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 ACCA Exam Tips for December Exams (F4 - F9)

Paper F4: Corporate and Business Law

Q1 Statutory interpretation
Q2 Formation of a contract – consideration or intention
Q3 Tort of negligence – how the duty of care is breached
Q5 Debentures and charges
Q6 Appointment/termination of directors
Q7 Employment law - the employment contract/relationship
Other likely topics – breach of contract and remedies, company insolvency and Insider Dealing.

Paper F5: Performance Management

Specialist Cost and Management Accounting Techniques: Environmental accounting techniques have not yet been tested under the new syllabus, so could feature. Throughput accounting featured numerically in June. ABC vs AC or target costing is also possible. 
Decision making techniques: There is a trend for pricing to be examined with other areas of the syllabus, for example learning curves. Relevant costing, CVP, make or buy or other short term decisions could feature as dealing with risk and uncertainty and limiting factors have featured recently.
Budgeting: Discussion marks often focus on the appropriateness of budgeting types or the behavioural impacts of types of budgeting. Numerically it could be tested via time series as a forecasting method.
Standard costing & variance analysis: Variances are likely to feature in the exam, students should be prepared for mix and yield variances, planning and operational variances as well as the basic variances and operating statements. Questions typically require thought about the most appropriate layout and could include discussion of variances which have already been calculated. 
Performance Measurement and Control: In June, there was a change in emphasis, with this being the first paper not to contain a question focusing on interpretation of performance and financial vs. non financial measures. Detailed knowledge could instead be required on any of the performance measurement tools. Transfer pricing has not been examined recently, so could feature. 

Paper F6: Taxation

Question 1 will test income tax with maybe a VAT section attached as a separate part. The income tax will focus on a self employed individual with property income and some investment income. The VAT section could look at calculation of VAT payable, penalties and special schemes.
Question 2 will test corporation tax and could involve a long period of account, capital allowance computations for plant and machinery, computation of corporation tax payable and payment of tax.
Question 3 will test capital gains tax from an individuals’ perspective. This question will involve a number of different disposals involving entrepreneurs’ relief, part disposals, chattels and shares with a computation of capital gains tax payable. It is possible this question could alternatively involve a company disposing of shares.
Question 4 & 5 will test anything else. Possible topics that may be examined here are:
- commencement, cessation and change of accounting date rules for sole traders and partnerships
- inheritance tax testing the inheritance tax liabilities on lifetime gifts and as a result of the individual’s death.
- Group relief
- Overseas aspects of corporation tax
- Self assessment system
- Badges of trade
- Corporation tax loss relief

Paper F7: Financial Reporting (INT)

Q1: Consolidated SOCI and/or SOFP with one subsidiary plus associate with intragroup adjustments and fair value adjustments. May include written part on a group topic.
Q2: SOCI and SOFP preparation from TB or restatement with usual adjustments for depreciation, revaluation, current/deferred tax plus others such as leases/substance, financial instruments (change in FV or amortised cost). May include discontinued operation/EPS/SOCIE.
Q3: Interpretation and/or statement of cash flows. Could focus on specific part of SOCF or specific ratios.
Q4 & Q5: One question in context of conceptual framework, and the other containing one or two discrete topics, such as regulatory framework, inflation, government grants, discontinued operations, impairments, deferred tax, leases or intangible assets.

Paper F8: Audit and Assurance (INT)

Q1 (30 marks)
This question will be based on a scenario and incorporate between 3 and 5 distinct requirements.
The areas most likely to be tested in this question include audit planning and the identification and explanation of audit risk, audit procedures (substantive tests and/ or tests of control) and internal control.
Q2 (10 marks)
This will be a factual or knowledge based question. It is likely to cover several areas of the syllabus with 2 or 3 separate requirements worth between 2 and 5 marks each.
Topics for Question 2 can be drawn from all areas of the F8 syllabus and questions could include the responsibilities of directors and auditors as well as other definitions such as audit risk, audit assertions, audit regulation and corporate governance.
Q3, Q4 & Q5 (20 marks each)
These questions will be scenario based but will also include some knowledge based requirements.
Areas which are likely to be covered in these questions include ethics, planning, the audit of specific transactions or account balances (including estimates), subsequent events, management representations, going concern, audit reports, internal control and corporate governance.
Note that the scenario may be set in the context of a profit making or non-profit making organisation.

Paper F9: Financial Management
Important areas to cover:
any element of the WACC could be tested, including cost of equity, preference shares & different types of debt, along with their corresponding market values & then putting all of this together to calculate the WACC.
Investment decisions:
 the exam normally contains a question involving net present value (NPV), often with tax and inflation. In order to discount the NPV, you may be asked to first calculate a weighted average cost of capital (see above)
Working capital: 
questions on inventory management and receivables management are likely. Ensure that you are comfortable with working capital ratios as you may have to be able to put these in reverse
Sources of finance: 
a topical area, we would expect a part question on financing problems covering gearing issues and problems companies. Ratio analysis is likely to feature here with discussion of the numbers calculated. Ensure you are comfortable with the calculations of the different sources of finance. Islamic Finance was new on the syllabus for the June 11 exam but was not tested. It is possible it may come up in Dec 11, though if it does, it should be straightforward knowledge for a few marks only.
Business Valuations: 
commonly tested and a core syllabus area. The examiner often combines different syllabus areas within the same exam question – for example asking you to calculate a cost of equity and then use it to value a company

Source: BPP ACCA Exam Tips for December Exams (F4 - F9) Book

Good luck in your exam!

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