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ACCA December exam tips for P1 to P7

16 November 2017

December 2017 exam tips - the P papers...

• The idea of section A’s one 50-marker is to test all three main syllabus areas.
• This question is typically broken down into four written requirements.
• There are 4 professional marks available here too.
• You are advised to still use the notional 15 minutes to plan the big 50-marker question above all others!
• Read the examiner’s articles. Recent exams have tested his features on corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and strategic CSR.
• Expect to see the use of stakeholder, ethical and other CSR theories applied to scenarios, as well as the use of risk, control & governance syllabus content, especially relating to board directors, remuneration and reporting.
• Bribery and corruption, environmental risk or poor ethical stance could feature here too.

Section A
• Preparation statement of financial position.
• A group statement of profit of loss and other comprehensive income, which may include a foreign subsidiary, discounted activities, disposals and/or acquisitions.
• Expect some accounting complications, such as financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment & impairments.
• There will be discursive requirements on a linked accounting adjustment and social/ethical/moral aspects of corporate reporting.
• A multi-part question covering a range of topics or a theme such as fair value measurement, deferred tax, foreign currency transactions, financial instruments, pensions, share-based payments, non-current assets, borrowing costs, the effect of accounting treatments on earnings per share or ratios.
• Industry-based question testing a range of standards, such as accounting policies and the framework, leases, grants, IFRS for SMEs, reorganisations, provisions, events after the reporting period and related parties.
• A discussion question looking at current issues in corporate reporting and problems with existing standards. Look at capital reporting, revision of the conceptual framework, classification in P&L vs OCI, improvements to disclosure, regulatory issues over adoption and consistent application of IFRSs, implementation issues, application of the definition of control and significant influence, improvements in performance measurement, integrated reporting, revenue recognition and leasing (phew that’s a lot).
• Expect elements of group accounting, especially if Q1 is a statement of cash flow question.

• Project appraisal (domestic & overseas).
• Business valuations.
• Both of these areas are likely to include cost of capital calculations.
• Risk management – as an aspect here, eg value at risk, real options, hedging and risk mapping.

• Risk management (currency or interest rate).
• Business re-organisation.
• Real options.
• Ethical & general financing issues (dividend policy).

• Data analysis using KPIs and EVA.
• You need to have mastered transfer pricing ratios, analysis of quality related costs and ABC.
• Performance management frameworks (building block, performance pyramid or balanced scorecard).

• Quality management
• Information reporting (eg CE+SFs and KPIs).
• Application of strategic models (PEST, Porter’s 5 forced, the value chain).
• HR frameowkrs ( reward & approasial systems).
• Risk management and environmental management accounting.

• Groups of companies involving overseas aspects and losses.
• Unincorporated business particularly loss relief or involving a partnership, basis period rules should also be expected.
• Capital gains tax versus inheritance tax, including availability of reliefs.
• Overseas aspects of income tax, CGT, IHT or corporation tax.
• Personal service company.
• Share schemes.
• Company purchase of own shares.
• Enterprise investment schemes/seed EIS/venture trusts.
• Takeover.
• VAT-partial exemption or land & buildings or transfer of a going concern or overseas transactions.
• Transfer of trade versus sale of subsidiary.
• Disincorporation relief.
• Pension contributions.
• Patent box, research and development expenditure.

Section A
• Planning, risk assessment, evidence gathering & practice management issues using a scenario where audit client details are presented.
• A non-audit engagement such as prospective financial information or due diligence, or an audit completion or consolidated groups.

Section B
• Audit evidence and financial reporting issues.
• Practice management, ethics and quality control and reporting, including completion and communication.

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