Issuu on Google+

JANUARY 2013

TOP CAREER TIPS GETTING THE BASICS RIGHT IN 2013

PREDICTIONS JOB MARKET GUIDE FOR 2013 NEW YEAR

CAREER RESOLUTIONS

Louisa McKay 1st in World, ACCA P7, June 2012 Kaplan ACCA Distance Learning student

Distance Learning Premier

gives you more To learn more click here > Distance Learning Premier combines everything you need to pass your exams, from our ACCA approved study and revision materials to our dedicated paper specialist tutors. It’s no surprise our Distance Learning pass rates consistently exceed the ACCA Global average.† Mock exams with personalised feedback Extensive question practice Watch recorded question debriefs Up to 10 hours of tutor recorded videos

Dedicated tutor support Until 10pm weekdays and even Saturday mornings*

* Tutor support available Mon-Thurs 9am-10pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-1pm (UK time). † Based on Kaplan Distance Learning students for the Dec 2011 exam sitting.

Visit our website click here > +44 (0)113 243 0056

Email us >

EDITOR’S CHOICE WELCOME TO THE JANUARY 2013 ISSUE OF STUDENT ACCOUNTANT In this issue, we take a look at how 2013 will shape up in terms of growth job areas and career development. Whether you’re looking for your first job or planning to change employers, January is a perfect time to clarify your professional goals and develop a plan to advance your career. In terms of your career, this is also a good time to reflect on your progress over the past year and plan how to grow professionally. You may want to commit to a few New Year’s resolutions too. We give you some ideas. With the economic downturn continuing to affect many sectors and regions, 2013 will see employers continue to alter their hiring patterns to suit their needs. We share a number of ways to ensure your skills marry up with what they will be looking for. This issue’s Learning Centre takes a look at India and how students are embracing the challenges of the ACCA Qualification. We also look at listening skills – one of the most important communication skills to have – and take a closer look at the oil and gas sector as a career choice. We have an in-depth look at the Professional Ethics module (now compulsory for all students regardless of when you registered) and we meet a student

who tells us about her experience of completing the module. We also feature frequently asked questions (and answers) about the practical experience requirement. What better time to assess your progress to date on My Experience while you’re waiting for exam results? We’ve a bumper crop of technical articles relevant to Papers FAU, F5, F6, F8, P3, P5, P6 and P7 and links to the technical article archive and our subject-specific videos. Noticeboard contains important information about annual fees, exam results, My Experience and the Oxford Brookes degree. We hope you enjoy this issue of Student Accountant. If you have any feedback, please contact us at studentaccountant@ accaglobal.comthe

magazine, please email us at

Victoria Morgan Editor, Student Accountant magazine

Published by the Certified Accountants Educational Trust in cooperation with ACCA. The Council of ACCA and the publishers do not guarantee the accuracy of statements made by contributors or advertisers, or accept any responsibility for any statement which they may make in this publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publishers. © CAET 2013 ISSN 1473‑0979

3

WELCOME | CONTENTS TECHNICAL | COMMUNICATION

08

DISPATCH 06 GRAPHICS NEWS 08 PICTURE NEWS 10 NEWS ROUNDUP

LEARNING CENTRE 32

36

12 SOFT SKILLS BRIEFING 15 SECTOR FOCUS 16 MANAGING A TEAM 20  PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES 19 AND 20 22 PER: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED 23 FINDING A WORKPLACE  MENTOR 24  ETHICS PROFILE 25 ‘FACTS’ VIDEOS

10

26  FOCUS ON INDIA 29 FOUNDATION LEVEL STUDENTS PROFILES 30 YOUR CAREER PLANS FOR 2013

FEATURES 32 NEW YEAR CAREER RESOLUTIONS 36 JOB MARKET GUIDE FOR 2013 38 TOP CAREER TIPS FOR 2013

12

SA TECHNICAL ARTICLE ARCHIVE

All technical content from Student Accountant is on ACCA’s website ▶

PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE 38 STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

Why not log into your myACCA account to record your experience using the online recording tool My Experience?

EMAIL US YOUR FEEDBACK AT t@ an studentaccount accaglobal.com

JOIN ACCA’S FACEBOOK PAGE

Find out h ow other A CCA students p lan their st udies. Join at ww w.faceboo ACCA.Offic k.com/ ial

CONTACTS Dean Westcott | President Barry Cooper | Deputy President

48

TECHNICAL

ACCA CAR EERS Upload yo

Martin Turner | Vice President

ur global care CV, access e and find ad r opportunities vi in accoun ce on careers tan at www.acc cy and finance acareers.c om

Helen Brand | Chief Executive EDITORIAL TEAM Victoria Morgan | Editor

41 TECHNICAL RESOURCES Access the technical article archive at: www. accaglobal.com/en/ student/publications/ sa-archive.html

Glen Patterson | Deputy Editor

RESOURCES

29 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

45 NOTICEBOARD ESSENTIAL INFORMATION ABOUT ACCA AND YOUR STUDIES ACCA Connect, exam entry, subscriptions, recording your PER, rules and regulations and important information about the OBU degree programme

Jackie Dollar | Design Manager Jane C Reid | Designer Kate Jenkinson | Editorial Executive WWW.ACCAGLOBAL.COM Jamie Ambler | Digital Editor

London WC2A 3EE United Kingdom tel: +44 (0)20 7059 5700 48

email: info@accaglobal.com info@accaglobal.com email: www.accaglobal.com www.accaglobal.com PUBLISHING AND ADVERTISING Adam Williams | Publisher Anthony Kay | Production Manager For all advertising-related matters please contact Nick Willmer: 47

tel: +44 (0)20 7902 1673 email: nickw@educate-direct.com

5

DISPATCH | GRAPHICS NEWS A DESERVED ESCAPE?

Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation 2012 survey of over 8,600 employees in 22 countries has given employers in South Korea the dubious honour of frowning most on staff taking holiday. Norway’s bosses were most supportive of staff taking holiday, while US bosses came mid-table.

59%

27%

SOUTH KOREA

14%

US

NORWAY

% OF EMPLOYEES WITH UNSUPPORTIVE BOSSES

TRADE PATTERN SHIFT TO FAVOUR EMERGING MARKETS

An Ernst & Young report, Beyond Asia: New Patterns of Trade, predicts that Asia Pacific’s 6.4% growth rate, sub-Saharan Africa’s 4.5% and Latin America’s 3.9% will be the highest in the world over the next 10 years. The statistics below map the likely effects in Asia Pacific’s rapid growth markets.

61m homes will have annual income s above us$30,000 in 20 20 (compared with 15m in 2010)

th rapid grow umption in ns co 0 to 1 al 0 b 2 lo G 14% in ill rise from w ts ke ar m 0 25% by 202

INDIA to be the FASTEST-GROWING

ll earn less than e population wi 12) Only 15% of th th 42% in 20 ar (compared wi us$5,000 a ye

trade route for almost every economy in the region.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

SHOPPING

NEW YORK

TOKYO

LONDON

KUALA LUMPUR

HOT TO SHOP

9

10

STORE

PARIS

HONG KONG

BUENOS AIRES

VIENNA

DUBAI

MADRID

Three different continents filled the top three positions in a CNN Travel survey ranking the best cities in the world to shop in on the basis of ease of getting round, value, variety and the whole experience.

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

CHIPS STACKED HIGH FOR BRIC MARKETS

The BDO Ambition Survey 2012 finds that CFOs’ appetite for risk has been cut by the economic crisis. The global survey of CFOs from mid-sized companies found that nearly half plan increased investment in the ‘safe havens’ of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

29% 2011

TAXABLE INCOME LEVEL (US$) WHERE HIGHEST RATES OF PERSONAL INCOME TAX TAKE EFFECT

1 UAE

2

R QATA

394,380 SPAIN

388,350 US

329,611

/ KONG HONGHINA C

SOUTH KOREA

225,000 JAPAN

257,664

IRELAND

SINGAPORE

201,528

PORTUGAL

UK

7

15

DA CANA

242,760

5 SINGAPORE

6

8

270,000

3 SAUD ARAB I IA

4

GERMANY

45% 2012

MALAYS IA

BAHRAIN

16 UK

185,166

AUSTRALIA

TOP RANKED TAX REGIMES

TAX TAKES A BITE

Two new surveys provide a snapshot of the global tax picture. KPMG’s Individual Income Tax and Social Security Rate Survey, covering 114 countries, concentrates on top personal tax levels, while Paying Taxes – produced by PwC, World Bank and the International Finance Corporation – compares tax systems across 185 economies.

SOWING THE STARTUP SEED

The Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 from Telefónica Digital and the Startup Genome reveals that while Silicon Valley in the US is still the top startup location, flourishing communities in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia are catching up.

SILICON VALLEY

TEL AVIV

LOS ANGELES

SEATTLE

NEW YORK

BOSTON

LONDON

TORONTO

VANCOUVER

7

DISPATCH | NEWS IN PICTURES

CHINA CHINA China’s new leadership team meets the media in Beijing. From left: Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng and Wang Qishan BURMA Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Myanmar, praising the courage of fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, while also providing a symbolic nod to initial reforms

UK

UK Canadian Mark Carney was appointed governor of the Bank of England by the UK chancellor

BURMA

US Mary Shapiro quit as chief of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, turning over the reins to commissioner Elisse Walter

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

US

QATAR QATAR Heated talks at the Doha Climate Change Conference finally led to rich nations agreeing to compensate poorer nations for losses due to climate change UKRAINE Opposition parties protested against alleged fraud in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections. Prime minister Mykola Azarov and the entire government later resigned

UKRAINE

UK

UK Starbucks will voluntarily pay around £20m in corporation tax in the UK over the next two years – regardless of whether it makes a profit – in response to a public backlash in the UK over its perceived tax avoidance INDIA A blanket ban has been imposed on the sale, storage and use of plastic bags in Delhi. Penalties for violation include up to five years in jail

INDIA

9

DISPATCH | NEWS ROUNDUP

Singapore ranks highest in Asia for corporate governance standards

LONDON TO LOSE TOP SPOT London will cease to be the world’s largest financial services employer by 2015, says a report from economics consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Hong Kong will have more global financial services jobs than London within two years, while New York already has more employees in the sector if those servicing domestic demand are included. Singapore is also on track to overtake London. Report lead author Rob Harbron said: ‘Hong Kong has jumped from half London’s size to overtaking London within a decade.’

IFRS JAPAN OFFICE OPENED The IFRS Foundation, parent body of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), has chosen Asia as the location of its first international office outside the UK. The new office, which is based in Tokyo, will provide support to the Asia-Oceania region on the development, adoption and consistent application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). At the opening, Michel Prada, chairman of trustees at the IFRS Foundation, noted that the region was home to some of the world’s largest capital markets and fastest growing economies. ‘It is also a highly diverse region, hence the need to establish a local presence to ensure that views across the region are heard and considered as part of the standard-setting process.’ It was for these reasons that locating the first international office in this region ‘made perfect sense’, he said. ‘Many jurisdictions across the Asia-Oceania region have already

adopted IFRS, while others have already made substantial progress in their transitional arrangements.’ IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst said the opening of the regional office was a moment ‘of huge symbolic significance. It demonstrates the commitment of the IASB to be a truly global organisation.’ ACCOUNTANTS IN DEMAND Newly qualified, mid- and senior-level accountants are in demand because of what the Robert Half Financial Services Salary Guide 2013 calls the ‘unstoppable rise of new regulation in the UK financial services marketplace’. Stronger regulation has led to job creation and above-inflation pay rises, says the review. However, a survey conducted by recruitment advisory firm Randstad found that accountants’ pay has fallen behind since the onset of the financial crisis, rising by 7.5% since 2006, compared to 8.1% for lawyers and 11.4% for all UK employment.

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

WARREN ALLEN TO HEAD IFAC Warren Allen of New Zealand has been elected as the new president of IFAC for a two-year term. He took over from Göran Tidström in November. Olivia Kirtley of the US becomes deputy president. Allen served on the IFAC board for six years and has chaired the planning and finance committee. He is executive director and recently retired partner of Ernst & Young New Zealand. ACTION ON ISLAMIC FINANCE The growth of Islamic finance means urgent action is required on the harmonisation of financial reporting standards, argues a joint report from ACCA and KPMG. The report was based on a series of high-level international roundtables in London, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. It calls on the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Islamic finance sector to jointly develop guidance and standards and to educate investors on sharia‑compliant finance. The IASB should consider issuing guidance on the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to certain Islamic financial products, recommends the report. CHINA PAUSES FOR BREATH Analysts are predicting a fairly conservative decade ahead for China under its new leadership team. In the November 2012 elections, Xi Jinping was named as the Communist Party’s new leader. The party faced great challenges but would work to meet ‘expectations of both history and people’, he said. The 59-year-old Xi is gradually increasing his power ahead of formally taking over as president in early 2013. Following a long-held tradition, China changes its leadership every 10 years. Xi replaces Hu Jintao, under whose administration China has experienced a decade of extraordinary growth.

More than just books

Kaplan Publishing ACCA study materials

Explore our study materials click here > Exam-focused study materials written by our expert tutors Engaging formats and accessible language Access to free innovative online resources Designed to help you pass first time Available for each ACCA paper

Buy 2 Complete Learning Solutions and

save ÂŁ40

*

click here >

* Offer valid until 21st April 2013. Excludes postage. Subject to terms and conditions.

Visit our website click here > +44 (0)113 243 0056

Email us > 11

LEARNING CENTRE | SOFT SKILLS

SOFT SKILLS BRIEFING:

LISTENING, SPEAKING AND PERSUADING

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

THE ACCOUNTANT’S TYPICAL WORKLOAD INVOLVES CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH A VARIETY OF STAKEHOLDERS ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES, USING A VARIETY OF METHODS. SO WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED? ‘To progress in accountancy, you must be able to communicate effectively,’ says ACCA student and prizewinner Heidi Monahan who, as a semi-senior auditor with Grant Thornton, has to deploy a range of communication skills in her work. Heidi plans, leads and supervises audits, resolves audit issues, prepares reports, and leads and develops junior staff. The skills she uses in practice are common to many other sectors, where accountants must listen to the needs of others, present information, and be persuasive when recommending a course of action. So what strategies does Heidi employ? THE ART OF LISTENING ‘Many professionals find listening a hard skill to master – if you are usually asked to give advice, then you can spend most of your time speaking rather than listening. At Grant

Thornton we are specifically trained to listen – how can we give our clients insightful advice if we don’t understand their needs and concerns? Finance professionals who focus more on this skill can give a much more distinctive service.’ SPEAKING OUT ‘Although I use a variety of methods, I find face-to-face communication always the most beneficial when dealing with clients, but this demands good speaking skills. I think students should start developing speaking skills as early as possible, by making presentations or taking part in public speaking, for example. At Grant Thornton, we place great emphasis on these skills as they are essential if we are to develop strong relationships with our clients.’

PERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS ‘Accountants must be able to communicate their point of view or present advice, and as different situations demand different approaches, different methods must be understood. For example, I find it effective to give suggestions when giving advice – I state my point of view and the reasons behind it, and then suggest a course of action. I then give clients or colleagues time to consider my arguments, often finding that they concur with my suggestions as a result.’ COMMUNICATING WITH COLLEAGUES ‘Good communications skills are just as vital when working with colleagues as with clients. Good communication results in good teamwork, but as a

‘GOOD COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS ARE JUST AS VITAL WHEN WORKING WITH COLLEAGUES AS WITH CLIENTS’ 13

LEARNING CENTRE | SOFT SKILLS/SECTOR FOCUS team leader, I must also be able to communicate with junior colleagues in a way that encourages them to learn, develop and achieve their potential. These are the skills that will further our own career progression, enabling us to become the leaders of tomorrow.’ ACCA ADDS: For ACCA qualifications development manager Gareth Owen, students should actively seek to develop their listening, speaking and persuading skills alongside their technical ability and ethical awareness. ‘Heidi’s comments are relevant to all students, whether in practice or not, as all accountants need to interact with a range of stakeholders in order to do their job, to coordinate, motivate and develop their juniors and peers, and to support their employer.

‘It’s useful to break down the broader concept of “communication” into the skills of speaking, listening and persuading, as accountants need to understand and demonstrate all three in order to perform their role effectively. In particular, the ability to develop persuasive arguments and make recommendations is vital. Any stakeholder – whether client, customer or colleague – will be far more receptive to an idea if persuaded of the benefits of a suggested course of action from their own point of view, rather than being ‘told’ to do something. As a result, the skills of speaking, listening and persuasion are key leadership traits, and can certainly contribute toward career progression and personal fulfilment.

TECHNICAL | COMMUNICATION

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT ESSENTIAL GUIDE AVAILABLE ONLINE All three editions of the October 2012 Student Accountant Essential Guide are now available to download in PDF format from ACCA’s website. There are three separate editions available: • Paper F1 to F3 and Foundation level • Paper F4 to F9 • Paper P1 to P7 Each magazine contains a range of useful information, technical articles, exam support articles and examinable documents relevant to each stage of study. ACCESS THE OCTOBER 2012 ESSENTIAL GUIDE

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY DECEMBER 2013 2012

SECTOR FOCUS:

OIL AND GAS World energy is a complex environment affected by technology, economics and politics. Although advances are being made with future energy sources such as wind, water or nuclear power, the oil and gas sector is as relevant as ever – and is an exciting and challenging place to work. It can take you anywhere in the world and the financial rewards can be impressive. ‘Accountants play a vital role in the oil and gas industry, both in public practice and in industry,’ says Richard Bathgate, a senior manager in the PwC deals team based in Scotland. ‘In industry, accountants are involved in all stages of the field life cycle: investment appraisal, preparing revenue and capital expenditure budgets, monitoring actual spend against budget and reporting to management. ‘In public practice, accountants advise and work with clients on everything from raising equity to conducting audits. The range of services is enormous and can include tax compliance and planning, due diligence for deals, corporate finance work and even forensic accounting. ‘While there have been a number of companies exhibiting symptoms of distress, such as working capital pressures, companies focused on the upstream oil and gas sector have generally enjoyed greater access to credit and been able to raise more funds from investors than companies in other sectors, such as retail or construction.’ This is likely because the demand for oil and gas has remained strong throughout the economic crisis.

‘Although supply from shale discoveries has depressed prices due to increased supply, the price of oil and gas has generally remained above the marginal cost of production, making investment in new projects economically viable,’ explains Bathgate. ‘This has meant that exploration and production companies continue to drill new wells and service companies continue to enjoy growth, even though the wider economy continues to struggle.’ Deloitte’s 2012 Oil & Gas reality check report considered the potential impact of trends that emerged in 2011 and gives a useful insight into global regions where work in the sector will be bountiful if sometimes not for the faint-hearted – namely, Libya, with its evolving political landscape, Iraq, with its increased stability, and Brazil, with its emergence as an industry player. ‘It is expected that an increase of output by non-OPEC nations will make up for rising demand in 2012 – and while Iraq and Libya will undoubtedly play a major role in the global oil industry, both countries have obstacles to overcome that will likely have a major impact on the market in the year ahead,’ says Carl Hughes, Deloitte’s global head of energy and resources. However, as PwC noted in its publication, Northern Lights – A Strategic Vision of Aberdeen as a World Class Energy Capital, the greatest challenge facing companies in the sector is a shortage of skilled workers.

Bathgate advises any would-be accountant considering a career in the energy sector to ‘always be enthusiastic!’ A positive attitude will take you far. ‘In terms of skills, I think strong communication skills are the most important non-technical skill an accountant can have. Strong technical skills are almost taken for granted but if you can’t talk to your clients and build strong relationships with them, they’ll easily get good technical advice elsewhere. It’s the relationships you build with clients that will keep them coming back to you.’ You also need to be aware that there are very specific skills you will need to have in order to have a real understanding of how to manage budgets for big cost R&D when return for investment may be some way down the line. ‘Budgets in oil and gas are huge, regularly running into the many millions of pounds and often into the billions, so investment decisions require robust financial modelling,’ says Bathgate. ‘Models are often based around a number of key assumptions, so changes in tax rates and the price of oil can have significant consequences to project outcomes, including making a project unprofitable where it once appeared to have a good profit margin. Making decisions for the long term requires stability and confidence in the future.’ What sector would you want us to focus on next? Email us at studentaccountant@ accaglobal.com ▶

15

TECHNICALCENTRE LEARNING | COMMUNICATION | MANAGEMENT SKILLS

LEAD FROM WHERE

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY DECEMBER 2013 2012

YOU ARE WHY YOU NEED TO HAVE SECOND-TO-NONE MANAGEMENT SKILLS – WHATEVER YOUR ROLE – AND HOW TO GET THEM

While finance professionals have a vital role to play in helping companies understand their financial health, the importance of everyone to show good leadership and management will further help company performance, future growth and economic prosperity. As leadership expert John Kotter said in What You Need to Know About Leadership by Liz Fisher and Jeff Grout: ‘Successful companies don’t wait for leaders to come along. They actively seek out people with leadership potential and expose them to career experiences that are designed to develop that potential.’ Yet not everyone is getting it right. A 2012 paper from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Leadership and Management Network Group puts forward the arguments for business investment in leadership and management skills. The research showed that ineffective management is estimated to be costing UK businesses over £19bn per year in lost working hours. Nearly three-quarters of organisations in England reported a deficit of management and leadership skills in 2012, which contributes to a productivity gap with other countries

‘INEFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT IS ESTIMATED TO BE COSTING UK BUSINESSES OVER £19BN PER YEAR IN LOST WORKING HOURS’ 17

LEARNING CENTRE | MANAGEMENT SKILLS including the US, Germany and Japan. Analysis by UKCES has shown that management skills are crucial to ensuring high performance working and business success. Organisations with a more qualified management workforce and a dedicated programme of management development have been shown to perform better and have more sophisticated and higher quality product and market strategies. There are, of course, certain roles within accountancy and finance where leadership skills are an obvious prerequisite, such as a financial controller, or a finance manager, but it is the size of the company and organisational structure that prescribes whether there will be a likelihood of managing a team – so you may work in payroll, tax or audit and still need to manage well. ‘Depending on the role, the importance of specific managerial and leadership capabilities can make all the difference,’ says Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK. ‘Some roles are looking for a hands-on manager, one who is successful at completing the work and managing a team at the same time. In other cases, the role may be looking for a full-time manager, where leadership will be the number one consideration for the individual. Understanding the job description

and what kind of manager they are looking for before the interview will make a difference.’ What is more, according to Brodie McDougall, director, Michael Page Finance in Australia, ‘Potential employers will want to attract the best talent and demonstrating strong leadership and vision is particularly important, especially in the current market.’ So if being able to manage a team is so important, how can you best show you have the skill at the interview stage? ‘It is important to provide specific examples of your management experience and key areas to discuss in the interview include how you have managed underperforming staff and how you have personally influenced the fast-tracked development of a staff member beneath you,’ Brodie advises. ‘[Candidates] should cite specific examples of how they have approached managing a team,’ continues Sheridan. ‘That is, how they set performance metrics for individuals and the group as a whole. If relevant, they should mention how they have coached individuals to reach their full potential. If they are able to link this to specific return on investment examples, including how the team saved the company money or improved efficiencies, then the candidate will be in a strong position.’

‘IN MOST SITUATIONS, WHETHER GAINING A QUALIFICATION THROUGH A PUBLIC PRACTICE FIRM OR IN INDUSTRY, BY THE TIME YOU ARE QUALIFIED, YOU GENERALLY HAVE SOME MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE – WHETHER IT IS LEADING A CLIENT AUDIT OR MANAGING AN OPERATIONAL ACCOUNTING TEAM’ STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

The good news is that you will probably have already picked up management experience throughout your studies. ‘In most situations, whether gaining a qualification through a public practice firm or in industry, by the time you are qualified, you generally have some managerial experience – whether it is leading a client audit or managing an operational accounting team,’ says Sheridan. ‘Demonstrating this experience in a CV and interview is of key importance. Employers are looking to see that the candidate is able to cope under pressure and respond to multiple interview styles and questions – for example, panel interviews or presentations. ‘However, it is always good practice to improve and upgrade your skills, even before you start your job – whether technical or soft skills such as managerial. Most companies will have professional development programmes, so obtaining proper experience – both through education and hands-on activities – is essential, whether through your qualification body or other training.’ While good management is crucial for your own career progression as well as the success of your organisation, bad management can make a similarly high impact. ‘There are three pitfalls of management that should be avoided: hypocrisy, complacency and inconsistency,’ says Brodie. ‘When a manager demonstrates any of these traits, it can cause discontent in the team and result in staff turnover. ‘To manage these issues, it is important that the leader is honest with their team (about showing any of these traits) and implements a plan that will help them better their performance as a manager.’ Beth Holmes is a freelance journalist

KEY SKILLS FOR MANAGING A TEAM ¤ Ensure everybody knows their role ¤ Set clear goals and communicate them ¤ Put in place clear lines of communication ¤ Clarify lines of responsibility ¤ Involve all team members in decision making as much as possible ¤ Introduce ways to manage and resolve differences ¤ Learn how to lead effective meetings ¤ Encourage training and personal development ¤ Build in regular reviews ¤ Be a ready and willing listener ¤ Encourage and promote diversity ¤ Motivate team members ¤ Reward initiative

‘THERE ARE THREE PITFALLS OF MANAGEMENT THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED: HYPOCRISY, COMPLACENCY AND INCONSISTENCY’

19

LEARNING CENTRE | PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES

TACKLING

PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES PO 19:

EVALUATE AND COMPUTE TAXES PAYABLE All finance professionals need to be well-grounded in the fundamentals of taxation. This starts with developing the ability to calculate taxes of all types for individuals and organisations, in line with current legislation. You will need to be aware of potential tax liabilities and their implications, be able to identify and collect relevant data, ensure calculations and returns comply with legal requirements, and keep up to date with changes to those requirements. You should also be able to help individuals and companies plan for tax and identify relevant compliance issues in different scenarios. To effectively demonstrate your competency, you might: ¤  prepare computations of revenue taxes for individuals, capital taxes, and taxes for incorporated businesses ¤  report to the tax authorities on payroll taxes, and to relevant authorities on sales taxes ¤  communicate with the tax authorities on issues arising from the submission of tax correspondence ¤  understand (and, where necessary, communicate) the obligations of tax payers (your organisation or clients), including deadlines, procedures and penalties for non-compliance.

The next step is to answer the challenge questions for this objective: ¤ Outline your experience in evaluating and computing taxes payable. – As well as your own specific responsibilities, describe the various types of tax you have had experience of in computing, along with the types of taxpayer, categories of tax and which tax jurisdictions. – If you have been involved in completing periodic tax returns (for example, quarterly or annual), you might explain where you sourced data or relevant correspondence records, how you used that information and at what point your work was handed over to a colleague or client. ¤ How have you ensured that the information you have used is complete? – Consider how you checked that relevant data was prepared in line with appropriate accounting standards, or that dates in which accounting records fall are in line with the dates against which tax needs to be computed. – If you have created, or helped to create, specific systems (which could be as simple as a bespoke spreadsheet) to help analyse and classify the data, state the

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

purpose of the systems and your involvement in their creation, implementation and/or training. ¤ How have you ensured that your information is made best use of by the organisation? – This could be as simple as ensuring your client or employer is compliant with regulatory requirements, including deadlines. – If you liaised on behalf of your client with tax collection authorities, you could detail how your communications helped the organisation avoid penalties previously incurred as a result of non-compliance. – Consider activities you may have undertaken to ensure you stay up to date with taxation regulations – for example, reading relevant newsletters or technical journals, liaising with technical colleagues, client tax or finance teams, or external consultants, or attending relevant training courses. – If your role involves keeping others updated on changes to regulations, state who those people are, in what way they rely on your knowledge, how you communicate with them, and the steps they might take as a result. PO 19 is linked to Paper F6, Taxation, and Paper P6, Advanced Taxation.

PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES ARE ACCA’S BENCHMARKS OF EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE AND SET THE MINIMUM STANDARD OF WORK THAT YOU ARE EXPECTED TO ACHIEVE AND DEMONSTRATE IN THE WORKPLACE. IN THIS ISSUE, WE ROUND OFF OUR SERIES BY FOCUSING ON THE REQUIREMENTS OF POs 19 AND 20

PO 20:

ASSIST WITH TAX PLANNING To be a fully-rounded finance professional, you need to be able not only to calculate and communicate tax liabilities but also apply your knowledge, skill and professional judgment to advise individuals and organisations on how tax impacts on the decisions they take. This requires a more detailed understanding of a range of taxes, so that you can advise on the efficient management and minimisation of tax liabilities. In practice, this will involve effective provision of information about tax liabilities and payments (verbally and/or in writing), discussion of any changes or developments that may have tax implications, forecasts of future tax payable and the cashflow effects, provision of support to clients or your employer’s management to ensure the best possible future tax position, and an awareness of the potential impact of all taxes. To effectively demonstrate your competency, you might: ¤ inform clients or management of their tax liabilities and any issues arising ¤ provide reminders of due dates for submission of tax returns/ payment of tax liabilities ¤ review the implication of changes in tax rates for individuals or companies

¤ evaluate the tax implications for the future plans of individuals or companies. The next step is to answer the challenge questions for this objective: ¤ Outline your responsibilities in assisting with tax planning. Detail from start to finish your role in the planning process, from listening to the needs of your client or employer and carrying out relevant research, through to evaluating the tax implications of  different decisions or courses of action, and communicating your findings to relevant stakeholders. If your work involves tax planning for individuals, such as company directors, landowners or other high net-worth individuals, detail the factors you may have had to take into account, such as distribution of domestic and overseas property, family circumstances, investment portfolios and ownership of  businesses. If the organisation was implementing a redundancy programme, detail your planning work to help management weigh up the tax implications – for the organisation and staff involved – of the available options. ¤ How could some of the work you have done contribute

to providing advice in other situations? Perhaps the research you carried out into different jurisdictions – for the purposes of advising employers on optimum tax arrangements for expatriate employees – may subsequently have been used when the organisation was faced with a decision to relocate its head office overseas for tax purposes. Consider how work you carried out to help a client implement a new employee remuneration scheme might have helped your firm position itself to advise other clients of similar size or circumstances. ¤ How did your work improve the financial position of the company? Think about how the advice you gave may have helped a client or your employer to make the right decision regarding a new business opportunity, such as a relocation, acquisition or opening up of new branches. Perhaps the organisation being advised was considering a programme to raise cash through the disposal of land, property or subsidiaries – show how your work helped to realise best value while minimising capital taxes. PO 20 is linked to Paper F6, Taxation, and Paper P6, Advanced Taxation.

21

LEARNING CENTRE | PER/WORKPLACE MENTORS

PER: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HOW CAN I CONVINCE MY MANAGER TO GIVE ME WORK THAT WILL HELP ME MEET MY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT (PER) GOALS? Focus not just on your needs but on those of your employer too. How might your manager or the organisation benefit if you are given the experience you want? Volunteering for project work (as others shrink into the background) is a useful way to gain exposure to tasks you might otherwise not be given. Be positive about the extra time – think how much closer you will be to meeting your goals. Another tactic is to simply take work on without waiting to be asked. If you are aware that your manager has been asked for a particular report, why not gather the information that is needed? Better still, draft the report. Your manager may regard it as beyond your ability, or that it would be unfair to ask you. But presenting a fait accompli could earn you extra credibility, or reward your responsibility in the future. More formal strategies need not involve your manager’s input. Which of your colleagues might be open to being shadowed in action? It is a shortsighted manager who wouldn’t see the benefit to the team of helping to upskill a keen member of staff. And as people usually like sharing their knowledge, coaching needn’t be a ‘big ask’. Job rotations and secondments require more planning ahead but don’t rule them out, particularly if people are on maternity leave or other long-term absences.

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

Once your manager has been persuaded that it is in their interest to give you additional tasks that will help you meet your initial performance objectives, it will become much easier to plough through the remaining competencies you need to demonstrate. Only go to their manager as a last resort – it really is counter-productive as a regular tactic. If your supervisor really is afraid of you coming up through the ranks, your manager should shortly recognise your ability – if they don’t already.

WORKPLACE MENTORS For many students, finding a workplace mentor – someone who is (ideally) your direct line manager and who is willing to invest time to help you – can be a major hurdle. Yet this needn’t be so. WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME? It is much easier to put together a convincing case if you can view the mentoring relationship from the perspective of your potential workplace mentor as well as your own. Clearly, you have a strong motivation for completing your PER – attaining membership of ACCA. But what might a workplace mentor stand to gain?  ¤ Few people are ‘born managers’ – but mentoring helps many people to develop skills that will stand them in good stead should they be promoted to a supervisory role. These might include prioritising and time management, as well as effective evaluation of the performance of others. And in mentoring sessions, mentors develop more than just listening skills – they also learn how to identify and ask the right questions too. ¤ By taking on the role of workplace mentor (which may appear to

have little obvious direct impact on performance of their own tasks), they will demonstrate a degree of commitment to their employer. However, this might require a more subtle or diplomatic approach – you don’t want to suggest that your potential workplace mentor has a reputation for being disloyal to the company, or that choosing not to be your workplace mentor would give the impression of being uncommitted. ¤ If your potential workplace mentor is an ACCA member, their mentoring activity may well count towards their annual CPD requirement if it helps them to acquire new and relevant skills, and if proper records are kept. If he or she is a member of another IFAC body, the same is highly likely to be true. People in non‑finance roles who are members of other professional or chartered bodies (for instance, people in payroll, credit management, procurement, HR or training) may also find that mentoring you would satisfy their CPD requirement. ¤ Mentors may win recognition from senior management through helping you with your professional development. If their mentoring is both effective and visible, the

IF YOUR POTENTIAL WORKPLACE MENTOR IS AN ACCA MEMBER, THEIR MENTORING ACTIVITY MAY WELL COUNT TOWARDS THEIR ANNUAL CPD REQUIREMENT

organisation may well keep them in mind when succession planning. Think back to practical experience of your own that will help you illustrate how acting as a sounding board or informal coach for a colleague or associate (or even a friend, a family member or someone you have met through volunteering) enabled you to develop in ways you have been able to make use of in the office. NOW WHAT? Read through your nine Essentials performance objectives and the four Options ones you have chosen, including the activity examples. Think about related tasks that you could undertake while striving to complete your PER. What questions might your potential workplace mentor have? Arm yourself with relevant answers before making your approach. Jot down a loose timeline with some suggestions of targets to aim for on your way to achieving each performance objective. You can use the development plan section on My Experience to help. This will help your workplace mentor get a better sense of how much of their time may be required, as well as the professional judgment they will be expected to exercise. All the while, keep looking for and reminding them of the benefits they will enjoy. Find out more about My Experience and the practical experience requirement at www.accaglobal. com/en/student/Experience.html

23

LEARNING CENTRE | PROFESSIONAL ETHICS/ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

THE PROFESSIONAL ETHICS MODULE

WHAT’S INVOLVED?

ALONG WITH PASSING YOUR EXAMS AND FULFILLING ACCA’S PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT, IT IS NOW MANDATORY FOR ALL STUDENTS TO COMPLETE THE PROFESSIONAL ETHICS MODULE BEFORE QUALIFYING AS AN ACCA MEMBER. WE CONTINUE OUR SERIES IN WHICH WE PROFILE MEMBERS AND STUDENTS WHO HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED THE MODULE AND DISCOVER HOW IT WILL BENEFIT THEM IN THEIR FUTURE CAREERS

THAN SHU FENG

ASSISTANT MANAGER (COST ACCOUNTING) SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO PTE LTD for Paper P1 and how to act ethically in the workplace.

Q

Why did you decide to take the Professional Ethics module when you did? I believed that it would strengthen the knowledge I obtained when studying Paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics, and provide an all-round understanding of how to apply ethics to your career.

Q

Did you have any preconceptions of the module before you attempted it? No. I simply saw it as a worthwhile learning experience as I believe to be a ‘good’ accountant, you need to be professional and ethical. The module definitely helped to underline what I had learnt

Q

 Having completed the module, how do you think this will help you in the future? The module exposes you to many different legal regulations and concepts, which helps ensure accountants work in the public interest. The module also emphasises the fundamental principles and codes of conduct that act as a framework to follow when you encounter – and have to deal with – ethically conflicting situations at work.

Q

You can access the module again in the future – do you think this will help you? Yes. It will be useful to be able to refer back to the professional codes of ethics at any time for extra guidance whenever it is required.

‘I BELIEVE TO BE A “GOOD”ACCOUNTANT, YOU NEED TO BE PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL’ STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

Q

Now that completing the Professional Ethics module is mandatory for all students, what advice do you have for them when they approach it? I believe that undertaking the module as part of their eventual progression to membership is a positive thing. Personally, I enjoy knowing more about the principles and using the framework of ACCA’s fundamental principles to deal with ethical dilemma situations. The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) principle-based framework is a particularly useful reference and helped me in the case study. These case studies demonstrate prospective real-life workplace ethical dilemmas that students should be aware of and how to deal with them in a professional manner. Find out more about the Professional Ethics module, and how to complete it ▶

ACCESS THE VIDEOS NOW!

KNOW THE FACTS

ACCA HAS PRODUCED A SERIES OF VIDEOS THAT WILL GUIDE YOU THROUGH ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW AS AN ACCA STUDENT

HOW TO GET STARTED In this video you will learn about myACCA, your personal online ACCA account, which you should visit regularly for as long as you are a student. You will also find out what to look for when deciding on tuition and what valuable resources are available to you.

HOW TO GET EXPERIENCE Becoming a qualified accountant doesn’t simply mean passing the exams – you have to get practical experience to go with it. In this video, you will learn the importance of practical experience, ways you can gain it and how to record it.

 

 

HOW TO PASS EXAMS In this video you will get advice on searching for a tuition provider. You will also find out the different ways you can sit your exams – as well as when to enter for them. Want to get a BSc Degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University without doubling your workload? You will find more details here.    

HOW TO BE PROFESSIONAL We don’t just want good accountants, we want accountants who are good and who are both professional and ethical. In this video you will learn about our professional ethics modules and also what awaits you once you have completed your exams, gained your experience and become an ACCA member.  

25

TECHNICAL| CENTRE FEATURES LEARNING FUTURE | COMMUNICATION OF | FOCUS ACCOUNTANTS ON INDIA

FOCUS ON

INDIA

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY DECEMBER 2013 2012

In recent years, ACCA has seen a marked growth in the number of student registrations in India. Thanks to a strong emerging economy, and the setting up of shared service centres by a number of multinationals, India is experiencing an increasing demand for professional accountants as never before. As a result, students are opting to take more global qualifications that will provide them with a competitive edge when targeting the lucrative work placements on offer. In addition, students are gaining further inspiration from existing ACCA members in India, many of whom hold senior-level roles at large corporations, Big Four firms, and various government and public organisations. We speak to three ACCA students in India about why they decided to study for an ACCA qualification. We also speak to a developing tuition provider to find out how students in India are making use of available tuition resources.

SURAJ CHOTALIA

What made you choose to take an ACCA qualification? Choosing ACCA as my first step towards a successful career is undoubtedly the most satisfying decision I have made so far. ACCA is one of the most internationally recognised qualifications you can achieve and, I believe, provides students with the solid foundations on which to build and secure additional qualifications. For me, the most invaluable reason for endorsing the ACCA Qualification is its flexible entry requirements. After passing my GCSE exams in the UK I decided against studying A-levels as I wanted to instead focus on a qualification that would complement both my natural abilities and future aspirations. If it wasn’t for ACCA

being an internationally recognised qualification I would not have the opportunity to study in India before transferring to the UK to work once I have qualified. The possibilities are endless with ACCA. What challenges have you had to face while taking your exams? The structure of the ACCA Qualification and the syllabuses for each exam paper provide a progressive learning platform. To date, I have encountered a number of challenges and, in such circumstances, there is no better attitude to acquire than a positive one. Consequently, I have been able to hone my exam technique and focus on such skills as time management, the ability to read exam questions calmly under pressure and selecting the correct method of approach to an exam question. What made you choose to attend a college for tuition and how has it helped you achieve your study goals? Opting to attend Yates Education was a very important and proactive decision. There is always an advantage to learning and absorbing knowledge from a tuition provider – for example, there is no time wasted in finding the answers to any study‑related queries I may have, thanks to the approachable members of staff. I am assessed, inspired and positively encouraged to try harder. Also, I gain valuable feedback, I am able to help others, and I am given opportunities of working with peers in groups. The college is a place where I learn something new each day and this in turn helps me to set new study goals and objectives. What do you hope to do in five years’ time? After achieving my ACCA Qualification I would like to take another step towards becoming a chartered tax adviser (CTA). This will undoubtedly help me achieve a more specialised

27

LEARNING CENTRE | FOCUS ON INDIA/FOUNDATION LEVEL PROFILES career and offer me a variety of opportunities coupled with my ACCA Qualification. In five years’ time I see myself working in London in a role in which I will practise skills gained from my ACCA and CTA studies.’ 

VIRAL RAMESH SHAH What made you choose to take the ACCA Qualification? It was during my stay in the UK that one of my colleagues introduced me to the ACCA Qualification. Thanks to the qualification’s global recognition, I realised I could opt to study in India while working full-time. Are you working at the moment? If so, what are your role, company and main responsibilities? I am currently a team leader at HealthCare Locums plc. My responsibilities include staff training, briefing the team on company policy and legal requirements, calculating and issuing pay by cash, cheque or electronic transfer, ensuring that tax and national insurance payments are deducted correctly, calculating overtime and shift payments, and implementing pay increases. I have achieved all of my practical work experience with the support and guidance from my workplace mentor. What made you choose to attend a college for tuition and how has it helped you achieve your study goals? When I began my studies in 2007, there was a lack of tuition providers in Ahmadabad, so I opted to self‑study and managed to pass three papers in four years. In 2011, I enrolled at Yates Education with the objective of speeding up my progression through the qualification. Thanks to the college’s guidance and teaching, I have now passed a further four papers during the last 18 months. I have just sat

my final four papers and am looking forward to receiving my results in February. What do you hope to do in five years’ time? My main goal is to pass the ACCA Qualification as soon as possible. I currently hold a managerial-level role at my company. However, I will have the opportunity to progress to a senior management position once I have qualified as an ACCA member.

VATSAL MUKUND MEHTA  What challenges do you face while studying? The biggest challenge is time. The period between receiving your exam results and the start of the next exam session is very short, which can make it extra challenging for those students who wish to complete their exams quickly by sitting four papers at a time. Why did you choose tuition over self-studying? I felt I was able to study for the Fundamentals level papers myself. However, once I had reached the Professional level, I considered that the extra support provided by a tuition provider would be very beneficial. What do you hope to do in five years’ time? In the next five years I plan to complete the ACCA Qualification before pursuing the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) programme (a US-based course in professional finance). I also plan to undertake an MBA in finance alongside the CFA. My objective is a career in investment banking.

‘THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TIME’

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

TUITION PROVIDER PROFILE

Yates Education in Gujarat was founded in December 2009 by Bhoomi Ruparelia and Paurav Thakker. A subscriber to ACCA’s Tuition Providers Directory and a registered CBE centre, Yates Education currently has 70 students. It has already produced eight qualified ACCA members and is currently working towards gaining Gold approval for student tuition. We speak to Paurav Thakker, one of the founders of Yates Education, about how the college has developed so far and its future plans. What inspired you to become a CBE centre and how did you find the process? We applied for CBE centre status to provide our students with a better and more convenient facility to sit flexible computer-based exams (CBE). Previously, many of the local students had to travel 1,000km to Pune. What are the future plans? We want to grow as an organisation and recruit more students. ACCA’s support is essential in helping us achieve this goal, and we look forward to this continuing support as we progress. Our aim is to have over 500 students within the next five years. How do you approach supporting students with gaining their practical experience and ethical development? We teach the three ‘E’s – exams, experience and ethics – at Yates Education. To help our students gain the relevant practical experience, we provide some with work placements at my own chartered accountancy firm, as well as with outsourcing companies and other chartered accountancy firms around the region. I teach Paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics, and can help students grasp the ethical aspects of their studies so that they can apply these to the Professional Ethics module and their day-to-day responsibilities.

FIRM FOUNDATIONS IN THE LATEST IN OUR SERIES, TWO MORE STUDENTS TELL US WHY THEY BEGAN THEIR STUDIES AT THE FOUNDATION LEVEL

JOSEPH SALVATORY SHAO

MAHENDRA OODHUB

TANZANIA I chose to study with ACCA at the Foundation level as I felt this was the best level for me to begin my studies. Starting with the Foundation level will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to help you understand what is required within an accountancy role and, in doing so, it provides an excellent route to the ACCA Qualification. I currently work for the Ministry of Water in the United Republic of Tanzania on their Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP)

‘IT IS POSSIBLE, WITH CAREFUL PLANNING, TO FIT STUDYING AROUND YOUR WORK’

as an assistant project accountant. Working and studying can be very challenging, especially if work commitments conflict with the time you had set aside to attend classes to study. But as the qualification provides flexible learning it is possible, with careful planning, to fit studying around your work. It is important to ensure that you make time to relax away from work and study so, in my spare time, I like to watch football on TV, travel and visit friends. In the next five years I hope to have completed my exams and become a fully qualified member. One day I would like to be the chief financial officer (CFO) or finance director of a well‑known organisation.

MAURITIUS I first became aware of ACCA when I joined the Internal Audit Department of Mauritius Duty Free Paradise Co Ltd. It was on the advice of my colleagues that I decided to study for the ACCA Qualification, as they knew it would increase my career prospects. I decided to start my studies with the Foundation level awards because I thought it would give me a real insight into what the ‘world’ of accountancy looked like. For me, it was a good starting point, as it helped me to become self-disciplined and realise the importance of not wasting time. When I sat my first exams, I was already a father, with my second son due the following year. I was doing self‑study, which meant that I didn’t have any

spare time to attend regular tuition classes. If I had to give advice to anyone thinking of starting their studies with the Foundation level awards, it would be to go for it as the ACCA Qualification is a globally-recognised qualification that encompasses many aspects of finance, management and law. When I am not studying I like to relax by watching football on TV. I especially enjoy English football matches – my favourite team is Liverpool FC – but I do enjoy watching Spanish football too. I also enjoy jogging, swimming and playing rummy. Where do I see myself in five years’ time? That would be as a senior auditor, which is my dream role as I like analysing and interpreting figures.

29

LEARNING CENTRE | ACCA CAREERS

PLANS FOR 2013 WITH THE NEW YEAR JUST UNDER WAY, NOW IS THE TIME TO ASSESS YOUR CAREER PLANS Perhaps you are looking for a new accountancy job, a first job or a change of career. Whichever it is and whatever your motivation, you need to be prepared before you dive into the often stressful and turbulent world of job hunting. Neil Johnson, ACCA Careers editor, takes a look at what is out there.

WHAT FIRST? The more you know, the better your decisions and the clearer the road ahead will appear. So read up on your chosen profession. If you are starting out or changing career, you need to get to know the accountancy sector. If you have got as far as choosing accountancy as a career path, then you will know a fair bit already, but dig deep, get to know the current trends and issues facing the profession. Go online, do some research and talk to people about their

he p for t Sign u s Career ACCA tter ▶ newsle

perceptions of accountancy and accountants. This will help you engage with the profession and may benefit you at interviews or assessment days by allowing you to prove in conversation that you are aware of professional issues. ROLES AND SECTORS There are those who argue that it is important to know what role and which sector you want to work in from the outset. The argument runs that defined career goals will prove to employers that you are driven, committed and ambitious. But others warn that it is better not to concern yourself with specialisms and particular career paths too early on. By keeping your options open, they say, you expose yourself to different experiences, enabling you to make more informed career decisions. There is no right or wrong here. It often comes down to the individual

Register you r CV on ACCA Caree rs and start your jo b search

and the role or sector you are applying for. You can, however, be fairly sure that employers do not expect junior candidates to know everything. So map out your career as far as possible but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Communicate and do your research to help you make decisions, and speak to friends, teachers and professionals to help build a picture. If you are looking for a more senior position or are changing careers, you will likely be looking to specialise, and employers may indeed expect this from you. You will probably have a specific role or industry in mind, so do your homework and familiarise yourself with current issues and professional trends. Think about why you are heading down this path, what excites you about it and why you will be good at it. Employers will want to know what you can bring to the table.

DON’T VIEW YOUR CV AS FIXED OR SOLID; IT NEEDS TO BE VIBRANT AND ADAPTABLE, AND REPRESENT THE MOVEMENT AND DIRECTION OF YOUR CAREER

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

THE DREADED CV Don’t dread your CV, embrace it. A CV is your chance to shine, albeit in a very structured and concise way. Pay attention to accountancy job descriptions and employer expectations. Research CV best practice. Employers may immediately discard a CV because it is too long, has bad grammar or is poorly structured. It may seem petty to penalise such mistakes, but your CV is the first impression you will be giving, so you want your skills and experiences to jump off the page. Therefore, don’t bury them beneath poor‑quality presentation. Also remember that, particularly at the beginning of your career, you may have to adapt and tweak your CV for different positions and companies, highlighting certain aspects in favour of others, and adding new skills/experiences as you acquire them. So don’t view your CV as fixed or solid; it needs to be vibrant and adaptable, and represent the movement and direction of your career. SHARING AND THE SOCIAL YOU In the old days you might have seen an accountancy job advert in your local paper, popped your CV and covering letter in the post and hoped for the best. Not any more. Employers can like or dislike you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter. LinkedIn can make or break a thousand professional connections. It is important to consider these social media, if you use them. You don’t have to turn your Facebook page into an extension of your CV, just be aware that potential employers may look at it, whether you think they should be doing so or not. Use privacy settings to limit access to certain material and just be aware of your online image: how do you want to come across? Think about your online profile in a similar way.

JOIN ACCA’S FACEBOOK PAGE

YOU DON’T HAVE Find out h o students p w other ACCA TO TURN YOUR la Join at ww n their studies. FACEBOOK w.facebo ACCA.Offic ok.com/ ial PAGE INTO AN EXTENSION OF YOUR CV, JUST BE AWARE THAT POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS MAY LOOK AT IT

USEFUL LINKS:

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Why not view videos of ACCA members talking about their career paths to get a better idea of what types of jobs are out there? ▶ Tips on mapping your future ▶ Which role? ▶ Which sector? ▶ Peter Moller, partner at Deloitte ▶ Perfect CV ▶ CV dos and don’ts ▶ Maximise LinkedIn ▶ Employers and social media ▶

31

TECHNICAL| NEW FEATURES FUTURE | COMMUNICATION YEAR OFRESOLUTIONS ACCOUNTANTS

10

What are your 2013 career resolutions? Let us know at

studentaccountant@ accaglobal.com

CAREER RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY DECEMBER 2013 2012

WHETHER YOU ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST JOB OR PLANNING TO CHANGE EMPLOYERS, JANUARY IS A PERFECT TIME TO CLARIFY YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS AND COME UP WITH A PLAN TO ADVANCE YOUR CAREER. IWONA TOKC-WILDE REPORTS This time every year, we draw up lists of New Year’s resolutions: get in shape and lose weight, quit smoking, see our family and friends more. The New Year is like a ‘restart’ button and we use it to ‘reboot’ our lives – take stock of where we are and plan to do better in future. In terms of your career, this is also a good time to reflect on your progress over the past year and plan how to grow professionally. You may want to commit to a few New Year’s resolutions too. Here are some to get you started:

1

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

‘Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your current or future employer will provide you with a guaranteed career path – it is your responsibility, so resolve to take control of your professional development,’ says Clive Leake, leadership and management coach at Whow! Leadership. Clarify your goals – where do you want to be at the end of 2013 and beyond? What kind of role do you want – corporate or non-profit? Generalist or specialist? Contract or full-time? The clearer you are on what you want, the easier it will be to achieve it. If you want a promotion, be prepared to move laterally first. ‘More and more organisations now insist on at least one sideways move to broaden your experience before considering you for the next role up,’ says Leake.

‘WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE AT THE END OF 2013 AND BEYOND?’

2

MARKET YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

If you are still a full-time student, start connecting with the organisations you would like to work for to let them know who you are and what you want to achieve professionally. ‘Call human resources and ask if you can email them your introductory profile,’ says Yashivan Govender, director of operations at global student news site FirstStep.me. Also, go to networking events that those organisations attend and introduce yourself to people who make or who influence recruitment decisions. ‘Your aim is to whet their appetite and increase your chances of getting hired down the line,’ says Govender. What if you are already in employment? ‘Think what would make you more marketable and employable,’ says Leake. What experience, skills and knowledge should you be gaining in the next 12 months? ‘The minimum you should strive to achieve is to ensure that your RL (Rate of Learning) is greater than the RC (Rate of Change) occurring in your organisation or profession,’ he says.

3

TURN THEORY INTO PRACTICE

Unfortunately, in the current employment market you may need a track record of practical experience to be truly employable. ‘To increase your chances of getting a job interview despite your lack of experience, try and do a three‑month internship before applying for a full‑time position,’ says Charlie Ryan, managing director at The Recruitment

Queen. ‘This will be something valuable to “sell” and will also help you answer practical questions that so many newly qualified accountants struggle with at interviews.’ View yourself as a business and increase your value, adds Govender: ‘In addition to work experience, further education and training also contribute to your net worth or brand.’

4

OPEN DOORS

5

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Learn to spot opportunities – what is happening in your industry and profession? What trends are emerging? ‘Then think what the implications are for you and/or your organisation and what skills and knowledge you need to develop to be ready for these changes,’ says Leake. How can you gain experience that might be useful in the future? ‘Go for roles, projects or secondments that could provide you with exposure to these changes,’ says Leake. ‘Open doors rather than wait for doors to open!’ But don’t stop at learning to spot opportunities – create them for yourself – for example, by researching industries that you may think wouldn’t normally utilise your skills. ‘One of the biggest uncharted areas is the new online media business sector,’ says Govender. There are employment opportunities in this market that accountants are failing to explore. ‘Football clubs and governments also need accountants,’ says Celia Middleton, co-founder at Careers4u.tv, an online resource for people at the early stages of their careers. ‘Think about where your

33

FEATURES | NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS interests lie – there are opportunities for accountants in all sectors.’ 

6

ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS

However, regardless of the sector you want to crack, you may need to lower your expectations. ‘At your level basic work shouldn’t be “beneath you” and do consider smaller firms rather than chase fabulous job titles or top companies,’ says Ryan. ‘Some smaller firms would be happy to invest in you but they are often not approached.’ In fact, when it comes to your career, walk away from having a level of expectancy altogether. ‘No one is going to hand you an opportunity on a plate, you need to go and seek your own,’ says Govender. ‘And be a bit creative – if there are ways of achieving your goals that are ethical but not normally done, they may be worth investigating.’

7

people on LinkedIn, follow thought leaders’ blogs and make insightful comments,’ says Kinnersley. ‘Before you know it, you could be engaging with some real movers and shakers.’

8

SHIFT FOCUS FROM STUDY

You have reached the point in your professional life where the quality of your work rather than your exam results becomes (or will soon become) paramount. ‘For the rest

BECOME MORE SELF-AWARE

Having a real sense of who you are, and taking a critical view of your behaviour and your working style can help you see what value you may bring to your current and future employers. ‘Ask yourself what areas you are truly effective in and which need improving,’ says Leake. Very often we don’t see ourselves as others do, so ask for feedback, too. ‘We tend to view ourselves through rose-tinted spectacles and miss our blind spots,’ says Leake.

YOUR 10 CHALLENGE SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS

GET SERIOUS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

It is time to start using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as your primary career-building tools. ‘Recruiters are increasingly checking and searching for candidates online, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant skills and experience,’ says Adrian Kinnersley, managing director at financial recruiter Twenty Recruitment. Also, add content that shows your professional side and makes your name likely to come up in online searches. As for Facebook, cleanse your page of any unprofessional comments and embarrassing photos and use the site’s privacy settings to decide who can and cannot look at your profile. Learn to network online too, to build up your knowledge base and contact book. ‘Connect with

9

of your career you will be judged on your work performance, so take great care in it,’ says Mark Foster, manager at accountants Duncan & Toplis. Start plugging your knowledge and practical experience gaps as soon as you can or you risk lagging behind. ‘Ask your line manager for training and exposure in any weak areas you may have as soon as you are made aware of them,’ says Foster. ‘The further down your career path you get, the less likely you are to be offered these chances.’

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

Finally, every time you find yourself thinking I can’t do that, think about what really stops you from stepping out of your comfort zone and trying. ‘Self-limiting beliefs like this prevent us from taking a bit more risk; they stop us from experimenting with new ways of doing things and could prevent us from progressing our careers,’ says Leake. Not only can developing commercial awareness make you a better fit for potential employers, it will also mean that you bring something of real value to their organisation and puts you in an excellent position when you are dealing with clients. And it doesn’t matter which area you work in; the skills of commerciality can be demonstrated in any discipline. ‘For example,’ says White, ‘while undertaking the tax compliance work or working on an audit a particular client need may be identified that is outside of their particular area of expertise. Whether you are practising in private practice or in industry, there will be opportunities to demonstrate good commercial skills in every working day. Whether ultimately you seek to become a partner in private practice, or a finance director in industry, commerciality will be a core skill at the heart of everything that you do.’

Your online recording tool for your practical experience requirement (PER) A simple and easy process for updating your employment and experience record, where you can see at a glance how many months you have to go to become a fully qualified member.

Visit myACCA (https://portal.accaglobal.com) regularly and keep your record up to date.

ACCA – the global body for professional accountants

FEATURES | PREDICTIONS

HOW WILL THE JOBS MARKET DEVELOP IN 2013 AND WHAT TYPE OF TRAINEES WILL BE IN DEMAND? WE TAKE A GLOBAL SNAPSHOT

2013

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

FOR

JOB MARKET GUIDE

Over the past year we have seen the emergence of a dual economy in a number of jobs markets, which has seen highly skilled accounting and finance professionals remain in demand despite a more stagnant job growth overall. In 2013 companies will continue to look for individuals who not only possess strong technical skills but also a strong sense of commerciality and business savvy to see where the accounting and finance team can add value to the organisation. The signs suggest this trend will escalate over the next 12 months. Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half in the UK, says: ‘Trainee accountants with a strong balance sheet focus will be in demand. In addition, candidates with core skills in budgeting, forecasting and cash flow monitoring will see increased opportunity.’ Trainees with skills across technology and e-commerce will also be highly desired. Ellis King manages the temporary and contract commerce and industry team at Morgan McKinley and specialises in recruiting transactional and part-qualified accounting professionals across a variety of commerce sectors. He says: ‘Part‑qualified sales analysts and those holding skills relating to e-commerce and social media will be in demand from hiring managers. For example, those with experience in media insight and data packages such as Google Analytics are increasingly sought after.’ Conversely, there may be slightly less demand for those trainees

with higher-level education as their main attribute. Although it remains important in today’s market, experience is usually the preference for employers and that trend is expected to continue and grow. Nicholas Kirk, managing director at Page Personnel Finance, adds: ‘There is a short supply of high quality part-qualified accountants in the market, which will continue into 2013. ‘On the other hand, companies still have recruitment nerves from economic conditions. This means that there are more rigorous recruitment processes in place to ensure candidates tick all criteria boxes – hence, candidates will have to work harder to differentiate themselves. ‘Part-qualified accountants with strong commercial awareness and business acumen are very attractive, so trainees need to make sure their applied experience supports their level of qualifications.’ Jacky Cheung, senior consultant in accounting and finance, audit and taxation for Morgan McKinley in Hong Kong, says: ‘As of 2012, we began to witness the trend that it is getting more and more competitive for trainees to successfully get an offer due to high candidate competition for each opening and less opportunities available in the market.  ‘Requirements for professional qualifications such as ACCA are more demanding than before and interview processes are getting longer as

‘PART-QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANTS WITH STRONG COMMERCIAL AWARENESS AND BUSINESS ACUMEN ARE VERY ATTRACTIVE’

employers are faced with ever increasing numbers of applications. My tip for 2013 is to make sure trainees gain relevant professional qualifications to progress.’ Chris Jay, operations director at Morgan McKinley in Singapore, adds: ‘There aren’t a lot of roles in banking now where hiring managers will look at part-qualified accountants generally – in Singapore or across the Asian region.   ‘Most finance vacancies in banking (either product control, financial control or internal audit) express the need for experienced hires where they are looking for candidates with a minimum of one year of banking experience in finance, or Big Four-qualified auditors with a minimum of three years of experience specialising in financial services audits.’ Consistent with 2012, the next 12 months seem likely to produce levels of uncertainty around economic growth. As a result, temporary recruitment is likely to remain buoyant in 2013 – particularly the first half of the year, as many organisations will continue to operate under a cautious approach, unwilling to risk hiring the wrong permanent candidate. As a result, trainees looking to build up their professional experience should consider keeping an open mind in relation to taking on temping opportunities. Meanwhile social media platforms are becoming an increasingly used recruitment tool for both recruitment companies and employers alike. An increasing number of employers will advertise key jobs on platforms such as LinkedIn during the course of 2013. Therefore, making sure of a strong and up-to-date presence in these arenas – listing key skills and strengths – will be vital.

37

FEATURES CAREER TIPS TECHNICAL| TOP | COMMUNICATION

LEADING CAREERS EXPERTS BRING THEIR TOP TIPS TO ENSURE YOU STAY ON TRACK DURING 2013. ALEX MILLER REPORTS STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY DECEMBER 2013 2012

While the economic downturn continues to affect many sector and regions, 2013 will see employers continue to alter their hiring patterns to suit their needs – and there are a number of ways to ensure your skills marry up with what they will be looking for. It is essential that you ensure you get the basics right in 2013. Time after time employers report that trainees lack basic spelling and grammar. If your CV has spelling mistakes, poor grammar or you are not using capital letters to start sentences, you will be placed at the bottom of the pile in what will remain a competitive market. If you are unsure about anything, ask for help from a recruitment professional or colleague. Communication skills are often overlooked as an essential skill, but they will remain a key quality required at all levels. Businesses no longer just look at a trainee’s financial skills or qualifications – being able to articulate complex information to non-financial stakeholders will, without question, help you to stand out from the crowd. Finance teams will continue to work more closely with other areas of the business and, with this in mind, it is essential for accountants to work on verbal, written and interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate effectively with non-financial audiences is extremely important and will remain so throughout the year. Ellis King manages the temporary and contract commerce and industry team at Morgan McKinley. He says: ‘Never forget the basics – the basic accountancy skills are still key and will always be a part of most roles. ‘Also, posting journals, double‑entry, accruals and pre‑payments and the month-end

process are all core skills that should be perfected. Another key skill set is inter-company reconciliations, an essential skill that will set you apart from other candidates as companies expand via mergers and acquisitions.’ Commercial awareness is another essential facet to continue to work on. Ensure you are up to date with what is happening in the market – it sounds basic, but make sure you read the news frequently and know what is happening in the sector you work in or are applying to work in. While companies value technical skills, increasingly trainees who can demonstrate strong business acumen and a focus on driving efficiency and growth will be sought after. Also, bear in mind that the trend for organisations to hire financial business partners who can work with various departmental teams, and provide a strong financial perspective to the business at large, will continue throughout 2013. Nicholas Kirk, managing director at Page Personnel Finance, says: ‘Commercial acumen is one of the most demanded skills in the market right now. In the current climate, businesses are focused on reducing costs and winning new contracts to increase profits. ‘Candidates who understand how to relate back to the bottom line and provide return on investment are very attractive. A good way to build this up is to always ask for hard measures for projects you work on (increases in profitability, savings generated, increases in output, etc) and ensuring these are displayed prominently on your CV.’ During 2013 employers will also continue to alter their requirements for trainees. As an example, understanding and experience of technological changes, e-commerce and

social media will be in demand throughout 2013. Brush up on your Microsoft Excel skills – being able to manipulate raw chunks of data and present it clearly, so that non-financial stakeholders can understand its implications, is fast becoming a compulsory quality. Giles McIntyre, manager at Hays Accountancy & Finance, says: ‘Skills testing is becoming an increasingly common part of the interview process for active studiers, so improving your Excel skills would be highly recommended.’ With the rapid advent of social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn, it is increasingly important to be part of these networks to maintain your profile and keep it current. Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half UK, says: ‘It is important to stay connected. Even if you are not currently looking for a new role, it is important to network within the business community, as you never know when an opportunity will present itself. Keep your LinkedIn profile fresh and always have a business card on hand when socialising professionally or personally.’ Trainees and accountants in general will likely be tasked to do more with less during 2013. Companies are keen to retain their top employees, so consider sitting down with your line manager to plan out your career path within the organisation. This year try to balance your work and lives. It will be very easy to fall into the trap of working longer hours during 2013, often at the sacrifice of your personal life. Finally, remember that attitude is everything. It will be essential to keep a positive, motivated outlook throughout the year. It will always help to smile and exude positive, upbeat vibes.

39

Best in class, the only global accountancy body offering a round the clock service Contact us by phone or email 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days of the year ACCA – The global body for professional accountants +44 (0)141 582 2000 students@accaglobal.com www.accaglobal.com

TECHNICAL 42 TECHNICAL ARTICLES • DECISION TREES – PAPER F5

• BENEFITS – PAPER F6 (UK) • MOTOR CARS – PAPER F6 (UK) • ISA 315 (REVISED) – PAPERS F8 (INT) AND P7, AND FOUNDATION LEVEL PAPER FAU (INT) • THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS – PAPER P3 • REWARD SCHEMES FOR EMPLOYEES AND MANAGEMENT – PAPER P5 • CORPORATION TAX – PAPER P6 (UK) • INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS – PAPER P6 (UK) • CONTINUE TO BE ‘REST ASSURED’ – PAPER P7 • AMENDMENTS TO THE PAPER P6 (CYP) SYLLABUS – FOR STUDENTS TAKING EXAMS IN 2013

ACCESS THE TECHNICAL ARTICLE ARCHIVE ▶

Access videos to help support your studies in Papers F4, F5 (four videos), F7, F8, F9, P1, P2, P3, P4, P5 and P7. We’ll be releasing more videos in the near future

PAPER F4

PAPER F5_4

PAPER P1

PAPER P5

PAPER F5_1

PAPER F7

PAPER P2

PAPER P7

PAPER F5_2

PAPER F8

PAPER P3

PAPER F5_3

PAPER F9

PAPER P4

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FOUNDATION LEVEL ▶

TECHNICAL | LISTINGS

DECISION TREES RELEVANT TO PAPER F5 The addition of decision trees to the Paper F5 syllabus is a relatively recent one. This article provides a step-by-step approach to decision trees, using a simple example to guide you through.

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

BENEFITS RELEVANT TO PAPER F6 (UK) Benefits feature regularly in the Paper F6 (UK) exam, although such questions are generally not well answered. The article mainly covers those aspects of benefits that have been examined in previous sittings of Paper F6 (UK).

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

MOTOR CARS RELEVANT TO PAPER F6 (UK) Motor cars have featured regularly in recent exam sittings of Paper F6 (UK), which is not surprising given that acquiring, running, or having the use of a motor car can have income tax, corporation tax, value added tax (VAT) and/or National Insurance contribution (NIC) implications.

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

ISA 315 (REVISED)

function since internal auditors have better knowledge and understanding of the organisation and its internal control. This article addresses and highlights the components of internal control.

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS – PARTS 1 AND 2 RELEVANT TO PAPER P3 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.

ACCESS PART 1 OF THE ARTICLE HERE ACCESS PART 2 OF THE ARTICLE HERE

RELEVANT TO ACCA QUALIFICATION PAPERS F8 (INT) AND P7, AND FOUNDATION LEVEL PAPER FAU (INT) One of the major revisions of ISA 315 relates to the inquiries made by external auditors of the internal audit

STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

▶ ▶

REWARD SCHEMES FOR EMPLOYEES AND MANAGEMENT RELEVANT TO PAPER P5 A major part of performance management involves managing employees and managers, as their performance will have a major effect on the performance of the organisation as a whole. This article looks at how reward schemes can be used to influence the behaviour of employees.

IDENTIFYING AND ASSESSING THE RISKS OF MATERIAL MISSTATEMENT ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE THROUGH UNDERSTANDING THE ENTITY AND ITS ENVIRONMENT CORPORATION TAX (RELATED TO ENTITY’S INTERNAL CONTROL)

RELEVANT TO PAPER P6 (UK) This article follows a company as it begins trading, acquires an additional business, and eventually invests overseas. It sets out the commercial decisions taken by the company and its shareholders at the different stages in the company’s development and summarises the tax implications of those decisions.

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS AMENDMENTS TO THE PAPER P6 (CYP) SYLLABUS RELEVANT TO PAPER P6 (UK) Liability to tax in the UK depends on an individual’s residence, ordinary residence and domicile status, together with the location of their assets and the sources of their income. It is a tricky area and can be confusing. This article aims to clear up any confusion you may have.

RELEVANT FOR STUDENTS TAKING EXAMS IN 2013

CONTINUE TO BE ‘REST ASSURED’

As a result of austerity measures, actions to combat fraud as well as measures aiming to promote business, there are significant amendments to tax legislation and consequently to the syllabus for the 2013 sittings. In addition, there are changes to the format of the paper. This article explains these changes and amendments. A series of technical articles will follow over the coming months to help better explain to candidates some of these changes in more detail.

(UPDATED IN DECEMBER 2012)

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

RELEVANT TO PAPER P7

This article looks at the topic of assurance in the context of Paper P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance, describing a framework for the classification of assurance and non-assurance engagements, and giving guidance on the practical approach required when undertaking assurance assignments.

ACCESS THE ARTICLE HERE

SA TECHNICAL ARTICLE ARCHIVE All technical content from Student Accountant is on ACCA’s website ▶

COMING UP IN THE FEBRUARY 2013 ISSUE Taxation of an incorporated business, capital gains tax and inheritance tax, trusts and tax, corporation tax and groups (all relevant to Paper P6 (UK)), Islamic finance (relevant to Paper P4), wages and salaries (relevant to Paper FAU), IFRS 10, 11 and 12 (relevant to Paper P2)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TECHNICAL ARTICLES The purpose of a technical article is to do one of the following: Elaborate on a technical area in which students perform badly in the exam Give extra information about areas that are newer to the syllabus, which may therefore have less coverage than more traditional areas Give an examiner’s specific focus on a given topic

• • •

The articles are not intended for one sitting only, with the possible exception of taxation. Tax articles tend to be updated annually to comply with legal changes. Otherwise, we aim for a suite of articles relating to a paper.

Students should give equal attention to all articles on the website in preparation for a specific exam. Articles are not simply written to target one exam. Since changing to the new syllabus, any articles deemed equally relevant to a new paper were carried forward. These have as much value as more recent articles. All technical articles – whether written by examiners or other writers – are equally important as no article is published if it does not assist students in some way.

43

A DEGREE of confidence ‘Gaining the degree shows employers that you have the key graduate skills of self-reflection and communication.’ Affan Ali

Gain a BSc Degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University while studying for your ACCA Qualification, and get two qualifications without doubling your workload.

For more information visit www.accaglobal.com

XX 44

RESOURCES ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

From exam entry to recording practical experience, the following pages contain essential information for your journey to membership

46 STAYING CONNECTED

ACCA Connect: contact us 24/7

46 FEES

Exam fees and ways to pay

47 ACCA STUDENTS NOW ONLINE

Web-based system for exam results and other student services

47 RULES AND REGULATIONS

48  OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY BSc (HONS)

47  MY EXPERIENCE

48 EXAM ENTRY

Information about ACCA’s Rulebook and recent disciplinary proceedings

Your online tool for recording practical experience

Information about the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University

Information on entering for exams and claiming exemptions

APPROVED LEARNING PARTNERS

Search for a tuition provider using ACCA’s Tuition Provider Directory

RESOURCES

ACCA CONNECT

FEES ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION – 2013 All students eligible to attempt the June 2013 exams* will be liable for payment of the 2013 annual subscription fee. Please note that this is a separate fee to the initial registration/ re-registration fee. * Students registering/re-registering between November 2012 and 8 May 2013, who are eligible to attempt the June 2013 exam session, will be invoiced for their 2013 annual subscription in May 2013. The payment enables ACCA to provide you with services and support to assist you with your studies and training as you work towards gaining your qualification. Students who fail to pay fees when due (including exam/exemption fees) will have their names removed from the ACCA register.

students@accaglobal.com +44 (0)141 582 2000

For all enquiries, simply contact ACCA Connect – our global customer service centre. However you want to contact us – by phone or email – one of our expert advisers will be happy to assist you.

STAY CONNECTED ACCA Connect is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year providing global support at times convenient to you. You can also access your myACCA account and the ACCA website for answers to many queries.

CONTACT DETAILS ACCA Connect tel: +44 (0)141 582 2000 email: students@accaglobal.com myACCA: https://portal.accaglobal.com STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013

The following fees and subscriptions apply: Initial registration £79 Re-registration *£79 Annual subscription £79 *plus unpaid fee(s)

EXAM FEES FOR JUNE 2013 (PER EXAM) FOUNDATION LEVEL QUALIFICATIONS Papers FA1, MA1, FA2 and MA2 Early (8 March 2013) Standard (8 April 2013) Late (8 May 2013)

£42 £49 £195

Papers FAB, FMA, FFA, FTX, FAU and FFM Early Standard Late

£62 £71 £217

FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL SKILLS MODULE EXAMS Papers F4, F5, F6, F7, F8 and F9 Early £77 Standard £89 Late £235 PROFESSIONAL LEVEL EXAMS Papers P1, P2 and P3 (and any two from Papers P4, P5, P6 and P7) Early £91 Standard £103 Late £251

RECENT PROCEEDINGS Twelve students and one affiliate have been removed from the register and were ordered to pay more than £14,000 in costs after 20 professional misconduct allegations were proven before the disciplinary committee. Between 22 August and 4 October, 16 students faced 29 allegations, nine of which were subsumed within earlier allegations or not found proved. One affiliate, charged with two allegations, one of which was proven, was also removed from the register and ordered to pay £2,178 in costs.

The most frequent offences were obtaining or attempting to obtain assistance during an exam by improper means, students failing to act courteously or with consideration towards an examiner during an exam, possession and/or intention to use unauthorised materials during an exam. The disciplinary committee deals with any disciplinary matters referred to it by an independent assessor, following an investigation by ACCA of an allegation against a student, member or firm. This measure helps to uphold the high professional standards and ethics required by ACCA.

RULES AND REGULATIONS ACCA’s disciplinary procedures cover matters such as professional misconduct, misconduct in exams and breaches of regulations which include any actions likely to bring discredit to you, ACCA, or the accountancy profession.

ACCA’S RULEBOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR READING ONLINE

PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE My Experience is ACCA’s tool for recording your practical experience. Its launch followed a consultation with trainees globally, the aim of which was to improve the process of recording practical experience and, therefore, make the journey to membership easier. FIND OUT MORE

ACCA STUDENTS GO ONLINE ACCA ROLLS OUT WEB-BASED SYSTEM FOR EXAM RESULTS AND OTHER STUDENT SERVICES To increase processing speed and reliability, ACCA is launching a fully online service for registration, exam entry, exam dockets, exam results and certificates. On 1 August 2012, these services became available exclusively online – and are no longer issued as paper documents – in China, South Africa, Russia, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Malta, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. These countries have now joined Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and the Ukraine, all of which converted to paperless status last year. Most students are currently interacting with ACCA online and this initiative reflects student demand for, and positive feedback on, our online services. ACCA has also introduced a service that lets students print out their results via the ACCA student portal, myACCA. myACCA Students in all countries can print an official notification of their results via myACCA myACCA. Paper copies of exam results will not be issued to students in the above listed locations.

47

RESOURCES

EXAM EXEMPTIONS

OXFORD BROOKES BSc (HONS)

ELIGIBILITY The degree must be completed within 10 years of your initial registration on to ACCA’s professional qualification, otherwise your eligibilty will be withdrawn.

CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY STATUS ▶ PROFESSIONAL ETHICS MODULE In order to qualify for the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting, all students must first complete the nine Fundamental exams as well as the online Professional Ethics module. The Professional Ethics module is accessed via myACCA, but you

will only be given access to the module once you are eligible to sit Paper P1. The module does not need to be completed in one go, and you may therefore find yourself re-visiting the module as it takes approximately two to three hours in total to complete. Once you have fully completed it, you are required to write a completion statement, and a certificate will subsequently be sent to you. By completing this module, you will be gaining a better understanding of ethical issues in accounting, while giving you a chance to reflect on your own behaviours.

ACCESS myACCA ▶

If you already have some qualifications, you may not have to take all of the exams in the ACCA Qualification or Foundation level awards.These are called exemptions and mean that you will start your studies at the right level for your knowledge and skill.

SHOULD I CLAIM? ▶

HOW DO I CLAIM? ▶

EXAM ENTRY INFORMATION You can now access myACCA to: ¤ submit an exam entry at any time of the year ¤ enter for exams early and save money ¤ enter for the next two exam sessions ¤ make amendments to existing exam entries up until the standard entry closing date – including changing exam centre, variant papers or entering for exams.

KEEPING YOU INFORMED The quickest way for us to send you important information such as changes to exam entry and exam results is by e-communication (such as email or SMS) but we need you to give us your permission – it’s the law.

UPDATE YOUR DETAILS AND COMMUNICATION METHOD ▶ STUDENT ACCOUNTANT | JANUARY 2013


SA January 2013