- May 9, 2018 at 8:41 am
Yes most information especially financial information will come from the annual report. You should try though to seek out some articles from trade journals and the business press (often available online)July 4, 2018 at 11:57 am
Is it a must to include graphs, charts and tables in the main report to ensure a passing grade for Topic 8? Would it be sufficient to just include them in the spreadsheet?
Thanks in advance for replyingJuly 4, 2018 at 10:48 pm
Graphs and charts are a VERY important element of Topic 8. So yes it is a BIG must that such charts are in the main report (and also are required in the Presentation).
You should present a graph / chart (preferably showing the position of both companies on the same graph) for each ratio and then talk about the implications of these trends and how they link in with the main company strategies and the factors from its business environment (SWOT and PEST )July 5, 2018 at 9:04 am
I am replying to your query about graphs from the perspective of a former member of the RAP Marking Team (and suggesting how by using effective charts etc. you can improve your work)
It is vital that you use graphs/charts frequently in your report for Topic 8 as the marker can instantly see the situation – a good graph ‘paints the picture” and shows the trend. Then you don”t have to waste words describing the results. Also a lack of graphs/charts is very likely to lead to a fail for Assessment Criterion no. 4 -Presentation of the data
Please I implore all students to think carefully about what figures and percentages to use in the text. So often as a marker I have been confronted with paragraphs of text that have so many numbers in them that it is impossible to keep up with things and I have struggled and become frustrated trying to make sense of it all. A good clear graph sets the scene so lots of figures are usually unnecessary anyway!
Try to recognise that with good graphs/charts and by only mentioning the percentages that are significant how much easier it is for the reader to gain a clear picture (before submitting why not ask a family member to read some of the report and ask if they understand things and get them to comment on clarity?)
By the way as the report is written in English the graphs should follow the natural way English is read – that means left to right and so the earliest year should be on the left and the last year on the right. (Those whose mother tongue is not English do not realise how confusing for a native English speaker it can be to have a graph that has the earliest year on the right as the trend lines will appear to be the opposite to what the brain is expecting. Western languages are all read from left to right so if your language is written from right to left please be aware of this cultural difference when you are presenting reports in English)July 8, 2018 at 10:39 am
I have several questions
For topic 8 can i use hypermarkets for analysis such as carrefour
Can my mentor be my audit manager/senior who hasnt done neither ACCA nor registered as a mentor in OBU
Can someone explain what my spreadsheet should look like. E.g my graphs in the RR shud be included in the spreadsheet?
What to write in the SLS statementJuly 8, 2018 at 5:24 pm
1. You need to consult the very latest Information Pack and please see the thread on prescribed topics for Period 37 and 38 for Topic 8 as supermarkets and hyoermarkets are NOT in the mandatory business sectors. So no, you CANNOT submit on Carrefour (and if you do it will result in an automatic fail with no refund for the GBP 340 submission fee) you will just be wasting your money and a submission attempt leaving you only 2 more
2. In principle your audit manager could act as your mentor but first they have to pass the online mentoring course i..e. become a listed mentor (the course costs GBP 85) -there are NO exceptions to this rule. However I would advise you to find a mentor who has had recent RAP experience. Although some mentors may appear to be expensive, cutting corners and using a cheap ineffective mentor may often be a false economy as it means they are less likely to be familiar with the Assessment Criteria and therefore your chances of passing are reduced. If you fail and have to resubmit it will have cost you GBP 680 just in submission fees (and if you are in to a 3rd and final submission it will have cost you over GBP 1,000 just in submission fees to say nothing of the stress and inconvenience and still no certainty that you will pass)
3. Yes report graphs would be expected to have been constructed from the spreadsheet. There is no prescibed format for this.
4. There is help about the SLS in the Information Pack. You need to answer all 4 of the set questions from a self-reflective point of view discussing your strengths, weaknesses and challenges during the learning and development experienceJuly 31, 2018 at 12:02 am
Q1- I am sorry if this has been asked before (I couldn’t find it) but I have chosen two companies PEL and Siemens for my project as these are the best match according to the current company selection criteria. The problem is that the main company (PEL) has year end of 31 December while Siemens has 30 September. Now Siemens also has quarterly financial statements available from October to December so I am thinking of combining quarterly statements (Oct-Dec) with previous year end statements (ended September) and then making adjustments so that Siemens also has yearly figures of January to December (to be comparable with PEL). Now I am not sure what adjustments should I make to combine quarterly and year end figures. Is that as simple as time apportionment (multiplying by n/12) and adding/subtracting or should I follow special rules?
Q2- PEL (primary company) has statements available for December 2017 while Siemens has for September 2017. I am doing this project in July and will submit in November. It is not possible to have obtained PELs 2018 statements before november although siemens will have reported already (but thats not the main company). What should I do?
*The companies I have chosen are local and have lots of information available in the media.Their product lines are also identical thats why I am reluctant on working out with these.
Thanks.July 31, 2018 at 9:19 pm
As a former marker of the BSc Applied Accounting I can tell you that this is not going to be a problem if you use Siemens Sept 2017 and PEL Dec 2017
You do not have to use the Siemens 2018 (are you actually sure they would be available anyway?) as they are within 90 days of the start of the submission window i.e. 1 NovemberAugust 1, 2018 at 9:40 pm
So you are saying it is okay to perform financial and business analysis (e.g comparing their relevant financial ratios and market performance for years ended) by comparing Siemens September and PEL December statements?
Thank you for guiding.August 2, 2018 at 6:53 am
Absolutely there is NO issue here in using the 2017 annual reports for BOTH companies. A 3 month difference in the timing of their reports is insignificant as such companies are unlikely to suffer from seasonal variations which is the usual issue when there is a 6 month differenceAugust 2, 2018 at 9:57 pm
Please where do I write about a brief background info about my company and its comparator? Is it in chapter one or three?August 3, 2018 at 7:10 am
There are no hard and fast rules on this . Many students may mention it in why they chose the company and give a brief outline of its general operations. However there are others who introduce it in Part 3 and then talk about turnover and go on to discuss profit and the other ratio trends. As a former OBU marker I can tell you that it does really matter as long as you give a few relevant details about it.August 3, 2018 at 8:21 am
Thanks again but do I also need to reference it?August 3, 2018 at 8:54 am
The rule is any fact or the use of the work of others must be referenced. If it is so basic that the average person would know it, or it so generally well known, then no it does not require a reference. As an example I cite the following: The US President is Mr Donald Trump and his administration centre is the White House in Washington, (so no references required here) however when stating any of his pronouncements they would require a reference.
Hope that helpsAugust 3, 2018 at 10:30 am
Yes, thank youAugust 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm
Yes, that is settled, but another issue – I confused on how to reference a list of items. For instance I want to describe the limitations of SWOT analysis from one author using bullet points. How do I do that?
Do I reference each of the bullet points? Or I should write one reference for the whole points?
Limitations of SWOT analysis
– When conducting a SWOT analysis, managers categorize various factors that affect a business as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats. (Hamal, n.d)
– SWOT analysis relies entirely upon ideas generated by the managers participating the in the analysis. (Hamal, n.d)
-SWOT analyses don’t provide a useful framework for finding solutions to problems. (Hamal, n.d)
Or like this?
– When conducting a SWOT analysis, managers categorize various factors that affect a business as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats.
– SWOT analysis relies entirely upon ideas generated by the managers participating the in the analysis.
-SWOT analyses don’t provide a useful framework for finding solutions to problems. (Hamal, n.d)August 4, 2018 at 11:03 pm
The first method is correct. Remember the rule is EACH fact, quotation or the opinion of others must be referencedAugust 6, 2018 at 1:11 pm
Alright thank youAugust 9, 2018 at 9:56 am
Can I do topic 8 without having comparator (Competitor financial statements)? By only analyzing the single company financial statements for three years?August 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm
No, do not go there! I am a former marker and I can reliably inform you that if there are no comparisons with either another company or significant benchmarking to the industry averages you will automatically fail. So don’t even attempt this as you will be wasting GBP 340 submitting.
Incidentally the comparisons have to be more than just a year otherwise the grade, if passed, is normally limited to a C gradeAugust 10, 2018 at 12:08 am
Hello when making comparisons to my comparator do I limit the comparison to just profitability ratios? Or do I also need to compare my SWOT/PEST to that of my comparator too.
Furthermore when doing investor analysis do I also need to make comparisons here to.
In a nutshell, what are the areas I need to make comparisons with my comparator company?August 10, 2018 at 7:18 am
You need to do far more than just a comparison of the companies’ profitability ratios. Comparisons of liquidity position and working capital, gearing and investor ratios (for example EPS and P/E ratio or some reference to dividends) are also necessary
Whilst you wouldn’t conduct a direct comparison of the companies’ SWOT and PEST a good analysis when explaining the differences in performance might draw on particular competitive advantages (or conversely comparative weaknesses) that lie behind this in relation to the SWOT/PEST factors.
Please start Part 3 with the application of the models as they are supposed to guide the analysis. Many T8s fail because students do not appreciate the important connections that exist between performance and strengths and weaknesses etc. as identified in the application of the SWOT and how factors from the business environment will have influenced and impacted on management strategic decisions. Doing the application first should help you focus on these important connections.August 10, 2018 at 11:07 am
Thanks very much ma. That will help, but one more thing, I’m not sure about how to go about drawing a connection between my financial analysis and business analysis. Do I just write for example when doing Sales analysis “as mentioned in my analysis of the SWOT of ABC with regards to its strengths (Largest producer of xxx in the world) the reason behind the increase in sales revenue of ABC plc over the three years in review is because ABC plc has been the world’s largest producer of xxx product in the last 5 years which accounts for 90% of its total revenue.”
Is this acceptable please?August 10, 2018 at 4:17 pm
Yes that is the sort of thing you need to do. Don’t waste words telling the marker what we can already see from the graphs. We want interesting commentary that does not throw so many figures at us that we find ourselves drowning in an ocean of percentages and figures.
When you are faced with reading dozens of Topic 8 reports (like markers are) you want to read a sensibly reasoned analysis that shows how the student recognises that companies formulate strategies by doing what you have shown here -building on a strength (possibly also they are able to benefit by having a virtual monopoly too? e.g. High prices and/or economies of scale and are exploiting their competitive advantages?)
When you look at the results instead of just reporting them (which on its own will never get a pass) ask yourself how has it achieved this? The same applies with poor results -what has the company done wrong? If you bear this in mind and approach it this way you are more likely to pass Evaluation and Analysis (Assessment Criterion 3) which is the most common area failed.August 11, 2018 at 10:28 am
Okay great, thank you so much
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