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ACCA March exam tips

03 March 2017


BPP tips

• Planning & operational variances.
• Mix& yield variances
• Evaluation of the company performance (either as a whole, or on a divisional basis).

Section A
• Administration of income.
• Corporation tax
• Due dates for income tax, payments on account.
• Due dates for corporation tax, installments for large companies.
• Filing dates – income & corporation tax.
• Penalties & interest for late payments & returns.
• VAT rules on registration, impairment loss (bad debt) relief, and gains.
• Trading loss reliefs for both companies and sole traders.
Section B & C
• The two longest questions will focus on income & corporation tax, and will include (likely):
- Employment benefits.
- Property income.
- Relief for pension contributions.
- Adjustments to profit.
- Capital allowance computations.
• 10 marker questions on VAT, IHT or CGT.

Section A
• Expect a few questions on consolidation and interpretation of financial statements.
• Inflation.
• Specialist entities.
Section B
• Two 20 mark questions, one covering interpretations and the other preparation of financial statements.
• Context of a single company – interpretation & preparation, a significant change in year.
• Context of a group – interpretation & preparation, a significant change in year.
• Accounts prep.
• Statement of changes in equity.
• Statement of cash flows extract.
• Earnings per share calculations.
• Consolidation – one subsidiary and often an associate, with adjustments. Could be fair values, deferred/contingent consideration, PUP on inventories/PPE, intergroup trading and balances, or goods/cash in transit.
• Single entity – trail balance or restatement, with adjustments for depreciation, revaluation and current/deferred tax. Plus a mixture of leases, substance over form issues, financial instruments, share issues, government grants, inventory valuation, revenue recognition or construction contracts.

• Audit planning.
• Audit risk – identify and explain audit risks and the auditor’s response to each.
• Internal audit.
• Internal controls – deficiencies and recommendations, or description of tests of controls.
• Audit procedures – substantive procedures and tests of control.

Section A
• Ratio analysis.
• The concept of shareholder wealth.
• Financial intermediation.
• Fiscal and monetary policy.
• The efficient market hypothesis.
Section B
• Working capital management – operating cycle, impact of a change in credit period or accepting a factor’s offer.
• Business or security valuations – methods of valuation.
• Financial risk management – currency risk, or aspects of interest rate risk.
Section C
• Working capital management.
Section D
• Investment appraisal – NPV with inflation and tax.
Section E
• Business finance – evaluation of financing options (interest coverage and gearing ratios).
• Cost of capital calculation.

First Intuition tips
• 50 mark scenario question, to include: ethics, governance and risk management.
• AAA model on ethical issues.
• Integrated reporting.
• Optional questions to include: evaluation of risks and their mitigation, board structures, the role of the professional and corporate ethics.

• Q1: Group question on disposals or step acquisitions.
• Ethics.

• Revenue recognition.

• Provisions.
• Deferred tax

• Share based payments.
• Pensions.

• Three strategic lenses.
• Industry lifecycle.
• Pricing strategy.
• Value chain.
• Critical success factors.
• Organigram.
• Globalisation.
• Strategic clock.
Porter’s generic strategie.
• Change kaleidoscope.
• Harmon’s process strategy mix.
• 6 I’s.

• Business case.

• Leadership .

• International investment appraisal techniques focusing on risk management tools such as value at risk.
• Option valuation.
• Capital Structure.
• Traditional debt finance & Islamic finance – Sukuk Bonds.
• Financing strategy business valuation.

• Critique an existing performance management system and the performance hierarchy.
• Quality as a critical success factor.
• Benchmarking.
• Effective use of information systems.
• Reward systems linked to performance measures.
• Performance model (balanced scorecard, building block model or performance pyramid).
• Economic value added.


• Cessation of trade (unincorporated) – basis periods and loss relief.
• Remittance basis.
• Consortia.
• Patent box.
• Transfer pricing and thin capitalization.
• VAT – option to tax and partial exemption.
• EIS, SEIS and VCTs.

• Business or audit risks in a scenario.
• Identifying ethical and other professional issues in a scenario.
Matters to be considered and audit evidence for a couple of core accounting issues.
• Forensic auditing.
• Insolvency issues (UK Stream).
• Discussion on current issues.

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