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The CIMA apprenticeship is here.

Working with PwC and BPP, CIMA


has developed a degree-level
higher apprenticeship in
management accounting.
Many leading employers,
including the likes of Siemens,
have already shown an interest in
the programme, which gives A-level
students a different route into
accountancy employment.
CIMA is anticipating that the first
school leavers who want to earn
and learn at the same time will sign
up in September.
CIMAs Ben Lambert told PQ
magazine that many employers
were already looking at the higher
apprenticeship route, so CIMAs
offering is perfectly timed.
The institute is expecting those
signing up in the first year to be in
the low hundreds. However, the
scheme could explode in future. It
pointed to the PwC apprenticeship
programmes (it has three), which
by 2015 will have 1,500 students
signed up.
CIMA regional director for Europe
David Rowsby explained that CIMA
has suggested the apprenticeship
programme last for two years,
although employers are free to set
their own perimeters. What will also
be important for employers is that
they can access funding.
Rowsby explained that CIMA has
been pushing the benefits of
management accounting to school
leavers for a number of years, and
this new programme is a credible
alternative for those wishing to
avoid university costs. During the
apprenticeship students will study
towards CIMAs Certificate in
Business Accounting qualification,
alongside wider business training,
and gain experience in team
working, project management and
leadership.
Siemens told PQ it has designed
the Siemens Finance &
Commercial Academy to nurture
the brightest business and finance
talent around. It is happy to offer
an alternative option to the
traditional university pathway, one
that is comparable in terms of
academic qualifications, but also
provides valuable work experience
that cannot be gained from
university alone.
Siemens said the aim of its
programme is to develop a pipeline
of talent to help further develop
and enhance its finance and
accounting capabilities. It went on:
We value this type of scheme as
we, as an employer, get to make it
relevant to our business needs
while the student enjoys a
recognised external academic
qualification as well as varied on
the job training with a blue chip
company.
APPRENTICESHIPS TO
CHANGE THE WORLD
PQmagazine
June 2013
www.pqmagazine.co.uk
All the top tips for the ACCA
June exam sitting in one place
sponsored by Reed Accountancy
All the top tips for the ACCA
June exam sitting in one place
sponsored by Reed Accountancy
CIMA unveils higher apprenticeship in management accounting
Rachel Shearer, who is
currently on a Siemens
CIMA training scheme
ACCA unveils huge web improvements
ACCA PQs online experience is about change
forever. The ACCA e-delivery team, with the
direct help of students, have made radical
changes to the website.
Students should notice straight away that
the pages look differently. With students
guidance the resources have been reorganised
and navigation is much easier.
PQ magazine has been kept in the loop
about the changes, and now the ACCA is ready
to go live with what is just the first phase of
development.
So the ACCA is living up to its promise. An
insider admitted that the website had been
allowed to grow organically and as technology
moved on it fell behind current trends. That is
not true now: the ACCA is leading the game!
Content now sits logically on the pages with
resources organised by paper. Director of
Learning Alan Hatfield told PQ that the ACCA
took the decision to go live before the June
exam because of the real benefits the new site
gives students. He wanted to stress that this is
phase one, and that when he asked students if
they should wait until after the exams back
came an emphatic no.
At the recent lecturers conference we got a
sneak preview of what phase two could look
like, where personalisation will be a key
component.
There are also plans, all provisional at this
stage, for a social learning forum, a platform
for peer-to-peer advice. This may be
elementary at first, but over time could
become a massive resource for all PQs.
What the ACCA is saying is that the new
website is a work in progress, but one that is
being led by students, who are helping to
make it a much better dynamic resource.
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contents PQ
News
06CIMA publishing Kaplan the
new publisher for the institute
08ACCA advice Foundation
success lays the, er, foundations
10AAT off the mark Students
really need to know the score
12International news News
from around the globe, plus our
all-new Business Digest
Features, etc
06Have your say Your letters are
being held over this month, but
weve still got the best comments
from Twitter
13Giveaways More
fantastic giveways
that prove we
really do care!
14ACCA
examiners
conference This
time around we focus on
P1, P2, P6 and P7. So what did
the powers-that-be have to say?
16College visit We took a day
out to visit BBPs state-of-the-art
Birmingham premises
17ACCA exam guidance a
four-page special All the best
hints and tips sponsored by
our pals at Reed Accountancy
23AAT conference We report
from the annual tutors
conference where the emphasis
was on how to connect
24CIPFA update We preview the
institutes annual conference a
must-attend event for students
with a top line-up of speakers
25CIPFA prize guy Meet Sam
Jarrett, the winner of the Eric
Gilliland Memorial Prize
26ATT spotlight Drawing up
accounts on a current year basis
27Well being How you can get
help if someone you know is
troubled by addiction
28Careers Life at the BBC;
coming out at work; plus our
Book Club review
34Fun time Getting connected
with the AAT; Ria the cover star;
selling face space,; and our
regular prize sudoku puzzle
The columnists
Robert Bruce Just who will
benefit from mooted changes to
the audit market? 8
Prem Sikka Why its Goundhog
Day for the Big 4 firms 10
Subscribe to PQ magazine
Its FREE see page 32 or go to
www.pqmagazine.co.uk
ABC July 2011June 2012
33,315
Publishers statement: We have a
digital issue of the magazine which
is sent to 12,799 requested readers
Bumper exam tips 4U
Well, you cant turn around this month without bumping into
someone sitting an exam or about to! We totally understand
and in this issue we have squeezed in a four-page pull out of
ACCA exam tips, with the help of Reed Accountancy. There is even more
online lots more, so make sure you keep checking our website.
We have been paying visits to almost everyone. We got CIMAs Noel
Tagoe to promise more timely post exam guides. And PQ magazine had a
great time at the AATs conference in Brum. We tried to stay out of the
photo booth but President
Henry Cooper insisted we
got into the picture with him.
In return, we promised to
put it in PQ (and heres the
proof!). There are more great
pictures on page 34. We also
have to thank Barry Hall for
his tour of our PQ Magazine
Private Sector College of the
Year (see page 16).
It is great to report that
the ICAEW is listening to its
PQs too, and has pushed
forward the time it releases its exam results from 5pm to noon.
Dont forget our great giveaways on page 13. You can even download a
free sample chapter from Katherine Bagshaws great new audit book yes
you read that right: the words great and audit all in the same sentence.
Finally, I have a confession to make. This is the last month we are going
to name the ACCA examiners in the magazine. I had a long chat with
director of learning Alan Hatfield and have decided to do what the ACCA
has asked. That wont happen often, I promise, and I have already kind of
broken the promise as I said I would stop writing about them this month.
But the conference copy was all ready to go and I didnt have the heart to
change it. See, there is still a rebel in me somewhere.
Graham Hambly, PQ magazine editor (graham@pqaccountant.com)
CONTENTS
June 2013
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PQ Magazine Fourth floor, Central House, 142 Central Street, London EC1V 8AR | Phone: 020 7216 6444 | Email: graham@pqaccountant.com
Website: www.pqmagazine.co.uk | Editor/publisher: Graham Hambly graham@pqaccountant.com | Advertising manager: Polly Thrasivoulou polly@pqaccountant.com
Associate editor: Adam Riches | Art editor: Tim Parker | Subscriptions: dom@pqaccountant.com | Contributors: Robert Bruce, Prem Sikka,
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Published by PQ Publishing PQ Publishing 2013
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CIMA gets new
official publisher
CIMA has a new official
publisher in the form
of Kaplan Publishing.
Kaplan will now
exclusively (from June
2013) produce CIMAs
approved study texts,
practice kits and
revision cards.
PQ was told that last
December Elsevier, the joint
publisher, decided it wanted to
concentrate on online products and
hard copy texts didnt sit with this
strategy. CIMA used this news to
put the publishing contract out to
tender. Eight companies responded
and three were shortlisted. The
winner was Kaplan.
Commercial relationship
manager Cesar Alvarez told us
that CIMA liked the fact the
Kaplan texts were written by
tutors. Kaplan also has a
proven global network. He
explained that CIMA felt that
Kaplan seemed ready to
innovate and offer much
more than just the books.
PQ was also told that the cost of
the texts, kits and cards will remain
the same, at 35, 20 and 10
respectively.
Cesar confirmed that the texts
will not go to press before all
examiners have seen them.
Hot & Tweet
ICAEW district societies need to do
more to engage with younger
members, says a new internal
report.
The reports authors believe the
current old boy network is in
danger of missing the opportunity
to engage with newly qualifieds
who can help to revitalise district
More than eight out of 10 finance
directors question the
trustworthiness and accuracy of a
potential candidates LinkedIn
profile, says new research.
When questioned, two out of
three FDs said they had found the
information sometimes reliable,
with another 14% saying they
were never reliable.
The research reveals several
reasons for this lack of trust. FDs
were concerned about the
opportunities job seekers have to
exaggerate experience and skills,
the lack of systems/procedures to
verify the quality of the
information, the anonymity of
social media, and the lack of
regularly updated profiles.
When asked what elements are
important 65% of FDs said the
experience field is the most
important to get right, followed by
references and education.
Interestingly, the despite the
popularity of LinkedIn, many
employers still prefer the more
traditional recruitment methods. A
direct application for employment,
was felt to be a much more
trustworthy approach.
Most important to FDs are:
experience 65%; references
38%; education 37%;
recommendations 31%; updated
profile information 30%;
endorsed skills 29%; number of
connections 22%; status
updates 10%; groups 2%;
other 1%. Multiple responses
were permitted in the survey.
Eight out of 10 FDs
AIA goes
interactive
The Association of International
Accountants (AIA) has launched
AIA Achieve, a new interactive
distance learning course.
AIA Achieve, created with
BPP Learning Media, offers
students a flexible, affordable
way to study towards the AIA
qualification.
The cost is just 150 per
paper, with multiple purchase
discounts available. It also
comes with an AIA pass pledge
that offers additional support in
the unlikely event that a
candidate should take the
course but not pass the exam.
Further information is
available at: www.aiaworldwide.
com/study/aia-achieve.html
PQ magazine has
crashed through the
thousand-follower
barrier to 1,009 anyway. We
were a little concerned because
as soon as we announced we had
achieved this milestone we lost a
follower!
You really can read the news
first @PQmagazine. We revealed
two Big 4 firms were circling
German consultancy Roland
Berger days before The Times
picked up the story. We also
highlighted the fact that students
could no longer use a P38(s) so
they didnt have to pay tax they
didnt owe thanks to RTI!
And there was the story that
local government debt in China is
out of control. A senior auditors
revelation could spark a crisis
bigger than the US housing
crash, ventured a frightened FT
journalist. But there is no time to
feel smug, as leaking details of a
takeover approach is most
common where? In the UK,
actually!
We are also tweeting any great
jobs that come our way, if that is
important to you at the moment.
These are real jobs with real
career opportunities.
Come on lets get to 2,000
spread the word. So sign up
@PQmagazine.
societies. What really needs to
happen is for committees to find
these younger members a proper
role, even a place on the
committees themselves.
The report acknowledges
younger members use different
sorts of networks, and perhaps
want different things. Instead of a
black-tie annual dinner they want
the opportunity to network and
events focused on career develop.
Engaging young members
To be successful in your ACCA exams, simply learning the syllabus knowledge isnt enough, you need to know how to apply this knowledge in the
exam in order to pass. Our tailored Question Day will help get you exam ready and help you maximise your chances of passing your exams rst
time. At BPP, well teach you the skills and techniques that will help make sure you not only pass your ACCA exams but really fulll your potential.
As with all our courses, there is real exibility in the way you study. You can study Face-to-Face at specic times in one of our conveniently located
centres or choose our interactive Online Classroom Live and study via your laptop, tablet or smartphone. With Online Classroom Live, youll still have
full interaction with your tutor as well as the chance to re-watch live lectures.
Our Question Day provides you with the chance to:
Take a mock exam wrillen by our Lxam Lxperls
Peceive !.! leedback lrom markers
Learn where your knowledge gaps are, and how you can improve your exam lechnique
Discuss your perlormance wilh your experl lulor
Cant make it to one of our locations for a Question Day? All of our ACCA Question Days are also available through our Award Winning Online
Classroom Live, so you can attend a class wherever is convenient for you from home, from work or anywhere with an internet connection.
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8
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ news
The audit world is changing. It was
once secure. Companies wanted a
good audit. It was crucial to their
financial well-being and credibility
with investors. But they didnt do that
by changing auditors for another
firm. They achieved that by working
their auditors hard and keeping them
on their toes. Companies valued the
continuity. As in many other areas of
the way they ran their business they
aspired to the traditional mantra of
no surprises. As a result auditors
were rarely changed.
Now all of this is changing. The
fashion is for retendering. Companies
are under pressure in these days of a
perceived shareholder Spring to at
least appear to be doing something
positive. How many audits will
change hands is not obvious at the
moment. But non-executive directors
have the bit between their teeth. It is
another area where they feel they
can make a difference and, more
importantly, be seen to make a
difference. So, for better or worse,
expect more such activity.
The interesting point is who gains.
The audit firms may not worry too
much at this sea-change, if that is
what it is. Talking with an old friend
involved in all of this the other day
he came up with an important
insight. If a company is talking with
the Big 4 accounting firms they will
always, without exception, find that
the other three firms are earning
larger fees from the company for
consulting assignments than the
incumbent auditor is from the audit.
ROBERT
BRUCE
Who gains
from the
sea-change
in the audit
world?
I Robert Bruce is an
award-winning writer on
accountancy for The Times
Satificing at the ACCA skills level
exams doing just enough to get a
pass will come and bite you in
the bum at the optional papers,
warns the ACCAs Gareth Owen.
The key to being successful at
the optional papers is making the
right choice of papers and excelling
at lower level papers, he stressed.
Owen explained that students
who aim for high marks at F5, F6,
F8 and F9 will do better at the final
exams. He also stressed that it was
important to try to retain some of
the knowledge from these papers
and not leave it too long before you
take your options.
The ACCA has made changes to
the optional papers. It has
acknowledged that P4 and P5 are
time pressured with the two case
scenarios in section A. The papers
will now fall in line with P1, P2 and
P3, with a 50-mark case study
instead. The ACCA feels this will
take some of the time pressure off
students this June. However, it
wants to stress the depth is still
there and it is not making it easier.
The ACCA will now have to wait
to see if this helps improve the
pass rates. The association is
hoping for a positive effect.
Our expert stressed that it wasnt
possible to make the same changes
to P6 and P7.
For top exam tips on the optional
and all the other June papers turn
to page 17.
Google recalled
to Parliament
Ernst & Young
and its client
Google are being
asked in for a
another chat by the Public
Accounts Committee.
Chairman Margaret Hodge
(pictured) said she wants
the internet giant to
explain again why it pays
virtually no corporation tax on
3bn worth of sales. Google says
that its 1,000-plus UK staff
provide marketing services, and
all sales are made across the sea
in Ireland. A Reuters investigation
has put the cat among the
pigeons as it seems to prove
selling is taking place in the UK.
Rogue accountant charged
Former US-based KPMG
partner Scott London has
admitted he passed
confidential details to a golf
buddy who made $1.2m from
the tip-offs. In exchange London
received gifts of bundles of cash,
a $12,000 Rolex and even tickets
to a Bruce Springsteen concert.
The SEC says that London met his
friend in a car park where the
information and gifts were
exchanged. KPMG was forced to
resign as auditor of
both Herbalife and
Sketchers as a result.
Lehman record
PwC looks set to enter
the Guinness Book of Records for
the worlds biggest and most
expensive administration. The firm
has been working on the Lehman
Brothers administration for four-
and-a-half years and have paid
themselves 652m. PwC said that
it expected the work to take
another five years to finish.
Currently, 200 full-time staff work
on the job, and it has
been reported that the
average hourly rate is
332 per employee.
However, this is nothing
to the reported hourly
charges by Deloitte for the Comet
administration. Deloittes hourly
charges were 875-950 for
partners or directors, 385-715
for managers and 155-290 for
assistants and support staff.
Top bananas: The CIPFA annual prize winners ceremony took place
recently in central London. Prizes were awarded to those students who
achieved the best performance in each paper of CIPFAs professional
qualification in 2012
The finance function is under
pressure to change. It appears that
traditional accounting skills are no
longer what is expected of finance
executives. Increasingly,
accountants are being asked to
support other parts of the business
through finance business
partnering, says a new survey.
This expanded role infuses
greater rigour into a company, but it
requires a different set skills from
those traditionally deployed in a
finance department. These skills,
say bosses, are increasingly hard to
find. The worry is 58% of employers
felt that it is too difficult to retrain
existing finance professionals to
take on this new role, and as a
result 70% are looking externally for
talent. However, the talent they are
looking for is in short supply
everywhere, the survey said.
Pressure
on finance
function
Work harder earlier
PQ needed at a rapidly expanding mobile technology company in
Wilmslow, Cheshire. The salary associated with the role is dependent
on experience and will be 18,00023,000 plus study support. See
http://careers.mxdata.co.uk/why-join-us/benfits.aspx. To be considered
for the role send your CV and covering letter to mbooth@mxdata.co.uk
Service charge/client accountant at medium-sized property
management company, North West London. 20,000 per annum plus
study support. For more email Hermal Davda at hdavda@trustplc.com
Go to www.pqjobs.co.uk for more
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10
PQ Magazine June 2013
Auditors get Euro reprieve
Companies should change
their auditors every
14 years, says the
European
Legal
Affairs
Committee. That is
a lot longer than the
original proposal for
a change every six
years. Firms could
even be able to hold
on to an audit for 25
years if certain independence
safeguards are put in place. The
months of intense lobbying by the
Big 4 seem to have paid off
as the plan to ban auditors
carrying out non-audit work
for clients also looks set
to be dropped.
CIMA problem solved
In Aprils PQ magazine we
highlighted the problem that
students sitting the CBA exams
were unable to practise using the
online calculator. The institute has
just confirmed that students can
now download the on-screen
calculator and practise on it before
the exams. PQs need to download
and instal the practice exam at
http://www.vue.com/athena/. The
on-screen calculator can be
accessed from the fourth sample
question (of 12).
To view the presentation go to
http://www.cima global.com/
Students/Exam-preparation/
Certificate/Study-videos/
Licence for London Met
The UK Home Office has
given London Met University
permission to start to recruit and
teach overseas students again. The
universitys licence to sponsor
non-EU student was revoked last
August, leaving hundreds of
students stranded without a
course. With the necessary
improvements in attendance
monitoring and immigrant status
made, the university now has a
green light to begin recruiting
again. However, the Home Office
has reiterated that the university is
on probation.
In brief
PQ news
The role of the Big 4 accounting firms
in designing and marketing tax
avoidance schemes has been exposed
by the Public Accounts Committee.
The committees report highlights the
cosy relationship between the
Treasury and the Big 4 firms. It states:
We have seen what look like cases
of poacher turned gamekeeper, turned
poacher again, whereby individuals
who advise government go back to
their firms and advise their clients on
how they can use those laws to
reduce the amount of tax they pay.
The firms sell tax avoidance
schemes and then audit the outcomes.
They do not disclose the fees from the
sale of tax avoidance schemes, often
marketed as financial restructuring
programmes. The firms continue to get
a free ride. In a number of cases, the
courts have declared the avoidance
schemes to be unlawful. Even after
that the Treasury has failed to
investigate or prosecute. No attempt
has been made to recover legal costs.
Tax avoidance brings firms into
conflict with society and is
incompatible with any notion of
ethical conduct. Yet no accountancy
firm has ever been disciplined for
peddling tax avoidance, even when
schemes are declared unlawful.
The committee recommends the
firms be deprived of their insider
status in government and of taxpayer
funded contracts, especially as their
trade has eroded the tax base. Rather
than reforming, the firms are likely to
fight to protect their profits. Further
public opprobrium is inevitable.
PREM
SIKKA
Groundhog
day for the
Big 4 firms
I Prem Sikka is professor
of accountancy at the
University of Essex
AAT studiers want to know score
The AAT needs to use the introduction of AQ2013 to
start giving students their exam marks.
That is what many leading tutors told PQ magazine
at the AATs annual conference. As one said: Why
dont they just tell students how many marks they got
instead of all this competent, not competent stuff?
Another lecturer suggested that students are desperate
to know how well they have done, so they can gauge if
the amount of work they are putting in is right.
The tutors we spoke to say they are taking the flak
for the AAT about this. One senior tutor explained that
students need to know because they can then make
an informed judgement about whether they are good
enough to go on to ACCA and CIMA.
Another tutor with many years experience said
students arent alone, either: Employers and colleges
want to see the marks too. She went on: The AAT
can be stubborn sometimes and this is one of those
things they just dont seem to want to change.
She pointed out that the AAT could still tell students
whether they were competent, but then give them
their mark as well.
ICAEW students hated the exam
results being released at 5pm on a
Friday. If the news was good they
didnt have time to pass it on and,
perhaps more importantly, make
plans to celebrate. Well, the ICAEW
has been listening and it released
the March Professional Stage exam
results at noon.
A total of 1,788 students sat the
March sitting with 1,297 passing all
the papers they took.
Deloitte and PwC students
dominated the order of merit
prizes, with two students picking up
the top prize
in two papers.
They were Sonia
Jenkins of
Deloitte and
David Hagger
of PwC.
Interestingly,
the figures show
that those sitting
three papers did
better than those who sat two or
even one paper. Some 78.9% of
candidates sitting three papers
passed all three. Another 12%
passed two. Just 61.7% of those
attempting two papers in March
passed both. The pass rate for PQs
attempting one paper was 74.1%.
ICAEWs celebrate good times
ICAEW PROFESSIONAL EXAMS MARCH 2013 SITTING
All First time
Business Strategy 89.3% 92.8%
Financial Reporting 69.1% 71.9%
Financial Accounting 80.3% 83.2%
Audit & Assurance 76.7% 81.4%
Taxation 90.9% 93.5%
Financial Management 78.8% 81.0%
Financial Accounting Top Up 73.9% 75.0%
CIMAs Post Exam Guides need to
be more timely, admits director of
education Noel Tagoe (pictured).
He said that CIMA was still
working on a two-exam cycle
when in fact there are now
four exams a year, so things
need to change.
In an exclusive
interview with PQ
magazine Tagoe
acknowledged our
campaign for the PEGs to
be released in time for
resit candidates. Some PEGs from
November 2012, for example, were
not released until after resit
students sat their exams in late
February 2013.
Tagoe said CIMA knew
that the PEGs were a vital
resource and needed to be
released at a time
when they would be
most useful.
He is now getting
the key players around
the table and is hoping
to convince them that PEGs need to
be published earlier. Tagoe told PQ
that he has a new goal in mind and
is prepared to force through the
changes, because students need
it. He emphasised that it is a
question of change management,
but he didnt want to lose the
quality and meaningful feedback
students get from the PEGs.
Tagoe stressed that the release
of the May 2013 PEGs would prove
that CIMA is moving in the right
direction.
UKBAHIGHLY TRUSTED
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ACCA online student
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The future of finance is super hub
cities that pull in the worlds best
young finance and accounting
talent, says a new ACCA report.
Senior finance leaders from
global organisations such as IBM,
Accenture and Deloitte told ACCA
that the search and retention of
talent is likely to change, pointing to
the possible emergence of finance
delivery super hubs. The ACCAs
Jamie Lyon explained that with the
growth of shared services,
outsourcing and increasingly global
business service operations much
of tomorrows finance talent, and
perhaps some CFOs of the future in
the largest businesses, may emerge
from these super hubs.
When shared services and
outsourcing is concentrated in just
a handful of cities they will become
magnets for career progression.
This concentration in fewer
locations may also push the
transformation of finance delivery to
further embrace technology and
encourage even greater levels of
innovation, ventured Lyon.
ACCA said there could be a
downside to the emergence of
these finance hubs. It could mean
other cities aspiring to build a
reputation as good locations in
which to base transactional finance
processes because of the
numbers of local graduates may
find it difficult to compete. Lyon
said: New contenders may be
excluded from the finance delivery
map. They might find fewer
opportunities as the largest
business concentrate in key cities.
The report found 24 year olds in
India and Malaysia taking on job
responsibilities that it took baby
boomers in the West 20 years or
more to learn. They are now
managing accounts, processes and
teams, replacing managers who
may be twice their age.
12
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ international news
Ive just got back from a professional
services conference in South Korea,
attended by 1,400 people from 65
different countries, where we were
given a compulsory lesson in the
Gangnam style dance moves of Psy.
The Korean Minister for Finance
and the Economy gave a speech
effectively warning us about how we
need to remain competitive in the UK.
He outlined the strength of Asia by
pointing to the following factors. In
the early 1800s Asia accounted for
64% of the worlds GDP. By 1990 this
had fallen to 20%, but by 2013 had
grown back to 34%. He explained
that Asia was becoming the worlds
knowledge economy the strength of
Asia was not as a cheap manufacturer
of goods for the West. He said that
Asia values education the average
South Korean family pays for 20 hours
of private tuition per week for their
children. South Korea tops the world
league in educational output at the
age of 18. He described Korea as the
worlds eighth-largest economy and
the centre of Smartopia (this is
where new products are created using
smart technology).
So lessons learnt? I need to stay
off the dance floor. If the UK is not to
become a relic of history, then we
need more business leaders and in
particular, accountants to drive the
entrepreneurialism of the UK. A
survey released this week in
Parliament found that the number of
16 year olds intending to start their
own business in the UK has grown
from 10% in 1980 to 38% today.
Could this be our salvation?
CARL
LYGO
Asia puts
its best foot
forward
I Professor Carl Lygo is
chief executive of BPP
Think finance super-hub
International board to
play investment role
The International Accounting
Standards Board has a key role to
play in promoting healthy long-term
investment, says chairman
Hans Hoogervorst. He
understood pressure is
mounting to making
accounting standards
more helpful to investors
with a long-term horizon.
The purpose of accounting
standards is, after all, to
keep capitalism honest,
he said. It is financial
reporting that forces management to
show how they have discharged their
responsibilities to make efficient and
effective use of the companys
resources. The problem is corporate
governance and regulation have
struggled to keep up with the
complexity of financial intermediation.
Hoogervorst was aware of the
argument that IFRSs discourage
long-term investment by
relying excessively on fair value
or other forms of current
measurement. Excessive use
of fair value can encourage
financial engineering and
short-term profit taking. But
Hoogervost suggested that
outside the financial industry
most companies have little to
do with fair value accounting.
The bulk of their assets and liabilities
are measured on a cost basis.
That said, he felt that even long-
term investors require shorter-term
reliable and unbiased performance
measures to keep track of their
investments. So you need both!
Business Digest: Real-life case studies to impress the examiner
Text wars
The cash cow that allowed mobile
companies rake in money from
SMS is under threat. Chat apps
such as WhatsApp, Kik, Viber and
Apples iMessage have now
overtaken the text message as the
favourite way to keep in touch.
These new free offerings could even
undermine Facebooks dominance
in social networking. Data collected
by Informa found that the change
was significant in countries such
as the Netherlands, Spain and
South Korea. In Spain, for example,
text revenues fell from 1.1bn in
2007 to 758.5m in 2011.
Tweeting results OK
The US Securities and Exchange
Commission has said that
companies can use social media
outlets such as Facebook and
Twitter to announce key
information, in compliance with
regulation fair disclosure
(Regulation FD). This is as long as
investors have been alerted as to
which social media will be used to
disseminate such information.
Split roles
Walt Disney is ignoring calls to split
the role of chairman and chief
executive Robert Iger. Under his
tenure Disneys performance has
been nothing short of
spectacular, say analysts. In the
UK, the chairmans role is a non-
executive one and tends to involve
policing the activities of the CEO,
who makes the strategic decisions.
Building a better Tesco
Tesco, the worlds third-largest
supermarket chain, has paid the
price for the continued squeeze of
its prime business its UK stores.
Tescos preliminary results for
2012/13 show the company was
forced to write off 800m from its
property pipeline after admitting it
had overpaid for sites. The portfolio
also doesnt fit in with its new click
and brick approach. Added to this
is the 1.2bn cost of pulling out of
the US it wasnt all fresh and
easy! This all added up to a profit
before tax decline of 14.5% to
3,549m. Group profit before tax
declined by 51.54% to 1,960m.
Hoogervorst: IFRSs
keeps firms honest
Cyprus celebration
The ICAEW is celebrating
20 years of training in Cyprus
this month. Cyprus was the first
country outside of the UK where
the institute offered ACA training,
and it still has the highest
student population outside of
Britain.
New PKF partner
AFC Vietnam,
an established firm
of accountants, has
been admitted by
PKF International
Limited as its new
member firm in
Vietnam. AFC was
previously a
member of BDO and was ranked
the tenth largest firm in Vietnam.
It has 130 staff in the firms
three offices in Hanoi, Ho Chih
Minh and Can Tho.
In brief
13
PQ Magazine June 2013
giveaways PQ
W E V E G O T T H E L O T

Terms and conditions: One entry per giveaway please. You must send your name and address to be entered for the draw. All giveaway entries must be
received by Friday 7 June. The main draw will take place on Wednesday 12 June 2013
TO ENTER THESE GIVEAWAYS EMAIL GRAHAM@PQACCOUNTANT.COM
Audit exam pass in the bag!
PQ magazine loved Katherine
Bagshaws book see page 28 for
the review. Audit and Assurance
Essentials for professional
Accountancy Exams is a must-have
for anyone sitting either ICAEW or
ACCA exams. It is full of practical
examples that can be used in the
exam hall and has questions at the
end of each chapter. Bagshaws
books also includes coverage of
IASs relevant to students taking
international and UK variant papers,
with notes on the differences
between UK and international standards where they exist. We have
three of the these books to giveaway this month worth 45 each! For
a free sample chapter and table of contents go to http://goo.gl/h8463
or scan the QR code here using your smartphone.
It should be enough for you to want more!
Send your name and full address to
graham@pqaccountant.com three lucky winners
will get this book. Head your email Audit &
Assurance.
A great memory booster
Max Your Memory is the first visual guide to improving
your powers of memory and recall, says the book
sleeve. While we dont know if that is true we do know
that this book is packed with simple but ingenious
exercises that will help to sharpen your performance in
the exam hall. We have three sets of Dr Pascale
Michelons book to giveaway (it retails at 12.99).
Send an email headed Max Your Memory to
graham@pqaccountant.com and three of you will be
sent the book in the post. So we need an address.
Any e-book of your choice
Emile Woolf have agreed to give another 10 lucky
readers the chance to download one of their ACCA
study text eBooks for 2013. The kits retail at 9.99 and
so far some 75,000 texts and kits have been
downloaded in over 130 countries. Just put EW eBook
in the subject header along with the paper you want (for
example, F5).
We need your full name please for this giveaway.
Send your entry email to graham@pqaccountant.com
14
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ ACCA conference
P1 GOVERNANCE, RISK & ETHICS
Examiner: David Campbell
The P1 paper pass rates since December
2007: 53%/49%/53%/48%/49%/53%/51%/
52%/51%/53%/51%.
Last Decembers pass rate was 51%, and the
examiner believes that tutors now know what
a P1 exam looks and smells like. He
emphasised that his aim was to keep the
exam as current and relevant as possible,
So among the topics on show are: diversity
(A3i); risk content in section D (eg ALARP,
subjective assessment, related and correlated,
dynamic nature of risk); bribery (E5d, E5e);
and environmental reporting (E7a).
Risk has now taken its proper place in the
syllabus. It is still academically a young
subject and theory has been evolving,
especially in risk management, explained
Campbell.
He told future candidates that they must go
over past papers and study the question types
that come up, such as criticise internal
control failures! He also told students to do
all the past papers and assess your
performance against the published marking
guides.
Turning to recent pass papers he explained
that in June 2011 candidates seemed
confused about the difference between AGMs
and EGMs (Q1). Students were asked to
defend pristine capitalist, but he stressed
that that didnt mean they have to agree with
this stance, just answer it that way. Answers
were also weak on making the case for greater
transparency in Q3.
Turning to December 2011, he revealed
that while students can reel off the code of
ethics they dont seem to be able to relate it
to the case.
The examiner stopped here to emphasise
that the verb is really important. If I ask you
to explain then bullet points wont cut it.
Campbell was shocked at the number of
students who didnt know what X3Z is
(asbestos) in his December 2012 test.
Students also didnt know enough about
internal controls last time around, he said.
He stressed that picking up the professional
marks can make a difference between a
marginal fail and a pass so you must know
how to write a memo. Campbell said that your
tutors should be coaching you to ensure you
understand the styles needed. He also wants
them to teach the higher level cognitive skills
as these are important in P1 papers.
Oh, and dont question spot. You just have
to know the whole syllabus, he said.
ACCA examiner
More unique insights into what the ACCA examiners expect from you straight from the horses mouths!
Identify the verb
P2 CORPORATE REPORTING
Examiner: Graham Holt
The examiner Graham Holt told delegates that
the nature of students answers have been
consistent they are not that great. He
admitted that sometimes as an examiner you
feel the need to reinvent yourself, but he hasnt.
All he has tried to do is to think about how he
can help students.
So what do students do well?
They have good knowledge of the basic
standards; however, application of these
standards is not so good. Students also seem to
like topical questions, goodwill and the ethic
elements.
Holt broke down the average marks achieved
in different questions in the past two sittings:
June 12 Dec 12
Q1 27.3 25.7
Q2 10.2 8.4
Q3 8.4 11.2
Q4 8.6 11.2
This shows, said Holt, the importance of
performing well in Q1. In June 2012, Q2 was a
numbers question, which students tend to like.
Q2 in December and Q3 in June required
knowledge of multiple standards and Holt was
worried that students have tunnel vision here.
Q4 in June was based around an exposure
draft and required application. He did wonder
how anyone passes sometime, and felt too
many students make superficial attempts at
some questions.
Holt said that he likes to create real-world
scenarios so it is hard when students ignore
them. He felt the application of standards is
generally badly done. He also questioned
students ability to manage exam time,
especially when it comes to Q1. It can be a
double whammy here, as students waste time
for no marks and then run out of time to
answer other questions. In a triple whammy
they lose professional marks as well as they
dont seem to properly read the requirements.
They should also note that they need to finish
the question to get those full professional
marks.
He stressed the importance of workings, as
you can still get marks even if you get your
figures wrong. He told students they can help
themselves if they:
Read widely and consolidate knowledge.
Understand that question spotting does not
work.
Are comfortable with complex group
accounting calculations (as if there is any
complexity most answers fall apart).
Answer all parts of the question.
Holt stressed that even he doesnt know what
is in the next exam; he doesnt follow a pattern
and it is dangerous to assume he does.
Holt understands that modern students dont
like getting things wrong, but you have to do
question practise and learn to get it wrong so
you can get it right in the exam.
He also called on students to manage their
own development. They cannot engage in
passive study and must not underestimate the
hard graft needed to get a pass.
No pattern to exam questions
PQ Magazine June 2013
15
ACCA conference PQ
rs tell it like it is
P6 ADVANCED TAXATION
Examiner: Rory Fish
P6 is a nice static exam with nothing much
happening, said examiner Rory Fish. He
stressed that P6 was a big syllabus and you
have to have good technical knowledge in
many areas. But there are some that cause
confusion, he said, and they are:
Income tax students are happier talking
about schemes in general. Residency and
overseas income is a particular problem.
Capital Gains Tax and IHT is done pretty well,
apart from reliefs, these are just not known well
enough. IHT mechanics is done well, the
problem is with business property relief it just
becomes part of CGT again!
Corporation tax is usually done well. But
some candidates do have problems when
de-grouping charges arise.
Learn direct/indirect ownership properly
please.
VAT teaching it is tricky and the
fundamental concepts are not easy to pick up
when you are self-studying. PQs have to realise
that they might need a bit more help on VAT.
Fish pointed out that he tells his markers to
look to give marks even when they are in
doubt. His approach is that he is a tax manager
and if you bring him useful stuff he will give
you a mark.
While most do it these days, you have to
answer all four questions and all the parts.
Since Fish took over there has been an
increase in students having a go and they are
often picking up marks.
He also warned against students wallowing in
difficult questions hunting around for the
marks. Instead they should just push on and
keep earning marks elsewhere.
Again, he asked students to avoid repetition.
Use the reading time and then get your points
down. Two short sentences, sometimes even
one sentence can earn a mark. He just asked
more candidates to think before they write. You
need to:
Identify all of the relevant information.
Identify all of the relevant issues.
Identify all of the possible outcomes.
The marginal candidates are just not picking
up enough marks for all their effort, he
explained. If you are getting one mark a page
then you will fail. That might mean you need to
slow down and answer what is being asked.
The exam structure is clear. It is 35 marks
for Q1, 25 marks for Q2 and section B
questions are 20 marks each.
The examiner suggested it was easy to spot
the candidates who havent sat a revision
course. Those on revision courses are doing
better, he said. They seem to know how to
behave in the exam hall. They also seem to
know the four professional marks, for instance,
are in Q1.
P7 ADVANCED AUDIT AND ASSURANCE
Examiner: Lisa Weaver
The pass rate has been consistent in this
paper it has been 31%, 31%, 32% and
32%. That is low, said Lisa Weaver, and it is
disappointing, but this is a challenging paper.
The stats also mask the fact that there are
a lot of students stuck in a marginal fail. So
while they are doing well in individual
questions in a lot of questions they are not
performing well.
So what do students do well?
Business risk evaluation.
Knowledge of certain financial reporting
issues.
Identifying ethical threats generally quite
good. The problem is that they are not good
at developing problems and explaining why
the threat is there.
Recommending audit procedure.
Assurance scenarios, eg due diligence,
prospective financial information.
And, not so well:
Risk of material misstatement - weak on
discussion of specific risks to financial
statements. This is a significant issue and a
really important area, she stressed.
Explain WHY ethical threats arise.
Describing audit procedures, some answers
good, a lot very vague and often just not
relevant.
Audit reports generally are not answered
very well. You just need to understand AR!
Weaver felt that candidates are just not
sufficiently sceptical of the information given.
They also need to understand the relationship
between the audit firm and the audit client.
That is about the mechanics of how it all
works.
The choice of question in section B also
needs to be thought through. I am just not
sure candidates often make the right
choices, she said.
She stressed that P7 is a quite practical
paper and felt that students may need more
guidance. She encouraged students to read
the whole question paper before they chose
what they plan to answer. Too many are still
picking questions and then appear not to be
able to answer it!
To help students need to improve their
knowledge of IAS and ethical code
requirements. Students also need to be able
to discuss a wider range of issues and be able
to develop their points fully. Three sentences
wont get you 8 marks, she warned.
Weaver pleaded for candidates to make
their answers specific to the scenario and
question requirements. Scepticism, although
in the syllabus will become more prominent,
she explained.
Finally she said that students should be
encouraging more interaction in the
classroom. There should be debates and
discussions around the question scenarios.
Revision courses really do help
Paper is a challenge
16
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ college visit
P
Q magazine was in town for the AAT
conference earlier this month and so
decided to drop in on our College of
the Year. There is something different about BPP
Birmingham, or BPP Birmingham University
College Learning Centre, to give it its full title.
As you enter there is a special cabinet to the
left of reception with their PQ award proudly
displayed thats how you do it!
But thats not all that impresses. Walk into the
Vanta space on the first floor and
you will be blown away. There are
only two spaces like this in BPP
one in Mexico City, the other in
Birmingham. Expect to see more
because this is the future.
It is rare to be blown away by a
learning area, but this does the job. It is more of
a learning village than an open space for
learning. There are glass meeting rooms to the
side of the main room, which allow for break-out
groups, and in the middle a big sunken meeting
area, like a mini-Roman amphitheatre.
Our tour guide, head of BPP Birmingham
Barry Hall, explained that Vanta really allows
collaborative learning, and helps BPP live up to
its motto of challenging the education status
quo. Hall explains that this is a place for sharing
ideas. He points out that even the technology
thinks that way. Rather than everyone in one
room following one laptop presentation, the
technology allows true interaction and everyone
can look at everyone elses screen.
Hall really does feel BPP Birmingham is
unique. He said: Students love the shared
experience of professional accountancy
qualifications running alongside a university
college and post graduate law qualifications in a
modern, refurbished, multi-functional centre.
Apart from Vanta there is the 90-seat
library and a student-centred collaboration
area close to the tutor room, where tutors
work one-to-one with students, or where
students can talk about their work.
Scattered around the building in well-lit
areas are single study desks, offering free
wi-fi and computers.
Birmingham has also become the real centre
for BPP itself. Operation director Mark Griffiths,
head of UK centres Adam Temple and
International director Tony Osude are all based
here.
BPP Birmighams One Team approach has
created a professional, friendly and relaxed
atmosphere where students really benefit from
people who have thought about them first. A
worthy winner indeed and a hard act to follow
next year!
PQ
PQ College of the Year
PQMAGAZINE
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PQ magazine visited its College of the Year 2013 BPP Birmingham
C
O
L
L
E
G
E
State of the art:
BBP Birmingham
spared no
expense to make
its flagship
college a warm
and friendly
learning
experience for its
students,
utilising cutting
edge technology
and educational
techniques.
Left: believe it or
not, there is a
lecture taking
place here!
Weve got the best tips
in the whole of PQ land
sponsored by Reed
Accountancy
LSBF
F5
Throughput accounting/lifecycle
accounting.
Linear programming/decision tree
analysis.
Zero based budgets/flexible
budgets.
Sales variances/mix and yield
variances.
Performance evaluation in
services/non profit organisations.
F6
Income tax computation and
partnership.
Corporation tax with trading
losses.
Capital gains tax with principal
private residence relief.
Overseas corporation tax with the
election to exempt the profits of the
overseas branch from UK
corporation tax.
IHT on lifetime gifts into a trust.
VAT group registration and
surcharges.
F7
Consolidated financial statements
and/or consolidated income
statement.
Published accounts preparation
or re-drafting with 15 marks for
mixed standards adjustments.
Statement of cash flow with some
interpretation.
Depreciation and revaluation,
EPS, substance, leasing.
Financial instruments, tax and
deferred tax, etc.
F8
Wide reading is recommended
know a little about a lot!
Audit of specific items especially
non-current assets, receivables and
payables.
Internal controls especially
control environment.
Audit planning and risk
assessment especially audit risk
issues.
Audit reports especially emphasis
of matter, final review especially
evaluation of misstatements and/or
subsequent events.
Others, assurance, ethics and
internal audit.
F9
Investment appraisal including
tax and inflation possibly with lease
or buy decision.
WACC with some capital structure
theory.
Working capital maybe including
cash budgeting and cash
management.
Risk including FC and MMH.
Business finance with discussion
of sources of finance.
EMH discussion.
P2
Group income statement or cash
flow statement.
Possibly two mix questions with
the usual suspects of goodwill
provisions financial instruments
and sbp and the rest.
Current issues including leases
small and medium sized
enterprises and joint ventures.
P3
Strategic analysis.
Evaluation of a strategic option
using suitability, feasibility,
acceptability.
Project management particularly
the initial stages.
Improvement of business
processes.
Strategic management
accounting.
P4
International investment appraisal
with adjusted present values or net
present values.
Cost of capital using the
principles of Modigliani and Miller
prepositions or geared and
ungeared betas.
Mergers and acquisitions
valuation using free cash flows,
defensive tactics and regulations of
takeovers.
Capital reconstruction schemes
designing a capital reconstruction
scheme or assessing the success of
a given scheme.
Option pricing theory. Real
options, example, option to
abandon, expand and delay.
Valuation of company using the
Black-Schole option pricing model
and delta hedge.
Hedging exchange rate and
interest rate risk using futures,
options and swaps.
Islamic finance.
P6
Incorporation of a business
including incorporation relief.
Corporation tax including
overseas aspects and controlled
foreign companies.
Partnership.
Rent a room relief.
Inheritance tax including
business property relief.
Personal service companies or
purchase of own shares.
Investment in SEIS.
Remittance basis charge.
Kaplan Financial
F4
English legal system: court
structure, court vs tribunal.
Contract law: exclusion clauses,
intention to create legal relations.
Tort of negligence: duty of care,
professional misstatement.
Employment law: common law
duties, redundancy.
Agency/partnership: how agency
relationship arises, liability of
agents & partners.
Company law: separate
personality/lifting the veil, articles of
association, treasury shares.
Fraudulent behaviour: money
laundering, market abuse.
F5
Pricing equations & pricing
strategies.
Environmental management
accounting.
Learning curves.
Variances: sales variances,
market size and market share.
Decision trees.
F6
Income tax: Husband and wife,
adjustment of profits, self
PQ Magazine June 2013
17
ACCA exam tips PQ
While you prepare for your exams.
Brought to you in association with Reed Accountancy
Continued on page 18
18
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ ACCA exam tips
been a while since weve seen the
more numerical aspects
surrounding cash management.
Valuations: cash flow based
values have yet to be examined
although the PE ratio and dividend
valuation methods have.
Business finance calculation and
interpret financial ratios.
Cost of capital: (WACC) and
impact of the cost of capital on
investments. CAPM based
calculations.
P1
Teleological and deontological
approaches to ethics.
Corporate code of ethics.
Insider trading.
Internal controls systems.
Transparency in the context of
corporate governance.
Directors remuneration.
Normative and instrumental view
of stakeholders.
P2
Groups and ethics financial
instruments, joint arrangements,
foreign currency.
Ethical issue accounting
treatment in the group accounts
question.
IAS 19 Employee benefits.
IFRS 2 Share-based payment.
Entity reconstructions including
accounting issues.
IFRS 9 & IAS 39 Financial
instruments including hedging.
P3
Project management.
Benefits management.
Supply chain management.
Business process change.
Stakeholder analysis.
Decision making techniques.
P4
Net present value including
foreign currency cash flows.
Risk adjusted WACC.
Discussion of financing options.
Interest rate hedging options,
futures and FRAs.
P5
Divisional performance.
BCG matrix and link to CSFs,
KPIs.
Public sector NFP link between
mission and CSFs, KPIs.
Evaluate PM system.
Evaluate format and content of a
PM report.
Building block model.
P6
Corporation tax: capital gains
groups, NGNL and rollover relief,
group relief/consortium relief,
overseas aspects: branch vs
sub/CFCs/transfer pricing.
Capital gains: reliefs: rollover,
holdover, gift, PPR and letting,
overseas aspects.
Inheritance tax: valuation of
shares, deed of variation, business
property relief.
Income tax: sole traders opening
year rules, trading losses, benefits:
car, accommodation, share
incentive plans.
VAT: partial exemption, land and
buildings, group VAT registration.
Scenarios: lease versus buy
assets: net cost, company purchase
of own shares, IHT versus CGT for
gifts.
P7
Engagement planning and risk
assessment.
Engagement procedures.
Ethics and professional issues.
Completion (matters to
consider/evidence on file) and
engagement reporting.
Planning.
Subsequent events (ISA 560).
Due diligence.
Auditors responsibilities regarding
fraud.
Limited liability.
Competition in the statutory audit
market.
Improving the audit report.
UK variant is likely to include an
aspect of insolvency.
First Intuition
F4
English legal system.
Consideration.
Remedies for breach.
Professional negligence.
Veil of incorporation.
Redundancy.
Directors duties.
Winding up.
Partnerships.
Fixed v floating charges.
F5
Throughput accounting.
Environmental accounting.
Limiting factors.
Decision trees.
Budgeting and learning curves.
Variances (including sales mix
and quantity) and budget flexing.
Divisional performance and
transfer pricing.
F6
Employment/self-employment.
PAYE.
Opening years and change of
year end for sole traders.
Capital allowances.
Corporation tax losses.
VAT default surcharge and VAT
invoice content and annual
accounting.
CGT: principal private residence
and entrepreneurs relief, chattels.
IHT lifetime and death transfers.
F7
Q1: consolidated SFP, with
associate, deferred consideration,
pups and fair value adjustment.
Q2: single company accounts
question, including taxation, lease,
and intangible assets.
Q3: statement of cash flow and
comments thereon with no ratios.
Q4: the framework with
computation for non-current asset.
Q5: provisions.
F8
Internal controls deficiencies
and recommendations.
Scenario based ethics or
corporate governance question.
Substantive testing and audit
evidence.
Audit reports.
Were working hard to
assist in your next step.
assessment.
Corporation tax: property income,
chargeable gains to calculate, with
rollover relief, quarterly instalment
payments.
VAT: VAT return, including some
discounts and impaired debts relief,
deregistration, payment dates.
Capital gains tax: wasting assets
or chattels, exempt assets, PPR, gift
and entrepreneurs relief.
F7
Q1: consolidated statement of
financial position (with possible
statement of profit or loss).
Adjustments to include: PURP,
share exchange, current accounts,
impairment, revaluation, fair value
adjustment.
Q2: published accounts to include
statement of profit or loss,
statement of financial position and
statement of changes in equity from
trial balance. Possible adjustments
to include: revenue recognition,
depreciation, revaluation, tax and
deferred tax, convertible loan, share
issue.
Q3: statement of cash flows with
interpretation element.
Q4/Q5: qualitative characteristics,
finance leases, intangible assets,
events after the reporting date,
earnings per share.
F8
Audit Framework: confidentiality/
conflicts of interest/audit
committees.
Internal audit: role and function.
Planning and risk: audit risk
including analytical procedures.
Internal control: cash/purchases
system (including tests of control).
Audit evidence: purchases/
payables; bank and cash; review
engagements.
Completion and reporting:
subsequent events (ISA 560)
auditors reports.
F9
Investment appraisal: the most
common technique assessed is
NPV with inflation and taxation,
although be prepared for a twist.
Working capital management: Its
Continued from page 17
MORE TIPS
To see our comprehensive tips
for all the papers go to
www.pqmagazine.co.uk and
click on ACCA study zone.
BPP and Open Tuition have
provided us extensive tips for
these papers get online now!
PQ Magazine June 2013
F9
Discussion of the economic
environment and the impact on
interest and exchange rates.
Working capital management.
Investment appraisal and cost of
capital.
Business Valuations.
P1
50-mark question to include:
TARA risk model, ethics, absolutist
v relativism, chairman and CEO
powers, corporate social
responsibility, ISO 14001.
Optional questions to include:
importance of internal control,
NEDs and remuneration committee,
business risks, Gray Owens and
Adams.
Bribery Act.
P2
Q1: group question on disposals,
piecemeal acquisitions or cashflow.
Ethics.
Revenue recognition current
issue.
Deferred tax.
Share based payments.
P3
Environmental Analysis people
with financial analysis.
Project management.
Strategic action.
Information technology pricing
strategy.
P4
International investment appraisal
techniques focusing on risk
management tools such as value at
risk.
Impact on WACC following
hedging of interest rate risk.
Company valuation based
scenario, possible MBO finance to
structure.
Adjusted present value with link to
real options and Black Scholes
option pricing model.
P5
Critique an existing performance
management system.
Transfer pricing.
ROI, RI and EVA.
Activity based principles.
Corporate failure prediction.
Performance management
models.
Assess performance against
financial and non-financial
(including environmental) targets.
P6
Business property relief.
Use of second spouse nil rate
band.
Related property.
Groups of companies, trading and
capital losses.
Double tax relief for companies.
De-grouping charges.
Incorporation relief.
Furnished holiday lets.
VAT partial exemption.
Appeals and the four-track
tribunal system.
Benefits in kind or extra salary,
income tax and NI implications.
P7
Audit risks in a scenario.
Identifying ethical and other
professional issues in a scenario.
Audit reports.
Group audits.
Money laundering.
Becker Professional Education
F5
Section A throughput
accounting and or environmental
management accounting.
Section B decision trees.
Section C a calculation
including activity based budgeting.
Section D mix and yield
variances, along with discussion.
Section E performance
measurement in non-profit
organsiations.
F6
Taxation of benefits.
Taxation of motor cars.
Employment income.
Different types of property
income, including furmished
holiday lettings, together with a
personal income tax computation.
Employment income, NICs.
Relief for a trading loss of self-
employed persons.
A change of accounting date is
due for examination.
12-month accounting period
straddling 31 March, with a detailed
adjustment of profit and detailed
capital allowances computation
(motor cars see above).
Capital gain with rollover relief.
Capital gains tax computation for
a personal taxpayer. Possible
gain/loss caluculations.
VAT treatment of overseas trading.
Class 1 and Class 1A NIC, in
conjunction with employment
income, benefits and PAYE.
Tax appeals and penalties.
IHT unused nil rate bands from
a predecessor spouse, stage 2 & 3
computations arising on death,
applicable exemptions and due date
of payment.
F7
Leases.
Construction contracts.
Revenue recognition.
Substance vs form.
Convertible instruments
(IAS 31/IFRS 9).
Accounting for taxation.
Accounting for asset, particularly
IAS 16.
F8
Ignore exam tips that are a list of
somebodys favorite topics.
F9
Rights issues.
IRR.
Dividend policy.
Lease vs buy decisions.
Efficient markets hypothesis.
P1
Corporate governance concepts,
underlying fundamentals and
arrangements.
CG in organisations such as
public services and NGOs.
Types and forms of CG.
Agency theory.
Board structures.
19
ACCA exam tips PQ
Well be waiting on the other side.
LEGS 11
Damian Pichard has a
simple mission to
explain how you can
pass ACCA exams
1) Be properly prepared its a
lot easier than retaking.
2) Dont panic it doesnt help
and it wastes time.
3) If you dont know the answer to
a question guess make it up.
You may pick up some marks.
4) Always answer
the right number
of questions.
5) Always answer
every part of every
question you
attempt.
6) Answer the
question that has
been asked not the one you
wished had been asked.
7) Practise rigorous time
allocation and management.
8) Use bullet points whenever
appropriate to save time.
9) Look at how many marks are
being given to judge how much to
write and how long to take.
10) Help the marker
to give you marks: be
concise (theres no
extra marks for
length); keep it neat
(theres no marks if
the examiner cant
read it); keep it
relevant (theres no
marks if it isnt about the
question).
11) Never leave the exam early
its your only chance to earn
marks.
Damian Pichard, University of
Northampton
Continued on page 20
20
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ ACCA exam tips
Internal control and business risk,
Turnbull.
Ethical theories and business
codes Koihlberg, Gray, Owen and
Adams, Tucker, AAA.
Public interest.
Corporate social responsibility
corporate citizen, footprints.
Environmental/social auditing.
P2
Consolidation in Q1.
Disposals & complex groups.
Step acquisitions.
Cash flow.
Foreign sub.
Complex.
Financial instruments (IAS
39/IFRS 9) including hedging.
Employee benefits (IAS 19),
amended in 2011.
Leases (IAS 17).
Share-based payments (IFRS 2).
Impairment of assets (IAS 36).
Deferred tax (IAS 12).
P3
Project management.
Environmental analysis, using
PESTEL or Porters 5 forces and the
impact of change on all
stakeholders.
Business process change or
improvements.
Corporate level strategy perhaps
involving Boston Consulting Group
matrix.
The role of management
accounting in helping to achieve
the strategic objectives.
Strategy and people, perhaps
looking at leadership qualities.
P4
Role and responsibility towards
stakeholders.
Domestic and international
investment decisions.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Corporate re-organisation
strategies.
Advanced treasury and risk
management techniques.
Impact of macro economics and
international financial institutions.
Emerging issues in finance and
financial management.
P5
Environmental management
accounting.
Activity based management.
Value chain analysis.
Balanced scorecard or Fitzgerald
and Moon building blocks model.
P7
New audits, tendering.
Planning, materiality, sampling,
analytical review.
Audit, business or financial
statement risk.
Group audits, goodwill, joint
audit, joint ventures.
Assurance services, PFI, KPI, due
diligence, forensic audit, reviews,
insolvency.
Ethics, practice management and
other professional issues.
Any audit matter covering IFRS.
Close down procedures, opening
balances, comparatives.
Outsourcing, service providers,
use of an expert.
CG, internal audit (ethics/
outsourcing), audit committees.
Current issues.
LCA
F7
Q1: written element on either
IFRS 10 or IFRS 13.
Q2: usual multi topic question
including finance at amortised cost
and leases.
Q3: prepare and analysis of a
cashflow statement
Q4/Q5: IAS 10 and non current
assets.
F9
Investment appraisal: NPV
including identification of relevant
cash flows, tax saved on capital
allowances, inflation and nominal
cost of capital.
Calculation of a project specific
cost of capital and discussion.
Special investment decisions:
lease or buy.
Working capital management:
working capital characteristics of
different businesses and the
working capital cycle.
Overcapitalisation versus
overtrading.
All aspects of receivables
management including credit
control, discounts and
factoring.
Sources of finance and cost
of capital.
Theories of capital structure
(Modigliani and Miller).
Company valuation.
Dividend growth model vs
market value discussion.
P2
Q1: foreign subsidiaries or
cashflow statement.
Q2/Q3: revenue recognition,
hedge accounting, retirement
benefits, share based pay, deferred
tax, leases.
Q4: management commentary,
the framework. Possibly proposals
for hedging, revenue, leases or
investment entities.
Sunil Bhandari
F9
Q1: investment appraisal NPV
with tax, inflation and working
capital. Discussion on capital
rationing or objectives of a listed
company
Q2: compute WACC of a
company; discussion on capital
structure.
Q3: financial forecast income
statement and SOFP; investor and
gearing ratios; Islamic finance
Sukuk Bonds.
Q4: working capital inventory;
management EOQ; cash budget
or payables management; FOREX
hedging forward contract and
MMH for a FX payment.
P4
Q1: foreign investment appraisal
or business valuation with FCF; risk
adjusted WACC; BSOP real option;
discussion on ethics relevant to
the scenario.
Q2: interest rate risk
management traditional debt
finance; Islamic Finance most
likely Sukuk Bonds.
Q3: adjusted present value;
discussion of the weaknesses of
this method.
Q4: corporate reconstruction or
dividend policy.
PQ
These tips should
be used in conjunction with
proper study and revision. They
are not a substitute for in-depth
revision. We cannot guarantee
that everything we mention will
be on the paper. These tips are a
rough guide only, no one knows
what the examiner was thinking
18 months ago when the paper
was set!
HEALTH
WARNING
Good Luck from us all!
www.reedglobal.com/accountancyjobs
Continued from page 19
GIMME FIVE
Abiodun Mamora recently wrote
on LinkedIn: I was 21 years old
when I completed all my ACCA
exam. I want to help more young
people study and pass. If you
have opportunity overseas, I want
to lecture accounting students in
a good institution.
We asked for her top five tips to
passing, and here they are:
Associate with people who have
passed some professional exams.
Leverage on past exam success
to boost your confidence.
Forget social, focus on study.
Never be discouraged when you
fail a paper. I failed a few papers
and immediately re-enrolled.
Trust in God for grace to do all
it takes to study, read and write
exams.
NQ magazine is an e-mag for newly
qualifieds who want to get ahead

MAKING STRIDES
We focus on four women who are
making headway in accountancy
THEVOICE
OFALLNQs
GOING
STATESIDE

ALL THE NEWS
YOU NEED
Pages 4and 6
HOME SWEET
HOME Page 11
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See page 3
CHANGES
AFOOT

P16
P8


MAY 2013
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OFALLNQs
OI THEVO
call:
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azine @pqmag
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P14






























NEE U O Y
NE THE LL A















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S W NE






























ook out f l
S: F IFR
OO AF
CHANGES















or ook out f
o s t ething iv S: F
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es 4and 6 g a P
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our home CGT and y
a P E M HO
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our home making he
us on f oc e f W
MAKING STRIDES
e 11 g a
T EE W















ount c c y in a a dw a making he
omen who ar our w us on f
MAKING STRIDES















y
Americ
CIMAandthe
T A TA S
ING GO
anc ount
e omen who ar
MAKING STRIDES
P20















am e andr Americ
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P16




















































































































































































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AT THE
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Howto tackle the
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MEET
JONATHAN,
AN NQ STAR
Our NQ of the Year
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THEVOICE
OFALLNQs
TENDERING
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WHO OWNS
YOUR CV? P11
Lisa Dendle on how you
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GOVERNANCE
UPDATE P18
Sir Roger Carr on Cadburys
code an antidote to risk
STILL ILL?
What wecanlearn
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LOOKING TO
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What arethenew
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MARKETING
MAKE EASY P16
P8
P20
P15
Contact us
email: graham@pqaccountant
twitter: @pqmagazine
facebook: pqmag
call 020 7216 6427
MARCH2013
Check it out now the all-new NQ!
Sign up today via the PQ website:
www.pqmagazine.co.uk
It's packed with articles from industry experts that will help you do your job better.
Mays issue covers topics including a salary checker, women in accountancy, IFRSs,
developing your soft skills, changes to audit and much, much more
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PQ Magazine June 2013
23
AAT conference report PQ
AQ2013IS ALMOST UPON US
T
he old AAT syllabus AQ2010 will expire
on 31 August 2013, the AATs head of
special projects Patricia McDonagh told
a packed annual conference in Birmingham
recently. From that date no new students will be
registered. That means AQ2013 is officially
launched and open for business to new learners
and those transferring to the new syllabus on
1 September 2013. Current students then have
until 31 December 2014 to sit their final
AQ2010 assessments, including transitional
assessments.
Looking at the timetable of key dates,
McDonagh explained that live assessments will be
available for all units (except business, personal
and indirect tax) on 1 October 2013. Sample
assessments for these three missing units will go
online by early November 2013 with live
assessment available from early January 2014.
Training providers were told they have until
28 February 2015 to assess, verify and report
the results of any CBPs and transitional
assessments. After this date any student who
has not successfully completed their AQ2010
assessment will be transferred to the AQ2013
qualification to complete their studies. That
means in effect from 1 March 2015 all students
will follow AQ2013.
McDongah then went on to highlight the main
changes in AQ2013. Firstly, there is a move to a
single section for the grading of each
assessment. There has been a restructuring of
tasks and the distribution of marks. The AAT is
also publishing the maximum marks available
for each task for assessments set and marked
by the AAT itself. Students will see that some
unit titles and abbreviations have changed.
McDongah was pleased there that would no
longer be any confusion about ICAS the AAT
exam and ICAS, the professional body of
Scotland.
Professional ethics is also playing as bigger
part in the new syllabus and will be assessed
through a computer-based project.
Cash management is moving to Level 4. That
means students who have completed the unit in
Level 3 will need to take the new assessment at
Level 4 if they choose this option.
Finally, the concept of sustainability has been
introduced into several units.
Students should note that there are some
transitional arrangements. A transitional
assessment, for instance, applies to four units:
Basic costing Level 2.
Work effectively in accounting & finance
Level 2.
Professional ethics Level 3.
Internal controls and accounting systems
Level 4.
A transitional assessment toolkit has been
developed to help, McDongah pointed out. This
is available at aat.org.uk/aq2013.
Students should remember if they have only
partially completed a level of AQ2010 they will
have 18 months from the launch of AQ2013 in
which to complete that level of AQ2010. If you
have completed a level of AQ2010 you will not
need to retake any units and should start the
next level of AQ2013.
The AAT has also said that if students have
only one or two assessments to go for AQ2010
they should be encouraged, where possible, to
complete those final assessments for that level
of the qualification.
PQ
PQ magazine reports from the
AATs annual tutor conference
Connect, working together for
accounting excellence
Points to note
Students can access the sample assessment
guides for AQ2013 from August 2013.
Assessment fees will not increase in 2013/14
Past papers for NVQ and diploma pathways will be
removed from the AAT website from 1 September.
to advertise call 020 7216 6444
on the
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24
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ CIPFA update
T
he CIPFA Student Conference 2013,
taking place in London on Wednesday
10 July alongside the CIPFA Annual
Conference (9-11 July), is free to all CIPFA
students and newly qualifieds.
Under the theme Beyond Austerity: designing
the future state, the annual conference takes
place at a pivotal time for public services. With
no let-up in budget cuts, and few signs of
growth, the conference asks delegates to look at
how we design and deliver public services
sensitively and fairly and gives the chance to
reflect on the future of public services.
CIPFA students of today are the leaders of
tomorrow, the National Student Forum (NSF)
student conference is designed to equip you with
the tools to lead the public sector into the future.
As we look beyond austerity, new and innovative
leaders will be called upon to shepherd public
services into a new and uncertain future state.
The many aspects of successful leadership will
be examined, including reflections from current
leaders in the public sector and fresh ideas on
how successful leaders communicate and
network amongst one another.
Speakers and sessions include:
Stephanie Flanders, broadcaster and journalist:
She will be giving an overview of this and other
great recessions and how people got out of them
looking at whats different this time and whats in
store for the UK and its public finances by 2020.
Chuka Umunna, Shadow Secretary of State for
Business, Innovation and Skills: Under the title
Designing the future state, the Labour MP for
Streatham will be looking at the role of public
services in fostering the conditions for prosperity
and growth.
Dave Caesar, consultant in emergency
medicine, NHS Lothian: Caesar will reflect on his
experiences from his years on the front line of
operational medicine in NHS Lothian sharing his
insights on how hes had to adapt his leadership
style depending on his situation, the differences
between tactical and strategic leadership and the
approach required to lead effectively in a variety
of scenarios.
Jon Harrison, head of talent development, Ink:
How do you inspire trust, loyalty and action?
Drawing from the worlds of biology, psychology
and marketing, Harrison will explore how great
leaders communicate differently to most other
NSF: DESIGNING
THE FUTURE
The institute has unveiled a top range of speakers for this years annual
conference, which takes place in July. CIPFA PQs cant afford to miss it!
people, and provide very real examples of the
changes you can make straight away to make
your day to day communication have a greater
impact.
Andy Lopata: Lopata is one of Europe's leading
business networking strategists and will discuss
how developing a strategic approach to your
networking will help you tap into your full
potential, work more effectively and open more
doors.
The conference also features the presentation
of two awards. The NSF Excellence in Education
Award is presented to the CIPFA tutor who has
delivered excellence in the classroom and the
Tom Sowerby Award is presented to the person
colleague, mentor or tutor who has given an
outstanding service to students. Whilst the
closing date for the Tom Sowerby Award has
passed, contact the NSF to make your
nominations for the Excellence in Education
Award.
Day two (11 July) of the Annual Conference is
open to NSF Conference delegates for just 45
and will feature Lord Heseltine looking at
strategies for growth and Lord Sutherland, chair
of the Royal Commission into the long-term care
for the elderly, will be discussing the welfare
state.
PQ
The NSF is an award-winning student body winning, PQ magazines Student
Body of the Year in 2012 (see picture). They represent CIPFA students
across the country, link all the regional student societies, organise the
student conference and have an active representative on CIPFAs Board for
the Region, Members & Students Development Board and CIPFA Council.
The new chair of the NSF is welcomed each year at the student
conference; current chair Alastair McMillen will be handing over to James
Donegan in July. James has been an active volunteer in the South East both
for the regional executive council and the South East Regional Student
Society and works for the Cabinet Office.
The NSF is on Twitter @CIPFA_NSF as well as having an active
Facebook page (just search for CIPFA National Student Forum and then
like to receive future updates). They are always looking for new members,
if you are interested in joining the NSF then visit the website:
www.cipfa.org/nsf. Places are limited for this years conference book your
place at www.cipfaannualconference.org.uk
About the National Student Forum
PQ Magazine June 2013
25
CIPFA update PQ
Looking to further your tax knowledge or progress
your career in tax?
The ATT has the answer with an exam structure
offering a choice of eight subjects.
Gain a Certicate of Competency or continue
to full membership of the leading professional
body dealing with UK tax compliance.
The choice is yours!
For further details please visit the ATT website at
www. att. org. uk or call the Association of Taxation
Technicians on 020 7340 0551
Reached the top?
We spoke to Sam Jarrett, the
recent winner of the institutes
Eric Gilliland Memorial Prize
Sam is the prize guy
Why did you choose CIPFA? Ive always been
drawn to working in the public sector, making a
difference to peoples lives. The CIPFA
qualification gave me the opportunity to apply my
skills to help make the most of public funding
and improve the services Norfolk County Council
provides to the local community.
How has having the qualification helped with
your work? Accountancy in local government
provides a unique set of challenges, dealing with
public funds and working with elected council
members as well as other professionals. The
CIPFA qualification provided me with a broad
range of knowledge that not only gave me the
strong accounting skills I needed but also gave
me an understanding of the wider context of
British politics and helped me to develop my
management skills.
You won the Eric Gilliland Memorial Prize, so
what is the secret of your exam success? The
Strategic Business Management module took
concepts from the whole of the CIPFA
qualification and applied them to analysing
organisations in the public sector. Having a keen
interest in current affairs helped me to put my
lectures in context and develop the right frame of
mind for the exam. By looking at everyday news
articles from the modules perspective I was able
to hit the ground running in
the exam.
Did you have any special
revision techniques? I spent
a lot of time talking about
what we were learning to my
long-suffering partner! She
didnt have a clue what I was
talking about so I had to think
of ways to describe the
concepts in laymans terms.
This really helped to cement
the ideas in my head and
gave me a better
understanding of them.
However, Im not sure it had a
positive impact on our
relationship!
What advice do you have for PQ readers about
their studies? Our training programme tried to
link the modules being studied with the
placement being undertaken at the time. I found
that by applying my studies at work as I learned
the subject this meant I could see how the more
abstract things were actually used in real life.
Apart from that, theres no substitute for practice
a big pile of past papers was my best friend at
exam times.
What do you do when you are not studying for
your exam? Fortunately I have now finished my
last set of exams so I am getting a social life
back again! I like to spend time with my family
outside of work we enjoy walking, eating out
and gardening, though most of our time is
currently taken up with fixing our house. Nights
out are generally spent sampling the fine
selection of ales available on Norwichs pub
circuit.
PQ
Top man: Jarrett gets his prize from CIPFA President Tony Redmond
26
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ ATT spotlight
I
f a trader draws up a set of accounts that
are not 12 months long you need to use
special rules to work out what profits to
allocate to the tax years involved.
If the accounts are either the first or last set of
accounts then you use the opening or closing
year rules. However, if the change is made at
any other point then you should use the change
of accounting date rules.
HMRC always aims to tax 12 months worth of
profits in each tax year. The current year basis
(CYB) rules achieve exactly that by allocating the
profits from the 12-month set of accounts which
end in a tax year to that tax year; i.e. year ended
31 December 2012 ends in and therefore the
profits of that year are allocated to the tax year
2012/13.
If the trader changes his accounting date he
will either draw up a set of short (<12m)
accounts or a set of long (>12m) accounts.
You should start by working out which tax year
each set of accounts ends in. This way you can
identify the first tax year where you cant use the
straightforward CYB rule; namely, where there is
not the usual situation where one 12-month set
of accounts ends in that tax year perhaps the
set of accounts that ends in that year is not 12
months long, perhaps two sets of accounts end
in that year, or perhaps there is even no set of
accounts ending in that year. This tax year is
called the year of change.
Then you should consider the overlap profits
position. Overlap profits are the profits that were
taxed twice under the opening year rules and are
usually carried forward and offset in the final tax
year of trade under the closing year rules.
It is very useful if you remember that the
number of months worth of overlap profits that a
ALL CHANGE!
trader has will always equal the number of
months counting forwards from his chosen
accounting date to 31 March. That is, with a
December year end the trader will have three
months worth of overlap (from 31 December to
31 March); with a June year end the trader will
have nine months worth of overlap (from 30
June to 31 March).
If the accounting date is changed the overlap
profits carried forward will also change they
could increase or decrease. The change in
months of overlap will be the adjustment
required to ensure that exactly 12 months of
profits are taxed in the tax year of change.
Lets have a look at how this works with some
examples!
Example 1.
A trader draws up accounts for y/e 30 June
2013 and then six m/e 31 December 2013.
Both these periods end in 2013/14, so 18
months worth of profits fall into 2013/14. This
18-month figure needs to be reduced by six
months to tax only 12 months worth of profits in
2013/14. This is done by offsetting six months
worth of the overlap profits brought forward. The
old accounting date to June, means nine months
of overlap brought forward the new accounting
date to December means only three months of
overlap are required to carry forward, so we
need to use up six months of overlap. We
therefore reduce the profits allocated to 2013/14
by 6/9ths of the overlap brought forward leaving
the other 3/9ths to carry forward.
Example 2.
A trader changes from a September year end by
drawing up accounts for 15 m/e 31 December
2013 15 months worth of profits fall into
2013/14. This 15-month figure needs to be
reduced by three months to tax only 12 months
worth of profits in 2013/14. This is done by
offsetting three months worth of the overlap
profits brought forward. A September year end
means six months of overlap brought forward
December year end means three months of
overlap to carry forward, and so we reduce the
profits allocated to 2013/14 by 3/6ths of the
overlap brought forward leaving the other 3/6ths
to carry forward.
Example 3.
A trader changes from a September year end by
drawing up accounts for eight m/e 30 May 2013
eight months worth of profits fall into 2013/14.
This eight months figure needs to be increased
by four months to tax 12 months worth of
profits. This is done by taxing 4/12ths of the
profits of y/e 30 September 2012 again. A
September year end means six months of
overlap brought forward May year end means
10 months of overlap to carry forward, and so
we increase the overlap by creating four months
of new overlap (i.e. taxing four months of profits
for a second time) leading to 10 months of
overlap to carry forward.
Example 4.
A trader changes from a December year end by
drawing up accounts for 16 m/e 30 April 2014
here CYB does not work for two tax years no
accounts end in 2013/14 and the 16-month set
of accounts end in 2014/15. Here we have 16
months worth of profits to allocate to two tax
years. This 16-month figure needs to be
increased to 24 months by creating eight
months more overlap. A December year end
means three months of overlap brought forward
April year end means 11 months of overlap to
carry forward and so we increase the overlap by
creating eight months of new overlap (i.e. taxing
eight months of profits for a second time)
leading to 11 months of overlap to carry forward.
The profits taxed in 2013/14 will be 8/12ths of
the profits in y/e 31 December 2012 (these were
already taxed in 2012/13 so this creates eighth
months of overlap) and 4/16ths of the long
period profits. The profits taxed in 2014/15 will
be the other 12/16ths of the long period profits.
I hope you can see that by identifying which
years are not CYB and then working out what
change is required to the overlap profits, you
can work out how to get 12 months worth of
profits taxable in all the tax years affected when
a trader changes his accounting date!
Sophie Hill is a senior tutor at Tolley Exam
Training, part of LexisNexis. She can be
contacted on 020 3364 4500 or
examtraining@lexisnexis.co.uk.
PQ
Sophie Hill explains how you can tackle questions on drawing up sets of accounts on a current-year basis
PQ Magazine June 2013
27
well being PQ
CABAs Wendy Saunders explains how and where you can get help and
support if you or someone close to you is troubled by addiction
I
ts worth noting from the outset that, at
Chartered Accountants Benevolent
Association, we have no evidence to
suggest that there is a widespread problem with
addiction among young accountants. During the
last few years, we have been contacted by no
more than a handful of people with problems
that fall into this category. However, those who
have turned to us have often been in a very real
state of distress and needed help.
When looking at this subject, its worth
defining some terms. What is addiction?
According to the NHS Live Well website,
Addiction means not having control over doing,
taking or using something harmful. You cant
control how you use whatever you are addicted
to and you become dependent on it to get
through each day.
When you mention addiction, many people
tend to link the word immediately to drugs but,
in fact, the key problem areas from the small
sample of young accountants we have seen are
gambling and alcohol. Also, of course, you can
be addicted to work, sex and even shopping and
internet use.
How do you become addicted to something?
Clearly, the majority of people who use alcohol or
like to gamble do not become addicts. Even
those who do become addicted often take a
while to develop an issue. The addiction arises
as a result of physical or psychological changes.
For example, someone who likes to gamble may
feel so good after placing a winning bet that they
have a desire to repeat the experience. Over
time, that impulse grows until it becomes all-
consuming. If a person has a similar relationship
to a substance such as alcohol, their body will
become tolerant over time and the user will need
to consume increasing amounts to experience
the same effect.
Some studies claim to show a genetic
predisposition to addiction and that some people
have addictive personalities there is research
linking gambling and alcohol addiction, for
example. However, the factors are just as likely to
be environmental. As a young accountant under
pressure both from exams and work, you may
find yourself turning to something to cope that at
first appears harmless but can develop into an
issue.
How do you know when you are addicted?
This will vary with the nature of your addiction
but the key signs are that your behaviour
becomes obsessive, that social relationships and
work start to suffer as a result, and that you
experience not just good feelings surrounding
the activity but perhaps also a degree of guilt
and shame. If your addiction is serious, it can
start to lead to physical and psychological
problems, especially if it is related to substance
abuse.
So what can be done? Its something of a
clich but on a personal level, the first step
towards managing your addiction is admitting
that there is a problem. Similarly, if you believe
that someone you know is suffering from an
addiction, then you should consider approaching
them. The key here is not to be accusatory and
confrontational but as constructive as possible.
Most successful recoveries from addiction rely
on the help of family or friends and, indeed,
many addiction therapies are based on creating
a support network.
With this first step taken, you can then look to
some of the help available. If you call CABA, our
qualified counsellors will evaluate the nature of
your problem and the type of help that you may
need. Often the first step is to encourage
someone to visit their GP so that they can be
properly assessed. Also, there are specialist
groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and
Gamblers Anonymous who will provide
assistance.
From a young accountants point of view, it is
important to underline that all of this help,
including any provided by CABA, is confidential.
We will help you to minimise the impact on your
professional life. Also, it is worth underlining that
the best time to seek help if you believe that you
have an addiction problem is now. Research
shows that the earlier the intervention, the easier
and more successful the outcome.
Wendy Saunders is Head of Development at
the Chartered Accountants Benevolent
Association
More information about CABA and its
services can be found at www.caba.org.uk
NHS advice on addiction can be found at
www.nhs.uk/Livewell/addiction
PQ
COPING WITH
ADDICTION
PQ Magazine June 2013
PQ careers
ACCA Alina Stahie, 24, is a finance assistant at BBC North, based in Manchester. She
joined the BBC in July 2011. Alina has a degree in Accounting & Finance from the
University of West London, and is PQs current Distance Learning Student of the Year
Life at the BBC
The workplace: Coming out
Can you be openly gay accountant? At the beginning
of 2013, KPMG senior partner Simon Collins
(pictured) was at the launch of advocacy group
Outonthestreet.org in London.
PQ magazine recently
caught up with him to see
why he felt that the ultra-male
culture of the finance industry
was stopping people being
open about their sexuality.
Collins said there is no doubt
that certain sections of the
finance industry have in the
past had a very male-
orientated culture. This has,
felt Collins, started to change
and banks and other firms are
making a real effort to improve things. But it does
take time to turn a tanker, he stressed, and there is
no doubt that some in the financial and professional
services industries still find it daunting to be open
about their sexuality. That is something we want to
change, he told PQ.
So what is KPMG doing to help?
We have a well-established LGBT
network, called Breathe, he
pointed out. This meets regularly
and has partner-level support. The
firm has also undertaken diversity
awareness training for people
managers in the firm.
Collins stressed: We really want
our PQs to feel able to be who they
are and hope that this comes
across in our recruitment and
selection processes. KPMG is also
embarking on a new programme
for its PQs to help them on issues such as stress and
workload management, which could help with LGBT
or other personal issues.
28
What time does your alarm
clock go off on a working
day? 5:30am I prefer to revise
in the morning when I feel fresh.
Whats the first thing you do
when you get to your desk?
Cup of tea and checking my to
do list to prioritise tasks.
Whats on your desk? A laptop.
Whats the best thing about
where you work? Its a friendly
and supportive working
environment with a wide range of
self-development opportunities.
Wheres your favourite place
to go for lunch? BBC Norths
canteen (although I do breakfast
more often than lunch).
What (or who) can you see
when you sit at your desk?
The BBCs premises are open
plan and everyone has a laptop
(rather than desktops) as the
policy is hot desking. So every day
is different.
Which websites are your
favourites and why? BBCs
iPlayer due to exams and work
commitments I cannot watch my
favourite programmes when
they are on TV.
Which websites do you
use for work? BBCs
internal resourceful website.
How many hours a
week do you spend
in meetings? Two or
three.
What time do you
leave the office?
About 6.30pm.
How do you relax? Shopping,
and I am the owner of a very
friendly budgie.
Whats your favourite tipple?
Lemon and ginger tea.
How often do you take work
home with you? Mainly at
month/year end.
What is your favourite TV
programme? Miranda.
Summer or winter?
Winter
Pub or club? Club.
Who is your hero? My
dad.
If you had a time
machine, where
would you go? I always look
to the future, although before
exams I wish I could go back in
time a few days.
If you hadnt chosen
accountancy, where might
you be right now? I knew I was
going to pursue a career in
accountancy since I was 13 years
old. However, plan B was a
computer scientist.
The PQ Book Club
EVERY MONTH WE REVIEW THE
BOOKS YOU SHOULD BE READING
Audit and Assurance Essentials for
Professional Exams by Katherine
Bagshaw (45, Wiley)
A quick look at auditing exam pass
rates any pass rates will tell you
that Katherine Bagshaws book Audit
and Assurance Essentials for
Professional Accountancy Exams
could be a life saver. The examiners
post-exam guides are littered with
comments
about PQs not
understanding
the basics, let
alone a total
ignorance of
how auditing
and assurance
works in the
real world.
Bagshaw
was an
examiner, and
this is obvious when you start reading.
She understands that much of the
current material available in this area
is unclear and confusing. Too often
this is because other authors just
want to show off how much they
know. Bagshaw is different and starts
by going back to basics. She also
wants to share her knowledge of how
to perform well in auditing exams. We
liked the fact that she even starts by
explaining why accountancy
qualifications matter.
There are 10 sections to the book
covering everything from the core of
the audit, corporate governance,
fraud, and assurance engagements to
name a few.
The exams are also never far away
in this text. Each section ends with
an exam-style question (the answers
are in the back) and there are some
great tips about exam technique
even down to what you should be
doing in the exam hall. Have you ever
thought about the way you answer
questions, for instance? She believes
you should do it in reverse order!
She assumes nothing and provides
great examples of what a letter, report
and briefing note should look like. So
there are no excuses. Bagshaw also
clearly explains what each section
covers, why you need to read it and
what is important.
Another big plus for this book is the
way it uses the web. Bagshaw has
more questions and answers, updates
and discussions of current issues on
her accompanying website. Her book
is also available as an eBook.
PQ rating: 5/5 We were concerned
about the price, but then thought
about the cost of failing. This book
could make a real difference.
KPMG Scottish jobs boost
More than 150 jobs are to
be created from this summer at a
new Tax Centre of Excellence in
Glasgows International Financial
Services District, by KPMG.
Glasgow
faced stern
competition
from a
number of
other
locations.
What won it was a combination
of high quality resource pool and
accommodation coupled with
enthusiastic and tangible support
from local universities and
Scottish Enterprise.
Taxman scoops award
HMRC has been recognised
for the success of its graduate
recruitment scheme. The
department (pictured)
beat a number of banks
and other financial
institutions to win the title
of Most popular graduate
recruiter banking,
insurance and financial services
2013. The award, voted for by
students, acknowledges the
popularity of HMRCs Tax
Professional Development
Programme, which recuits
graduates to train for four years
to become tax professionals.
Intern pay probe
Some 100 UK companies
are being investigated by the tax
authorities for allegedly breaching
minimum wage laws by
employing unpaid interns. The
Minister for Employment
Relations, Jo Swinson, has
referred the companies to HMRC
after she received the information
from the campaign group Intern
Aware.
In brief
020 8408 9999
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We continually focus on adapting and rening our service to suit you, offering sound and
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Contact your local Reed Accountancy branch
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Witney, Oxfordshire 30,000 + full study support
Established in 1886, Whittard is a premium supplier of the highest
quality of teas and coee from around the world. Based in a newly
refurbished oce, they seek a Part-Qualied Management Accountant
to join their successful team.
As the key support across all areas of the business, you will assist
the Head of Finance to drive major growth for both international and
web based businesses. You will join a motivated team to produce the
management accounts pack, while ensuring the accuracy of all balance
sheet and prot and loss accounts.

You must have extensive experience working as a Management
Accountant ideally in a fast-moving retail setting and be at least half
way through your studies towards ACCA or CIMA, in return Whittard
oer an excellent benet package with full study support to help you
progress. Ref: 1875272
For further details about this role,
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A CAREER THAT DELIVERS MORE
This is just one of the hundreds of opportunities we have to oer,
visit hays.co.uk/pq to search for your next big move.
GET CONNECTED
The theme of the 2013 AAT conference
was connect something the AAT has
always been good at. As well as a photo
booth there was also a quiz at this years
evening dinner. PQs table, hosted
gracefully by Martin Hanratty, didnt win.
One question got the accountants going:
name the practice of taking advantage of
a price difference between two or more
markets. We could hear some people on
the other tables saying hedging but we
knew it was arbitrage. The music part of
the quiz was much harder: harder in fact
than the cash management exam yes,
that hard! We arent sure if it was true
but we think table 20 was disqualified for
Googling! Shame on them.
Still, we have our photo booth
memories to keep us going. And yes, that
is the AAT President Henry Cooper and
Vice President Mike Evans at the back of
one of the pictures!
PQ got a story, funny or serious, you want to share? Email graham@pqaccountant.com
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Congratulations to
Jia Xie, an ATT
studier from
London. Jia wins
a great set of
puzzle books, a
bumper set of
wordsearch,
crossword and
sudoku puzzles.
Prize Sudoku
M
a
y

s

s
o
l
u
t
i
o
n
6 4 2 7 3 8 5 1 9
7 5 9 6 1 4 2 8 3
3 1 8 2 9 5 7 4 6
2 8 6 4 5 7 9 3 1
5 7 1 3 8 9 4 6 2
9 3 4 1 6 2 8 5 7
4 9 3 5 7 6 1 2 8
8 6 5 9 2 1 3 7 4
1 2 7 8 4 3 6 9 5
8 3 7 5 6 1 9 4 2
2 6 5 4 8 9 3 7 1
4 9 1 3 7 2 8 6 5
6 1 8 7 5 4 2 9 3
7 4 2 8 9 3 5 1 6
9 5 3 2 1 6 7 8 4
5 7 4 6 3 8 1 2 9
3 2 9 1 4 7 6 5 8
1 8 6 9 2 5 4 3 7
Return to PQ Magazine, Sudoku Competition, 4th floor, Central House,
142 Central Street, London EC1V 8AR. Deadline for entries is 7/6/2013
PQ Magazine June 2013
So what is the most useless gift your
accountancy body has ever sent you?
Dont say your student membership
number! PQ understands that the AAT
has been sending goody bags to its
tutors. They told us at the national
conference that they liked the pen pot
(practical), but some have never got over
the wind-up teeth (a practical joke?).
Apparently, this promotional gift was to
help launch Tutor Talk, so the chatterbox
teeth were meant to get people talking.
Tutors might moan but they all admitted
they had kept them, and claimed they
were in the draw somewhere.
USELESS GIFTS
ARE YOU
CLEANING
THE
OVEN?
Accountancy
students beware:
when you start
cleaning the oven
instead of revising
you know your
procrastination has
hit new heights. A
recent survey
found that 75% of
adults admitted
they were addicted
to putting things
off. Filing
documents and
ironing are among
the top tasks we
like to put off. But
the stand-out
winner is cleaning
the oven. The
thought of this job
really fills us with
fear and dread.
FA CUP WHEELER-DEALER
Man-mountain Danny Shittu plays for
Millwall FC. He got caught up in FA Cup
semi-final fever, and it turns out hes a
real south London Del Boy. Always a
wheeler-dealer, Danny used to sell water
coolers and iPads to his fellow
professionals. He also loved to buy and
sell on eBay, Gumtree and Loot. Now, in
his innocence, Danny better beware. The
next request for an interview could be
coming from the taxman if he hasnt declared his earnings!
Remember: No one likes them but they dont care.
THEY DID IT!
University graduates Ross Harper and Ed
Moyse came up with a unique way of
clearing their 50,000 student debt they
decided to sell their bodies! Well, more
precisely, they sold their faces to
advertisers. Sounds mad, maybe, but they
did it. After 365 days of painting their faces
they have cleared their student debt.
Buymyface.com was a roaring success,
thanks in part to one main sponsor Ernst
& Young, who loved their innovative
approach.
ALL GREEK TO ME
Papadopoulos & Sons is a UK film about
a Greek-Cypriot family living in London,
coming together after they lose everything
in the banking crash. They do, of course,
understand the importance of being a
professional. As Harry Papadopoulos
says: Accountants. When its good they
get paid, when its bad they get paid. I
wanted my son to be a lawyer for the
same reason. He doesnt get it yet
Hey, Harry, why not an accountant?
RIA IS KAPLAN COVER STAR
Our 2012 PQ of the Year, Ria-Jaine Sarrington, has become a
real cover star. She was on our front page in July 2012, but we
recently came across a picture of her on Kaplans ICAEW
Syllabus 2013 brochure. A quick flick through it and we also
found a past PQ magazine Tutor of the Year, too.
LOAD YOUR LINING
Fancy showing off your prized motor, your
travel snaps or even flashing
a bit of a softer side with
your favourite wedding
picture? With British
tailoring company A Suit
That Fits, you can upload
your favourite snap and
they will print it onto the lining of your
suit with their newest innovation Load
Your Lining! To find out more go to
www.aSuitThatFits.com
MA N C H E S T E R
UKBAHIGHLY TRUSTED
SPONSOR
LONDONSCHOOL
OF BUSINESS &FINANCE
ACHIEVE MORE. BECOME MORE.
*Lecturers are assigned to classes according to their schedules. Please
refer to timetables for full details on revision & question based days
classes.
Lisas exam-focused
be condent of
passing.
wwwLSBFmanchester.com/PQ
0161 669 4272
Lisa Kiddell*
Full time ACCA tutor
Modestin Besong,
ACCA full-time student
2
nd
floor, Linley House, Dickinson Street
(just off Portland Street) M LF
approach meant I could
Mock exams & tips
Immediate Feedback
X
X
Learn how to pass ACCA exams
Attend Question Based Days
with the experts
DONT MISS OUT
Book today!
AVAILABLE EVENINGS
2
nd
oor 5-7 Hill Street,
Birmingham,
B5 4UA
www.fbt-global.com/PQ
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
0121 661 7104
Get the final boost you need for exam success
Our QB days allow you to practice for your exams under exam conditions, with
immediate feedback from the tutors. Available midweek and weekends, you can
fit in that last minute revision before your exams.
Attend QB days at FBT
For ACCA courses.
DONT MISS OUT.
Book today!
QUESTION BASED DAYS
May 25
th
and 26
th
June 1
st
, 2
nd
and 8
th