allocation
        * Total Quality Management
        * Stakeholder/Customer care

        * Strategy, Diversity and Governance

    The aims of the module are:

        * to develop a broad knowledge and conceptual base in the field of strategy development, diversity and governance
        * introduce practical tools to help improve the quality of an organisation’s strategic response to the changing environment
        * introduce practical tools to help improve the ability of the organisation and its managers and leaders to build a diverse workforce
        * an enhanced appreciation of the constraints and opportunities offered by the changing governance and service-delivery frameworks which affect voluntary organisations.


        * Improving an organisation’s strategic response by use of strategy and diversity management and theory:
        * approaches to developing strategy
        * approaches to managing diversity
        * the changing environment of the voluntary sector
        * case studies on the application of strategic planning and diversity

        * Shadowing/Fieldwork Exercise

    The aims of the module are:

        * develop a different perspective on the role and environment at senior management level in a different organisation
        * consider the ethical and environmental issues faced by a senior manager
        * look at optional and compulsory roles when overseeing an organisation
        * give opportunity to study at close hand the way change is managed in another organisation
        * give the opportunity to apply theory in practice.


        * Design of Shadowing/Fieldwork Exercise proposal linked to Learning Contract and negotiation with senior manager of shadowed organisation
        * 5 days shadowing senior manager or fieldwork consultancy exercise – observing and learning from the experience
        * reflections using all the theories and models learnt on the programme
        * preparation of reflective report containing analysis and recommendations for improved effectiveness

        * Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation

    This module aims to:

        * provide students with advanced knowledge of charity accounting, audit and taxation principles and practice requirements.


        * The SORP and regulatory framework
        * Statement of Financial Activities
        * Branch accounting , consolidation, mergers and associates
        * Disclosure of accounting policies
        * Accounting for smaller charities
        * Audit/independent examination of charity accounting statements
        * Main tax exemptions
        * Tax effective giving
        * Charity trading
        * VAT

    The module provides the underpinning for the fieldwork exercise report, and foundation for the Voluntary Sector Financial Management module.

        * Voluntary Sector Financial Management

    The aim of this module is to:

        * provide students with an in-depth grounding of the principles of financial management applied to the charity sector.


        * Strategic Financial Management and the role of the Finance Director
        * Managing, including outsourcing the finance function
        * Social accounting, audit and ethical investment
        * Internal audit and control
        * Reporting to trustees and stakeholders
        * Working with, appointing, reviewing and dismissing financial advisors and services
        * International Financial Issues
        * Banking and Insurance
        * Investment planning and decision making

    The module links the technical knowledge in Charity Accounting through the fieldwork exercise in delivering the management component of the module.

    MSc Conversion

    Upon successful completion of the diploma students will be given the option to continue to the MSc. This requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This can be followed by a further six months of personal supervised research and the presentation of a 10,000 word dissertation. The alternative option of a taught Masters which allows the specialist modules from one of the other Charities programme to be chosen.

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