Forums › ACCA Forums › ACCA SBL Strategic Business Leader Forums › *** December 2021 ACCA SBL exam – Instant Poll and comments ***
- This topic has 54 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by brian001.
- December 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm #642956opentuition_teamKeymaster
December 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm #642957
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Was relatively ok felt less pressured than mock attempts just struggled to see what overall issues Achilles had other than less profitability which seemed to be due to not increasing prices while costs had increased.
1) Operational comments I think I did ok but didn’t use any models.
Comment on financial results and position was hard and struggled to write anything meaningful.
Used SAF to evaluate the different proposals but was quite tedious doing SAF 4 times over and not sure that’s what the marker wants to see.
Also found the risk manager role & responsibilities quite tough to score marks on.
Performance excellence on the slides I had to use alot of common sense.
Generally found it hard to link to the exhibits when answering questions.December 7, 2021 at 7:15 pm #642967aluaParticipant
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It wasn’t difficult or tricky but I run out of time and left last question incomplete. If I pass it will be by just luck. 🙁 Never mind, we’ll see in few weeks.December 7, 2021 at 7:28 pm #642970
First question struggled with operations – clearly though they are spending more on marketing to maintain their current customer base – sales increased but prices didn’t increase. Lots of good tangible assets to make acquisitions, interest cover increased, current stayed the same etc
The second question on the spillages risks – reputation, environment, regulation, legal etc that was straightforward.
Sceptism on the acquisition wasn’t too bad
Big data wasn’t bad to finish either.December 7, 2021 at 7:30 pm #642972
The acquisition I
Kept saying request management accounts as they gave little info
For sources of funds, equity, loans ICO and p2p
Put maybe avoid buying shares as P/E ratio seemed to be overvalued though needed to compare against othersDecember 7, 2021 at 7:33 pm #642973mariiazaietsMember
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Totally agree to the comment above.
The questions overall were not difficult. However, I overrun with time with Q1 and then hastily answered the rest of the questions. I guess, I would have written more relevant points if I hadn’t lagged behind with Q1.
Q3 was a bit confusing, and I couldn’t i
The case was about premium customers cruise ship company:
Q1. (a) Evaluate financial and operational perfromance based on PL and BS
(b) Change in corporate governance arrangements
Q2. Assess strategic choices
Q3. Risk manager for food quality in the ship, risk awareness
Q4. Baldrige model of operational excellence – to prepare 2 slides on why operational excellence is important and how to achieve it.December 7, 2021 at 7:48 pm #642975SmallsyBMember
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Seemed to be a fair paper overall.
Did anyone use the Balanced Scorecard model to assess the operational and financial performance in the first question? I didn’t use Baldwin’s Performance Excellence due to q4 being solely focused on thisDecember 7, 2021 at 7:49 pm #642976
Mine had big data
And a oil slick
Did the operation part of question 1 rely on reviewing the accounts onlyDecember 7, 2021 at 7:52 pm #642977SpiroParticipant
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It seems that there have been different paper variants. For those who have Q3 to evaluate sceptically the possible acquisition of river cruise company, one question. Do yo find any info about acquisition price? I think that such info was not included in the exhibit.
If such acquisition price is missing, this is good point to be sceptical.
P/E is worth if compared to industry, but such info was missing.
Also the financial data was just for the previous year. Nothing for the current one.December 7, 2021 at 8:00 pm #642978
The PE was key on purchase price mate
You needed the pe of competitors to know if the P/E ratio was comparable of the industry or the company was overvaluedDecember 7, 2021 at 8:05 pm #642980siyajMember
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I spent way too much time on question one, I think my attempt at task 2 was good and for task 3 I think we had to value Rabinus Rivers using P/E ratio,FCF diVidends and comment on how suitable it is for acquisition and then suggest the methods of financing the acquisition, I didn’t get to question 4 as I ran out of time ???I feel I could have passed if I did!!!December 7, 2021 at 8:15 pm #642982deanwhMember
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What calculations did everyone do for the options of financing question?December 7, 2021 at 8:19 pm #642983
That’s not what I thought about the riverboat company
I thought we had information from the company on figures, but we had to interrogate them using sceptism
One years figures isn’t enough
Average sales price what’s the average made up of ?
Profit margin but what’s this done trending wise
Net assets figures hides any debts of riverboat firm
Achilles has well paid motivated staff nothing on staff of riverboat – culture clash
Nothing on lack of experience of purchasing firms
Pe suggests firm is overvalued
Overpaying dividends – high shareholder expectations
That’s all I got for itDecember 7, 2021 at 8:21 pm #642984
You didn’t have enough information to do calculations in my opinion
I think it just wanted options imhoDecember 7, 2021 at 8:40 pm #642986fahada40Member
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Guys i also got same cast study of Achilles Cruises listed company of Norland, despite i practice many mocks but still i find this paper tough enough to pass, by way i complete my whole paper on time but can’t say anything what i wrote in my paper. Fingers crossed.
req(a) Financial Analysis of Performance of operations
Req (b)Arrangement of Governance structure and improvement if needed.
professional marks on evaluation skills and analysis skills.
Req(A) Risk occurs due to spoilage of oil
Req(b) Analysis on Stakeholders and recommend Startegies which company will take.
Professional Marks on Analysis and evaluation
Req(A) Analysis on acquisition of Robin Cruise ship Company.
Req(b) Factors to consider for funding strategies.
professional marks on professional Skepticism
Two Presentation slides on Big data analysis on the improvement to Current Business Operation and further funding importance.
Professional marks on commercial acumenDecember 7, 2021 at 8:41 pm #642987
I had the question on Achilles. Overall it was an okay paper.
On the operations question I discussed the issue of their potentially being boundaries within the organisation as they had different operational units and could be following their own goals. Another issue was that budgets were set by head office and would have resulted in lack of staff buy in. For the strengths of their operations I mentioned E business capability (online booking system, communications technology etc), Marketing ability (segmenting and targeting customers). Performance and position were covered by mentioning at least 3 ratios.
The governance question was relatively easy. They were required to have an internal audit function as they are a listed company but were missing one. Insufficient number of NEDs was another issue. For the strengths I mentioned that they had already sub committees in place and they were operating a unitary structure.
I found the risk and performance excellence questions very difficult to link to the case. I ended up mainly regurgitating book knowledge and applying this in bits. The question on embedding risks was particularly difficult.December 7, 2021 at 9:22 pm #642992
Hi mate I don’t know if my governance question mentioned strengths it just said suggest improvements
Diversity of the board
Board members been there 8 years
I missed internal audit.
Made a few points how two tier board may improve governanceDecember 7, 2021 at 9:30 pm #642993
We might have had different questions. Mine was to evaluate the governance arrangements and then make recommendations for improvement. I mentioned a few strengths and weaknesses and then made suggestions.
I was going to suggest a two tier board structure but I didn’t want to contradict myself as I mentioned a unitary board as a strength. What points did you make about diversity? I couldn’t find anything in the extract.December 7, 2021 at 9:36 pm #642994annaveraParticipant
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I think the extracts were very limited on the information, I have mentioned diversity due to all directors previously worked in the same industry. Mentioned different backgrounds for the potential new board members.December 7, 2021 at 9:40 pm #642995
Didn’t it say all directors were all associated with the ship industry no one had any outside experienceDecember 7, 2021 at 9:41 pm #642996
I don’t remember my case mentioning that. Either that or I completely missed it!December 7, 2021 at 9:52 pm #642999annaveraParticipant
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I think there was a line after CEO details , mentioning they all from Ship industryDecember 7, 2021 at 10:54 pm #643006FuadParticipant
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Overall I found the paper to be fair, but I had to rush in answering the question on assessing the proposal on the Riverboat company with only 12 minutes left to answer the 24mark question. I hope what I jotted down was enough to earn a few marks which could add up to a passing grade.December 7, 2021 at 11:24 pm #643008nikilaxMember
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I forgot to click end button after I finished with exam. Is it ok if I didn’t click the end button?December 7, 2021 at 11:30 pm #643009
Was there a model for evaluating operational performance ? I just took stuff from exhibit and elaborated on it with no structure.
For the governance question I wrote about appointing a risk committee, increasing NEDs, increase diversity and include people with financial background.
Roles and responsibilities of a food hygiene manager was mostly text book for me but we had a large exhibit on food poisoning just couldn’t find anything relevant to the question which really worried me.December 8, 2021 at 4:45 am #643022brian001Member
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Got the Achilles case and found the case itself to be fairly straight forward, but the amount of hints in exhibits to support the tasks appeared relatively limited which is what drives it challenging.
– Operation – board want to ‘learn more about operation’ – felt unclear what exactly question was after. Attempted various angles including the generic strategy, porter’s value chain etc.
– Performance –
a) no price increase but increased revenue hints improvement in occupancy ratio? – driven by increase marketing spend but whether this is worth it given the already high occupancy ratio.
b) what’s driving cost increase? – poor cost control? higher depreciation as seen in increase in fixed asset?
c) higher interest > despite plenty of bank deposit > should explore why?
d) overall low level of ROE / ROCE / Profit margin, reduction in these.
– Financial position –
a) high gearing but due to nature of industry – no industry comparison.
b) strong working capital thanks to strong procurement (AP) and customer booking system (deposits)?
c) plenty of cash surplus / current ratio > can be better utilised?
Felt in general not a lot to talk about.
Strong points: some NED, NED in 3 committees
Weak points to improve: lack of NED, lack of risk committee, 8y board. Why independence and NED is important for good governance, in light of being a listed company. Why best to recruit NED from other industries.
– Felt definitely missed stuff for this question – could have probably talked about CEO’s role in governance maybe?
Started with FAS criteria then half way through realised we can also perhaps use the Ansoff matrix. Basically talked the pro/con of each Ansoff sections in conjunction of source of funding.
Recommanded the partnership approach and talked about risk of partnership.
Role of risk manager:
– Design, implement risk control > food hygiene procedures
– Monitor risk with designing risk indicators
– Support to manage risk > e.g. press release
– Support to identify risk and advocate risk culture
– Deal with insurance comp
Also talked the catering manager is not suitable for the role as not capable of doing some of above. > probably should have talked the need for training etc.
Why achieving performance excellence is important for Achilles and how to use the Baldrige model to achieve this.
Mind was blank with this one as didn’t focus on Baldrige model in study and there’s barely any supporting exhibit for this.
Tried to talk about the need to explore into all areas to support strategic success – especially how Achilles is a differentiation model, model supports this by promoting integrated thinking. > Then basically tried to use common sense on how each element is relevant to the company…
Was also conscious have mis-spelt Achilles in several ways multiple times…December 8, 2021 at 5:24 am #643026
For the strategic choices I was annoyed alot of the challenging of each option was done in the exhibit.
I also recommended the river boat cruises but advised strongly against the partnership model. Not sure that was a good exam response by basically throwing out all the options presented and then giving my own take on it.
Hope the marker accepts that.December 8, 2021 at 5:25 am #643027francojoosteParticipant
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Guys firstly I had issues where I couldn’t highlight or copy and paste from the exhibits …
However I wasn’t gonna let that make me fail I just had to double time with the typing
Task 1 : Operations and Financial performance and governance structures I think I did quite well here for 32 marks.
Task 2 : oil spillage and main risks , Stakeholder analysis
Task 3 : evaluate the proposal of acquisition, here I found numerous issues like the revenues being 71million but the passenger fees are only 1250per passager they operate 16 river with 42 cabins so the revenue seems inflated .
I also picked up on that the current owners of the river cruise wanted to sell because they want to fund their retirement with 114million which seems questionable
They also have book values which should have been net realizable values on sale
Then there were a lack of info , no liabilities how they determined the 65% dividend payout, also no prior year info to do a comparison on performance .
Financing Options was tricky cause there was nothing obvious in the exhibits .
I used issue right shares , issue new share, loan but they already had high finance costs and also retained earnings that can be used
Task 4 : Big Data slides for operational and future benefits which I hopefully made enough reference to the actual cruise company
All the best ! I am studying for AAA and SBR to write in MarchDecember 8, 2021 at 5:39 am #643030francojoosteParticipant
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If anyone wants to know what exam technique I used in the exam let me know I had about 20mins to spare . I really practiced my exam technique and it’s works well for SBLDecember 8, 2021 at 9:25 am #643094Ask1771986Member
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so what was your exam technique please
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