- January 15, 2014 at 9:48 pm
I currently am eligible to do the RAP but I am waiting for the results of the last paper which was taken on december 2013. THus, if I will pass it I will become an affiliate. Will I still be able to submit the RAP on April 2014??January 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm
Your are eligible if,
a. you opted in for OBU before attempting F7, F8 or F9
b. you have attempted the Professional Ethics module
c. you have cleared all papers till F9.
Hence, doesn’t matter if you are an affiliate or not.
Secondly, you don’t need a sample project. All you need is for guidance is a mentor, and the OBU Infopack, available on the ACCA website. The Infopack is very detailed, and will answer all the questions you can possibly have.
All the best.January 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm
I need some guidance regarding where to start with topic 14 or any other topic that is close to financial management.
I wish to submit in the period 28 ie in may considering that i have done nothing as yet, my question is if iam too late for it.
Finally who is the best mentor here in karachi..
If any one can guide me on this one that would be greatt.
Thanks again.January 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm
arkyParticipantJanuary 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm
For topic 14 you need to first have a company which has a strategic investment (Not just investment) in another company and then you need to analyse its business and financial objectives and impact on key stakeholders.
Related to P4 there are two topics these are:
Topic 15:Management of Working Capital Over a Three Year Period and Its Impact on Funding Strategies
Topic 19:Financial & Operational Consequences of Merger
For strarting up you need to have:
– An organisation on which topic is applicable
– Information related to topic
– Mentor and a good reviewer for guidance and rectification of your mistakes.
Lastly, in Karachi there are alot of good mentors, it depends upon whether you want to go to an institute for it or online. If you want to go to institute, there is Ms. Areena Haider teaching at SPACE institute
Thanks.January 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm
hammadahmedqureshiParticipantMay 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm
We all in this forum appreciate highly your kind help and advices. Another question: on topic 14, we were supposed to evaluate the strategic investment decision ALREADY made by an organisation correct? so we would just have to know what the SID is to be able to evaluate it (with DCF techniques apparently). The real question here is: is an expansion overseas a Strategic investment decision or it should necessarily include a merge or jv? I know an expansion by growing in size is enough since I have read relevant journals but i just wanted to verify.May 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm
@seth1 nice you went for a more unusual topic 🙂 . I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules but an expansion overseas sounds like a ‘strategic investment’ from where I am sitting! 😀 The main thing is that you would need to do some original analysis & evaluation of your own rather than just describe what happened – which is where DCF would come in. Depending on the type of SID this might involve other techniques or additional ones. For example the decision might be made as part of a market expansion so increase in market share and attempting future forecasting might be relevant in those circumstances 🙂May 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm
hey i thougt i accidentally erased the thread. anyway thanks for sharing your opinion with me!May 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm
BTW everyone Topic 14 doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘a company which has a strategic investment (Not just investment) in another company’ as mentioned above.
Topic 14 is ‘An appraisal of the business and financial objectives of a strategic investment decision made by an organisation and its impact on key stakeholders.’ It may therefore not involve ANOTHER COMPANY at all – it could relate to introducing a new product or entering a new market or expanding overseas – but will certainly involve a MAJOR strategic decision which normally equates to a substantial financial investment with possibly an element of significant risk attached. That is where the evaluation and analysis should come in and that in turn needs to be applied to the key stakeholders as you need to assess the effect on the stakeholders to fulfil the whole RAP brief. 🙂June 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm
i have decided to go for the topic 14. But must the company used be a listed or public company? Please can anyone help?June 17, 2014 at 10:49 pm
@whytegun whether it is listed or unlisted company (private ltd or plc) is immaterial. However, it is the availability of the information that will be important as you will need to be able to carry out some evaluation and analysis (normally a significant part of this will involve the financial repercussions of the decision although some could be qualitative). You will also be expected to produce some graphs or charts to demonstrate Excel skills and the analysis of financial information provides a platform for doing this too.
If you are working in an organisation you can use a strategic decision that was made by that organisation but you would probably be required to seek their permission first because of confidentiality clauses. However the information would only be read by staff at OBU for the purpose of marking and it would not be circulated. (It is a normally a condition by most universities that an electronic copy of all students’ work is retained on their system – that’s how they are able to identify when copying goes on!!!)June 17, 2014 at 11:09 pm
Thanks a lot for the response. That was helpful. I have another question please. After choosing a topic, a mentor and an organization. What is the next step? Am i required to make any contact wit OBU or submit a proposal?June 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm
@whytegun – Provided you are have opted in, you normally don’t have any contact with the OBU prior to submission (but at some stage you will need to get a login to do that – take a look at the Info Pack there is probably something in there about it all)
This is bit of a repetition of what I posted to a student recently who was doing another topic but as general guidance it also applies to you 🙂 :
“At this stage you need to read up on appropriate aspects of strategic investment decisions and think about possible models and analysis techniques you can use – articles on the internet, business journals – anything relevant that will give you a good overview. You should find that well written articles (particularly academic papers – go on Google Scholar) tend to have a bibliography and that leads to further material. Jot down a few ideas or anything that interests you. As submission is months away you have the luxury of being able to reflect for a while and assimilate the information. You should then be in a position to be able to draft a few aims and objectives of your work e.g. what is the overarching purpose of your report in relation to the topic? what do you intend to research? why? and how? These will form the basis of the first part of your RAP. You should also familiarise yourself with the OBU Information Pack as that gives more guidance”July 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm
This topic relates with appraisal of various business and financial objectives based on some strategic investment decision taken by management of the organisation and how this decision impact on key stakeholders of the organisation both.
Objective is defined as a specific goal or aim set by a person or any organisation. By setting aims and objectives, companies give themselves a sense of purpose and direction. This provides a framework around which to create their plans. Most organizations have general or overall aims which they can break down into specific objectives, or targets.
Business owners set different types of objectives, including financial objectives, to give them a solid plan for moving in the direction of long-term success. Financial objectives focuses on monetary aspects of the organisation and common financial objectives includes increasing revenue, increasing profit margins, retrenching in times of hardship and earning a return on investment. On the other hand, business objectives can be non-monetary terms as common example of business objectives include increment in overall market share , reputation , long term sustainability of the organisation.
Any strategic investment decision taken by a organisation has the same basic goals like to strengthen the financial condition of the organisation, increase the competitive edge, improve operational efficiency and improve accountability and initiative. A strategic investment is no different. Examples of strategic investment decisions are upgrading the information technology systems, acquiring new facilities, acquiring new machinery and even acquiring a competitor.
Under this topic, first of all student basic understanding of overall business and financial objectives and he/she must have excellent knowledge of these objectives for his/her selected organisation along with strategic investment decision taken by the selected organisation recently. He must aware technical aspects of strategic investment decision of the organisation so the he/she can easily link it up with various operations of the organisation that ultimately link up with overall business and financial objectives of the organisation.
Moreover, he also must have excellent knowledge of key stakeholders of the selected organisation and their interest with the organisation. Based on recently strategic investment decision (it varies as per selected organisation), student need to assess that how this decision impact overall quantitative (financial) and qualitative (business) objectives of the organisation. Moreover, student needs to link existing state of the organisation with prior state (before strategic investment decision) to identify overall advantage and disadvantages attain by the organisation. He also need to give particular focus on impact of all initiatives of the organisation on key stakeholder (owners, employees, competitors, government (if applicable) etc.
In short , requirements of this topic is not easy to cater without excellent information of overall operations of the organisation along with impact of strategic investment decision on overall interest of various key stakeholders.
Key Success Factors:
Proper application of all selected aims and objectives (that decided in inception of RAP) in appropriate sections of RAP.
Proper answering of all research questions (that decided in inception of RAP) in appropriate sections of RAP.
Usage of proper research methodology to achieve good result against all selected aims and objectives (that decided in inception of RAP).
Maintain proper sequence of all discussion in logical manner by keeping all requirements of the topic.
Logically conclude all performed work at the end of Research Report by keeping in consideration of all requirements of the topic.
Major benefits for choosing this topic:
Student will practically apply his/her bookish knowledge into real life.
Various techniques learned under this topic will substantially help student in his/her professional life.
Major possible limitations faced by student under this topic:
Students may not entertain well by the management of selected organisation in provision of required information due to various issues (e.g. confidentiality aspects, non availability of authorized person to disseminate information to student for research work, etc.)
Student may not find good stuff from internet or other sources (due to weak research approach) to bring ideas for improvement in the project.
Student may be confused due to variation in actual information (verbal or documented) provided from primary sources with the result that he/she actually derive from his/her research work as per requirement of the topic.
Suitable organisation under this topic:
The most suitable organisation under this topic is that for which student have access to management of the company and moreover management of the company is willingly provide all required information to student as required under the topic. Selection of most appropriate organisation is very essential as student must have better understanding of overall operations of the organisation and moreover he/she also have enough knowledge of the sector in which his/her selected organisation actually operates. Based on better knowledge of the organisation and respective sector , student will be able to interlink various aspect of overall operations of the selected organisation with all requirements of the topic that ultimately help him/her in getting good grades.
In short student need to assess following aspects in selection of organisation for RAP.
Student’s own interest related to overall business of the organisation;
Accessibility of information from primary sources (extremely important in topic 14);
Accessibility of information from secondary sources;
Knowledge of overall operations of the organisation (extremely important in topic 14);
Knowledge of overall associated sector of the organisation;
Availability of time from concerned officials of selected organisation (extremely important in topic 14);
Basic idea of requirements of selected topic and their applications on proposed organisation in inception of RAP.
Suggested approach for this topic:
Under this topic, student must plan properly from inception so that he/she can complete all tasks effectively in proper manners. First of all, student must gain excellent understanding of major requirements of this topic and he/she need to critically assess all aspects of requirement by defining detailed strategy. Student need to assess that what process that he/she actually follow to meet all requirements that only possible through detailed planning in inception of RAP.
Student need to prepare overall content of RAP under topic 14 that describes logical sequence of all tasks that need to adhere by the student. This content will also help student to keep on right track from inception and at the same time student can also assess time factor against planned vs. actual tasks through considering his allocated time for complete preparation of RAP.
After finalization of overall content of RAP under topic 14, student need to start working logically from gathering of information as per requirement of topic. Student need to assess all gathered information very critically through consultation from mentor. Mentor feedback on key areas of RAP is very essential so student should share his/her thoughts with project mentor regularly to get efficient guidance in time accordingly.
In short, there is no 100% suggested approach for topic 14 as keeping broader level approach (described above) , detailed approach under topic 14 varies due to student’s perception that he conceived from requirements of the topic along with available information of selected organisation. Whatever, the approach you will follow , keep getting guidance from project mentor at every step so that you can meet all requirements of topic and get good grades.
Availability of Information:
Student have to complete his/her RAP based on provision of information directly from management of the organisation (i.e. primary sources of information) along with vast information available through different mediums (internet, newspaper, books, etc.) under secondary sources of information. Availability of information from primary sources under topic number 14 is very essential as this topic cannot complete at all without getting specific information of the selected organisation. Student need to ensure that he has access of vast information from management of the selected organisation and there is no confidentiality concerns by them as well.
In short, student need to assess very critically before opting this topic for RAP as all requirements of this topic only meet if student have enough information about selected organisation. If there is any doubt on provision of required information during perpetration of RAP then student should not select this topic for RAP as it impact on overall evaluation of information and overall grades of RAP.September 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm
I’m intending to do topic 14 on “Appraisal of the business and financial objectives of a strategic investment decision made by an organisation and its impact on key stakeholders”
Can this “Strategic investment” be a recent one? Recent as in 3 months ago. This investment was a really huge one by a listed company, so I can find a huge ton of information online. Anyone?September 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm
That would be fine except you have to do some original analysis -which normally would look at the impact of the investment in some quantitative terms (analysis of increased revenue, impact on profits and possibly dividends fir example). I don’t see how you would have this information to work with after just 3 months.
With every topic you have to provide evidence of original analysis (see p.36 of the Info Pack) and my article on Evaluation and AnalysIs on our homepage http://www.opentuition.com/obu
It isn’t as simple as finding and citing lots of articles as you cannot just report the circumstances of the strategic decision you have to make something of the data involved. Sorry!December 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm
Topic 14. An appraisal of the business and financial objectives of a strategic investment decision made by the organisation and it’s impact on key stakeholders
Can i use a new start up in this businessDecember 14, 2017 at 7:30 am
I doubt that your proposal would fit in with the full requirements for a pass as normally you have to appraise the ‘before and after scenario’ as part of the analysis. A new start up probably has limited stakeholders as well.
In the absence of any ‘history’ and prior position I think your work would probably end up being what is termed ‘descriptive’ rather than analytic. That is you would mainly be outlining what has gone on but the analysis would be limited. The Information Pack warns against producing data and not doing much with it, as it is the evaluation of the data and its objective analysis that is the crux of the Research and Analysis Project.August 17, 2018 at 2:54 pm
i had already decided on T14 before coming across this forum.i understood the topic as (1)an appraisal of the overall business objectives and impact on key stakeholders. (2)an appraisal of the financial objectives of a strategic investment decision and impact on stakeholders.
After my first meeting with my mentor, she mentioned both the business and financial objectives should relate to the investment decision?
kindly help me understand the topic, im stuck on setting my research objectives and what type of data to collect.
Please Advise me on what is expected on this topic.August 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm
GillianM – OBU Registered MentorModerator
First there is an existing forum thread for Topic 14 (admittedly as this topic is only an ‘occasional’ choice of students it is probably buried somewhere on about page 5 or 6 of the list of topics) – so we encourage students to use the Search facility to find the relevant thread for posts as it makes it easier for everyone if we keep all relevant posts together (so this and your query will be moved there in a few days)
I think you should read some of the comments on that thread (Topic 14 approach) since, as a former marker and now a mentor myself I am always concerned about the amount of original analysis students contemplate doing when approaching this topic and some other topics. I have unfortunately in my time seen and probably sadly myself had to fail work that has lacked on ORIGINAL analysis, as all it did was describe what went on rather than evaluate the effects of the strategic decision and its subsequent implications for stakeholders. This really is the key to passing.
The title for Topic 14 is ‘An appraisal of the business and financial objectives of a strategic investment decision made by an organisation and its impact on key stakeholders.’ Very few companies would make a major strategic investment decision without scrutinising how this related to and fitted in with their SWOT and PESTLE factors (although Marconi disastrously did so once back in 2001 under the auspices of a ‘kamakaze’ CEO which directly caused the demise of the company !).
As far as stakeholders are concerned shareholders would be keen to know about the quantitative risks and the basis on which the investment has been made and how that is likely to affect their returns over the coming years and the financial security/standing of the company. So the financial aspect is of critical importance to them and employees might be affected by more automation if the decision involved use of robots and automated processes. Your analysis therefore needs to invoke both elements – business and financial aspects throughout.
As a footnote though probably one of the best RAPs in my 14 years of marking I ever had the pleasure to read (yes it actually, rather unusually, was a pleasure to mark!) was a Topic 14 (needless to say it got a grade A and my nomination for the prize for that session) so don’t be put off attempting Topic 14 just be aware of what you must do to achieve the assessment criteria.August 18, 2018 at 10:47 am
Thank you so much for the response. so so helpful! its given me good direction.
Kind regards!May 24, 2019 at 2:34 pm
@trephena For topic 14, even if my focus of strategic investment is on a certain large scale machine, is it okay if I talk about other machines in the company as well(they are of medium scale and add value to the company and helps acheive company objectives)?
OR should my sole focus be on only that large scale machine and its impact on business and financial objectives?May 29, 2019 at 7:35 pm
Yes you could probably bring in the other machines if they are more or less part of the same strategy. The important thing is to evaluate how much they and the large scale machine have contributed to the company’s objectives and if possible supply the evidence in the form of financial analysis (and any other possible benefits e.g. improved quality, faster lead times etc)August 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm
Thank you. Can I refer to myself in the report as “this researcher” ?
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