BPP ACCA December 08 Exam Tips (P1)


ACCA Paper P1

Professional Accountant
December 2008 Exam Tips and Useful Articles
The following tips suggest important areas to cover. However please remember that no one knows what is in the exam, apart from the examiner. Your safest bet is to achieve good
syllabus coverage in your revision, as the examiner aims to do in the exam.

The following is a guide to areas that you should include as part of your revision:
Section A:

Application of corporate governance principles:

The examiner has consistently included at least one question on one of the fundamental principles of Corporate Governance on all his published exams. Themes of accountability and transparency seem to be emerging a favourite topics. Questions are likely to require the application of corporate governance to address organisational control deficiencies described in the scenario. So far the examiner’s approach to Corporate Governance has covered some aspect of the management of stakeholder relationships. Students should familiarise themselves with both the examiner’s articles on stakeholders.

Identification and assessment of all aspects of business risk:

The use of a methodical approach to identify, categorise and assess the array of risks facing an organisation will be a common feature of scenario questions. From this position the examiner can than then ask candidates to propose and recommend remedies.

Internal control mechanisms and their review:

Internal management control systems are a key feature of any successful organisation. Indeed corporate governance mechanism could in themselves be viewed as of the internal control framework. The questions are likely to either identify deficiencies in internal controls or ask students to suggest enhanced controls to manage risks identified.

Corporate social responsibility and environmental management:

The need to act appropriately in terms of social and environmental responsibilities is key feature of the modern business world, and could be an element of a scenario question. Since this is the ethical stance that an organisation takes, it allows for many theories and frameworks to be incorporated into answers.

Section B:

Although likely to be based on small scenarios, Section B questions are likely to test specific areas of the syllabus in more detail.

Corporate Governance:

This could require detailed discussion of aspects of the Combined Code or Sarbanes Oxley, or even a comparison between the two. Specific areas relating to the role of non-executive directors, remuneration and disclosure requirements could also be tested, which requires the recollection of detailed syllabus knowledge to secure a good mark.

Internal control (inc. internal audit):

Approaches to enterprise risk management together with embedded /cultural risk awareness would appear to be prime topic worthy of revision.

Professional values and ethics:

The examiner wrote an article on ethical conflict resolution earlier in the year, so he clearly regards it as an important area. It has not yet been examined so students would be wise to read his article and familiarise themselves with the American Accounting Association model and Tucker’s five questions. As well as being able to apply the models it would be a good idea to have thought about the benefits of each to the decision making process.

Useful Articles:
If you want to read around the subject or improve your understanding there are a number of
articles on the ACCA website.
Strategic and operational risks by Nick Weller addresses risks in terms of their impact and
Rules, principals and Sarbanes-Oxley By David Campbell (P1 examiner) introduces some of the main themes in relation to the control of corporate governance and how it varies between countries.
Ethical decision making by David Campbell (P1 examiner) looks at the American Accounting Association model and Tucker’s 5 questions.
All about stakeholders – Part 1 by David Campbell (P1 examiner) looks at the
categorisation of stakeholders.
All about stakeholders – Part 2 by David Campbell (P1 examiner) looks at stakeholders
attitude and in particular goes into some detail about Gray, Owen and Adams 7 stances
(Pristine Capitalist – Deep Ecologist)
‘Examiner's approach to Paper P1, Professional Accountant’ by David Campbell,
examiner for Paper P1 offers his approach to the Professional Accountant paper.

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