In this issue of ACCA Singapore’s Exams Digest, we will focus on revision for the last P papers, P4, P5 and P6. You will find the summary of examiner’s reports and revision resources below, based on the most recent (June 2016) exam. As you go through your revision, do revisit areas you have previously struggled with during the learning phase, and ensure that you are confident with the knowledge needed to pass the exam. Our mock exams will ensure that you cover everything and you can practice good time management too.
We are committed to help you succeed for the upcoming examinations, whether you are a self-study student or a student with an ALP. If you are in doubt on any exam topic or if you have any queries at all, we welcome you to come talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And lastly, don’t give up easily! If you need help in understanding the syllabus or a question, you can consider posting a question on the ACCA Learning Community to get community inputs from other students like yourself.
The P4 paper builds upon the skills and knowledge examined in the F9, Financial Management paper. At this stage candidates will be expected to demonstrate an integrated knowledge of the subject and an ability to relate their technical understanding of the subject to issues of strategic importance to the organisation.
If you were exempted from F9, be sure that you have the assumed knowledge needed to transit from F9 to P4. If you feel that your knowledge is lacking, do consider buying an F9 Approved Content Provider study text to refresh your understanding.
P4 explores these same areas, but at a more advanced level, and considers problems and issues (many derived from real situations) relevant to the highest-level financial management of an organisation.
New areas specific to P4 include responsibility towards stakeholders, acquisitions and mergers, corporate reconstruction and reorganisation, the international business environment and multinational organisations, and emerging issues. Finance managers need more than a battery of theories and techniques to succeed – they also need a deep understanding of the context in which they work. As a consequence, candidates will be expected to demonstrate up-to-date understanding of the international macroeconomic environment and the operation of those international institutions that govern both trade and the operation of the financial markets. This is especially important in the current global economic climate of uncertainty.
Like a senior financial person at work, a candidate is expected to read a business brief in the form of an exam question carefully, take notes and decide on a relevant methodical approach to meeting the brief’s objectives. Senior management work under scheduled deadlines, and hence prioritising and good time management is crucial to performing well under examination conditions.
Business reports and proposals are expected to be succinct, professionally written and easy to read with clear headings and conclusions. A candidate, who does not demonstrate this approach, will fail to earn the full professional marks that are easily available in question one.
The hallmark of a good piece of written work is evidenced by a reasoned structure, narrative discussions that are relevant and in sufficient detail, and clear and easy to follow numerical workings supported where appropriate by brief notes. Achieving it in this exam will ensure a candidate is on track to passing it.
More study resources for P4
Get all that you need to know about the P4 paper here.
The Advanced Performance Management syllabus further develops key aspects introduced in Paper F5, Performance Management, at the skills level and draws on aspects of the material covered from a more strategic and operational planning perspective in Paper P3, Business Analysis.
Performance management systems are the systems in an organisation by which the performance of an organisation is measured, controlled and improved. The thrust of the exam will move towards the strategic level of considering different performance measurement techniques and management systems. P5 builds on knowledge gained at other levels, for example, P3 and especially from F5. F5 tests the candidate’s ability in application and analysis of core management accounting techniques.
P5 develops key aspects introduced at the F5 level with a greater focus on the synthesis and evaluation of the key topics and techniques. It will also introduce more specialised techniques and current issues in performance management. Therefore, candidates should not expect to be retested in a F5 style on topics but need to be aware that all of F5 knowledge is assumed to be known and will now be used in a more critical capacity.
Candidates need to be aware that performance management is an area which, at an advanced level, is dependent upon situation and environment. A good, professional-level answer will go beyond the mere repetition of how a technique works and focus on relating it to the entity’s specific environment. As in previous diets, it was very clear to the marking team that those candidates that had grasped the need for this went on to pass the paper.
More study resources for P5
Get all that you need to know about the P5 paper here.
The Advanced Taxation syllabus further develops the key aspects of taxation introduced in the compulsory Taxation syllabus within the Skills module and extends the candidates’ knowledge of the tax system, together with their ability to apply that knowledge to the issues commonly encountered by individuals and businesses; such that successful candidates should have the ability to interpret and analyse the information provided and communicate the outcomes in a manner appropriate to the intended audience.
In the June 2016 exams, the following topics were being tested:
- Knowledge on a wide range of different tax principles
- Special rules for claiming benefits under the M&A scheme
- R&D expenses
- Management fees arising from related party dealings
- Taxable components of an individual’s employment package
- Different withholding tax implications
- Overseas entities and GST implications
Although the majority of candidates attempted the required four questions, there were a few scripts which attempted only three or even two questions. These scripts reflect poor preparation of the candidates rather than due to time pressure.
More study resources for P6
Get all that you need to know about the P6 paper here.
In addition to the resources above, you can also register for free and prepare to pass your September 2016 Exams with Becker’s ACCA Study School, with support from Emile Woolf International.
Your registration provides you with free access to Study, Revision and Exam Preparation resources supported by Live Online Sessions. To find out more and register for your complimentary Exam Preparation Pack, click here.
We hope that this issue of the Exams Digest has been helpful to you, and you have our best wishes for the papers next week!