ACCA Exam Tips

ACCA Exam Tips

ACCA exam tips, advice, videos and strategies. Expert sharing information knowledge from FTMSGlobal ACCA Subject Specialist to help you pass your exams.

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June 2013 Exam Tips by Mr. Luo Weijie Irwin

• DO NOT QUESTION SPOT. Study all topics. But be smart, refer to the exam planner I gave u and devote slightly more time to topics that have not been tested for a long time.

• Keep in mind that theory questions make up a significant part (up to 50%) of the exam.

• Always apply MOST, if not ALL, of the information in the scenario when answering theory questions. If you donít, you are missing the point. Remember, “Everything happens for a reason”.

• Be able to explain WHAT the model is used for, its advantages and disadvantages.

• Ask yourself questions like “Why was this model created? Was an older model inferior and had to be replaced? In what situations is this model useful? A factory environment?”

• Use the reading time to mark the questions you will do first. Do not forget that certain theory questions are very simple and that it takes less time to earn those marks than to do a calculations question.

• Watch your time. Rule of thumb: 2 minutes for 1 mark. Be brave and willing enough to move on to the next question if you run out of time.

• Do not leave your common business sense at home. Just because it is not in the textbook does not mean your answer is wrong. For theory questions, common sense will also get you marks.

• Write notes and finish the Revision Kit. To master calculations, do not deceive yourself, practising is the key.

June 2013 Exam Tips by Mr. Chin Yoke Lan Francis

Question 1 (30 marks)

Focus on Company’s Tax
- deduction of expenses
- taxability of income such as rental income, royalties, interest income etc
- capital allowances/PIC allowances/approved donations

Practice all the questions on this tax computation for Company and score as many marks as possible.

Question 2 (25 marks)

Focus on individual tax
- employment income
- partnership/LLP income
- other income such as rental income, royalties, interest income etc
- personal reliefs
- husband and wife tax

Practice all questions on this tax computation for individuals and score as many marks as possible.

Question on GST

Only one chapter on GST.
- study this chapter thoroughly!!

Do as many GST questions as you can find.


If you do the above 3 questions well, you will pass the paper. If you also do the other 2 remaining questions, you can score well for this paper.

All the very best……….

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June 2013 Exam Tips by Mr. Ang Ming Kiat (Billy)


Prepare consolidated statement of financial position and/or consolidated statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for single subsidiary and probably with an associate, covering the following adjustments:

• determine cost of investment in subsidiary and associate
• determine fair value (with depreciation) adjustment to subsidiary’s assets
• calculate goodwill
• eliminate unrealised profit adjustment on inventory or PPE
• eliminate intra-group balances and transactions
• calculate non-controlling interest
• calculate consolidated retained earnings and other reserves
• discuss issues relating to the preparation of group financial statements
• account for change in fair value of financial asset
• FRS110/FRS103/FRS28R/FRS39

Prepare entity’s (revised) statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income and/or statement of financial position, including adjustments relating to FRSs.

Q3 Prepare statement of cash flows (FRS7) with related interpretation and with explanation of ratios. Likely to have a twist such as distortion due to a large acquisition/disposal of assets, revaluation, exceptional item or related party transaction.

Explain concepts theories, principles and practices with application into mini-case questions. These questions will include elements of conceptual issues or aspects of regulatory framework

Important FRSs you should not miss for Q2/Q4/Q5:
• Conceptual Framework
• FRS1
• FRS10 – discuss events after the reporting period
• FRS12 – accounting for current and deferred tax
• FRS16 – accounting for depreciation and revaluation
• FRS17 – accounting for finance lease (including sale and leaseback transaction)
• FRS18 – accounting for revenue
• FRS20 – accounting for government grant
• FRS23 – accounting for borrowing costs
• FRS33 – calculate earnings per share
• FRS38 – accounting for intangible asset
• FRS32/FRS39 – accounting for convertible bond or financial liability at amortised cost
• FRS105 – accounting for NCA HFS

Exam Techniques
• Plan for your answers and pay attention to instructions. Make sure you read the instructions carefully; how many questions are to be attempted and how long do you have? You should underline key words and remember to look for the verb in the requirement. You should understand all question requirements carefully to make sure you are able to make the best attempt at answering. While reading the questions, you should write or make notes on the question paper but not the answer paper such as:

- read through and highlight relevant information and financial data, noting why it is
- included and how the additional information reconciled to the financial statements;
- start to plan their answers, particularly for discursive questions;
- think about the order in which to attempt questions; and
- make preliminary calculations.

• Manage your time properly. You should allocate the correct time to each question and requirement – the ‘magic’ number is 1.8. You should attempt all parts of the question, and stick to the time allocation.

• Present answers well. You should plan your answers, laying them out clearly to make life as easy as possible for the marker. Using headings, sentences, paragraphs and bullet points are all useful techniques. Use black or dark-blue ink and to leave enough white space, not cramming too much text on to one page.

• Make answers relevant. It is important that you answer the question you have been asked, not the one you would have liked to answer. You should read the requirement at least twice to make you understand it.

• Gain easy marks. You should have a plan of attack, and go for the easier marks first. Remember, you can still earn easy discursive marks even when you have struggled with the calculations or suspect the numbers are flawed.

• Don’t panic. You should focus on the parts of the exam you can do, not what you can’t do. Even if you feel an exam is going badly, you should keep going, moving on from question to question and answering as much as you can.

June 2013 Exam Tips by Mr. Fung Chee Kong (CK)

Hot Topics

Professional ethics – Likely to have a question this June on ethical threats and safeguards/responses. (See June 2006 Q4, June 2007 Q1a, Pilot F8 Q3, Dec 2008 Q3a, June 2010 Q4, June 2011 Q4, June 2012 Q3b).

Acceptance/Continuance decisions – factors to consider before accepting/continuing with an engagement. Including communication with existing auditor before acceptance. See June 2010 Q4. See an ACCA article on acceptance of a job.

Theory of evidence – Factors affecting sufficiency and/or reliability of evidence (important). Identify the assertions for class of transactions (see recent June 2009 Q2b, Dec 2009 Q2a and Q5a).

Procedures used to obtain evidence. (AEIOU) – See June 2005 Q6 and June 2011 Q3a.

Internal audit (IA) may be featured this exam. The roles of IA in corporate governance and in risk management. Outsourcing of IA – Adv and Disadv, issues to consider (see Dec 2005 Q2, June 2011 Q4) Beware of relying on service auditor’s report on the internal controls of a service organization (ISA402).

Planning is still important, using June 2009 Q1a and Dec 2009 Q1a. Overall audit strategy vs the detailed audit plan doc (content of each doc, see 2009 both exams Q1). See also Dec 2006 Q1a for risk assessment procedures (RAP), and Dec 2009 Q3a.

Must read up on audit risk and responses to risk (see Pami’s June 2010 Q1a, Dec 2010 Q3, June 2011 Q3, Dec 2011 Q3 and Dec 2012 Q3). She may set it again. The control objectives and internal control you would expect to find in the sales OR cash receipt system (see June 2010 Q3). Identify weaknesses and recommend improvements.

Perform test of controls (see June 2011 Q1a and June 2012 Q1aiii for sample) for sales system.

Important - VFM audit, definition of 3E (see Dec 2006 Q2, Dec 2010 Q4). Identify improvements to 3E in a case study.

The substantive tests used to gather audit evidence in respect of major assertions (completeness, existence, valuation and allocation, accuracy, cutoff), especially in relation to debtor (see June 2009 Q1 and June 2011 Q1b), bank (Dec 2006 Q3 and June 2008 Q3) and cash on hand (petty cash, see Dec 2007 Q3b).

Engagement letter – Purposes, content. (See June 2011 Q2b) Interim vs Final audit – See Dec 2009 Q4a. Define true and fair – See Dec 2010 Q2a.
Assurance engagement – 5 elements (see June 2010 Q2a).

Define materiality and how materiality affects the audit (see June 2010 Q2b).

Corporate governance is important. Case study, identify improvements to corporate governance. See June 2006 Q3, Pilot Q3, Dec 2011 Q4.

Audit of non-profit organization – Characteristics of non-profit organization, the risks and how these risks affect the audit approach. (Dec 2006 Q4, Dec 2008 Q4) Subsequent event is important! Definition, responsibility and procedures (see Dec 2011 Q5, Dec 2008 Q5, Pilot paper Q5 and Dec 2005 Q4).

Treatment of misstatements identified in the audit – See June 2011 Q5a.

Audit of opening balance (first year audit) – New topic.

Elements of audit report and what each para means (see June 2007 Q4), different types of audit opinion (see Pilot paper Q2c and June 2009 Q2c), emphasis of matter para, limitation of scope (see Dec 2007 Q5).

Regulation of auditor – Why regulates? (objectives?) How ACCA regulate auditors? Other misc topics – Purposes/benefits of audit, how to remove an auditor (Dec 2005 Q5c).

There is an article recently in Sept 2012 on going concern (although this topic was examined in the recent June 2012 Q5 and a bit of it in Dec 2012 Q5), better to review the article and look out for this topic. Read up on definition of going concern, indicators of going concern, procedures to see if company faces a going concern problem.

Look out for any new article on topics relevant to F8, especially written by F8 examiner.

The above topics are just my GUESSES. Use at own risk!

June 2013 Exam Tips by Mr. Eliott James Betts

1. Investment appraisal (NPV, possibly with a capital rationing or lease vs. buy problem)

2. Sources of finance (Rights issues)

3. Financial performance evaluation

4. Cost of capital and financing decisions (Capital structure theory and dividend policy)

5. Working capital management

As always students should make sure they are able to calculate ratios and to be familiar with the CAPM and Dividend Valuation Models.

Also look out for the possibility of some theory on EMH and Islamic finance.

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