The accountant in business

Syllabus rationale

This is a narrative explaining how the syllabus is structured and how the main capabilities are linked. The rationale also explains in further detail what the This syllabus and study guide is designed to help with planning study and to provide detailed Detailed syllabus
information on what could be assessed in This shows the breakdown of the main capabilities (sections) of the syllabus into subject areas. This is THE STRUCTURE OF THE SYLLABUS AND
the blueprint for the detailed study guide. STUDY GUIDE
Approach to examining the syllabus
Relational diagram of paper with other papers
This section briefly explains the structure of the This diagram shows direct and indirect links between this paper and other papers preceding or following it. Some papers are directly underpinned Study Guide
by other papers such as Advanced Performance Management by Performance Management. These This is the main document that students, tuition links are shown as solid line arrows. Other papers providers and publishers should use as the basis of only have indirect relationships with each other their studies, instruction and materials. such as links existing between the accounting and Examinations will be based on the detail of the auditing papers. The links between these are shown study guide which comprehensively identifies what as dotted line arrows. This diagram indicates where could be assessed in any examination session. you are expected to have underpinning knowledge The study guide is a precise reflection and and where it would be useful to review previous breakdown of the syllabus. It is divided into sections based on the main capabilities identified in the syllabus. These sections are divided into subject Overall aim of the syllabus
areas which relate to the sub-capabilities included in the detailed syllabus. Subject areas are broken This explains briefly the overall objective of the down into sub-headings which describe the detailed paper and indicates in the broadest sense the outcomes that could be assessed in examinations. capabilities to be developed within the paper. These outcomes are described using verbs indicating what exams may require students to Main capabilities
demonstrate, and the broad intellectual level at This paper’s aim is broken down into several main capabilities which divide the syllabus and study Learning Materials
Relational diagram of the main capabilities
ACCA's Approved Learning Partner - content (ALP- c) is the programme through which ACCA approves This diagram illustrates the flows and links between learning materials from high quality content the main capabilities (sections) of the syllabus and providers designed to support study towards ACCA’s should be used as an aid to planning teaching and ACCA has one Platinum Approved Learning Partner content which is BPP Learning Media. In addition, there are a number of Gold Approved Learning capabilities. It is also possible that occasionally Approved Learning Partners - content, please go some higher level capabilities may be assessed at The Directory also lists materials by Subscribers, LEARNING HOURS
these materials have not been quality assured by ACCA but may be helpful if used in conjunction with The ACCA qualification does not prescribe or approved learning materials. You will also recommend any particular number of learning hours find details of Examiner suggested Additional for examinations because study and learning Reading which may be a useful supplement to patterns and styles vary greatly between people and organisations. This also recognises the wide diversity of personal, professional and educational ACCA's Content Provider Directory can be found circumstances in which ACCA students find Each syllabus contains between 23 and 35 main subject area headings depending on the nature of Relevant articles will also be published in Student the subject and how these areas have been broken INTELLECTUAL LEVELS
The syllabus is designed to progressively broaden The structure of examinations varies within and and deepen the knowledge, skills and professional values demonstrated by the student on their way The Fundamentals level examinations contain The specific capabilities within the detailed candidates to study across the breadth of each syllabuses and study guides are assessed at one of The Knowledge module is assessed by equivalent The Skills module examinations are all paper based Very broadly, these intellectual levels relate to the three-hour papers. The structure of papers varies three cognitive levels at which the Knowledge from ten questions in the Corporate and Business module, the Skills module and the Professional level Law (F4) paper to four 25 mark questions in Financial Management (F9). Individual questions within all Skills module papers will attract between Each subject area in the detailed study guide included in this document is given a 1, 2, or 3 superscript, denoting intellectual level, marked at The Professional level papers are all three-hour the end of each relevant line. This gives an paper based examinations, all containing two indication of the intellectual depth at which an area sections. Section A is compulsory, but there will be could be assessed within the examination. However, while level 1 broadly equates with the Knowledge module, level 2 equates to the Skills module and For all three hour examination papers, ACCA has level 3 to the Professional level, some lower level introduced 15 minutes reading and planning time. skills can continue to be assessed as the student progresses through each module and level. This This additional time is allowed at the beginning of reflects that at each stage of study there will be a each three-hour examination to allow candidates to requirement to broaden, as well as deepen read the questions and to begin planning their answers before they start writing in their answer The term effective relates to when regulation or books. This time should be used to ensure that all legislation must be applied to an entity transactions the information and exam requirements are properly The study guide offers more detailed guidance on During reading and planning time candidates may the depth and level at which the examinable only annotate their question paper. They may not documents will be examined. The study guide write anything in their answer booklets until told to should therefore be read in conjunction with the
The Essentials module papers all have a Section A
containing a major case study question with all
requirements totalling 50 marks relating to this
case. Section B gives students a choice of two from
three 25 mark questions.
Section A of each of the Options papers contains
50-70 compulsory marks from two questions, each
attracting between 25 and 40 marks. Section B will
offer a choice of two from three questions totalling
30-50 marks, with each question attracting
between 15 and 25 marks.
The pass mark for all ACCA Qualification
examination papers is 50%.


ACCA reserves the right to examine anything
contained within the study guide at any examination
session. This includes knowledge, techniques,
principles, theories, and concepts as specified.
For the financial accounting, audit and assurance,
law and tax papers except where indicated
otherwise, ACCA will publish examinable
once a year to indicate exactly
what regulations and legislation could potentially be
assessed within identified examination sessions.
For paper based examinations regulation issued or
legislation passed on or before 30th September
annually, will be assessed from June 1st of the
following year to May 31st of the year after.
Please refer to the examinable documents for the
paper (where relevant) for further information.
Regulation issued or legislation passed in
accordance with the above dates may be
examinable even if the effective date is in the
The term issued or passed relates to when
regulation or legislation has been formally approved.

On successful completion of this paper, candidates On successful completion of this paper, candidates Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance B Assess and identify relevant macro economic,
fiscal and market factors and key external influences on organisational performance Identify and evaluate the design features of effective performance management information To apply relevant knowledge, skills and exercise D Apply appropriate strategic performance
professional judgement in selecting and applying measurement techniques in evaluating and strategic management accounting techniques in different business contexts and to contribute to the evaluation of the performance of an organisation strategic business performance evaluation and on recognising vulnerability to corporate failure F Identify and assess the impact of current
developments in management accounting and RELATIONAL DIAGRAM OF MAIN CAPABILITIES
Strategic planning and control (A)
Economic, fiscal, market and environmental factors (B)
systems and design (C)
Performance evaluation and corporate failure RATIONALE
The Advanced Performance Management syllabus A. Strategic planning and control
further develops key aspects introduced in Paper F5, Performance Management, at the skills level and draws on aspects of the material covered from a more strategic and operational planning perspective 2. Performance management and control of the The syllabus introduces candidates to the strategic role of management accounting as a discipline for planning and controlling performance so that strategic objectives can be set, monitored and controlled. It also covers the impact of external factors on strategic management issues, such as 4. Effect of Information Technology (IT) on macro economic, fiscal, market and environmental impacts on performance. From appreciating the strategic context of performance management and 5. Other environmental and ethical issues the impact of wider factors, the syllabus examines, at an operational level, the issues relating to B. External
influences on organisational
performance measurement systems and their performance
The syllabus then moves from performance management systems and their design to the scope 2. Impact of external factors on strategy and and application of high-level performance measurement techniques in a variety of contexts, including not-for-profit organisations and multi- C. Performance measurement systems and
national businesses. Having covered the strategic operational systems for the measurement and 1. Performance management information systems control of performance in a variety of contexts, candidates are then expected to synthesise this knowledge in the role of an advisor to senior management or independent clients on how to assess and control the performance of an entity, including the recognition of whether a business is facing difficulties or possibly failure. D. Strategic
Finally, the syllabus deals with current developments in performance management and with emerging issues as they might affect or influence the management of performance within 2. Strategic performance measures in private 3. Divisional performance and transfer pricing 4. Strategic performance measures in not-for- 6. The role of quality in management information APPROACH TO EXAMINING THE SYLLABUS
Paper P5 builds on paper F5, Performance 7. Performance measurement and strategic Management, and candidates are expected to have a thorough understanding of the paper F5 syllabus. In addition, candidates will also be required to apply 8. Performance measurement and the reward the principles and techniques covered in paper F2, 9. Other behavioural aspects of performance Paper P5 has a link with Paper P3, Business Analysis, in the areas of strategic planning and E. Performance
evaluation and corporate failure
1. Alternative views of performance measurement EXAMINATION STRUCTURE
2. Strategic performance issues in complex The examination will be a three hour paper in two 3. Predicting and preventing corporate failure F. Current developments and emerging issues
Section A will comprise two compulsory questions performance management
comprising between 50 and 70 marks in total. Each question will comprise of between 25 and 40 marks 2. Current issues and trends in performance In section B candidates will be asked to answer two from three questions comprising of between 15 and Total 100 marks
3. Changes in business structure and

a) Identify and discuss the particular information needs of organisations adopting a functional, 1. Introduction to strategic management
divisional or network form and the implications accounting
a) Explain the role of strategic performance b) Assess the influence of Business Process Re- management in strategic planning and control. improvements in organisational performance. [3] b) Discuss the role of corporate planning in c) Discuss the concept of business integration and clarifying corporate objectives, making strategic decisions and checking progress towards the d) Analyse the role that performance management c) Compare planning and control between the systems play in business integration using strategic and operational levels within a d) Assess the use of strategic management e) Identify and discuss the required changes in accounting in the context of multinational consequence of empowering staff to manage e) Discuss the scope for potential conflict between strategic business plans and short- 4. Effect of Information Technology (IT) on
strategic management accounting
f) Evaluate how SWOT analysis may assist in the a) Assess the changing accounting needs of 2. Performance management and control of the
opportunity for instant access to management organisation
accounting data throughout the organisation a) Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative budgeting models and compare such techniques as fixed and flexible, rolling, c) Assess how IT systems facilitate the remote activity based, zero based and incremental. [3] input of management accounting data in an acceptable format by non-finance specialists. [2] b) Assess how budgeting may differ in not-for- profit organisations from profit-seeking d) Explain how information systems provide instant access to previously unavailable data that can be used for benchmarking and control c) Evaluate the impact to an organisation of a performance (for example, through the use of enterprise resource planning systems and data e) Assess the need for businesses to continually b) Assess the impact of governmental regulations accounting and information systems if they are techniques used and the performance levels to maintain or improve their performance in an achieved (for example, in the case of utility increasingly competitive and global market. [3] services and former state monopolies). [3] 5. Other environmental and ethical issues
a) Discuss the ways in which stakeholder groups operate and how they effect an organisation 1. Performance management information
requirements and describe the different types b) Discuss the ethical issues that may impact on of information systems used for strategic planning, management control and operational c) Discuss the ways in which stakeholder groups b) Discuss, with reference to performance management, ways in which the information requirements of a management structure are B EXTERNAL INFLUENCES ON
affected by the features of the structure. [2] ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE
c) Evaluate the compatibility of the objectives of 1. Changing business environment
a) Assess the continuing effectiveness of traditional management accounting techniques d) Discuss the integration of management accounting information within an overall information system, for example the use of enterprise resource planning systems. [2] b) Assess the impact of the different risk appetites of stakeholders on performance management [3] Evaluate whether the management information c) Evaluate how risk and uncertainty play an systems are lean and value of the information important role in long term strategic planning and decision-making that relies upon forecasts f) Define and discuss the merits of, and potential problems with, open and closed systems with d) Apply different risk analysis techniques in g) Highlight the ways in which contingent (internal and external) factors influence 2. Impact of external factors on strategy and
management accounting and its design and performance
a) Discuss the need to consider the environment h) Evaluate how anticipated human behaviour will in which an organisation is operating when assessing its performance using models such as PEST and Porter’s 5 forces, including Assess the impact of responsibility accounting 2. Sources of management information
c) Evaluate the output reports of an information system in the light of best practice and a) Identify and discuss the principal internal and external sources of management accounting D STRATEGIC PERFORMANCE
b) Demonstrate how these principal sources of MEASUREMENT
management information might be used for 1. Performance hierarchy
c) Identify and discuss the direct data capture a) Discuss how the purpose, structure and and process costs of management accounting content of a mission statement impacts on b) Discuss the ways in which high-level corporate d) Identify and discuss the indirect costs of performance objectives are developed. [2] c) Identify strategic objectives and discuss how e) Discuss the limitations of using externally they may be incorporated into the business f) Demonstrate how the information might be d) Discuss how strategic objectives are cascaded used in planning and controlling activities e.g. down the organisation via the formulation of benchmarking against similar activities. [2] g) Discuss those factors that need to be e) Discuss social and ethical obligations that considered when determining the capacity and 3. Recording and processing methods
Explain the performance ‘planning gap’ and evaluate alternative strategies to fill that gap.[3] a) Demonstrate how the type of business entity will influence the recording and processing developing performance metrics from business b) Discuss how IT developments e.g. unified h) Identify and discuss the characteristics of Discuss the relative significance of planning as c) Discuss the difficulties associated with against controlling activities at different levels recording and processing data of a qualitative 2. Strategic performance measures in private
4. Management reports
a) Discuss the principal controls required in a) Demonstrate why the primary objective of financial performance should be primarily concerned with the benefits to shareholders. [2] b) Discuss the procedures that may be necessary b) Justify the crucial objectives of survival and to ensure security of highly confidential c) Discuss the appropriateness of, and apply e) Explain and demonstrate issues that require consideration when setting transfer prices in 4. Strategic performance measures in not-for-
profit organisations
a) Highlight and discuss the potential for diversity in objectives depending on organisation type. [3] vii) Internal rate of return and modified b) Discuss the need to achieve objectives with limited funds that may not be controllable. [2] d) Discuss why indicators of liquidity and gearing performance may be judged in not-for profit d) Discuss the difficulties in measuring outputs e) Compare and contrast short and long run when performance is not judged in terms of money or an easily quantifiable objective. [2] e) Discuss how the combination of politics and f) Explore the traditional relationship between profits and share value with the long-term performance may result in undesirable service profit expectations of the stock market and recent financial performance of new technology Assess ‘value for money’ service provision as a measure of performance in not-for-profit g) Assess the relative financial performance of the organisations and the public sector. [3] 5. Non-financial performance indicators
3. Divisional performance and transfer pricing
a) Discuss the interaction of non-financial a) Describe, compute and evaluate performance b) Discuss the implications of the growing organisation structure including ROI, RI and b) Discuss the need for separate measures in c) Discuss the significance of non-financial c) Discuss the circumstances in which a transfer d) Identify and discuss the significance of non- pricing policy may be needed and discuss the financial performance indicators in relation to satisfaction reports, repeat business ratings, customer loyalty, access and availability. [3] alternative bases for transfer pricing. [3] e) Discuss the difficulties in interpreting data on f) Discuss the significance of brand awareness and company profile and their potential impact 8. Performance measurement and the reward
6. The role of quality in management information
a) Explore the meaning and scope of reward and performance measurement systems
a) Discuss and evaluate the application of b) Discuss and evaluate different methods of Japanese business practices and management c) Explore the principles and difficulty of aligning management to quality initiatives, process re- b) Discriminate between quality, quality e) Assess the potential beneficial and adverse c) Assess the relationship of quality management consequences of linking reward schemes to to the performance management strategy of an can affect the risk appetite of employees. [3] d) Advise on the structure and benefits of quality Other behaviour aspects of performance
a) Discuss the accountability issues that might d) Justify the need and assess the characteristics b) Evaluate the ways in which performance e) Discuss and apply Six Sigma as a quality signals and result in undesirable business 7. Performance measurement and strategic
c) Demonstrate how management style needs to Human Resource Management issues
be considered when designing an effective a) Explain how the effective recruitment, E PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND
necessary for enabling strategic and operational CORPORATE FAILURE
1. Alternative views of performance
b) Discuss the judgemental and developmental measurement and management
roles of assessment and appraisal and their role in improving business performance. [3] a) Evaluate the ‘balanced scorecard’ approach as c) Advise on the relationship of performance linkage between performance measures. [3] b) Evaluate the ‘performance pyramid’ as a way in implications of performance measurement to quality initiatives and process redesign. [3] c) Evaluate the work of Fitzgerald and Moon that F. CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS AND
business services using building blocks for MANAGEMENT
1. Current developments in management
d) Discuss and apply the Performance Prism. [2] accounting techniques
e) Discuss and evaluate the application of a) Discuss the ways through which management accounting practitioners are made aware of 2. Strategic performance issues in complex
lifecycle costing, input/output analysis and business structures
a) Evaluate the use and the application of c) Discuss the use of benchmarking in public strategic models in assessing the business sector performance (league tables) and its performance of an entity, such as Ansoff, b) Discuss the problems encountered in planning, d) Discuss the issues surrounding the use of controlling and measuring performance levels, targets in public sector organisations. [3] e.g. productivity, profitability, quality and 2. Current issues and trends in performance
a) Assess the changing role of the management accountant in today’s business environment as management of the use of business models involving strategic alliances, joint ventures and b) Discuss contemporary issues in performance 3. Predicting and preventing corporate failure
c) Discuss how changing organisation’s structure, culture and strategy will influence the adoption a) Assess the potential likelihood of corporate of new performance measurement methods and failure, utilising quantitative and qualitative b) Assess and critique quantitative and qualitative corporate failure prediction models. [3] c) Identify and discuss performance improvement strategies that may be adopted in order to d) Discuss how long-term survival necessitates e) Identify and discuss operational changes to performance management systems required to SUMMARY OF CHANGES TO P5
ACCA periodically reviews its qualification syllabuses so that they fully meet the needs of The main areas that have been clarified in the stakeholders such as employers, students, syllabus (all were implicitly included previously) are regulatory and advisory bodies and learning Table 1 – Amendments to P5

Section and subject area

Syllabus content
A3d) Changes in business structure and management Analyse the role that performance management systems play in business integration using models such as the value chain and McKinsey’s 7S’s [3] B1b and B1d) Changing business environment b) Assess the impact of different risk appetites of stakeholders on performance management d) Apply different risk analysis techniques in Inclusion of models/methods in A4d, A5a, B2a, C2b,D2c, F1b and D6e. Changes in level descriptors in A3c, C1h and C1i, D2h is moved to D6 .
There are no addition to and deletions from the syllabus


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