Skip to main content
About HEC About HEC Faculty & Research Faculty & Research Master’s programs Master’s programs MBA Programs MBA Programs PhD Program PhD Program Executive Education Executive Education Summer School Summer School HEC Online HEC Online About HEC Overview Overview Who We Are Who We Are Egalité des chances Egalité des chances Career Center Career Center International International Campus Life Campus Life Stories Stories The HEC Foundation The HEC Foundation Coronavirus Coronavirus Faculty & Research Overview Overview Faculty Directory Faculty Directory Departments Departments Centers Centers Chairs Chairs Knowledge Knowledge Master’s programs Master in
Management Master in
MSc International
Finance MSc International
Masters Specialized
programs X-HEC
programs Dual-Degree
Visiting students Visiting students Certificates Certificates Student Life Student Life
MBA Programs MBA MBA Executive MBA Executive MBA TRIUM EMBA TRIUM EMBA PhD Program Overview Overview HEC Difference HEC Difference Program details Program details Research areas Research areas HEC Community HEC Community Placement Placement Job Market Job Market Admissions Admissions Financing Financing Executive Education Executive Masters Executive Masters Executive Certificates Executive Certificates Executive short programs Executive short programs Online Online Train your teams Train your teams Executive MBA Executive MBA Summer School Summer programs Summer programs Youth Leadership Initiative Youth Leadership Initiative Admissions Admissions FAQ FAQ HEC Online Overview Overview Degree Program Degree Program Executive certificates Executive certificates MOOCs MOOCs


Using mini cases to facilitate the learning in Management Accounting


In this mini article, Véronique Malleret, HEC Emeritus Professor of Accounting and Management Control, talks about business case study “5 short cases in Management Accounting - Full Cost Methods”, top case in Accounting & Control (CCMP 2017), for which she received the prize for the best mini cases in 2017. Professor Malleret was also the winner of the HEC Foundation best article Prize in 1995 and of the David Solomon Prize for her article in Management Accounting Research in 2004. Interview below.

Profitability graph - ©DOC RABE Media-AdobeStock

Why mini-cases?

Finding the right material to teach management accounting is a challenge. If we use simple exercises, students understand the mechanics of the tools and methods but they may think that management accounting problems are simple and disconnected from the context and the strategy of the company.  If we chose real company cases, learners get lost in the quantity and complexity of the data provided and don’t grasp the essence of the pedagogical message. This is why mini-cases are a good option to teach management accounting efficiently. 

Why mini-cases on full costing?

Although everybody can see that it is relevant for a manager to know how to calculate costs and margins, you might ask why I wrote mini-cases on such a boring topic. Only by reading the title of the chapter “Full cost methods”, most students fall asleep! The fact is that I really needed these cases: Because many of these methods (except ABC) were developed in “continental Europe” (Germany, Netherlands and France), we do not have a lot of teaching material on full costing methods available in English textbooks.

My main man objective: the learning!

The five mini-cases are situated in different types of companies, which is important in terms of learning objectives: Later, students should be able to design, adapt or question management accounting systems in any kind of businesses, and not only in industry. The cases are concise enough for the learners to see the mechanics behind the calculations, for instance the impact of changing a cost driver on a product cost. On the other hand, there is enough complexity to force the students make decisions before “jumping into” calculations. Altogether, we want to be sure that the students not only apply receipts but assimilate key concepts and reflect on company’s managerial needs.

Livre: Coûts et Management, Véronique Malleret


Learn more in the latest book for all audiences: « Coûts et Management », by Véronique Malleret and Carla Mendoza, Edition Dunod, Paris, 2018 (French).

Related content on Accounting

Thomas Bourveau Columbia
Thomas Bourveau
Assistant Professor at Columbia University
ex military CEO

Why Former Soldiers Could Make More Trustworthy CEOs

By Georg Wernicke

financial audit design thumbnail

Auditors offering both corporate social responsibility assurance and financial auditing to their clients could be best option for firms

By Luc Paugam

Afshin Mehrpouya TedTalk

The rise of rankings in global governance: how can they change the regulation of large corporations?

By Afshin Mehrpouya

Newsletter knowledge

A monthly brief in your email box and 3 issues of the book per year.

follow us

Insights @HECParis School of #Management

Follow Us

Support Research

Our articles are produced thanks to our reader's support