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More ACCA Examiner Report feedback

04 August 2017

What did the F5 to F9 ACCA June Examiner Reports have to say…

Section B range of topics covered in June was: costing; pricing; risk; cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis; learning curves; budgeting; variance analysis, and limiting factors.
The examiner stressed graphs are still important, although you won’t be asked to draw them – you will be asked to interpret them. So you must know your CVP, linear programming and decision trees.
Candidates were presented with questions drawn mainly from the areas of: performance management; variance analysis; relevant costing; transfer pricing, and budgeting.

The range of topics covered in section B of the June 2017 exam was: CGT on gift of shares; IHT, and VAT.
The examiner said you must know the treatment of a chargeable lifetime transfer where the donor paid the lifetime tax and dies within 7 years. This part of IHT is commonly examined. And, remember to gross up for the lifetime tax paid, and several forgot to deduct the previous gift from NRB!
Section C candidates were presented with questions drawn mainly from the areas of: basic tax planning focusing on reducing or postponing tax liabilities; computation of an individual’s taxation income; pension annual allowances; computation of taxable total profits for a company, and acquisition of a 51% group company.

Strong candidates continue to use good workings for the preparation of financial statements, says the examiner. Those who fail to provide workings often score much lower marks on both the preparation of financial statements and the calculation of ratios.
The examiner wants you to use headings for each area requested, such as ‘performance’ and ‘position’. Make just one or two points per paragraph and leave space between paragraphs. Too many candidates try to make all their points on one block of text – it’s difficult to mark and not a professional layout.
A sensible conclusion summarising the main points of the analysis is important, and marks will be give for it, the examiner reminds candidates.

Section A in the June 2017 exam included questions on the following areas: professional ethics & application of the ACCA’s code of ethics and conduct; internal audit; corporate governance; substantive testing (testing on tangible assets, receivables, banks & cash, using the work of others); subsequent events, and auditor’s reports.
Section B tested: audit framework & regulation; planning & risk assessment; internal control; audit evidence, and review & reporting.
Good exam technique is vital for success in F8. The examiner was especially pleased to see so many candidates structure their answer in columns, especially for audit risk and internal control questions, Not only dies this make it easier to mark, it makes it easier for a candidate to review their answer and ensure they have covered all of the relevant areas, as d=for example it is clearer to see if a test of control has been omitted.

Overall June candidates were well prepared in techniques such as calculating NPV. However, they became ‘less well prepared’ in discussing knowledge and explaining concepts.
Candidates were reminded that when it comes to section B there is no partial marking: so an answer which only selects one statement when two are asked for will be awarded no marks!
In June the examiner said that some candidates were unable to demonstrate appropriate methods for dealing with both risk and uncertainty.
A common error when it came to business valuation was the inability to identify correctly the required rate of return when valuing shares. And, do you know the drawbacks of the valuation method?
The examiner also wants you to be able to understand the features of different methods of foreign exchange hedging. How about the features of risk management derivatives?

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