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Performance Management



What was done well

Basic variance calculations (in June 2009 but not December 2009) Basic budget calculations (June 2009) Calculations involving use of time series and regression analysis (Dec. 2009) Relevant costing calculations (June 09 and Dec. 09) Calculations using absorption costing and ABC
Discussion of controllability of targets

Variance analysis D10 Q1: Calculations were performed well. Candidates must read the questions carefully. J10 Q2: Calculations well performed. Candidates must follow the action verbs such as assess. D09 Q1: Calculations performed average J09 Q3: Calculations well performed

Performance management D10 Q2: Poor answer. Candidates are not linking the information. J10 Q2: Good answers in calculation parts. Poor answers in discussion D09 Q4: Poor answer. Examiner report: When reading a requirement, always underline the instruction i.e. what is being asked. J09 Q2: Poor answer. Weak attempts at the assessment and analysis aspects

Example: December 2010 Question 2 A response was, turnover decreased by 8.3%, which is poor. The question showed the industry declined by 20% in demand, so 8.3% looks relatively good. It is not sufficient to calculate ratios when asked to discuss the implications.

Throughput Accounting J09 Q1: Average answer

Linear programming D10 Q3: Poor performance. Examiner report: It was obvious that many candidates hadnt even looked at this area at all. They took a gamble and it didnt pay off. J10 Q3: Poor performance. Examiner report: the area needs to be revisited D09 Q3: Fair performance. Candidates must read carefully Absorption and ABC D10: Candidates need to pay attention to cost drivers and apply knowledge to the scenario J10: ABC calculation well answered. Candidates must relate discussions with the scenario

Pricing strategies J10 Q1: Candidates must relate discussions with the scenario. Controllability of Targets J10 Q5: Good performance Incremental and zero based budgeting D10 Q5: Well answered but must relate answers to the scenario D09 Q2: Fair attempt. Candidates must read carefully J09 Q4: Well answered J09 Q5: Calculation done well. Explanations needs improvement Time series and Regression Analysis and Relevant Costing D09 Q5: Fair answers. Candidates double count figures. Some didnt read carefully. Need to be more relevant to the scenario


What wasnt done well

Classic performance management questions (June 2009, Dec. 2009, December 2010) Planning and operational variances (December 2009, December 2010) Discussion of pricing strategies for a business (June 2010) Linear programming calculations and discussion (June 2010 and December 2010) Discussion of difficulties of budgeting in the public sector (December 2010)



What to focus on

Need to be able to discuss subjects, not just perform routine calculation Need to allocate your time carefully according to the marks given In the exam, concentrate on what you know, not what you dont know Read relevant articles Dont try and question spot


Where can tuition providers help

Stress the importance of time allocation Give them practice of writing out full answers to discursive questions Emphasize the importance of students using the resources available to them Make sure students really understand linear programming and show them how to calculate shadow prices Practice performance management questions with them