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Study Zone


Your guide to the revised CTA exam

The CTA qualification is getting a major overhaul – and it is looking good

AAT rolls up its sleeves

AAT has been working hard over the summer to ensure it gets its assessment system ‘spot on’, according to Andrew Williamson, director of marketing and brands strategy. Talking exclusively to PQ magazine, Williamson stressed that, to this end, the AAT has undertaken more and more testing with training providers.

Let’s get technical: the Management Accounting Decision and Control assessment

Nick Craggs walks you through the first Management Accounting Decision and Control assessment

How to give great financial presentations

Peter Simons has some advice on an activity that scares many of you witless – giving a presentation to your firm’s top brass

Time to end ‘illogical’ intangible asset rules

The disclosure of intangible assets remains disappointingly low, with $35trn (or almost three-quarters) of global intangible value not reflected in 2016 balance sheets, says Brand Finance.

Dealing with a corporate trading loss

Victoria Cavell explains how companies can use trading losses to their advantage

Are you ready for GDPR?

Brian Palmer explains significant changes to the data protection laws that will come into effect in 2018 and will impact on your firm

Why it’s important that you test yourself

Gareth John explains why it’s vital you routinely test your yourself on your syllabus knowledge. How else can you guage your progress?

Planning for success

Experienced senior tutor Nitin Rabheru offers some tips on passing the AAT Level 4 Business Tax Exam

Drones are coming to an audit near you

Wave goodbye to your calculator, the accountant’s new best friend could be their pet drone!

IASB’s IAS 12 clarification

The International Accounting Standards Board has issued IFRIC 23 Uncertainty over Income Tax Treatments, to specify how to reflect uncertainty in accounting for incomes taxes. The board explained that it may be unclear how tax law applies to a particular transaction or circumstance, or whether a taxation authority will accept a company’s tax treatment.

AAT Level 4: Tax or not?

Experienced tutor Aidan Elliss offers some tips on choosing your AAT Level 4 tax options

AAT sitters’ hopes are going down the tubes

AAT has apologised for the technical issues that caused difficulties in completing certain tasks during the Level 3 Advanced Diploma synoptic windows. It admitted that it has received a number of incident reports and is now investigating the issues urgently to make sure they are addressed for the subsequent synoptic windows.

Standard overhaul 20 years in the making

The International Accounting Standards Board has now issued its overhauled IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts.

Back of the net!

We spoke to the AAT’s new Apprentice of the Year Rebecca Fay about her prize-winning night, her career so far and her goals (sorry, excuse the pun!)

Let’s get technical: spreadsheets

Nick Craggs just loves spreadsheets – and here he explains how you should use them to pass your exam

AAT admits ‘we got it wrong’ over MDCL

"The bottom line is we got it wrong with MDCL,” said AAT director of education Suzie Webb. She told a packed AAT Training Provider Conference that there was no pretty way to say it and she said she was “very sorry” for the problems tutors and students had had with the assessment.

AAT ‘uplifting’ MDCL marks after protests

AAT needs to provide more assurances about the marking process following the problems with the Management Accounting: Decision & Control (MDCL) assessment, say leading tutors.

Can cheats prosper?

Accountancy bodies have no plans to beef up their exam invigilation following reports of a surge in hi-tech cheating at universities.

Don’t go to pieces over leases

Claire Oglesby explains all you need to know about leases in the form of some top tips

Colour me VAT

HMRC sets out the VAT treatment for colouring and dot-to-dot books – is it simply child’s play?

Check in at Boots for a VAT refund

Who should pocket airport VAT refunds? Graham Hambly asks the question

Let’s get synoptic

Nick Craggs explains how the new synoptic exams work, and advises you on how best to tackle them

National insurance and the level playing field

John Colville outlines how NI works and why some consider it controversial

FRC wants the right to sanction all directors

The UK’s biggest public companies have been put on notice – the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) wants to be able to take disciplinary action against all individuals for breaching financial reporting rules.

ACCA CBEs: Be a session player

Judith Bennett explores the practical ways that you can tackle ACCA’s F5–F9 exams

Let's get technical: reclaiming VAT

Nick Craggs talks you through the complex business of reclaiming VAT

A Quick Look at... the nominal ledger

Today, the role of IT and the internet are wide ranging in industry, government and society.

IFRS: a model answer

Martin Jones sets a question on equity and debt – and provides a specimen answer

Get to the core

Kaplan’s AAT team explains what synoptic tests are and how to tackle them

Exam preparation: 24 hours to go

Stuart Pedley-Smith outlines what you should be doing with your time on the final day before that big exam

Let's get technical: ratio analysis

Nick Craggs examines how ratio analysis works in relation to limited company accounts

A quick look at… Treatment of payments for corportion tax purposes

A company may make different payments, but are you clear as to how each is treated for corporation tax purposes?

Rising to the challenge

Accountants working in the public sector face a unique set of challenges. So how are they dealing with them?

Don’t get too close

EY has agreed to pay a whopping $9.3m to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that two of its audit partners “got too close to their clients on a personal level and violated rules that ensure firms maintain their objectivity and impartiality during audits”.

AQ2016: what’s changed?

Crystal Haygreen and Nick Craggs outline the major changes to the AAT qualification brought about by the introduction of the new AQ2016 syllabus

A quick look at… Ebrahimi v Westbourne Galleries Ltd. [1973] AC 360

This case remains the leading authority on the provision currently found in s122(1) (g) of the Insolvency Act 1986, which provides that a petition to wind up a company can be granted if it is “just and equitable” to wind up the company.

Let's get technical: goodwill hunting

Nick Craggs explains the concept of goodwill, and how to account for it

Sustainability and the UNGC: it’s the real thing

Keeping the planet clean for our children is laudable, but regulation could get in the way, says Martin Jones

The Premier league

PQ visits the team that was recently named AAT’s Distance Learning Provider of the Year

Intangible assets: change is needed

It’s time for a revolution in the reporting of intangible assets, says David Haigh

AAT unveils CBA results

Introduction to Payroll Skills is the hardest AAT assessment to pass, according to the latest success rates (see page 22). The Level 2 paper had a pass rate of just 43.4% for the year ending 31 December 2015. The next lowest pass rate at Level 2 is Computerised Payroll Skills with a pass rate of 77.1%.

A quick look at… IFRS 11 – Joint Arrangements

Accounting for joint arrangements is an example of a topic where the accounting standard (IFRS 11) is relatively straightforward to apply.

Variances and the life of Brian

Neil Arnott explains how you can tackle exam questions on fixed overhead variances

A quick look at… accounting for value – defining value

Most people will know something about Value Based Management (VBM). It is a management philosophy that, basically, focuses on the creation of value rather than just profits.

Let’s get technical: ethics

It’s vital you identify the different questions in the ethics papers, says Nick Craggs

Turning PQs into writers

Christine Littler gives tutors some strategies to help their students cope with the increased written content of the AAT qualification

Passing the PTAX assessment

There is a real problem with the Personal Tax (PTAX) unit at Level 4.

So who won this year’s AAT awards?

Johnny Javier Morales Solozano, an apprentice at the Training Place of Excellence, walked off with the Apprentice of the Year Award at this year’s AAT awards.

Let's get technical: managing the economy

Gareth John explains the devices governments can use to help manage the economy

AAT creating a host of e-learning support

The AAT has beefed up its learning support offering for its PQs, ready for the introduction of AQ2016.

Classic way to succeed

One way of beating those stress blues while you are revising is to play a little bit of classical music.

IASB amends IFRS 15 revenue standard

The International accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued amendments to IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, to help clarify some requirements and provide more transitional relief.

Ethics: lessons of the Panama Papers

Accountants need to remember to take an ethical approach, says Neil Arnott

Let’s get technical: forecasting cashflows

Gareth John serves up some mouth-watering advice on forecasting cashflows

AAT clarifies rules on new resit limit

The AAT unveiled the final version of its new-look AQ2016 at the Training Providers’ conference in Birmingham recently. And there is generally good news, although there is one small sting in the tail.

The generation game

Kathy Moore (mum) and Jemma (daughter) are both studying AAT at HTFT. How does this play out at home?

Style + effort = substance

How do you exploit your learning style to your best advantage? James Taylor explains all

Let's get technical: basis periods

Nick Craggs explains all about basis periods – your gooner love his analysis (sorry!)

Money laundering: how to spot a client who is breaking bad

Neil Arnott explains the responsibilities accountants all have under the Money Laundering Regulations – wide-ranging legislation that you ignore at your peril

Internal audit: keeping a watchful eye

Philip Dunn outlines the role of the internal audit function in ensuring good governance is maintained

Ethics: beware Greeks bearing gifts

Tread carefully when it comes to accepting hospitality from clients – one day they might want something in return, says Neil Arnott

Let's get technical: costing terminology

Gareth John explains the costing terminology you need to understand if you going to get that all-important pass

SIG: AAT students are go!

The AAT Distance Learning Group on Facebook has changed its name to the AAT Students Independent Group and has big plans ahead for 2016

A quick look at... rollover relief

Rollover relief is an important relief available to both companies and sole traders, but there are some twists to watch out for.

AAT assessment results: the lowdown

The AAT has admitted that compared with other Level 3 assessments the 60.7% success rate of ACPR/API is ‘relatively low’ (except CMGT).

Let's get technical: maths skills

It sounds obvious, but your maths skills could let you down if they are not up to scratch, says leading tutor Gareth John

Let's get technical: chattels and capital gains tax

Nick Craggs explains what a chattel is and how to calculate capital gains tax on the sale of chattels


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