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The ACCA Examiner Reports

31 July 2017

The June ACCA Examiner’s Reports are in (well all expect F8). The worry is with four sittings a year many of the general comments now appear to be simple ‘repeats’, or seem increasingly to have been lifted straight from a previous report.

The ACCA may have to take a seriously look at these reports to see if they are still fit for purpose, said a leading tutor. He questioned the fact in their current form if the ACCA could claim reading them will continue to ‘help’ improve pass rates. The June P5 exam had a pass rate of just 32%, yet the Examiner’s Report barely runs to 3 pages, he pointed out .

The worry is, explained the tutor, that PQs read the reports but simply feel most of the advice only applies to the questions asked in an old exam. “Many believe the questions they will be asked come September will be very ‘different’,” he explained.

So, what did the P5 examiner’s say about the June exams? Well, the examiner said in June candidates’ lack of knowledge was particularly evident in Q1(i), flexing a budget, Q1 (ii) preparing a rolling budget, and Q1 (iv) ‘what gets measured get done’. The examiner stressed the examining team was really concerned with candidates inability to flex the budget. Candidates just did not identify that volumes had changes in the data given nor did they appear to understand the consultant’s criticism. Many candidates still don’t seem to have grasped the need to ‘roll’ the budget forward by a quarter, so that there remains four quarters budgeted into the future. The examiner might need to re-read his comments too, as he said: “Good candidates distinguish themselves by beings aware…”

The P7 examiner said the June session performance was again ‘disappointing’. P7 also had a 32% pass rate. She said: “I remains evident that many candidates did not prepare in sufficient depth and were unable to think laterally and apply the knowledge that they have learned.”
For her too many of you are also focusing on the minutiae of a point and still produce a list of everything you know about a topic!
Another real worry is the clear lack of both auditing and financial reporting knowledge. She says candidates need to re-learn the basics of auditing – independence, ethics, robust third party evidence, audit risk and understanding the proper use of audit opinions.

The P4 June exam had a 34% pass rate. The exam here believes only sustained study over a long period of time will ensure success in this paper. Candidates will also perform badly in this paper if they spend too much time carrying out relatively simple calculation tasks. There are also some who can’t perform basic arithmetic calculations – like compounding when calculating inflation.

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