ACCA F9 Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s



Q. What does a Positive NPV tell us?
A. A positive NPV shows that the return on the project is greater than the required return to the investors (cost of capital). A positive NPV means that shareholder wealth would increase if the project is undertaken.

Q. Will a tax rate of 30% be used in the exam for NPV calculations?
A. Any tax rate could be used in the exam so you should be prepared to apply. The examiner often uses 25% AS WELL AS 30%.

Q. Do I need to know the hedging calculations?
A. Yes, you may be required to calculate the outcome of a forward contract and/or money market hedge calculations but you will not be required to do futures or options calculations.

Q. Do I need to know the WACC formulas?
A. The WACC formula is provided in the exam but you will need to remember the cost of debt and cost of equity calculations. Gordon’s growth formula and CAPM will also be provided in the exam.

Q. How do I approach a WACC questions?
A. Approach the questions by identifying the information provided to calculate the cost of equity and cost of debt. If you are given a dividend payment then you may need to use the DVM model to calculate the cost of equity and if given a beta then it will be the CAPM model. Have a look at the balance sheet to identify all the debt sources of finance (irredeemable or redeemable) and calculate the cost of debt for the different types of debt given. Finally, calculate the market value of equity and debt and apply the WACC formula.

Q. Will there be lots of written parts in the exam?
A. The exam is roughly about 40% calculations and 60% written but could vary from one exam to the next.

Q. How many hours study do I need to pass the F9 exam?
A. The F9 exam is quite technical so you would need to study hard from tuition phase to revision phase.

Q. What are the most important areas?
A. There are 6 of them:

  1. NPV
  2. Cost of capital
  3. Working capital
  4. Business valuations
  5. Sources of finance and financial ratios
  6. Foreign currency/interest rate management

In particular, NPV will be tested every time and underpins the entire syllabus.

Q. Should I just focus on the numbers?
A. Only if you don’t want to pass. Although the numbers are important, approx half of the marks are for the written elements. In the June 2010 paper more than 40% of the marks were available for writing more of a response to scenario.