ACCA P2 Exam Tips March 2017 session given below are just intelligent guesses from exam point of view provided by famous tuition providers. These exam tips must not be relied on totally. To increase chances of success in Exams you must prepare full breadth of syllabus and topics
ACCA P2 Exam Tips March 2017:
ACCA P2 Exam Tips March 2017 Session are given below by famous tuition providers
Do not ignore ethics it appears in every section A question and could have up 10 marks.
Always apply your 5 standard workings when doing CSFP. This will help ensure easy marks are picked up and it is easier for the marker to follow what you have done.
Do not ignore the current issue question. Often it contains numerical aspects of an accounting standard you are familiar with as well as the current issue. E.g. reviewing the use of FV and the new rules on financial assets in IFRS 9.
Practise as many questions as possible across the syllabus, and don’t only concentrate on consolidation. Practice writing out pro-formas so you can do this quickly and efficiently on exam day.
Use the reading time effectively – decide which question you are not going to attempt from Section B and then read the Section A question.
If you need help with Accounting Standards, read Clare Finch’s guide to IFRS.
If you struggle with Groups, read Tom Clendon’s guide to Group accounts
Consolidation is hugely important but you can’t pass the exam on this alone – a significant number of marks in the consolidation tests your understanding of other accounting standards.
Don’t overrun your time on part A of question 1. There are often easier marks available in pasts B & C.
If you can’t do something ignore it and move on – time is very tight and there is no point staring at a blank piece of paper if you really don’t know what to do.
In addition to consolidation the examiner is particularly keen on:
- Revenue Recognition
- Financial Instruments
- Deferred Tax
- Reconstruction of insolvent company
- Foreign Currency
The examiner writes articles that are published on accaglobal.com – search for “Graham Holt”.
An understanding of the Accounting framework is vital in being able to discuss any issues surrounding an accounting standard or proposed change to that standard.
Unlike F7, there are very few marks, if any, for simple figures in the Consolidation exercise. Marks are concentrated on the adjustments and detailed computations of key group issues, like Goodwill, NCI etc. Make sure your workings are clear and fully explain any adjustments you make to comply with relevant IFRS.
Do not treat the Consolidation exercise as being all 50 marks of question 1. It will typically be 35 so allocate the correct time to it and the other elements in Q1.
In scenario style questions in section B, be sure to state the relevant accounting standard for any advice that you give, together with the relevant rules from the standard and then subsequently state the advice on correct treatment of facts in the scenario. Don’t be tempted to jump straight to a statement of the correct treatment as marks will not be maximised by doing this. Read articles and read around the subject.
- Do not add up the accounts.
- Start each question on a fresh page.
- BE NEAT in the exam.
- Time management (or lack of it!) is the most common reason for failure.
- This will be a 50 mark compulsory case study including preparation statement of financial position and/or a group statement of profit of loss and other comprehensive income or statement of cash flows which may include a foreign subsidiary, discontinued activities, disposals and/or acquisitions. This will include other accounting complications such as financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment and impairments.
- There will also be discursive requirements on a linked accounting adjustment and social/ethical/moral aspects of corporate reporting.
Section B normally includes:
- Q2 & Q3: 2 case study questions: one a multi-part question covering a range of topics or a theme such as fair value measurement (see exam team article), deferred tax, foreign currency transactions, financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment, non-current assets (recognition and/or impairment of tangible and intangible assets), borrowing costs, the effect of accounting treatments on earnings per share or ratios; the other an industrybased question (NB: no specific knowledge of the particular industry is required) testing a range of standards such as accounting policies and the framework, leases, grants, IFRS for SMEs, reorganisations, provisions, events after the reporting period and related parties.
- Q4: a discussion question looking at current developments in corporate reporting and problems with existing standards, such as the definition and disclosure of capital (see exam team article), revision of the conceptual framework, classification in profit or loss vs OCI (see exam team article), leasing, improvements to disclosures, regulatory issues over adoption and consistent application of IFRSs, implementation issues, application of the definition of control and significant influence (equity accounting), improvements in performance measurement, integrated reporting (see exam team article), revenue recognition (see exam team articles). Will also normally include a related computational part based on figures from a case study.
One of these questions can also include elements of group accounting, especially if question 1 is a statement of cash flows question.
Make sure you plan your time at the beginning of the exam (and stick to it) to ensure you don’t over-run on particular question – it is 1.95 minutes per mark (or 1.8 minutes per mark if you allocate 15 minutes to reading the paper and choosing your Section B questions). That applies within questions between the separate parts as well.
Don’t spend too much time on numerical parts at the expense of the written parts. It is often easier to pick up marks in written questions than in complex numerical ones. Work on the basis of 1 mark per well explained point for written questions.
Q1: Balance sheet or CFS.
Q2&3: Usual mix of revenue and PPE and intangibles and impairment and discounted and financial instruments, and the rest!
Q4: Current issues on provisions or groups.
Q1 should either be the examiner’s favourite a group statement of financial position, and if so expect control to control transactions. Alternatively it could be group cash flow (the statement of comprehensive income came up last time so do not get caught out by putting all your eggs in the group statement of financial position).
Each paragraph in the p2 exam group statement of financial position questions should be capable of being addressed in isolation. Always clearly reference your workings. Read the examiners reports. Ethics of course will always be there so please have a go and by that I mean apply the ethical principles not just write them out cold.
50 marker compulsory question – 90 minutes
- This is a 35 mark consolidation question with a further 15 marks possibly sub-divided into a smaller question on each of corporate governance and ethics, neither part dependent upon the answer to the consolidation
- DO THESE TWO PARTS FIRST! If you don’t, I guarantee that you will spend the whole 90 minutes on part a) and leave no time at all for these relatively straight-forward 15 marks
- with the consolidation itself, there will typically be 6 or 7 tricky points in the notes to the question, adjustments to be made or bad entries to correct
- keep your workings:
– properly headed
– cross-referenced (SoFP is a perfectly acceptable abbreviation) o legible,(and correct!)
- always remember, the MARKS ARE IN THE WORKINGS
choice of 2 from 3 questions worth 25 marks each – 45 minutes each
- planning time here is 12.5 minutes for each of your two chosen questions so use it wisely
- questions 2 and 3 will typically involve a number of IASs / IFRSs for either a single company or different companies where the directors and (worryingly) the CFO are proposing to treat a matter contrary to Standards but beware, sometimes their proposed treatment is correct!
- question 4 will likely be about some matter of current concern to the profession – some exposure draft or discussion document
- personally, if I could, I would avoid question 4. It’s exceedingly difficult to score well on a discussion question!
- the examiner has stated in the past that he will ask a question about any new IFRS at the first opportunity!
- make sure you write something for every part of every question. You are unlikely to be able to finish every part of every question – either because you run out of time or you get stuck – but you can always write something.
- each comment that you make should be within its own sentence and leave a line between your sentences effectively making them into paragraphs
- time yourself copying sentences from a book and stop after 1 minute and 18 seconds. That’s the time that you have available to write one sentence containing just one markable point.
- you’re unlikely to get past the third line and that’s the MAXIMUM length of a sentence / paragraph in the exam
- make sure that your writing is legible. If a marker can’t read your script, he can’t give you credit for your thoughts!
- if you write one long paragraph containing several points, then there is a danger that the marker will miss some of those points.
- start each part of each question on a new page in the answer booklet (if you run out of pages you will be provided a supplementary booklet!).
- that way you can always go back to questions and you will be able to add more to your answer neatly, if you have time left at the end of the exam.
- do make sure you make it clear at the top of the page which part of which question you are answering.
- there are NO MARKS for showing that you can remember an IAS / IFRS number or title