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Operational Level Paper

P1 –Performance Operations Examiner’s Answers SECTION A Answer to Question One 1.1

The correct answer is B.


The minimum contribution at a selling price of $40 is $20,000 The minimum contribution at a selling price of $60 is $30,000 The minimum contribution at a selling price of $80 is $20,000 The minimum contribution at a selling price of $100 is $10,000 Therefore if the manager wants to maximise the minimum contribution, a selling price of $60 will be selected. The correct answer is B.


((50% x 70% x $250k) + (30% x 70% x $150k) + (20% x 70% x - $80k) + (30% x $150k) = $62,800 The correct answer is D.

1.4 D $12 20 mins $0.60 nd 2

Contribution per unit Units of limiting factor Contribution per unit of limiting factor Ranking

E $14 25 mins $0.56 rd 3

F $10 15 mins $0.667 st 1

The correct answer is C.

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1.5 Throughput contribution per unit Units of limiting factor Throughput contribution per unit of limiting factor Ranking

D $22 20 mins $1.10

E $20 25 mins $0.80


F $16 15 mins $1.07






The correct answer is D.

1.6 Budgeted sales Plus closing inventory Less opening inventory Budgeted production


24,000 2,000 (500) 25,500

units units units units

Raw material required Plus closing inventory Less opening inventory Raw material purchases

25,500 units x 2 kg 2,000 units x 2 kg

= 51,000 kg = 4,000 kg (300) kg 54,700 kg

Raw material purchases budget

54,700 kg x $12

= $656,400

Trade payables outstanding at end of this year = $474,500 / 365 x 45 = $58,500 Purchases budget for next year = $474,500 x 1.1 = $521,950 Trade payable days at end of next year = $58,500 / $521,950 x 365 = 40.9 days

1.8 Deviation from expected value

Squared deviation

Weighted amounts 345,156.25



Expected value

















2,250 299,468.75 646,875

The expected value of the project is $3,975 The standard deviation is √646,875 = $804.29



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SECTION B Answer to Question Two

(a) One of the main purposes of budgeting is planning. It will help to ensure that managers think ahead, planning and reviewing their activities and that this is done in a co-ordinated way. It also acts as a control mechanism, with actual results being compared against budget. In order for the budget to fulfil these purposes it need to be based on realistically achievable estimates. Another purpose of a budget is to set targets to motivate managers and optimise their performance. Evidence suggests that the existence of a defined goal or target is likely to motivate managers and result in higher levels of performance than when no target is established. The manager has to accept the target set for it to be effective, but the problem is in determining the optimum degree of difficulty for the target. As the degree of difficulty increases it has been shown that the managers’ aspiration level and performance increases up to a point where the target is seen as impossible to achieve. Thereafter, the aspiration level and performance of the manager declines dramatically. This suggests that challenging targets should be established to motivate managers. However it is unlikely that these will be suitable for planning purposes since they have a high probability of not being achieved. There is therefore a need for two separate budgets to be produced; however this is unlikely to be realistic in practice.

(b) Consumer demand


Project A expected value

Project B expected value

Project C expected value




Above average


400 x 0.2 = 80

300 x 0.2 = 60

800 x 0.2 = 160



500 x 0.45 = 225

400 x 0.45 = 180

600 x 0.45 = 270


700 x 0.35 = 245

600 x 0.35 = 210

300 x 0.35 = 105




Below average Expected value

Product A is the best choice (without the benefit of perfect information) as it has the highest expected value (EV) of $550k. With perfect information: If research suggests above average consumer demand: select C and earn $800k If research suggests average consumer demand: select C and earn $600k If research suggests below average consumer demand: select A and earn $700k EV (with perfect information) = ($800k x 0.2) + ($600k x 0.45) + ($700k x 0.35) = $675k Value of perfect information is $675k – $550k = $125k

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(c) Year

Discount factor

0 1 2 3 Present value Cumulative discount factor Annualised equivalent

1.00 0.943 0.890 0.840

Replace after Year 1 Cash Present flows value $ $ (25,000) (25,000) 13,000 12,259

Replace after Year 2 Cash Present flows value $ $ (25,000) (25,000) (5,000) (4,715) 7,000 6,230

Replace after Year 3 Cash Present flows value $ $ (25,000) (25,000) (5,000) (4,715) (8,000) (7,120) (6,000) (5,040) (41,875)









The lowest annualised equivalent cost occurs if the vehicles are kept for 2 years. Therefore the optimum replacement cycle is to replace the vehicles every 2 years.

(d) Advantages Factoring has the advantage that 80 – 85% of the cash is received immediately with the remainder received when the client settles the debt. Factoring can also be provided on a nonrecourse basis, i.e. the factor guarantees settlement even if they are not paid by the customers. The factor will also administer the client’s sales ledger including the assessment of credit worthiness of the customer, invoicing and collection. The factor has considerable expertise in all of these areas that a small business in particular may not have available. Factoring also provides flexibility since as sales increase with the corresponding demand for finance, so finance from this source increases. It may be a cost effective source of finance for a company that has no assets, other than its receivables, to offer as security. Disadvantages Factoring has in the past been associated with financial difficulties and many companies are reluctant to use factors for this reason. It may also be difficult, if using factoring, to raise more traditional forms of finance except at high interest rates. The services provided by a factor are expensive and may not be cost effective. The company will also lose the benefits of being in personal communication with the customer. Once established with a factor, it may be difficult for a company to withdraw from the arrangement and re-establish a sales ledger function.

(e) (i) Bills of exchange The bill of exchange requires the customer to pay the amount due at some fixed future date. The supplier signs the bill and sends it to the customer, who also signs it to signify that they agree to pay. The supplier can either, hold the bill until the due date and collect the money, discount the bill with the bank for immediate payment or transfer the bill to their own supplier in settlement of an amount due. (ii) Forfaiting The forfaiting bank buys at a discount to face value a series of promissory notes (or bills of exchange). The promissory notes may be in any of the world’s major currencies. For promissory notes to be eligible for forfaiting (and to provide the forfaiting bank security), the



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notes must be guaranteed by a highly rated international bank, usually in the importers country. (iii) Documentary credits A documentary credit is an undertaking that payment to the exporter will be guaranteed provided that the exporter complies with certain specific requirements. The foreign buyer would advise its bank (the issuing bank) to provide credit in favour of the exporter. The issuing bank would then ask the exporters bank to advise or confirm credit to the exporter. The issuing bank is effectively guaranteeing payment for the goods. The exporter’s bank will provide payment to the exporter on receipt of satisfactory documentation for the goods. The documents are sent to the issuing bank who if satisfied will reimburse the exporter’s bank and release the documents to the foreign buyer after payment has been received. The foreign buyer can then take delivery of the goods.

(f) Year(s)


0 1-4 4 NPV

Purchase Interest Redemption

Cash flow

103 6 100

Discount factor (3%) 1.000 3.717 0.888

Present value $ (103.00) 22.30 88.80 8.10

Discount factor (6%) 1.000 3.465 0.792

Present value $ (103.00) 20.79 79.20 (3.01)

By interpolation 3% + (($8.10 /($8.10 + $3.01)) x 3) = 5.19% The bond’s yield to maturity is 5.19%

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SECTION C Answer to Question Three

(a) Budget fixed and variable overhead costs High-Low Method applied to total overhead costs. Variable costs = ($1,096,000 - $992,000) / (840,000 - 680,000) = $0.65 per tray Budget variable costs = 800,000 x $0.65 = $520,000 Fixed costs = $1,096,000 - (840,000 x $0.65) = $550,000

(b) Budget control statement for Premium product Original budget Sales (units) 360,000 $ Sales revenue 1,152,000 Direct materials 576,000 Direct labour 180,000 Variable overheads 234,000 Contribution 162,000

Flexed budget 396,000 $ 1,267,200 633,600 198,000 257,400 178,200

Actual 396,000 $ 1,271,160 594,000 213,840 261,360 201,960


$ 3,960 F 39,600 F 15,840 A 3,960 A 23,760 F

Workings: Standard contribution per unit

Sales revenue Direct material Direct labour Variable overhead Contribution

$3.20 $1.60 $0.50 $0.65

Flexed budget 396,000 trays $ 1,267,200 633,600 198,000 257,400



(c) A fixed budget will not provide meaningful control information when actual activity differs from budget and variable costs are significant. If, for example, actual sales revenue is compared to a fixed budget it is not possible to tell whether a favourable sales variance is due to an increase in units sold or an increase in sales price. The flexed budget statement highlights that there is a favourable sales price variance of $3,960. Similarly, if sales volumes were well above budget, adverse variable cost variances will probably be reported, against the fixed budget, since more variable costs have to be incurred to support the higher level of activity. In the question, if the original budget had been used for direct materials an adverse variance of $18,000 ($576,000 - $594,000)) would have been reported compared to the favourable variance of $39,600 shown above. Reporting against a fixed budget tells management nothing about the efficiency of operations. However, if a flexible budget is prepared then the



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budget variances calculated will provide a better indication of performance since actual results will be compared against an appropriate benchmark. It should be noted that actual results will always be compared against the original approved budget in the first instance. The flexed budget however provides more insight into actual performance.

(d) (i)

Selling price Direct labour Direct material Variable overheads Contribution

Economy per unit $2.80 $0.50 $1.00 $0.65 $0.65

Premium per unit $3.20 $0.50 $1.60 $0.65 $0.45

Deluxe per unit $4.49 $0.50 $2.20 $0.65 $1.14

Sales Quantity Contribution Variance

Economy Premium Deluxe

Budget sales quantity 180,000 360,000 260,000 800,000

Actual sales at budget mix 193,500 387,000 279,500 860,000

Difference 13,500 F 27,000 F 19,500 F 60,000



$0.65 $0.45 $1.14

$8,775 F $12,150F $22,230F $43,155F

Or alternatively: Budget sales quantity 180,000 360,000 260,000 800,000

Economy Premium Deluxe

Contribution $0.65 $0.45 $1.14

Total contribution $117,000 $162,000 $296,400 $575,400

Weighted average contribution: $575,400 / 800,000 = $0.71925 Sales quantity contribution variance = (860,000 – 800,000) x $0.71925 = $43,155F (ii) Sales Mix Contribution Variance Actual sales quantity

Actual sales at budget mix





7,500 F




9,000 A




1,500 A

Variance from weighted average contribution per unit ($0.65 $0.71925) ($0.45 $0.71925) ($1.14 $0.71925)


$519.375 F $2,423.25 A $631.125 A $2,535 A

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Or alternatively: Actual sales quantity Standard Premium Deluxe

186,000 396,000 278,000

Actual sales at budget mix 193,500 387,000 279,500




7,500 A 9,000 F 1,500 A

$0.65 $0.45 $1.14

$4,875 A $4,050 F $1,710 A $2,535 A

N.B. The analysis of the variances by product shown in the method above is not meaningful.

(e) By analysing the sales volume variance into sales quantity and mix variances we can explain how the sales volume variance has been affected by a change in the total quantity of sales and a change in the relative mix of products sold. From the figures calculated in part (d) we can say that the contribution would have been $43,155 higher if the increase in quantity sold had been in the budgeted sales mix. The change in the sales mix however has resulted in a reduction in profit of $2,535. The change in the sales mix has resulted in a relatively higher proportion of sales of the Premium product which is the product that earns the lowest contribution. This is important information for future planning and pricing purposes. An overall increase in quantity of products sold may not result in an increase in profits if the increased sales are from a lower margin product at the expense of products with a higher profit margin.



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Answer to Question Four

(a) Unit sales Year 1 Unit sales Year 2 Unit sales Year 3 Unit sales Year 4

= 25,000,000 x 20% = 5,000,000 = 25,000,000 x 40% = 10,000,000 = 25,000,000 x 30% = 7,500,000 = 25,000,000 x 10% = 2,500,000

Contribution per unit Year 1 = $300 - $125 = $175 Contribution per unit Year 2 = $240 - $125 = $115 Contribution per unit Year 3 = $192 - $125 = $67 Contribution per unit Year 4 = $153.60 - $125 = $28.60 Total contribution Year 1 = $175 x 5m = $875m Total contribution Year 2 = $115 x 10m = $1150m Total contribution Year 3 = $67 x 7.5m = $502.5m Total contribution Year 4 = $28.60 x 2.5m = $71.5m Loss of contribution from 4G model sales:Year 1 – $100 x 2m = $200m Cash Flows

Contribution from 5G sales Reduction in contribution from 4G sales Fixed manufacturing costs Technical improvement and marketing Net cash flows

Year 1 $m 875

Year 2 $m 1,150

Year 3 $m 503

Year 4 $m 72












Year 1 $m 225 (150)

Year 2 $m 700 (113)

Year 3 $m 103 (84)

Year 4 $m (228) (153)

75 (23)

587 (176)



Net cash flows Tax depreciation Taxable profit Taxation @ 30%

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19 (6)

(381) 114


Net present value Year 0 $m (600)

Net cash flows Tax payment Taxable payment Net cash flow after tax Discount factors @ 8% Present value

Year 1 $m 225

Year 2 $m 700

Year 3 $m 103

Year 5 $m


Year 4 $m (228) 100 57


(88) (11)






















Year 0 $m (600)

Year 1 $m 213

Year 2 $m 601

Year 3 $m 12

Year 4 $m (74)

Year 5 $m 57













Net present value = $107m

(b) (i)

Net cash flows Discount Factor @ 20% Present value

Net present value = $(12)m IRR NPV at 8% = $107m NPV at 20% = $(12)m By interpolation 8% + (107/(107 + 12)) x 12 =18.8% (ii) Discounted payback period 1 yr + ((600 – 197) / 515) x 12 = 1 yr 9 months

(c) IRR is used in practice because users are familiar with interpreting percentage rates such as return on capital employed, return on investment, bank rates etc. Since the IRR is expressed as a percentage it is easy to understand. It also avoids the need to have to specify a discount



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rate in advance. The IRR is particularly useful for indicating the excess percentage above the cost of capital for projects that earn a positive net present value. Discounted payback tends to be used in practice as a supplementary method of project appraisal. Projects which return their cash outlay quicker can be seen as less risky. It can be used at an early stage to eliminate projects that have unacceptable risk and return characteristics. It is also seen as useful when funds are in short supply since early payback of funds allows investment in other profitable opportunities. Discounted payback is also easy to use and is a simple way to communicate product acceptability to managers.

(d) Post completion audit has benefits in terms of the current project and future projects. In terms of the current project, it enables changes to be made to over or under performing projects at an early stage. This also makes it more likely that unsuccessful projects will be terminated. In terms of future projects, it improves the quality of decision making as past experience is made available to future decision makers. It encourages greater realism in predicting future outcomes as past inaccuracies are made public. It highlights reasons for successful projects which may be important in achieving greater benefits from future projects and in future project selection.

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The Senior Examiner for P1 – Performance Operations offers to future candidates and to tutors using this booklet for study purposes, the following background and guidance on the questions included in this examination paper.

Section A – Question One – Compulsory Question One consists of 8 objective test sub-questions. These are drawn from all sections of the syllabus. They are designed to examine breadth across the syllabus and thus cover many learning outcomes.

Section B – Question Two – Compulsory Question Two has 6 sub-questions. (a)

This question assesses learning outcome B1(b) explain the purposes of budgeting, including planning, communication, co-ordination, motivation, authorisation, control and evaluation, and how these many conflict. It examines candidates’ ability to explain the behavioural consequences of budgeting of the difficulties and conflicts that can arise.


The question assesses learning outcome D1(e) calculate the value of information. It examines candidates’ ability to calculate the expected values of projects given a range of outcomes and probabilities and then to calculate the value of perfect information about the projects.


The question assesses learning outcome C1(g) prepare decision support information for management, integrating financial and non-financial considerations. It examines candidates’ ability to calculate the optimum replacement cycle for a product.


The question assesses learning outcome E1(f) analyse the impacts of alternative debtor and creditor policies. It examines candidates’ ability to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of factoring as a method of managing a company’s trade receivables.


The question assesses learning outcome E2(c) identify appropriate methods of finance for trading internationally. It examines candidates’ ability to describe three suggested methods of export financing.


The question assesses learning outcome E2(d) Illustrate numerically the financial impact of short-term funding and investment methods. It examines candidates’ ability to calculate the yield to maturity on a bond given the current market value and the coupon rate of the bond.

Section C – Questions Three and Four – Compulsory Question Three The question assesses a number of learning outcomes. Part (a) assesses learning outcome B2(b) calculate projected revenues and costs based on product/service volumes; pricing strategies and cost structures. It examines candidates’ ability to calculate projected overhead costs using the high – low method. Part (b) assesses learning outcome A1(d) apply standard costing methods, within costing systems, including the reconciliation of budgeted and actual profit margins. It examines candidates’ ability to prepare a flexible budget statement and calculate variances using information regarding cost behaviour. Part (c) assesses learning outcome A1(b) Discuss a report which reconciles budget and actual profit using absorption and/or marginal costing techniques. It examines candidates’ ability to discuss the benefits of flexible budgeting when producing report that reconcile budget and actual profit. Part (d) also assesses learning outcome A1(d) apply standard costing methods, P1


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within costing systems, including the reconciliation of budgeted and actual profit margins. It examines candidates’ ability to calculate sales mix and sales quantity variances. Part (e) assesses learning outcome A1(f) interpret material, labour, variable overhead, fixed overhead and sales variances, distinguishing between planning and operational variances. It examines candidates’ ability to explain why the analysis of the sales volume variance into the sales mix and sales quantity variance provides useful management information.

Question Four Part (a) assesses learning outcomes C1(b) apply the principles of relevant cash flow analysis to long-run projects that continue for several years and learning outcome C2(a) evaluate project proposals using the techniques of investment appraisal. It examines candidates’ ability to identify the relevant costs of a project and then apply discounted cash flow analysis to calculate the net present value of the project. Part (b) also assesses learning outcome C2(a) evaluate project proposals using the techniques of investment appraisal. It examines candidates’ ability to calculate the IRR and discounted payback period of a project. Part (c) assesses learning outcome C2(b) compare and contrast the alternative techniques of investment appraisal. It examines the candidates’ ability to discuss why certain investment appraisal techniques might be used in practice despite their theoretical disadvantages. Part (d) assesses learning outcome C1(a) explain the process involved in making long-term decisions. It examines candidates’ ability to explain the benefits of carrying out a postcompletion audit of a project.

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P1 – Performance Operations Examiner’s Answers May 2011