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ACCA exam tips - September

14 August 2017


LSBF says...

* Sections A and B: Costing methods (ABC, throughput & lifecycle) and decision making (relevant costing, linear programming and uncertainty).
* Section C: Transfer pricing, budgeting and advanced variances.

* Income tax: Looking at a sole trader or partnership business and calculating the tax adjusted profit. Calculating the income tax liability, with the savings income and dividend income nil rate bands being examined.
* Corporation tax: Looking at a company with a long period of account, requiring two corporation tax computations. Corporation tax implications of companies belonging to a 75% loss group
* Chargeable gains: Calculating gains made by an individual on disposals of residential property versus disposals of non-residential assets
* Inheritance tax: Calculating IHT on lifetime gifts made within 7 years, with taper relief, and looking at advantages of lifetime gifts over death gifts
* VAT: Calculation of VAT payable, overseas aspects of VAT and VAT groups
* Watch out for some sort of tax planning question, for example, how profits from a company should be extracted or looking at the tax planning opportunities available to married couples.

* For the 60 marks of MCQs in section A & B, the entire syllabus must be covered, including the more obscure standards (recent questions have covered R&D, government grants, borrowing costs, investment properties, etc). Also important are depreciation and revaluation, deferred tax, associates, effect of company payment policies, etc on working capital ratios. Watch out also for objective test questions, ie where no alternative answers are given to guide you, usually in numerical questions.
* For Section C: Ratios & interpretation, including adjustments to be made before comparison to last year or a different company; published accounts with standards, including cash flow aspects; consolidations.

* Section A: All syllabus areas, including ethics, governance and audit reports.
* Section B: Practical scenario questions on internal control objectives, procedures and tests; substantive procedures; audit risk and response.

* Section A: Various questions from across the syllabus.
* Section B: Valuations and risk management.
* Section C: Investment appraisal, including an NPV and business finance

* Agency risk.
* Rules v principles governance.
* Governance principles (e.g. transparency, scepticism).
* Independence of NEDs.
* Director remuneration.
* Family Companies/2 tier boards.
* Objective v subjective risk.
* Enterprise risk management.
* Risk audit.
* Need for Internal audit.
* Internal control reporting and audit (SOX).
* Corporate codes of ethics.
* Kohlberg moral development.
* Tucker 5 questions.
* Bribery & corruption.
* Corporate citizenship.

* Q1 is a balance sheet or cash flow or p/l in roughly that order of probability but roughly equal probability.
* Q2 & Q3 will be the usual mix of the usual suspects including fi and dt and nca and sbp and revenue and provisions and so on.
* Q4 sees leases as red hot. Meaning it will probably be something else like provisions or goodwill or general corporate reporting.

* Strategic analysis.
* Strategic choice.
* 6I's of emarketing.
* Strategic lenses.
* Change management.

* KPIs linked to stakeholders/mission.
* Maximax, maximin.
* Corporate failure.
* Link between IT systems and KPIs.

* IHT with the death estate including BPR and APR and lifetime gifts, gifts with reservation and relief for a fall in value. Domicile including deemed domicile and election to be treated as UK domiciled and deed of variation.
* Takeovers and mergers.
* Group question, sale of shares versus sale of the trade and assets.
* Overseas aspects of corporation tax including branch versus subsidiary.
* Relief for trading losses made by a sole trader/partnership at the end of the trading cycle.
* Remittance basis and overseas aspects of capital gains tax
* Investment in a VCT/SEIS the theory versus investing in a registered pension scheme.
* Share incentive plan versus EMI share option scheme.
* Personal service company.
* Property business profits including rent a room relief and the advantages of furnished holiday letting properties.
* Ethics.

* Business risk and risk of material misstatement.
* Audit procedures/matters + evidence (expect IFRS 16 Leases).
* Audit report Impacts, including key audit matters and going concern paragraphs.
* Ethics and professional issues, including money laundering, quality control, advertising.
* Due diligence.
* Big data/data aalytics in future auditing.
* Laws and Rrgulations (ISA 250) and reporting non-disclosure

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