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ACCA f1 Accountant in business examiners report

ACCA f1 Accountant in business examiners report

ACCA f1 Accountant in business examiners report: The examination paper was made up of 50 objective test questions, each worth two marks. Candidates had to attempt all of the questions in two hours. All questions offered a choice of four answers, of which one was correct and the others distracters. There were either eight or nine questions taken from each of the six parts of the syllabus. The majority of candidates were well prepared for the examination, and the pass rate was satisfactory. Pass rates for the questions normalised around 45-65%, though there were nine questions that presented particular difficulty and seven questions on which candidates performed extremely well.

Part A of the syllabus examines business organisations, stakeholders and the external environment. There were no major difficulties here, and there were good performances on questions relating to SWOT analysis, types of business organisation and the legal environment. There were few questions calling for knowledge of theories, but candidates dealt with questions relating to Mendelow’s stakeholder model and Porter’s theories on competitive advantage quite capably. Questions on economics and marketing have caused problems in the past, but on this occasion questions set on these areas were answered well.

Part B of the syllabus relates to organisational structure, functions and governance. It was encouraging to note that questions on decentralisation and committees presented few problems for candidates. By contrast, concepts relating to corporate governance were clearly not well grasped, with candidates unclear on topics such as nonexecutive directors and the role of board committees.

Part C of the syllabus relates most directly to the work of accountants, so as expected candidates generally performed well on questions drawn from here. However, there were surprisingly poorly answered questions on topics that demanded pure recall of knowledge such as the basic definition of a GAAP, the nature of substantive tests and internal check. Candidates were more confident when dealing with the work of the financial accountant, auditors, internal control and fraud.

Parts D and E of the syllabus are concerned mainly with human resources management, including leading and managing teams, personal effectiveness and communications. Candidates knew several of the theories very well, with questions on Fayol’s theory, the Blake and Mouton managerial grid and Tuckman’s theory of team development answered correctly. Candidates found some HRM topics more difficult. These included competence frameworks, communications and performance appraisal.

In particular, a question on the nature of the grapevine caused problems, with answers spread evenly across all four possible answers, suggesting that there was some element of guesswork in selecting the answer. There was evidence that candidates were not clear at all on the purposes of performance appraisal. Part F of the syllabus requires knowledge and understanding of professional ethics. Performance on questions polarised, as some questions had very high pass rates and others had very low pass rates. Concepts included in the IESBA code, ethical threats and corporate codes were dealt with comfortably. However, candidates were less sure of the nature of the public interest. The theoretical concepts were also rather more demanding, as fewer candidates were able to answer a question on approaches to ethics successfully.

It is impossible to do so without knowing terminology such as deontological, teleological and utilitarian. The majority of candidates completed all 50 questions in the two hours available, which suggests that the paper is not time pressured. Of the 50 questions, 16 questions were based on short scenarios, typically of 6-8 lines of narrative. Only two of these questions fell into the lowest quartile of pass rates, and six questions were in the highest quartile. Scenario questions take longer to read, and perhaps require more thinking time than shorter questions, but the relatively robust performance on them indicates that candidates are adopting a sensible approach.

ACCA f1 Accountant in business examiners report

Sample questions for discussion

Question 32 related to competence frameworks. Which of the following is a feature of a competence framework? A Detailed learning outcomes setting out minimum occupational standards B The required level of academic achievement C Anticipated medium to long-term career milestones D Personal qualities and attributes of the individual The correct answer is A. A competence framework should explain what an individual employee should be able to do and what that individual must know.

Many organisations now incorporate competence frameworks in their job descriptions, linking outcomes in relation to primary, secondary and occasional duties to the necessary knowledge and skills required. In addition to the source material included in study materials, students should be aware that the accaglobal.com website has specific information on competence frameworks relevant to ACCA members. Distracters B and D have marginal relevance to what the employee must know and do, and in some cases may be entirely unrelated to his or her duties. They are more often included in the person specification used in the recruitment and selection process. Anticipated and future career milestones may form part of the individual’s personal development plan, and may be reviewed at an appraisal, but they have little to do with current competence requirements. Only 29% of candidates selected the correct answer. Question 40 related to Generally Accepted Accounting Practice, or GAAP.

ACCA f1 Accountant in business examiners report

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