Costing for decision making
This article focuses on section G3(c) of the syllabus, evaluating the strategic options using marginal and relevant costing techniques of: (i) make or buy decisions, (ii) accepting or declining special contracts, (iii) closure or continuation decisions, and (iv) effective use of scarce resources.
Now that big data is part of the P3 syllabus, we define what exactly ‘big data’ is, how it can be used to inform and implement business strategy and examples of how it is being used by different industries today.
Both P3 and P5 require candidates to be able to establish key performance indicators and critical success factors. This article explains and illustrates these concepts.
The increasing reliance on computers by all levels within a company requires careful design of the information technology (IT) infrastructure. This article focuses on Section E1 of the P3 syllabus, Principles of information technology.
This article focuses on section H2 of the P3 syllabus, Strategy and people: job design, and how we might re-structure people’s jobs as a result of making a process more effective. The origins of the concept of job design – beginning with the work of Frederick Taylor in the early 20th century – through to the job redesign movement of the 1960s and 1970s are referenced. The article concludes with a brief consideration of the ethical issues that can arise from job design.
Integrated reporting has been developed and promoted by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), a global coalition of regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, the accounting profession and non-governmental organisations. This article aims to show how the idea of integrated reporting is relevant to the P3 syllabus.
The learning organisation
This article discusses why it is vital for organisations to continue to learn and retain that learning, their skills and abilities, to sustain their position in the dynamic marketplace.
Value chains, value networks and supply chain management
Sections A4, E2 and E3 of the syllabus relate to value chains, value networks and supply chain management. This article considers writer Michael Porter’s value chain framework, which has been described as a powerful analysis tool for companies in strategic planning to create value. It also highlights the various definitions of supply chain management put forward by different writers.
The strategic planning process – parts 1 and 2
These articles focus on applying your knowledge of management and strategy to a scenario situation. Part 1 considers the complexities of strategic planning and how they can be broken down into three main areas. Part 2 adopts a similar simplification approach to the issues of strategic choice and strategic implementation.
Culture and configuration
This article focuses on two areas of P3’s syllabus on preparing and evaluating a cultural web of an organisation, and the importance of organisational structure and configuration.
Benchmarking can be thought of as a scientific way of setting objectives that will act as targets before and during the operating period, and comparators during and after the period.
Strategic planning in an age of turbulence
This article considers the inevitability of turbulence, which should have major implications on how organisations can plan for their long-term survival.
Communicating core values and mission
This article focuses on the syllabus area relating to an organisation’s core values and mission to the public, shareholders and employees. This is an objective which can easily get overlooked in the rush to master environmental analyses, strategic choice and outsourcing decisions.
This article considers some of the factors behind outsourcing decisions, the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing and some common outsourcing applications.
Conflict management and the accountant as project manager
This article looks at project management, an important issue relevant to P3. It considers the skills required by accountants in the role of project manager to ensure projects are delivered on time and managing potential areas of conflict.
Project management: business cases and gateways
Looking at the need to carefully evaluate a project’s benefits and disbenefits from the outset, and the importance of regularly monitoring and re-evaluating its progress.
Strategy and people
When devising a strategic plan it is important to consider the organisation’s resources, including employees.
Business strategy and pricing
This article looks first at the influences on prices and then at specific approaches.
Business forecasting and strategy
This article outlines key forecasting techniques for students to use when preparing for the P3 exam.
The strategic use of IT
Looking at how organisations use IT in supply chain activities and customer relationship management is important for P3 candidates.
Position-based and resource-based strategies
Outlining the position-based and resource-based strategies that are essential for P3 candidates.
Takeovers, mergers and managing business units
Takeovers and mergers are often promoted as methods of increasing shareholder wealth, but in what circumstances is that likely to occur?
Enhancing and supporting the concept of knowledge management as a strategic contributor to an organisation.
Performance appraisal requires good interpretation and a good understanding of what the information means in the context of the question.
If you are aware that danger accompanies an undertaking, then it makes sense to understand the nature of the undertaking and how the danger can be managed.
Not-for-profit organisations – part 1
The first part of two articles broadly describes the generic characteristics of not-for-profit organisations.
Not-for-profit organisations – part 2
In the second part of two articles, we take a specific and deeper look at charities, which are one of the more important types of not-for-profit organisations.
This article explains the purpose of competency frameworks for professionals at work and the benefits of these for trainees, qualifying bodies, tuition providers and ultimately to business organisations.
Business process change
The effective and efficient business processes required by organisations to effectively implement business strategies.
Illustrating the major components of the strategic planning process.
The seven deadly sins of strategy implementation
The main pitfalls of successful strategy implementation.
The adaptability of strategic models
A discussion on how models such as PEST and Value Chain can be used to reflect the evolving business environment and the range of business strategies currently used.
Defining managers’ information requirements
How critical success factors are used in business strategy and performance models.
Performance measures to support competitive advantage
The success of airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair and examines how the balanced scorecard might be utilised to maintain the low-cost carriers’ competitive edge.
A look at business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce and benefits for business, as well as the social and employment costs involved.
Question 4 debrief
Professional marks – the difference between a pass and a fail
Advice for students retaking exams
Changes to the ACCA Qualification skills module, Professional level and Foundations in 2016–17
ACCA embeds integrated reporting
Read the mind of the P3 marker
This article is intended to give you some real insight into the mind of the marker and to understand what they are looking for when they mark P3 scripts, but the general advice on technique in this article could equally apply to all Professional level exams.
P3 – A guide to using the examiner’s reports
P3 – 重考学员复习指南
P3 – A guide to reflection for retake students
Guidance for P3 and P5 studiers
Examiner approach to P3
How to earn professional marks
How to tackle exams – from a marker’s perspective
Passing the Professional level papers