There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Communication drives the success or failure of an accounting department. Essentials of Developing Information for Management teaches you techniques for providing timely, accurate information, which allows management to make effective decisions.

Instructor Steven Bragg helps you identify which items are significant and teaches you how to simplify and pare down the information you provide. You'll learn the essential nature of protecting cash, a universally desirable, fungible, and easily concealed asset; the way to have an effective collection process; and how to set up and use a budgeting system as a key spending control.

Developing information and assisting management in making decisions is the crux of the accountant's job; this course expertly covers the major aspects of developing information for management. Everyone in the accounting department will benefit from the useful, practical advice contained in Essentials of Developing Information for Management.

This course covers material also contained in Accountants' Guidebook.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Sep 11, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • List a common line item found in a flash report
  • Specify when a rate variance may use a different designation
  • Define a volume variance in direct labor
  • Calculate selling price variance when given a set of variables
  • Name a possible cause of poor sales volume variance

Chapter 2

  • Cite a cause of material yield variance
  • State a way to eliminate the lag in the daily bank deposit due to cash application
  • Name a bank lockbox advantage and an alternative to it
  • Define remote deposit capture
  • Identify tasks that can be performed by online payment apps

Chapter 3

  • Identify issues that can be resolved with a courtesy call
  • Define the grace period
  • Cite an area where A-B testing is useful
  • Name a risk that results from freezing customer orders
  • Define a postdated check
  • Specify when to use the promissory note approach or file a claim in small claims court

Chapter 4

  • Identify the necessity for having different budget iterations
  • List ratios that help to enhance a budget model's reasonableness
  • Cite an issue that may occur when changing from a material requirements system to a just-in-time system
  • Calculate direct material purchases
  • Specify when the crewing method would be used in budgeting
  • State expenses that are part of specific budgets

Chapter 5

  • Define constraint analysis and throughput
  • Name a reason that payback method is helpful for analyzing the capital budget
  • Cite why a post-installation review is conducted

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Essentials of Developing Information for Management

Chapter 1 – Management Reports

Learning Objectives


The Duration of a Report

Responsibility Reporting

The Flash Report

Expense Reporting

Margin Reporting

Variance Reporting

The Purchase Price Variance

Material Yield Variance

Labor Rate Variance

Labor Efficiency Variance

Variable Overhead Spending Variance

Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance

Fixed Overhead Spending Variance

Selling Price Variance

Sales Volume Variance

Problems with Variance Analysis

Which Variances to Report

How to Report Variances


Chapter 1 Review Questions

Chapter 2 – Cash Receipts Management

Learning Objectives


Check Receipts

Check Receipt Improvements

The Bank Lockbox

Automatic Cash Application

Mailstop Number

Remote Deposit Capture

Cash Receipts

Cash Receipts Improvements

Credit Card Receipts

Credit Card Receipt Improvements

Enter Information in On-line Form Immediately

On-line Payment Apps

Debit Cards


Chapter 2 Review Questions

Chapter 3 – Collection Tactics

Learning Objectives


Overview of Collection Tactics

Collection Tactics

Courtesy Calls

Grace Period Reduction

Dunning Letters

Check Payment by Fax or E-mail

Pay Undisputed Line Items

Confirm Payment Date

Take Back Merchandise

Hold Orders

ACH Debits

Split Payments

Interest and Penalties

Promissory Note

Salesperson Assistance

COD Roll



Attorney Letters

Final Demand Letter

Issue Small Claims Court Complaint

The Collection Reputation

Credit Repayments

The Collection Call



Phone Skills



Collect in Person


Chapter 3 Review Questions

Chapter 4 – Budgeting

Learning Objectives


The System of Budgets

The Reasons for Budget Iterations

Overview of the Revenue Budget

The Ending Finished Goods Inventory Budget

The Production Budget

Production Budgeting for Multiple Products

The Direct Materials Budget (Roll up Method)

The Direct Materials Budget (Historical Method)

The Direct Labor Budget

The Manufacturing Overhead Budget

The Sales and Marketing Budget

Diminishing Returns Analysis

The Research and Development Budget

The Administration Budget

The Compensation Budget

The Budgeted Income Statement

The Budgeted Balance Sheet

Accounts Receivable


Fixed Assets

Accounts Payable

Additional Estimation Elements

The Cash Line Item

The Financing Budget

The Compiled Balance Sheet


Chapter 4 Review Questions

Chapter 5 – Capital Budgeting

Learning Objectives


Overview of Capital Budgeting

Bottleneck Analysis

Net Present Value Analysis

The Payback Method

Capital Budget Proposal Analysis

The Outsourcing Decision

The Capital Budgeting Application Form

The Post Installation Review

The Lease versus Buy Decision


Chapter 5 Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation


Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

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Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

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