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What are the 3Ps of triple bottom line reporting?
What is meant by the expression “environmental footprint”
By “environmental footprint” is meant the attempt to evaluate the extent of a company’s impact on the environment and, in particular, the company’s consumption of resource, the extent of harm to the environment caused by company emissions and a measure (quantitatively or qualitatively) of resource usage and pollution emitted
What matters are covered in the six core performance indicators of EMAS?
– waste management and waste minimisation
– energy efficiency
– material efficiency
In the context of taking decisions in a position of ethical dilemma, Tucker’s model provides a fie question approach. What are those five steps?
Tucker’s five step model involves:
– environmental acceptability
What is the International Corporate Governance Network?
Represents investors, financial intermediaries, companies academics and others interested in the development of global corporate governance practices. The organisation believes that good corporate governance is a prerequisite for effective competition and prospering economies.
What are the five fundamental principles which underpin the ACCA code of ethics?
– professional behaviour
Which ISO number refers to a series of international standards on environmental management?
What does ‘EMAS’ stand for?
Eco-Management and Audit Scheme
“Professionalism” is defined as “the conduct aims or qualities that characterise or mark a profession or professional person”
“Profession” is defined as “a calling requiring specialist knowledge and often long-term intensive academic preparation”
In the UK, whistle-blowers (employees, trainees and agency workers) are protected by law if they report six categories of event. What are these categories?
– a criminal offence
– someone’s health and safety is threatened
– risk of or actual damage to the environment
– a miscarriage of justice
– the company is breaking the law
– belief that someone is covering-up a wrong-doing
What are the ‘3Es’, often used when discussing not-for-profit organisations?
In knowledge management, what are the two categories of knowledge
What are the six capitals of integrated reporting?
– social and relationship
– natural capital
What are the three elements of an anti-fraud strategy?
What are the three conditions needed for a fraud to be perpetrated?
In a two-tier board system for corporate governance, what are the two boards called?
– A supervisory board
– A management board
Suggest six areas that would typically be covered by a company’s ethical code?
– Equal opportunities/discrimination
– Use of the Internet
– Reporting wrong-doing
– Response to conflicts of interest
What are the two axes of a risk map?
When faced with an ethical conflict, what six steps should the decision-maker consider?
– Consider the facts
– Consider the ethical principles involved
– Consider the related fundamental principles
– Consider relevant internal procedures
– Consider alternative courses of action
– Consider the consequences of each alternative course of action
What are the eight elements/components of the COSO risk management approach?
– business probity
– internal environment
– objective setting
– event identification
– risk assessment
– risk response
– control activities
– information and communication
What are the four categories of risk in the COSO framework for enterprise risk management?
Define “Enterprise Risk Management”
“the process effected by an entity’s board of directors, management and other personnel, applied in strategy setting and across the enterprise, designed to identify potential events that may affect the entity, and manage risk to be within its risk appetite, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of entity objectives”
In the context of risk management, we come across the acronym ALARP
What does the acronym stand for?
In the context of risk management, the acronym ALARP stands for As Low As Reasonably Practicable
Name five sources of self-interest threats
Any five from:
– fee received from client exceeds maximum guideline
– beneficial interest in the success of the company (by way of shareholding)
– loans to / from the company
– gifts and benefits received from the company
– overdue fees
– contingent fees
– close business relationships
– close family and personal relatioships
– recruiting staff on behalf of the client
What are the five identified ethical threats to an external auditor’s independence?
A risk map plots high/low severity or impact of an event and high/low probability or likelihood of an event. Match transfer, accept, avoid/abandon and reduce to the four quadrants
– high impact, low probability: transfer eg insure
– high impact high probability: avoid/abandon
– low impact, high probability: reduce
– low impact, low probability: accept
A mnemonic applicable for remembering the characteristics of “good” information is “accurate” To what do the letters in “accurate” refer?
The letters in “accurate”, used for remembering the characteristics of “good” information, refer to the following:
– easy to use
List the categories of internal control activities
– arithmetic and accounting
– management and supervision
– authorisation and approval
The definition of an internal control system includes five objectives. What are these?
– carry out the business of the enterprise in an efficient and orderly manner
– ensure adherence to management policies
– safeguard the assets
– prevent and detect fraud and error
– completeness and accuracy of the records
– timely preparation of financial information
In the context of risk management, what are the four identified ways available to a company to manage any risk which faces the company?
The four identified ways of managing risk are:
What is a “whistle-blower”?
A whistle-blower is a person who notifies relevant authorities about perceived breaches of external or internal rules or regulations
What does the following define?
– A concise communication of an organisation’s strategy, governance and performance
– Demonstrates the links between an organisation’s financial performance and its wider social, environmental and economic context.
– Shows how organisations create value over the short, medium and long term.
What are the six steps of the business change life-cycle?
– Planning ie define the goals
– Analyse existing activities
– Design new or improved processes
What are the five elements of internal control?
– control environment
– risk assessment
– control activities
– information and communication
Whose model of stakeholder relations maps the stakeholder level of interest against their power?
The model which maps the stakeholder level of interest against their power is Mendelow’s Model
On what document are the following recorded: risks, their probability of occurrence, their impact and the planned responses to the risks?
– The risk register
Compare strategic drift to disruptive technologies?
Strategic drift is the slow divergence of an organisation’s capabilities and activities compared to the environment in which it operates. A disruptive technology is a very sudden shift in the environment brought about by technological or other breakthroughs.
What are Tucker’s five questions in his approach to ethical behaviour?
– Is it profitable?
– Is it legal?
– Is it fair?
– Is it right?
– Is it sustainable or environmentally sound?
Risk management seeks a balance between two factors, both ending ‘ance‘. What are they?
What is the frequently quoted example of a rules-based system of corporate governance?
The frequently quoted example of a rules-based system of corporate governance is the Sarbanes-Oxley system as used in the USA
There are two approaches available for the implementation of corporate governance. What are those two approaches?
The two approaches are “rules based” and “principles based”
What is POPIT?
– Information technology
These are the areas that must be considered in any organisational change.
What is a ‘shared service’
It is the centralisation of certain service functions of an organisation. For example, all time records and client billing for all of an accountant’s offices are handled by one service centre.
What are the three components of the ACCA’s ethical framework?
– Ethical principles to be followed
– Recognition of the threatsto which these are subject
– Establishment of safeguards to eliminate the threats or reduce them to an acceptable level.
What is meant by the ‘public interest?
IFAC defines this as:
The net benefits derived for, and procedural rigour employed on behalf of, all society in relation to any action, decision or policy’
Essentially it is exercising social responsibility and a recognition that many stakeholders’ interests have to be considered.
Projects should be assessed for feasibility. What are the four categories of feasibility that should be considered?
What is meant by the terms: pure risk, gross risk and net risk?
– Pure risk: there is only downside risk (as opposed to speculative risk which go either way)
– Gross risk: the risk before steps have been taken to reduce or mitigate it.
– Net risk: the risk left (residual risk) after the gross risk is mitigated.
In the context of corporate governance, what is an induction process?
An induction process is a process whereby a new director (executive or non-executive) is given information about the company to better enable the director to make meaningful and effective contributions
What are the specific responsibilities of a Chair of a public company
– providing leadership to the board, including
– setting the agenda for board meetings
– chairing all meetings (board/sub-committees/members)
– ensuring the continuing quality of information given to the board
– enabling effective NED contributions
In addition, the chair will with major and institutional shareholders and will communicate shareholder views and concerns to the full board
What do you understand by the expression “scenario planning”?
Out of all the permutations of events that could happen, a relatively few consistent and viable sets of believable futures (scenarios) are investigated.
Gross risk depends on three factors, each of which of which can be modified to reduce the overall risk. What are the three factors?
– The asset subject to the risk.
– The threat to the asset.
– The vulnerability of the organisation.
What are the four ‘Vs’ of big data?
– Veracity (a late addition)
What is meant by the terms ‘entrepreneur’ and intrapreneur’?
Entrepreneur: someone willing to undertake risk and expend time and money to set up a new business.
Intrapreneur: an employee who promotes innovation and new business ideas within and existing organisation.
One of the main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code is “remuneration”
Provide four ideas to explain more fully this main principle
– remuneration levels should be sufficient to attract, retain directors of appropriate skills,
– a company should seek to avoid paying in excess of the levels needed to attract, retain and motivate
– portion of director’s remuneration should be linked to performance
– formal/transparent procedure for developing remuneration policy
– no director should be determining their own remuneration level
One of the main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code is “accountability”
Provide three ideas to explain more fully this main principle
the board should:
– present a balanced and understandable assessment of the company’s performance, position,
– establish formal/transparent procedures for consideration of their approach to internal control and risk management
– establish procedures for ensuring that an appropriate relationship is maintained with external auditor
– the board is responsible for determining the nature and extent of significant risks which it is willing to take in achieving its strategic objectives
One of the main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code is “effectiveness”
Provide four ideas to explain more fully this main principle
– the board and its sub-committees should have an appropriate balance of skills
– a balance of executive/non-executive directors
– there should be a formal, thorough and transparent procedure for the appointment of new directors
– directors should be able to allocate sufficient time to company to discharge their responsibilities effectively
– directors should be: given a induction course when joining / be able to update their knowledge on regular basis
– the board should be supplied in a timely manner with necessary information
– board’s performance should be evaluated
– subject to regular re-election
One of the main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code is “leadership”
Provide 4 ideas to explain more fully this main principle
– every company should be headed up by an effective board of directors, collectively responsible
– there should be a clear division of responsibilities at the head of the company.
– the Chairman is responsible for the leadership of the board
– in a unitary board the NEDs should constructively challenge and assist in the development of strategy
The main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code 2010 are grouped under five headings. What are those headings?
– relations with shareholders
What are the three elements of Adair’s action-centred leadership?
– Concern for individuals
– Concern for the group
– Concern for the task
The Baldrige model for world-class organisations can be depicted on a diagram with eight boxes. Ehat are the titles of these boxes
– Organisational profile
– Measurement, analysis and knowledge management
– Strategic plannning
– Customer focus
– Workforce focus
What is meant by the expression “off-shoring”
Moving production abroad or outsourcing to a foreign-based company. Often done to obtain cost advantages.
Define the term “stakeholder”
A stakeholder is any person or group that can affect or be affected by the policies or activities of an organisation
List five external stakeholders of a public company
– the Stock Exchange
– small investors
– institutional investors
– society in general
One of fundamental ethical principles is “integrity”.
Explain what is meant by “integrity”
– the strict adherence to an appropriate moral or ethical code
– being honest and straightforward
– standing up for what you believe is right
What is cloud computing?
Software and data are held on the server and processing takes place on the server. The client (local) machine acts as an interface. Client machines do not need to be particularly powerful (thin clients) and only one copy of the software is needed – making updating much easier.
What are the four desirable qualities of an internal audit department and internal auditors
What is a risk report
– UK companies (and also companies in many other jurisdictions) now have include risk reports as part of their annual company reports. They inform shareholders and others about the organisation’s main risks and what the company is doing about them.
List five potential advantages of outsourcing
Any five of:
– Management can focus on core activities
– Cost savings
– Cost certainty
– Cost restructuring
– Access to expertise
– Better quality
– Risk transference
– Capacity management
What are the two determinants of an organisation’s risk appetite?
– Risk capacity
– Risk attitude
What is a value network?
A value network recognises that when consumers obtain products many organisations are involved such as raw material suppliers, component suppliers, the production company itself, logistics companies and retailers. Each of these has its own value chain and each adds value to the final consumer’s experience. If a component does not add value, why is it there?
How is “Corporate Governance” defined?
Corporate Governance is defined as “the system by which companies are directed and controlled”
What are Johnson and Scholes’s criteria for judging the suitability of a strategy
Draw and annotate Mendelow’s Matrix
What are the potential problems when relying on linear regression results?
The fit must be tested using the coefficient of correlation (r), or the coefficient of determination (r2).
If only a few points are used the results are not reliable
Extrapolation (predicting outside the range) is dangerous
Other known influences (such as inflation) should be removed first.
Even good correlation does no prove cause and effect.
What are the two parts of a time series analysis that are analysed using moving averages?
The trend (the underlying increase/decrease);
The seasonal variations
What is the expected profit arising from the following and what are the problems using expected values in project appraisals?
Outcome I p = 0.3 Profit = 3000
Outcome II p = 0.7 Profit = 5000
0.3 x 3000 + 0.7 x 5000 = 4400
How are probabilities estimated
The expected value is usually not ‘expected’
Risk is not captured (eg a poor outcome of 3000 is quite possible in the above case)
What is meant by marketing?
Establish needs (market research) and develop the appropriate product or service (R&D).
What would by included as product features?
What is a data warehouse and data mining?
A data warehouse is a vast collection of historic transaction data (eg, sales by a supermarket).
Data mining is searching though that looking for patterns and associations that might be helpful in increasing profits.
What is non-price competition?
When customers consider more than the price when buying. For example, a strong brand can stimulate sales.
What is penetration pricing?
A very low initial price to gain a large market share. A very large market share might allow the low price to be sustained and can act as a barrier to entry.
What is price skimming?
Initially a very high price (as some customers will pay that). Then the price is lowered to attract other customers and to sale greater numbers o goods.
What is ‘transactions marketing’ and ‘relationship marketing’?
Transactions marketing: Focuses on the product and develops marketing mixes for it according to the needs customers satisfy when they buy it.
Relationship marketing: Seeks to attract, maintain and enhance customer relationships by focusing on the whole satisfaction experienced by the customer when dealing with the firm.
What is a “professional bureaucracy” in Mintzberg’s classification?
An organisation such as a firm of lawyers of accountants.
Characterised by a short middle line so that there is good vertical communication and a small technostructure because every job is different and therefore standardisation is limited.
What are the two types of review that should form part of a project completion report?
* Post-project review – This is about how well the project was conducted
* Post implementation review – This is about what the project achieved eg costs v benefits
What is meant by ‘benefits realisation’?
Benefits arising from projects are not automatic even in a technically successful project.
Therefore, the project manager should carry out tasks such as: demonstrations and presentations, training, managing and championing change.
What are three determinants of risk in a project?
How well is the project scope defined?
How large is the project?
How complex is the project?
What are the project management variables?
What are the typical qualities of a project manager?
* Leadership abilities, including the ability to motivate
* Technical ability in running projects and in the subject matter
* Ability to negotiate with project sponsors, project team members and suppliers.
* Reporting on progress and difficulties
* The ability to stay calm in a crisis
* Excellent communication
* Ability to delegate to team members.
What are the typical purposes of a project initiation document?
* Defines the project, its scope and its deliverables.
* Justifies the project: cost/benefit analysis; risk analysis.
* Secures funding for the project.
* Defines the roles and responsibilities of project participants.
* Gives people the information they need to be productive and effective right from the start.
What? Who? How? How much? Why? When?
What are the three classes of benefit that can be identified when appraising projects?
What tools can be used on a project cost/benefit analysis?
* Net present value/payback/ROCE
* Sensitivity analysis and risk analysis
* Forecasting techniques
* Expected values
* Decision trees
What are the typical stages of a project?
* Initiation/initial screening
* Risk assessment
* Business case
* Project plan
* Monitoring and controlling/project milestones
* Closing: delivery/review
What are the typical characteristics of a project?
A start/end, non-routine
Novel, unique challenges
Team members from different backgrounds so different: priorities, terminology and outlooks
No benefit until finished
What are transactional and transformational leadership?
Transactional: focus on short term, control, maintain/improve current situation, plan, organise, control, defend existing culture, positional power exercised
Transformational: long-term vision, climate of trust, empowerment, change culture, power from relationships.
What are four potential benefits of decentralisation?
– Top managers have more time for strategic decisions.
– Better decisions: fast, functional experts, geographical experts.
– Motivation of staff.
– Training and assessment of staff
What are Handy’s four cultural types?
What are the seven elements of the cultural web?
* Symbols and titles
* Power relations
* Organisational structure
* Control systems
* Rituals and routines
* Myths and stories
* Organisational assumptions (paradigm)
What are the potential barriers to e-business?
Type of business
Time to set up system
No in-house skills
Suppliers/customers not interested
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