(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)
ACCA BPP Exam Tips for March 2018
In this post we have shared ACCA BPP Exam Tips for March 2018, these tips will help you to prepare in the upcoming exams. ACCA BPP Exam Tips for March 2018 are the important topics which can be examined in the examination. Please try to focus on the complete syllabus and don’t completely trust on the tips. These are just simple guess by the tutors.
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BPP’s ACCA March 2018 exam tips
F5 Exam tips for March 2018
- For section A & B learning the whole syllabus appears to be everyone’s/the only tip!
- Sitters are ‘strongly advised’ to plan answers to section C before starting to write. And, when writing make sure you make reference to the scenario in your answer.
- Section C expected areas are: budgetary systems, planning and operational variances, mix and yield variances and evaluation of the company performance (either as a whole or on a division basis).
- Expect the unexpected – since the introduction of MCQs this advice is even more critical because more topics are tested.
- Expect the exam to be 40% calculation and 60% discussion. That means its not sufficient to just be able to perform all of the calculations.
- Interpretation and application are crucial, especially in section C.
F6 Exam tips for March 2018
- Section A: expect a couple of the OTs to be devoted to the administration of income tax and corporation tax.
- You also have to be comfortable with quite a lot of other stuff too, including:
- Due dates for payment of income tax (including payment on account).
- Due dates for the payment of corporation tax (including instalments for large companies).
- Filing dates for the income tax and corporation tax returns.
- Penalties and interest for late payments and returns.
- Also likely to be tested in section A of the exam are:
- VAT rules on registration, impairment loss (bad debt) relief, and the SME schemes relating to cash accounting, annual accounting and flat-rate schemes.
- IHT due to lifetime transfers both in the donor’s life and on death.
- Statutory residence tests for individuals.
- Identification of groups of companies for corporation tax loss reliefs and gains.
- Trading loss reliefs for both companies and sole traders,
- At least 50% of your revision time has to be spent answering section C questions.
- Remember to learn your income tax and corporation tax pro formas.
- Calculations which require no more than 2/3 entries into your calculator can be included on the face of your proformas (eg time apportioning a salary). Calculations that are more complicated (eg company car benefits) need separate workings which are properly referenced (W1, W2, etc) and have a heading.
- Aim for as many sentences as there are marks with each sentence containing something technical.
- Keep your paragraphs to no more than 3 sentences long.
- The two longest questions will focus on income tax and corporation tax. They are likely to include the following:
- Employment benefits.
- Property income.
- Relief for pension contributions.
- Adjustments to profit to arrive at trading income for both companies and sole traders – in past questions you had to correct errors in computations.
- Capital allowance computations.
F7 Exam tips for March 2018
- Section A
- Expect questions to include several on consolidation and interpretation of financial statements.
- When it comes to non-core areas think inflation and specialised entities.
- Long form questions – one will cover interpretations and the other preparation of financial statements.
- One question is likely to be in the context of a single company and one in the context of a group, so you could have a single company interpretation and a groups preparation, or vice versa.
- An accounts preparation questions may include extracts or standalone calculations or full statements of profit or loss and other comprehensive income and/or statement of financial position.
- Both questions will cover items from other areas of the syllabus.
- There may be a short separate part, eg with a statement of changes in equity, statement of cash flows extract, earnings per share calculation or linked written topics.
- A consolidation question would include one subsidiary and often an associate with adjustments, eg fair values, deferred/contingent consideration, PUP on inventories/PPE, intragroup trading and balances, goods/cash in transit.
- A single entity question could be preparation from a trail balance or restatement of given financial statements with the usual adjustments for depreciation, revaluation and current/deferred tax (including deferred tax on revelations) plus a mixture of adjustments on other syllabus areas, eg leases, substance over form issues, financial instruments (change in fair value or amortised cost), share issues government grants, inventory valuation, revenue recognition or construction contracts.
F8 Exam tips for March 2018
- In Q16 & 18 expect:
- Audit planning.
- Audit risk (identification and explanation of audit risks from a scenario and explanation of the auditor’s response to each risk.
- internal audit.
- Internal controls (identification and explanation of deficiencies in internal control and the recommendation of suitable internal controls or description of test of control).
- Audit procedures (both substantive procedures and tests of control).
- Try to use a tabular format in your solutions where relevant as the examing team have stated that candidates who do this score better.
- Understand your verbs. ‘explain’ requires a sentence and will score one mark. ‘List’ simply requires you to list out information with no further explanation and this will score 0.5 marks per point.
F9 Exam tips for March 2018
- Section A questions will often be knowledge-based and will balance out questions in section B &C.
- That means you should expect to see questions on ratio analysis, the concept of shareholder wealth, as well as the economic environment and financial institutions topics (financial intermediation, fiscal and monetary policies). The efficient market hypothesis is likely to be tested here too.
- For section B the commonly tested areas are working capital management (eg the operating cycle, the impact of a change in credit period or accepting a factor’s offer), business or security valuations (eg methods of valuation), and financial risk management (currency risk, interest rate risk).
- Section C will focus mainly on syllabus sections C, D and E. So think either an evaluation of financial options (interest coverage and gearing ratios), or a cost of capital and analysis.
P1 Exam tips for March 2018
- Recent exams have tested content from the examiner’s technical articles (such as June 2015 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 and governance syllabus content, especially relating to board directors, remuneration, and reporting. Focus on areas such as bribery and corruption, environmental risk and poor ethical stance.
- Use the extra 15 minutes you have been given (the reading time) to plan the compulsory scenario first.
P2 Exam tips for March 2018
- Section A
A 50mark compulsory case study including preparation of a group statement of financial position, statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income or statement of cash flows which may include discontinued activities, disposals and/or acquisitions or a foreign subsidiary. This will include other accounting complications such as group adjustments, financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment, and impairments.
There will also be discursive requirements on a linked accounting adjustment and social/ethical/moral aspects of corporate reporting.
- Section B
Q2 & Q3: One multi-part question covering a range of topics or a theme such as fair value measurement, revenue recognition, deferred tax, foreign currency transactions, financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment, non-current assets, borrowing costs, nature of business combinations, the effects of accounting treatments on earnings per share or ratios; the other an 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.
- Q4: A discussion question looking at current developments in corporate reporting and problems with existing standards. We are talking foreign exchange, measurement & revision of the conceptual framework, classification in P or L vs OCI, improvements to disclosures, capital reporting, leasing, application of the definition of control and significant influence (equity accounting), integrated reporting, performance measurement, regulatory issues over adoption and consistent application of IFRSs and implementation issues.
P3 Exam tips for March 2018
- Section A continues to consume time in reading and absorbing – three pages of text and numbers are becoming the norm.
- Section B questions are more likely to examine discrete subject areas. Questions can be drawn from all areas of the syllabus, and the limited extent of the choice (2 from 3) reinforces the importance of covering all areas of the syllabus.
Expect the trend of calculations being examined in the optional section B to continue. So make time to revisit the numerical areas of the syllabus to refresh knowledge would be wise.
P4 Exam tips for March 2018
Questions are normally based on core syllabus areas such as project appraisal (domestic or overseas) and business valuations. Both areas are likely to include the cost of capital calculations. Risk management may also feature in a number of different ways – value at risk, real options, hedging, risk mapping.
Risk management (currency or interest rate).
Business re-organization and financial reconstruction (often examined together).
P5 Exam tips for March 2018
Recent Q1 exams have often required a significant level of data analysis using numerical techniques, eg KPIs, EVA.
Performance management frameworks (building blocks, performance pyramid or the balanced scorecard) are also commonly tested in Q1.
Commonly tested areas include quality management, information reporting (CSFs and KPIs), the application of strategic models (PEST, Porter’s 5 forces, the Value Chain), HR frameworks (reward & appraisal systems), risk management, and environmental management accounting.
Recent articles include complex business structures, big data, integrated reporting and performance management models (BCG and 5 forces).
P6 Exam tips for March 2018
Topics we would expect to see are:
- Groups of companies involving overseas aspects and loses.
- Unincorporated business particularly loss relief or involving a partnership, basis period rules should also be expected.
- Capital gains tax vs IHT, including the 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 capital trusts.
- VAT – partial exemption or land and buildings or transfer of a going concern or overseas transactions.
- Transfer of trade versus the sale of the subsidiary.
- Disincorporation relief.
- Pensions contributions.
- Patent box, research, and development expenditure.
P7 Exam tips for March 2018
- Typically Q1 will test planning, risk assessment, evidence gathering and practice management issues using a scenario where audit client details are presented, often including financial statements extracts.
- Topics covered in Q2 are more uncertain to predict – possibly a non-audit engagement such as prospective financial information (PFI) or due diligence, or a question testing specific parts of the syllabus, such as audit completion or consolidated groups.
- Section B typically tests the following syllabus areas: audit evidence and financial reporting issues, practice management including ethics, and quality control and reporting including completion and communication.
- Recent exams have tested fresh content from the examiner’s technical articles – key audit matters were examined in December 2016, while INT candidates were tested on the audit of public sector performance information in December 2015.