THE POWER OF INFLUENCE HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MANAGER
SECTOR VIEW WORKING IN BANKING AN ACCA QUALIFICATIOn
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ACHIEVE MORE. BECOME MORE.
editor’s choice Welcome to the February issue of Student Accountant This issue includes a feature on the banking sector – useful information if you’re considering a career in this area. We also take a look at the soft skills required to manage your manager. We have a feature on ACCA’s international recognition and we speak to students and members who have moved careers as a result of this. For those of you expecting exam results, the wait is nearly over. If you register to receive your results by SMS or email, you will receive them on Friday 8 February. Make sure you’ve set your preferences in your myACCA account so you can get the results as soon as possible. This issue’s Learning Centre includes some advice for balancing your studies with work, and we also include information about the Professional Ethics module and the practical experience requirement. What better time to assess your progress to date while you’re waiting for exam results?
We have a number of new technical articles for you to take a look at relevant to a range of papers, including some important updates to Paper P6 (UK) and Paper P6 (CYP), and how to start at the right level on the Foundation level papers. We also highlight our subject-specific videos to help you practise your exam technique and links to the technical article archive. Noticeboard contains important information about annual fees, exam results, exam entry, 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.com
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
WELCOME | CONTENTS TECHNICAL | COMMUNICATION
06 GRAPHICS NEWS 08 PICTURE NEWS 10 NEWS ROUNDUP
24 SECTOR VIEW: BANKING 28 INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION WITH AN ACCA QUALIFICATION 34 MANAGING YOUR MANAGER
learning centre 24
12 EXAM TECHNIQUE 14 AFFILIATE PROFILE 16 PER: MAKING PROGRESS 18 PROFESSIONAL ETHICS 20 ACCA CAREERS
SA technical article archive
All technical content from Student Accountant is on ACCA’s website ▶
34 Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
Why not log into your myACCA account to record your experience using the online recording tool My Experience?
EMAIL US YOUR FEEDBACKanAT t@ 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
technical 40 TECHNICAL RESOURCES Access the technical article archive at: www. accaglobal.com/en/ student/publications/ sa-archive.html
resources 47 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
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 Glen Patterson | Deputy Editor Jackie Dollar | Design Manager Jane C Reid | Designer
QUAL TUITIO ITY YOUR R N IN EGION See th e fu
Kate Jenkinson | Editorial Executive www.accaglobal.com
ll list o f ACC Appr Partne oved Learnin A’s rs – st g uden beginn ing on t tuition, page 4 2
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DISPATCH | GRAPHICS NEWS 31% indonesia
MALAYSIA SMEs outwArd bound Nearly a third of Malaysian SMEs plan to expand overseas in the next three years, according to a United Overseas Bank survey. Projected GDP growth rates ofÂ 6.3% and 8% respectively for 2013 make Indonesia and China the most popular countries for expansion.
24% China 13% Singapore 11% thailand 11% india
global businesses to put more eggs in asia pacific baskets
With growth in Asia Pacific continuing to impress, global multinational corporations are shifting their investment budgets towards the region, according to the latest Asia Business Outlook Survey by The Economist Corporate Network. China and India remain the top two regional destinations for investments, with Indonesia a close third and Malaysia fourth. The graphic here shows the top 13 investment destinations in Asia Pacific and by how much global multinationals say they intend to increase their level of investment there.
73.8% china 27.0%
28.9% South Korea
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
insecure about security
The human element is one of the biggest causes of information security risk, according to Deloitte’s Blurring the lines: 2013 TMT Global Security Study. Levels of third-party involvement, the growth of mobile devices and cloud computing, and insufficient privacy protocols all increase risk.
78% 74% Number and type of third parties
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Traditional stakeholder relationships are still considered the most important by senior finance staff, according to the Finance leaders survey report: December 2012, published by ACCA and the Institute of Management Accountants. www.accaglobal.com/ transformation
The internet quietly celebrated its 30th birthday on 1 January. It began life when the US defence department’s Arpanet network switched fully to an internet protocol suite communications system. Above are some figures rounded up by the UK’s Metro newspaper.
DISPATCH | NEWS IN PICTURES
UK UK The five-star Lough Erne hotel and golf resort in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, is the venue for June’s G8 summit of world leaders CHINA A waterfall in central China’s Hubei province freezes over as the country is hit by the lowest temperatures in almost three decades
AUSTRALIA A firefighter is engulfed by flames as he protects a property in New South Wales as fires raged across the south-east of the country
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
UK UK London Underground, the oldest subterranean railway in the world, celebrated its 150th anniversary. The picture shows workers tunnelling through clay to carry out extension work in 1937 FRANCE Actor Gérard Depardieu was granted Russian citizenship after baulking at a proposed 75% tax rate in his native France. Russia has a flat tax rate of 13%
US President Barack Obama winked as he arrived to make a press statement on the passing of the fiscal cliff bill, which will raise $620bn in tax revenue CHINA The 29th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival – one of the largest in the world – opened on 5 January in China’s northern Heilongjiang province
DISPATCH | NEWS ROUNDUP acca awards bank with global accreditation Standard Chartered Bank has joined a distinguished group of organisations that have achieved global Approved Employer (Trainee Development – Gold) status from ACCA in recognition of the support they provide to employees worldwide who choose to train to become ACCA members. This means that all Standard Chartered finance and accounting employees registered as students with ACCA will receive valuable support in their ACCA studies and gain the necessary practical experience to acquire the range of competencies required of finance and accounting professionals in business today. Helen Brand, ACCA chief executive, said: ‘ACCA greatly values the opportunities Standard Chartered provides to ACCA students and members worldwide to gain an internationally recognised qualification and to pursue varied and rewarding careers.’ global Audit problems Problems with audits are consistent across the world, according to a global survey of inspection findings published by the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators. Common weaknesses in audit include lack of consistency and failure to identify root causes of negative findings. Issues of concern discussed between national inspection bodies include professional scepticism, group audits, revenue recognition and the role of the engagement quality control reviewer. The report found that inspections of international firms’ audits varied according to jurisdiction. African expansion predicted African governments’ success in reducing their debts puts them in a strong position to grow their economies in the coming years, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
recruitment a battleground Low unemployment, high staff turnover and competition for good candidates will continue to be challenges for employers in Hong Kong in 2013, according to recruitment firm Hays. With the Hong Kong labour market remaining in a state of ‘full’ employment in 2012 (official unemployment figures hover around 3%), finance professionals, engineers and a range of IT specialists will
be in demand in 2013 along with procurement and supply chain roles. Marc Burrage, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong, said: ‘Employee retention is a priority for 2013, regardless of hiring plans, with our research showing local candidates are still happy to move jobs within a year or two of joining an employer to gain a new title or more money.’
Specialists in the IT sector will be in demand in Hong Kong in 2013 managing director Christine Lagarde said during a visit to Malawi. State debts in Africa have fallen from an average of over 100% of GDP to under 40% in the last 12 years. Governments have also succeeded in cutting inflation and more than doubling foreign exchange reserves. The IMF predicts growth in sub-Saharan Africa of 5.25% this year, rising to 6% in some of the poorest countries. Asia returning to supremacy ‘By 2030 Asia will be well on its way to returning to being the world’s powerhouse, just as it was before
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
1500’, so projects the Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report by the US National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The report notes that it took Britain 155 years to double gross domestic product per capita, with about nine million people, while the US and Germany took between 30 and 60 years with a few tens of million people. India and China, however, ‘are doing this at a scale and pace not seen’ before, with a population 100 times that of Britain. In addition, by 2030 the majorities in most countries will be middle class rather than poor.
Jonathan Simons Kaplan ACCA ULE student 1st in World, ACCA P7, Dec 2011
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LEARNING CENTRE | EXAM TECHNIQUE
GETTING PREPARED FOR YOUR STUDIES COMBINING WORK, STUDY AND EXAMS Many ACCA students combine ACCA study with a full-time job – but as prizewinning student Akosua Frempong-Kore explains, this does not mean exam performance has to suffer
Name: Akosua Frempong-Kore Current career status: Third year associate, KPMG Ghana, Accra Prizewinner: Paper P1 worldwide, June 2012
How long have you been combining work and study? I have worked for KPMG since leaving school and started my ACCA studies when I joined. Finding time to study can be difficult as although my job is extremely rewarding, it is also very demanding. I am involved in the audit of several companies and so tight deadlines often mean working in the evenings and at weekends, with assignments running back to back – and not all of these are based in Accra. What coping strategies do you use? I download podcasts and audio lectures on to my iPod and listen to these when commuting, and I reserve weekends for lectures – these are my main form of tuition as I cannot attend lectures during the week because of my hectic schedule. I also make sure I meet all my work deadlines so that any spare time is free for study, rather than
spent catching up with my in-tray. I also now know how important it is to say ‘no’ to any additional responsibilities that could affect my studies, especially near an exam – not just from work, but also from my church and from other clubs and societies. This is not about shying away from my duties but about prioritising in order to achieve success. Most importantly, I make the most of the study leave I receive from KPMG by completely isolating myself – no phone, internet, TV, friends or family. It is not easy but it is effective. How important is a supportive employer? It is very important that an employer is supportive and recognises the value of the ACCA Qualification, as then they understand that you need to focus on your studies as an exam approaches.
‘Don’t feel guilty about taking a break – make an effort to relax during free time and reconnect with family and friends’ Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
KPMG Ghana provides financial support and exam leave; if a student works for an employer unfamiliar with ACCA, then the most useful support to ask for is study time and, if possible, that work experience is matched to exams as this improves understanding. If you can put learning into action then knowledge retention – and exam success – is much more likely. Given the demands of your schedule, is leisure time still important? A break is important, especially near an exam. I always take a day off from my studies to have a pedicure and watch a movie, as I find this rejuvenating, and helps if I’m feeling overwhelmed. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break – make an effort to relax during free time and reconnect with family and friends.
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ACHIEVE MORE. BECOME MORE. 13
LEARNING CENTRE | AFFILIATE PROFILE
Nawsheen Choomka MAURITIUS
Affiliate Nawsheen Choomka reveals all about her plans for a career fighting corruption, thanks to her ACCA and law backgrounds
What is it that first attracted you to accountancy? Accountancy was one of my favourite A-level subjects. I really enjoyed devising balance sheets and doing accounts.
How did you first hear about ACCA? My father was keen for me to register with ACCA while I was completing my college studies and my elder sister, who was an ACCA student, recommended the qualification to me. I registered with ACCA in February 2008 and I passed my final exams in June 2012.
What do you hope to do once you have qualified as an ACCA member? I am currently studying law while working towards the ACCA Qualification, and I would like to use the skills and knowledge I gain from both specialisms to help me realise my dream of working for a regulatory body, such as the Registrar of Companies or the Financial Services Commission. I also plan to apply for roles at statutory institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Unit or the Independent Commission Against Corruption where having a background in law and accountancy will enable me to become involved in complex and challenging assignments.
What challenges did you encounter while studying the ACCA Qualification? The main challenge has been carefully balancing my ACCA and law studies, especially when considering that the exams for both took place during the same month. Although my exams have been scheduled closely together, I have managed to organise myself effectively.
How did you maintain a study/ life balance? The key has always been time management, self-discipline and effective planning. I believe that achieving a balance is essential to succeed. I have enjoyed my studies, and look forward to putting into practice all the knowledge that I have acquired.
Where do you see yourself in five and 10 years? In five years, I hope to work for an established institution in Mauritius. In 10 years, I would either like to be an expert in my chosen field or will have set up my own internationally renowned accountancy and law firm.
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
What is your strategy for achieving the practical experience requirement (PER) for ACCA membership? I follow a structured step-by-step procedure to master each and every performance objective. Gaining real-life work experience
is essential to developing my accountancy skills.
Would you recommend ACCA to others? If so, why? Definitely. In Mauritius, many sectors are experiencing a downturn. Yet, with the incorporation of an ever‑increasing number of firms, both domestically and internationally, skilled accountants will always be in demand. Also, the nature of the ACCA Qualification means that anyone can study for it while working.
If you could invite three people to dinner (living or dead) who would they be? They would be my late grandmother, whose wish it was to see me complete my studies and become an accountant; Prince Harry because he is single; and Shah Rukh Khan, my favourite Indian film actor.
What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to watch films and play sports. I also undertake some voluntary work by training college students in basketball. I am an avid basketball fan and I also play badminton every week. I attend culinary classes and will soon begin swimming classes.
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LEARNING CENTRE | PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE
MAKING PROGRESS 2012 saw the launch of My Experience, ACCA’s improved online platform for recording your practical experience. Why not take time to reflect on your practical experience requirement (PER) achievements so far? When My Experience was launched in May last year, one of the many benefits of the new platform was that you could now record your practical experience in one simple and user-friendly online process – you simply record it as you progress. With 2013 well under way, why not take stock and assess your PER progress so far? How many performance objectives have you managed to achieve and how many have you left to complete? Perhaps you have yet to fully engage with My Experience – if so, why not take a moment to remind yourself of the improvements that ACCA has made to the process of recording your practical experience? Understanding and recognising the desired outcomes for each performance objective, as well as how you will go about achieving them, will put you in a better place to complete your PER without fuss and within a reasonable timeframe. Proper planning The development plan section in My Experience has been designed to help you focus your efforts and ensure you make the most of the time you spend working towards the PER. Here are some tips to get you started. Take the time to read through the performance objectives, with particular attention to those you are considering selecting for your four Options performance objectives.
Then sketch out various factors that might influence your success in achieving each objective. Ask yourself: ¤ Which Essentials performance objectives will I be most likely to acquire with minimum hassle? ¤ Which will be the most tricky, and why? How might I overcome these? ¤ Which Options performance objectives tie in most cleanly with my job, and might therefore be easier to achieve?
IF you find yourself facing a scarily extensive action list, break down each task into its components ¤ Apart from my workplace mentor, who else might help me? If my workplace mentor has offered to put a word in for me to get the experience I need, what can I do to help him or her ‘sell’ the idea of, say, a secondment to another team leader? ¤ What resources are available from ACCA that would help me? How can I access these resources? What resources are available for my workplace mentor? ¤ When am I going to concentrate on each performance objective?
Student Accountant | february 2013
How many can I feasibly handle at any one time? ¤ How will I know when I have developed sufficient expertise or competence in certain areas to be able to complete the relevant challenge questions and obtain sign-off from my workplace mentor? Preparation is key. If, after this initial period of introspection, you find yourself facing a scarily extensive action list, break down each task into its components. Plot your key milestones and build in ‘safety nets’ that allow you to get back on track if you fall behind. Be gentle with yourself If you discover that you have been overly ambitious about certain objectives, it is important to regularly review your progress towards completing your PER, revising certain dates or goals so that you don’t feel that you are perpetually scrambling to catch up. Read through the regular member case studies that are published in Student Accountant, featuring those who have already completed their PER. Of course, everyone will have their own approach – what works for one person may not work for others. But what they virtually all share is recognition that planning is the best strategy. Get yourself on track ▶
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY This month we will be taking your questions on the experience requirements for transferring to ACCA membership. Do you have a question concerning the My Experience tool or the Professional Ethics module? Perhaps you need advice on finding a suitable workplace mentor to help you achieve your practical experience requirement (PER). If so, join us on ACCA’s official Facebook page on: ¤ 19 February, 8–10am* (*UK times) ¤ 20 February, 4–6pm* Access ACCA’s Facebook page ▶
LEARNING CENTRE | ETHICS
Ethics and the ACCA student As a professional accountancy body, ACCA must ensure that its students understand what it means to work and act professionally and ethically in the workplace. We explain why the Professional Ethics module is such an integral, and now mandatory, component of the ACCA Qualification As an ACCA student, ethical and professional development starts as soon as you register with ACCA. The ethics theme is maintained throughout the ACCA Qualification. To complement this, ACCA developed the Professional Ethics module to form part of your ethical development as a professional accountant. The module allows you to test your ethical knowledge in a series of real-life situations. On completion of the Professional Ethics module, you are required to reflect on your learning and give a statement about your experience of completing the module. As you may need time to think about the material, the module can be worked on in several sessions. You are given access to the Professional Ethics module as soon as you become eligible to take Paper P1, Governance, Risk and Ethics. It is recommended that you take it at the same time as, or before, Paper P1. Integrity and professional behaviour Integrity and professional behaviour are two of the five fundamental principles of professional ethics. For you as students this means that you must be straightforward,
honest and fair when dealing with ACCA in the following areas: ¤ Supplying valid information for the purpose of your admission as a student. ¤ Providing authentic information for the purposes of gaining exemptions from any ACCA exams. ¤ Conducting yourself properly in all exams, using fair practice. ¤ Making regular and honest submissions relating to the practical experience requirement (PER) in My Experience. ¤ Diligently working through and completing the Professional Ethics module, independently reflecting on your own personal experience and learning. ¤ Paying all due subscriptions and fees in a timely fashion. It also places an obligation on you to properly conduct yourself in exams and in the completion of all requirements (including the Professional Ethics module) of the ACCA Qualification. How to avoid disciplinary action To comply with the ACCA Rulebook and with the fundamental principles
Student Accountant | february 2013
of professional behaviour expected of ACCA students, certain minimum standards of behaviour are expected from students completing and submitting their Professional Ethics module. These minimum requirements are as follows: ¤ Work through the module independently and at your own pace. ¤ Read and complete all sections fully. ¤ Take adequate time to ensure that each section is properly read, understood and completed. ¤ Undertake and complete all exercises and self‑tests diligently, including those requiring the completion of text boxes. ¤ Recap on any material where there are any obvious gaps in your knowledge or understanding. ¤ Complete the reflective statement responsibly – and entirely in your own words. ¤ Ensure that you describe your learning experience honestly and objectively. ACCA audits Professional Ethics module submissions. Any submissions that contain reflective
The value of the Professional Ethics module is to familiarise potential ACCA members with the ethical dimensions of professional accountancy and the wider responsibility of the accountant statements that are far too short, inappropriately written, or deemed not to be the original work of the student, will be investigated and will leave students submitting them potentially liable to disciplinary action. This could ultimately lead
to them being removed from the student register. Students should especially make sure that their personal learning statement is not copied from other sources, but is reflective of what they have learned.
The value of the Professional Ethics module is to familiarise potential ACCA members with the ethical dimensions of professional accountancy and the wider responsibility of the accountant to the client, to ACCA, to the profession, and â€“ above all â€“ to promoting public value and the public interest. The module is intended to be taken seriously as a development resource and as a reflective exercise. Although a mandatory element of the ACCA Qualification, it can also be used as a flexible resource to return to and use whenever it is required.
TECHNICALCENTRE LEARNING | COMMUNICATION | ACCA CAREERS
Taking the PLUNGE You have got your CV, cover letter and social media profile primed and you are ready to dive head first into your accountancy job search. Now it is time for... The hunt Be proactive, imaginative and persistent. It helps to be a little thick-skinned too. Accountancy jobs aren’t in the habit of seeking you out, and while it is important to search through advertised positions, there is evidence that 80% of jobs don’t get advertised, so you need to hunt them out. When it comes to searching for an accountancy job, don’t just rely on ads. Here are some ways to sniff out those buried roles: network, network, network. The importance of networking cannot be emphasised enough,
according to the successful professionals who have been interviewed on ACCA Careers (Peter Moller at Deloitte and Evgeniya Mironova to name two). Alumni and relatives Don’t be afraid to call up old university friends and even those relatives you only see every few years at a family wedding. You would be surprised at how helpful people can be if you are connected to them, either by family ties or university associations. Be inquisitive Write short letters as well worded as you can, accompanied by a CV, introducing yourself and your skills to companies. It is a speculative approach that may turn up a few surprise opportunities and is yet another way to increase your network. It may seem like a lot of work and futile when you hear nothing back,
Student Accountant | february DECEMBER2013 2012
but if just one of those letters lands on the desk of someone about to post a job ad, and you are just what they are looking for, it will make it all worthwhile. For this approach to be a success, you need to make sure your CV is in tip-top form and contact small firms – they will probably be more responsive to this approach than large firms. You also need to do your research: know the company and the name of the person you are writing to; find out if they went to your old university or if you share some other connection (played for the same local football team, is a friend of your older brother or sister), and point this out in your introductory letter. Online-offline You need both an online and an offline presence. This is simply another way of saying network, network, network. Do it via social media and email, and get in touch with old friends, bosses and teachers. ▶
LEARNING CENTRE | ACCA CAREERS Network, network, network. The importance of networking cannot be emphasised enough, according to the successful professionals who have been interviewed on ACCA Careers Referrals When you are doing the networking rounds and making contact with all these people, don’t be afraid to ask to be referred on. The person you are speaking to may not be able to help you directly, but they may well know someone who could use your skills. What is the perfect job anyway? Ah, the dream accountancy job! But what exactly is it and how do you know when you are ready for it? While it is good to have goals and direction, be careful that your outlook does not narrow from being too focused on attaining one role. Be sure that while you are working towards the perfect accountancy job you are also open to all the challenges and opportunities that will arise along the way. You never know – there may be an accountancy job that is perfect for you that you had never considered. Also, be prepared to take a step backward to reach your perfect role. Sometimes one route won’t seem to work for whatever reason, so go away and attack it from another angle, with new skills and experience to bring to the table. Are you experienced? Employers want it and candidates need it but experience is not always that easy to find. In a tough labour market, employers can be very fussy about who they hire, so work experience can give you the edge. Good universities, professional qualifications and technical skills can be prerequisites that many people have, but work experience is always valuable.
How to get work experience From a one-day-a-week job in a local accountancy firm to a month‑long work placement or a summer internship with a Big Four firm, such work experience all adds incredible value to your CV, proving that you are committed, proactive and enthusiastic. It also shows you have office experience, can work with people and know the basics of certain roles. And that tells an employer they won’t have to spend as much time or money on training or integrating you into a team, making you much more appealing. TransfeRable skills Work experience looks good on your CV and teaches you invaluable professional skills. But what about when you worked as a cashier at your local supermarket, or a waiter in a restaurant? Don’t ignore these as having little to do with a career in finance. Many experiences in life provide us with skills, and they may be ones that employers find extremely important. They are the kinds of skills that, in addition to an education, help make a well‑rounded candidate. So think about the leadership skills you learnt when captaining the football team, or the interpersonal skills you gained from working in a bar. Do you have transferable skills? Extra-curricular activities Transferable skills can be gained through
Student Accountant | february 2013
extra‑curricular activities. Joining societies at university looks great on your CV, as does doing charity work. Also think about blogging to increase your online profile. It is not just about sharing your daydreams with an audience of 10 friends – comment and engage with people who are studying or working in your field. Offer advice, start discussion groups, hold meetings with like‑minded people and try to support each other. Such activities will provide you with further skills and will look impressive on the CV. Check out our career bloggers So there is the big picture... it is now time to start building your candidate profile. Take your time, get it right, and good luck in landing that accountancy job.
USEFUL LINKS: ¤ Peter Moller Deloitte interview ▶ ¤ Evgeniya Mironova, EY interview ▶ ¤ Network your way to CFO ▶ ¤ Work experience tips ▶ ¤ Transferable skills ▶
Register you r CV on ACCA Caree rs and start your jo b search ▶
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FEATURES | SECTOR FOCUS
DURING RECENT YEARS, THOSE WORKING IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY HAVE BEEN MADE TO FEEL A LITTLE LIKE SOCIAL PARIAHS. HOWEVER, THE SITUATION IS AT LAST CHANGING
BANKING Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
‘The financial services industry has received a lot of flack in the media and, unfortunately, accountancy and finance professionals have been swept along with the tide, even if they were not directly involved,’ says Andy Dallas, director, Robert Half Financial Services. ‘While lingering opinions exist, those aware of the role that accountancy plays will know that accountants are adding a lot of value in the present climate.’ That present climate is demonstrated perfectly by a recent Ipsos Mori poll, which found the banking sector as the industry global consumers feel is most in need of greater regulation. The 24-country study found that 37% of people globally think there still needs to be more regulation in the banking sector. This continuing pressure, then, as well as the regulatory changes already seen within financial services has brought regulatory, risk and compliance professionals to the fore, as has the role that finance is playing as driving corporate strategy and growth initiatives throughout the business.’ Highly skilled accountancy professionals are highly sought-after within the sector, particularly if they have specific product experience. ‘Most of the accounting roles that exist in industry, such as financial or management accounting, internal audit and accounting operations, are also present within financial services, although there are some specialist streams specific to the sector, such as product control and fund accounting,’ says Dallas. ‘Regulatory accountants are highly in demand within the sector, with demand outweighing supply, particularly as the regulatory climate continues to gain momentum.’ As the financial markets continue to evolve, financial institutions
are working to grow and maintain profits while adjusting to ever‑changing regulations and the downturn’s effects on profitability and performance. So how could you help successful institutions reassess their operating models and address the effects of regulatory reform, competitive dynamics, evolving markets and increased expectations from stakeholders? ‘Accountants have assumed greater responsibility throughout the downturn and now firmly occupy a seat at the decision-making table,’ says Dallas. ‘They are being called upon to optimise performance throughout the business, providing financial information, tools, analysis and insight to executives, challenging
activities with compliance will continue to pose a conundrum for finance leaders.’ Dallas adds that companies are looking for accountants with specific product knowledge plus a solid understanding of the industry as a whole, in addition to strong accounting skills. Business-savvy professionals who can provide a commercial outlook are in demand, as are those with an exposure to technical accounting standards, particularly within the regulatory arena. Furthermore, strong systems knowledge, particularly SAP, Oracle, Hyperion Financial Management, SUN and TM1 are a necessity within the sector. Finally, financial business partners who can work
Business-savvy professionals who can provide a commercial outlook are in demand, as are those with an exposure to technical accounting standards, particularly within the regulatory arena their thinking, helping them make more informed decisions and driving business strategy. As such, financial business partners are being called upon within the industry to deliver growth and return for stakeholders. At the same time, finance leaders need to balance these functions that drive revenue with the requirement to remain compliant with regulatory change. ‘During a time when the industry is focused on growth, the cost for businesses to remain compliant has increased. According to a survey of finance services executives, 53% have increased their regulatory spend compared to four years ago, and financial directors are spending as much as one day a week managing regulatory change. Balancing revenue generating
with various departments to deliver efficiencies and growth will be highly sought‑after in 2013. The global nature of the ACCA Qualification is a major plus because it makes the qualification very portable. Alongside this, the emphasis on commercial awareness that runs through the ACCA Qualification is increasingly important in banking and financial services. While salaries vary by role, years of experience and product, overall they are higher than the average salaries on offer for accountants in other industries. What sector would you want us to focus on next? Email us at studentaccountant@ accaglobal.com ▶
FEATURES | sector VIEW
SECTOR VIEW: BANKING THE VIEW FROM:
Simon Chipuriro, Treasury Analyst, Ubank, Johannesburg Formerly TEBA Bank, Ubank has offered banking and financial services for over 30 years, primarily to mining and rural communities in South Africa, and prides itself on its social responsibility
What’s your role at Ubank? As a treasury analyst I look after the bank’s middle office, as well as the Assets and Liabilities (ALM) function. My responsibilities are very varied but focus primarily on balance sheet optimisation and risk management – from providing interest rate risk and liquidity risk input for regulatory reporting, to developing and implementing treasury risk strategy, including risk reporting and the governance process. I also help product specialists understand and define product characteristics, develop and implement the strategic assets allocation process, and run a variety of strategic and stress scenarios to support decision making within the bank.
Why did you decide to work in banking? As I was growing up I always admired banking staff, and banks had a reputation for being the best employers and treating their employees well. This reputation was confirmed when I had the opportunity to audit some banks during my training, providing me with further encouragement to
pursue a career in this sector. I have now been in the industry for almost 10 years.
What’s the best thing about working in banking? Support for personal development is a great benefit for those working in banking; many banks act as learning organisations, providing a wide range of assistance for their employees, such as mentorship programmes, and other opportunities for staff to further their studies and equip themselves with knowledge. Banking is also a very positive career choice as it widens your future options. I have noticed during my career that it is easy to get bored if you only work in one area of business; banking can help you gain experience of different business functions, and also equips you with the skills required to succeed in general management, if that is a career path you want to follow in the future.
Are there any disadvantages? If you want to move outside banking later in your career you can find that commercial organisations sometimes prefer candidates with industry‑specific experience. However, I do not think this is a major disadvantage when compared to the benefits banking delivers. As ACCA accountants are trained to thrive in any industry sector, a lack of very specific experience should not affect one’s competence.
In terms of studies and ACCA exams, how supportive is the banking sector? From my experience, and the experience of colleagues, most banks are very supportive of accountancy students, usually providing financial support and generous study leave. Many banks are also ACCA Approved Employers, which is very helpful when students finish their exams and need to complete their
‘From my experience, and the experience of colleagues, most banks are very supportive of accountancy students, usually providing financial support and generous study leave’
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
Johannesburg, South Africa practical experience requirement in order to gainÂ membership.
Does banking sector experience give accountants particular skills, especially transferable skills? Banking offers training in a number of skills, including treasury management, financial reporting and control, balance sheet and business performance management, and also risk and investment management. You can also develop further specialised expertise in areas such as internal auditing, forensic accounting, and product management. All these skills are internationally transferable, and if you hope to work abroad during your career, you will find that many of the skills gained while working in banking are listed as being in high demand by many immigration authorities. ACCA membership is also very
many of the skills gained while working in banking are listed as being in high demand by many immigration authorities useful in this respect, as it is internationally recognised and easily meets immigration requirements for accountancy professionals.
What is career progression like? In banking, your career could go in a number of different directions depending on the skills you acquire. For example, if you join the finance team as an accountant, you could become a finance manager and eventually CFO. In the risk department, opportunities include risk manager, compliance manager and chief risk officer, and there are other career paths in internal audit, forensic accounting, asset management and investment banking. In my opinion, it
would take an ambitious accountant around five years, post-qualification, to reach the summit of their chosen career â€“ and I have seen this happen, more than once. For me, the next step would be to head up a balance sheet management team, but at the appropriate time I will consider leaving banking to pursue a more specialised career in financial risk management consultancy. I therefore hope to move into practice and gain a position within a major accountancy firm â€“ I predict great opportunities, and I can use the skills I have acquired in banking to progress my career in this direction.
TECHNICAL| INTERNATIONAL FEATURES | COMMUNICATION BENEFITS
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY DECEMBER2013 2012
ONAL QUALIFICATION ACCA is proud of its international reputation – a real benefit for students hoping to develop their careers INTERNATIONALLY. but what if you plan to stay at home? We look at the value of international recognition, and consider how YOU can make the most of this CV-boosting advantage INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK We live and work in an increasingly global community, and nowhere more so than in the financial sector. Here, as corporate reporting standards develop along international lines, the trend towards ‘joined up thinking’ now influences both financial and narrative reporting strategies. Global convergence is also evident in the work of supra-national accounting standards bodies such as the IASB, and education standards such as those issued by IFAC’s International Accounting Education Standards Board also reflect the reality of an environment of cross-border commerce and new technologies designed to make the world an even smaller place. As a result, professional business qualifications such as ACCA must have international and multi‑jurisdictional recognition if they are to remain relevant, valuable, and truly portable. The globalisation of accountancy affects every member of the profession irrespective of where they work, now or in the future, and not just in terms of technical knowledge. ‘Some of the biggest changes currently taking place focus on what an accountant is and does,’ comments Wendy Towner, ACCA’s head of business intelligence. ‘Increasingly, accountants are driving
owards greater responsibility – to be considered an integral part of an organisation, enabling a business to make the right financial decisions. If this drive is to be successful then it has to be in a global context, and must reflect changing patterns of employment in the sector. Our own research shows that more people than ever before work across borders for multinational organisations, and that more students and members are now taking advantage of ACCA’s portability to work or study outside their home market.’ Ahead of the game The ACCA brand has become a trusted global benchmark for accountancy training and professionalism, and ACCA was also the first accountancy body to examine IFRS (in 1998). ‘In terms of appreciating the importance of international understanding, we’ve long been ahead of the game,’ says Louise Farrow, ACCA’s head of marketing promotions. ‘We know that the world is shrinking and that many of our students are
working in a global context, and not only in commerce – the public sector, for example, is increasingly dependent on external providers of key services, and many of these are global operators in their own right.’ Even if international accountancy issues are not immediately relevant, it is an aspect of the profession all students must engage with, says Farrow: ‘You must become familiar with International Accounting Standards because you will undoubtedly draw on this knowledge at some point in your working life – if not in your current job then at some point in the future. Career plans that are made while studying can change quickly once in the world of work. ACCA aims to equip its members with the skills they need wherever their career path takes them, especially as many accountants now develop ‘portfolio careers’, working across a number of sectors and for a number of employers. The international understanding delivered by ACCA can effectively “future proof” your career, giving you the freedom to move job when you want to.’ ▶
‘In terms of appreciating the importance of international understanding, we’ve long been ahead of the game’ 29
FEATURES | INTERNATIONAL BENEFITS Meeting employer expectations Given ACCA’s well-established, global reputation, employers know what to expect when considering employing an ACCA student or member, whether local or from overseas. The ACCA brand represents consistency – in professional training, work experience, specific knowledge and broad experience. But ACCA also provides the training required for compliance with the global accounting standards now used in many countries. This represents real value, as employers know that the world of finance is international, even if their business or sector is not – even the smallest business can have clients, customers or suppliers based anywhere in the world, with internet trading an important accelerator of the local/global business model. In addition, the national and international networking opportunities ACCA provides, both face to face and through social media, give employees the chance to learn from their peers around the world, sharing ideas, and learning about innovations and best practice. As a result, ACCA’s international recognition adds significant value to a CV, and students should make the most of this both when at work and when job hunting. ‘Employers should know that the ACCA Qualification is broad in scope, and gives students and members the skills required to work in different industries and in different roles,’ concludes Towner. ‘But the technical understanding of international accounting practice it delivers, together with far reaching knowledge of a global profession, are real assets that will be valued whether the employer operates in a local market or around the world.’ ▶
The ACCA brand represents consistency – in professional training, work experience, specific knowledge and broad experience Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
ACCA’s international recognition adds significant value to a CV, and students should make the most of this both when at work and when job hunting
FACTS AND FIGURES Recent research from ACCA shows how relevant the ACCA Qualification has become: ¤ 94% of employers agree that ACCA is a world class organisation ¤ 92% of employers agree that ACCA is a respected global brand ¤ 88% of employers agree that ACCA is relevant across all sectors ¤ 86% of students agree that ACCA is international in its reach and outlook ¤ 78% of students say that ACCA will give them the skills they need for the job they want ¤ 77% of students agree that studying with ACCA has given them transferable skills ¤ 74% of students agree that ACCA is a great career choice for young people
FEATURES | INTERNATIONAL BENEFITS
MORE THAN JUST AN ‘ADDED EXTRA’ DIDZIS BERZINS
ACCA member, financial controller at an international consultancy, Riga, Latvia Between 2006 and 2008, ACCA member Didzis Berzins (then a student) was on secondment with PwC in Australia as a senior financial auditor, as his ACCA studies had enabled him to fulfil a long-term ambition to travel. ‘ACCA definitely helped me in my move to Australia,’ he comments. ‘The benefit of an international qualification is that it is relevant wherever you go and I found working in Australia very similar to working in Latvia, especially as Big Four auditors are all guided by the same International Standards on Auditing.’ Didzis returned to Latvia after two years, working first for PwC in Riga, then joining a major consulting company where – surprisingly – his ACCA membership and international experience have proved even more relevant, as Didzis explains: ‘I’m now the financial controller for a consulting firm that looks after around 100 holding companies that make up a major industrial group. These companies are located across CIS and European countries and operate in sectors ranging from metallurgy to hotels and leisure. As a result, I now travel frequently, dealing with service providers all over Europe, where ACCA has relevance to our partners as well and shows that we are educated to the same level.’
Whereas his ACCA Qualification was initially a passport to work abroad, its international reputation now makes it increasingly valuable in Latvia: ‘In a period of economic downturn, when competition for jobs is increasing, ACCA may be the deciding factor. Most candidates have a degree or an MBA, but ACCA gives you real differentiation, and in Latvia it may become a specific requirement for certain finance positions, as in most developed countries, rather than just “recommended”, making it even more relevant.’
DHAKSHAYENEE THIEERAN ACCA affiliate, trainee associate, KPMG, Colombo, Sri Lanka ‘I was a full-time student throughout my studies,’ says ACCA affiliate Dhakshayenee Thieeran, ‘passing all my exams first time, and gaining a First in the Oxford Brookes University BSc in Applied Accounting. I completed my final ACCA exam in December 2010 and, in order to gain my work experience, I joined KPMG in Colombo the following June where I am now a trainee associate.’ Dhakshayenee always wanted to take advantage of ACCA’s global reputation, and so the move to KPMG was strategic; not only did Dhakshayenee want to work for a leading accountancy firm, but she also wanted to access international career opportunities. ‘I had first
‘If you can, join a global firm where you can work abroad, even for a short time’ Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
decided to study with ACCA because I hoped the qualification would enhance my mobility and allow me to work anywhere in the world. This ambition has not faded and, as I now work for a globally recognised firm, I hope that when I am an ACCA member I can travel to the UK to continue my accountancy career,’ she says, adding: ‘I feel I have the confidence to pursue an international career as I can combine my experience of different industries and IFRS assignments with the knowledge that ACCA is globally recognised.’ Dhakshayenee encourages current students to make the most of ACCA’s global reputation as she thinks that it undoubtedly improves career potential. ‘If you can, join a global firm where you can work abroad, even for a short time,’ she says. ‘This can help your international experience, and will enhance your career even if you stay at home, as accounting practices are becoming increasingly consistent worldwide – such as Sri Lanka’s adoption of IFRS, for example. This makes the exposure to global standards and practices gained through ACCA study, together with its international reputation, relevant to local business as well.’
JEFF TAN ACCA member, senior associate, PwC, San Jose, US ‘Having ACCA on your CV definitely helps your career; recruiters know how hard it is to gain the ACCA Qualification, and ACCA membership shows you have both tenacity and experience,’
says ACCA member Jeff Tan, whose successful career not only includes a major change of sector, but also an international move to join a Big Four firm. Originally from Singapore, Jeff started his career as a police officer, but after a year in the force decided to change to a career ‘where my value would actually increase with age and experience’, he says. After completing most of his ACCA exams while still serving as a police officer, Jeff joined a Big Four firm as an audit associate but three years later decided to develop his career further by moving abroad, joining PwC in San Jose, US. ‘I hadn’t appreciated the value of ACCA’s international reputation until I began the interview process,’ he comments. ‘Not only is ACCA considered an equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree, but the technical knowledge and practical understanding represented by ACCA provided essential differentiation for my CV.’ Jeff is now a senior associate in PwC’s audit and attestation department, undertaking audit engagements from start to finish. ‘Once again, my technical knowledge is a significant advantage,’ he says. ‘I know much more than those who entered the profession directly from university, and I credit this to ACCA.’ n
THE EMPLOYER’S PERSPECTIVE pwc, Trinidad and Tobago Susanne Mahabir, director, assurance, PwC, Trinidad and Tobago Susanne has primary responsibilities for learning and development, and ethics and business conduct. The accountancy profession is certainly becoming more global and there is a worldwide movement towards greater economic, financial, trade and communication integration. The profession has had to respond to this global trend, with standard‑setting bodies aiming for greater convergence of financial accounting standards so that corporations increasingly adhere to the same rules when they prepare financial statements, wherever they are in the world. ‘In Trinidad and Tobago, it is very important for PwC employees to gain an international perspective of accounting and business as our client base includes many multinational organisations, and we need this perspective if we are to meet their needs. Clients operating in Trinidad and Tobago are required to prepare financial statements in accordance with
IFRS, and our audits are also undertaken in accordance with ISAs (International Standards on Auditing), with the result that our accountants use their international knowledge every day. ‘When we hire new accountants we value an internationally recognised accounting qualification such as ACCA – and, in fact, 99% of our qualified accountants are ACCA members. Having ACCA on a CV does make it easier for accountants to apply for jobs in another country as ACCA is becoming increasingly recognised internationally. However, the ACCA Qualification is just as valuable for accountants who do not want to travel, given the importance of international standards in the accounting profession, especially here in Trinidad and Tobago. ‘As an FCCA, I have certainly benefited from having the ACCA Qualification – it is highly respected here, and there is an expectation that ACCA members adopt the highest standards of practice and of ethical conduct. I feel that these qualities certainly make me highly marketable both here and overseas.’
TECHNICAL| HOW FEATURES | COMMUNICATION TO MANAGE YOUR MANAGER
THE POWER OF
Student Accountant | FEBRUARY DECEMBER2013 2012
It is a well-known adage that people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. Iwona Tokc-Wilde finds out how to improve your job satisfaction – and benefit your manager, too – by learning to influence upwards Do you dread going to work? Do you hope something better will soon come along? If so, have you asked yourself what exactly makes you want to leave? According to Deloitte’s recent global talent survey, Talent 2020, nearly one-third of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs and of these 26% are Millennials (people aged 31 and younger) who plan to leave their employers in the next year. You may be surprised to learn money isn’t their main reason for seeking pastures new – it is lack of career progression (27%), closely followed by dissatisfaction with their manager or supervisor (22%). ‘In the perfect world, you and your line manager would be completely compatible,’ says Neil Owen, global practice director of Robert Half Financial Services. ‘You would have similar personalities, common goals and shared ways of working and communicating. There would be no misunderstanding and your work would always be praised.’ Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and, although you both have equal responsibility for making it work, sometimes you might have to take the lead. Here is how. Get to know them If you have just started in a new job, make sure you understand the bigger picture by learning about the goals of the larger organisation. Your manager will have goals, too, set by the person they report to. ‘The first step in learning to manage upwards is to know what priorities and objectives both your manager and your manager’s boss have,’ says Heather Townsend, executive coach and
co‑author of How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life. ‘Then find out what they expect from you.’ This way, you can ensure your work is consistent with what they plan to achieve. Get to know your manager on a less formal level, too – what makes them tick and, especially, what stresses them out. ‘Bosses face problems and challenges just like the rest of us,’ says Owen. If you know what they are, you will be better placed to respond to the demands they make of you.
report on projects, but you really need to find out when your manager requires face-to-face meetings and when a short email will suffice,’ advises Owen. ‘Keep in mind that some busy managers dislike drop-in visits and prefer to schedule meetings in advance.’ Effective daily or weekly communication with your manager is mostly about reporting on the progress you are making with tasks or projects. To discuss any broader
‘Bosses face problems and challenges just like the rest of us. If you know what they are, you will be better placed to respond to the demands they make of you’ Keep them in the loop One of the reasons why people are unhappy with their managers is lack of communication (this goes both ways). ‘You’ve got to keep it regular,’ says Townsend. ‘Set times when you both sit down and update each other on what’s going on, and when you can feedback to them in private if you’re upset or annoyed.’ If it was their actions that upset you, don’t tell all and sundry, adds Townsend: ‘You’ll only alienate them if you grumble about them in public.’ Don’t wait for small problems to develop into big crises, either. ‘Tell your manager promptly if you encounter difficulties with a project or if it looks like you might miss a deadline,’ says Owen. New employees and those working with a new manager may find it difficult to gauge how often to communicate. In most non-urgent cases, ‘weekly catch-ups are fine to
issues – for example, training or general feedback on the team and the work – you should request quarterly meetings, says Owen. Solutions, not problems In a professional environment, ‘effective communication’ isn’t about running to your manager with every little thing. ‘Do some background research first, especially if you have questions to ask,’ says Richard Williams, audit trainee at UHY Hacker Young. ‘You may well find the answers for yourself and therefore not waste your manager’s time. This approach will also help in your learning and professional development as you will soon notice that you are likely to remember more detail if you’ve spent time looking into something yourself.’ It is all about using your initiative. ‘When given a task, try to add value if possible,’ says Williams.
FEATURES | HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MANAGER ‘You may identify a more efficient way of working or spot something that could be useful to your colleagues.’ If you feel able, offer to take on additional tasks. ‘Your support will be appreciated and your manager will have more time for other critical responsibilities,’ says Owen. In fact, managers value taking the initiative so highly that some are willing to overlook any mistakes that you might make in the process. ‘Sometimes, the best way to manage your manager is to just “get on and do it”, and then seek forgiveness afterwards if you don’t get it right,’ says Townsend.
AND IF YOUR MANAGER IS A PAIN? In your working life you are likely to come across managers who are a nightmare and, seemingly, unmanageable. ‘They may criticise your work constantly or even get angry a lot and be unaware of concepts such as praise, gratitude, humour or teamwork,’ says psychologist Graham Price of Abicord Ltd. In short, they are unpleasant, even aggressive. Is there anything you can do to help them change their ways?
Identify your work styles Handling a manager who has a working style different from your own can be a challenge. ‘According to our research, most workers prefer to receive clear directions, while a large minority like to collaborate and some want to do things on their own, with minimal supervision,’ says Owen. The trick is to find the common ground – identify your work style, the work style of your manager and make some adjustments to either match their style or to meet in the middle. ‘If you discover how you can work best together, you’ll enjoy your job and keep your manager happy at the same time,’ says Owen. But what if your working styles are polar opposites? What if you clash? ‘You and your manager are bound to experience conflict from time to time,’ says Owen, ‘but if you’re tactful, respectful and professional, you’ll have a better chance of establishing and maintaining a mutually productive and rewarding relationship.’ Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
‘We all want to be liked and respected and your manager’s aggression may be partly driven by a sense that they are not liked or supported by their staff,’ says Price. ‘You can fight back but it’ll probably get you nowhere.’ Trying to meet their need to be liked and respected will get you better results. ‘Make it clear that you want to support them in meeting their goals,’ advises Price. ‘Be friendly and courteous. Ask them about their weekend. Give praise, say thank you and invite them to join you and your colleagues for a drink after work.’ Sometimes you may have to tread very carefully, especially when giving feedback. ‘Avoid overt criticism,’ says Price. ‘If you have to give negative feedback, start with I as in I’m not blaming you but I’d appreciate your help to resolve my problem.’ Don’t jump to conclusions though as your manager, just like everyone else, could simply be having a bad day. ‘Part of the skill of managing your manager is to know when to approach them, and when to stay well away,’ says Townsend. ‘Learn to recognise the signs of them being stressed and find out how you can relieve their stress levels.’ Sometimes it can be as easy as giving that little bit extra. ‘Stay on a little longer to meet a deadline or offer to pick up your manager some lunch,’ says Price. Iwona Tokc-Wilde is a freelance journalist
How do you manage your manager? If you have a story to tell, email us at studentaccountant@ accaglobal.com ▶
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TECHNICAL 40 technical articles • Changes to the ACCA Qualification in 2013 – ALL STUDENTS • Amendments to the Finance Act 2012 – Paper F6 (PKN) • Value chains, value networks and supply chain management – Paper P3 • Islamic finance – theory and practical use of sukuk bonds – Paper P4 • Capital gains and inheritance tax – Paper P6 (UK) • Corporation tax and groups – group relief – Paper P6 (UK) • Corporation tax and groups – capital gains groups – Paper P6 (UK) • Trusts and tax – Paper P6 (UK) • Understanding the benefit arising from debit balances – Paper P6 (CYP) • Back-to-back loans – Paper P6 (CYP) • Building on strong foundations – all Foundation level students
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
ACCESS THE TECHNICAL ARTICLE ARCHIVE ▶
for more information on the foundation level ▶
TECHNICAL | LISTINGS
Changes to the ACCA Qualification in 2013 Relevant to all students Gareth Owen, ACCA qualifications manager, explains the planned updates to the ACCA Qualification syllabuses taking place in 2013 as part of the process of continuous syllabus maintenance and improvement. The article highlights the latest syllabus changes, including any minor structural changes to exams.
access the article here
Amendments to the Finance Act 2012 Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper F6 (PKN)
Islamic finance – theory and practical use of sukuk bonds Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P4 From this year, Islamic finance becomes part of the Paper P4 syllabus, following its introduction to Paper F9 two years ago. This article looks at Islamic finance as a growing and important source of finance, including the success and failure of the use of sukuk bonds to finance the purchase of assets.
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Capital gains TAX and inheritance tax
This article discusses the changes to Pakistan’s Finance Act 2012, relevant to candidates sitting the exam in June and December 2013.
Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P6 (UK)
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This article considers the occasions where both capital gains and inheritance taxes are relevant to a transaction. It also features illustrations of some issues that need to be considered when giving advice in the context of the Paper P6 (UK) exam.
Value chains, value networks and supply chain management
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Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P3
Corporation tax and groups – group relief
Sections A4, E2 and E3 of the Paper P3 Syllabus and Study Guide relate to value chains, value networks and supply chain management. This article considers writer Michael Porter’s value chain framework, which has been described as a powerful analysis tool for companies in strategic planning to create value. It also highlights the various definitions of supply chain management put forward by different writers.
Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P6 (UK)
access the article here
SA technical article archive All technical content from Student Accountant is on ACCA’s website ▶ Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 2013
This article summarises the rules relating to both group relief groups and capital gains groups before going on to discuss a number of group relief tax planning issues that could be examined in Paper P6 (UK).
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Corporation tax and groups – capital gains groups Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P6 (UK) The second of two articles on corporation tax and groups summarises the rules relating to capital gains
groups. It then considers the various issues relating to capital gains groups that could be introduced in a Paper P6 (UK) exam question.
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Trusts and tax Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P6 (UK)
that arises from maintaining a debit balance with a company.
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Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P6 (CYP)
The transfer of assets to and from trustees is a complex area of the UK tax system. This article sets out the associated rules that may be examined in Paper P6 (UK) and those areas where knowledge is not required.
This article explains the tax treatment of back‑to‑back loans, as well as an amendment relating to the deductibility of loan interest when the loan is used to purchase shares in a 100% subsidiary of a Cyprus company.
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Understanding the benefit arising from debit balances
Relevant to ACCA Qualification Paper P6 (CYP) An article in the January issue of Student Accountant provided an overview of the significant changes to the Paper P6 (CYP) syllabus following a number of recent amendments to tax legislation in Cyprus. A series of articles will now consider these changes in greater detail. We begin with a focus on a new form of income recognised in income tax law – the benefit
Building on strong foundations
Relevant to Foundation level students Gareth Owen, ACCA qualifications manager, explains the structure of the Foundation level qualifications and provides advice on appropriate entry points to offer better employment opportunities, higher exam success rates and promote stronger foundations for further study.
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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.
STUDY | TUITION PROVIDERS
APPROVED learning Partners To guarantee a quality learning experience, we recommend you study with one of our acca Approved Learning Partners – student tuition. find one below in your region KEY:
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM BICPA-FTMS
CHINA HKCA Learning Media Ltd Nanjing Audit University Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Tianjin University of Finance & Economics Xi’an Jiaotong University Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics Accounting School of Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Beijing Caihuahongyuan International Education Co Ltd (Distance Learning) Beijing Champion Hi-Tech Co Ltd Beijing ZBCT International Financial Education Co Ltd – Guangzhou Branch China Audit International Training Centre Dalian Century Financial Training School East Asia International Institute of Beijing Golden Global International Financial Training Centre Kaplan Financial – China Kaplan Financial – SWUFE Shanghai Excel Professional Training Center Shanghai Sunway Financial Training Co Ltd
Sunway College – Kuching Sunway Tes Sdn Bhd Tunku Abdul Rahman College Universiti Teknologi Mara Elite International College FTMS College – Kuala Lumpur FTMS Training Systems (EM) Sdn Bhd – Kuching HELP College of Arts and Technology INTI College – Subang Jaya KDU College Kasturi College International – Petaling Jaya Kolej Kasturi – Kuala Lumpur Kolej Sinar Methodist Pilley Institute PTPL Penang Sentral Technology College – Penang Stamford – Petaling Jaya Sunway College – Ipoh Sdn Bhd Taylor’s Business School UCSI Professional Academy
SINGAPORE Kaplan Learning Institute Pte Ltd SAA Global Education Centre Pte Ltd FTMS Global – Singapore London School of Business & Finance – Singapore Omega International College Pte Ltd
VIETNAM FTMS Training System – Vietnam Hoa Sen University Smart Train Vietsourcing Business Services Co Ltd IAB Centre CJSC
HONG KONG SAR Executive Training Company (International) Ltd FTMS Training Systems (HK) Ltd HKCA Learning Media Ltd HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan Financial (HK) Ltd
EUROPE AND AMERICAS
MALAYSIA Sunway College – Johor Bahru
Student Accountant | february 2013
ARMENIA IAB Centre CJSC
BARBADOS Prestige Accounting Bookshop & Accountancy College
BULGARIA BPP Professional Education – Bulgaria PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit OOD – Bulgaria
NETHERLANDS BPP Professional Education – Netherlands
POLAND BPP Professional Education Sp z o.o. Ernst & Young Academy of Business – Poland
CAYMAN ISLANDS Innovative Management & Professional Training
ROMANIA BPP Professional Education – Romania Intercollege Global Training – Bucharest Centre The ExP Group – Romania PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit SRL – Romania
CROATIA PricewaterhouseCoopers d.o.o – Croatia
CYPRUS Cyprus College Intercollege Global Training – Nicosia Centre School of Professional Studies – Limassol
RUSSIAN FEDERATION ATC International – Russia Ernst & Young (CIS) BV – Russia NEI (Private Institution) PricewaterhouseCoopers – Russia BV Vocational Training Centre STEK
CZECH REPUBLIC BPP Professional Education – Czech Republic PricewaterhouseCoopers Business Academy – Czech Republic
GREECE Altium Training Greece Intercollege Global Training – Athens Centre
SERBIA PricewaterhouseCoopers d.o.o – Serbia
SLOVAKIA BPP Professional Education – Bratislava PricewaterhouseCoopers – Slovensko, s.r.o.
GUYANA ATC Accountancy Training Centre – Guyana Cacique Inc
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Omardeen School of Accountancy Ltd – San Fernando Professional School of Accountancy Ltd School of Business & Computer Science Sital College of Tertiary Education Ltd Students Accountancy Centre
HUNGARY BPP Professional Education – Hungary PricewaterhouseCoopers – The Academy – Hungary
UK IRELAND Accountancy School at Independent Colleges Ltd Dublin Business School Griffith College – Cork Griffith College – Dublin Cork City College Dorset College Griffith College – Cork including Skerry’s College IBAT College – Dublin Rathmines College
JAMAICA Richmond Academy
MALTA BPP Professional Education – Malta Ltd The Richard Clarke Academy
BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP BPP
Professional Education (Offshore) – Guernsey Professional Education (Offshore) – Jersey University College – Birmingham University College – Bristol University College – Cambridge University College – Cardiff University College – Croydon University College – distance learning University College – Glasgow University College – Leeds University College – Liverpool University College – London, Procter House University College – Maidstone University College – Manchester University College – Milton Keynes University College – Newcastle University College – Nottingham University College – Reading
STUDY | TUITION PROVIDERS
BPP University College – Southampton Birmingham City University First Intuition – Cambridge First Intuition – London Kaplan Financial – Birmingham Kaplan Financial – Bristol Kaplan Financial – Cardiff Kaplan Financial – distance learning Kaplan Financial – Glasgow Kaplan Financial – Hull Kaplan Financial – Leeds Kaplan Financial – Leicester Kaplan Financial – Liverpool Kaplan Financial – London Kaplan Financial – Manchester Kaplan Financial – Milton Keynes Kaplan Financial – Newcastle Kaplan Financial – Norwich Kaplan Financial – Nottingham Kaplan Financial – Reading Kaplan Financial – Southampton Manchester Metropolitan University Business School Manx Professional & Educational Services Ltd Onestudy Training Ltd Reed Business School University of Wales – Newport Access College – London Anglia Ruskin University Bangor Business School, Management Centre Bedfordshire College Birmingham Management Training College Ltd Birmingham Metropolitan College City of London College College of Accountancy and Management Studies De Montfort University – Leicester East End Computing & Business College Eden College International FBT – Finance & Business Training First Intuition – Bristol First Intuition – Reading Glasgow Caledonian University Goldsmith International Business School Gower College – Swansea Greenwich London College Guernsey Business School Hammersmith Management College iCount Training Interlink College of Technology and Business Studies Katherine & King’s College of London Leeds Metropolitan University London College of Accountancy London College of Business Management & Information Technology London School of Business & Finance – London
Student Accountant | february 2013
London School of Business & Finance – Manchester London St Andrew’s College London South Bank University Park Royal College – Kenton Campus Richard Huish College Sheffield Hallam University South London College The Finance and Management Business School Ltd UK College of Business and Computing University of Brighton University of Derby University of Glamorgan University of Gloucestershire University of Northampton University of Ulster University of Westminster Warwickshire College West London Business College Williams College
UKRAINE ATC International – Ukraine Academy of Business, Ernst & Young – Ukraine IAB Centre CJSC
middle east, north africa, south africa BAHRAIN Ernst & Young – Bahrain Global Institute for Management Science
BANGLADESH AMTRAS (Accountancy and Management Training & Services Ltd) Chartered Accountancy College (CAC) Chartered University College Chartered University College (Campus 2) IBS Professional Training and Services LCBS – Dhaka S@ifurs University College
EGYPT The Egyptian Banking Institute
INDIA AEC NCR School of Accounting Pvt Ltd Get Through Guides Pvt Ltd KPMG India Private Ltd Vidyabharathi Group of Institutions – Cochin
IRAN Professional Accountants Centre for Training (PACT)
JORDAN SARH International Company for Consulting & Training
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Phoenix Financial Training Al Mihad Educational Institute Lynchpin Financial Training Centre MAS Education Centre PwC’s Academy – Dubai IAB Centre CJSC
KAZAKHSTAN ATC International – Kazakhstan Ernst & Young LLP – Kazakhstan PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP – Kazakhstan
KUWAIT Ernst & Young Training – Kuwait
sub-saharan africa BOTSWANA Botswana Accountancy College
NEPAL National College of Accountancy (NCA)
GHANA Simon Page Business School
OMAN College of Banking & Financial Studies National Training Institute LLC Polyglot Institute Oman LLC
KENYA Oshwal College Kenya Strathmore University Cornerstone Training Institute Jaffery Institute of Professional Studies
PAKISTAN CAMS – Bath Island Campus Professionals Academy of Commerce – Lahore SKANS School of Accountancy – Garden Town, Lahore Al-Hamd Academy CAMS – Pechs Campus (College of Accounting & Management Sciences) Centre of Financial Excellence – New Garden Town College of Accountancy & Professional Studies Escribir College of Advance Studies Professionals Academy of Commerce – Gujranwala Professionals Academy of Commerce – Khyber Campus Roots College International – DHA1 Campus Roots College International – G8 Campus SKANS School of Accountancy – Faislabad SKANS School of Accountancy – Gujranwala SKANS School of Accountancy – Islamabad SKANS School of Accountancy – Karachi SKANS School of Accountancy – Multan SKANS School of Accountancy – Peshawer SKANS School of Accountancy – Rawalpindi SKANS School of Accountancy – Shershah
LESOTHO Centre for Accounting Studies
MAURITIUS BSP School of Accountancy and Management London College of Accountancy Ltd
NIGERIA Finaquest Training Synergy Professionals The Executive Business School Ltd
SOUTH AFRICA Boston City Campus & Business College Pty Ltd Emeritus Business College IBTC Professional Business Education (Distance Learning)
TANZANIA Financial Training Centre Ltd
UGANDA Management & Accountancy Training Company Ltd
SRI LANKA Mercury Institute of Management Ltd Cosmopolitan College of Business and Technology (CCBT) (K-AIMS) Abet Institute of Management Studies Pvt Ltd Knowledge Base Business Studies Pvt Ltd
ZAMBIA Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies
ACCA TUITION PROVIDER DIRECTORY Access the directory for Approved Learning Partner courses, qualifications and contact details ▶
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
RESOURCES all you need to know
From exam entry to recording practical experience, the following pages contain essential information for your journey to membership
48 staying connected
ACCA Connect: contact us 24/7
Exam fees and ways to pay
49 RULES AND REGULATIONS
Information about ACCA’s Rulebook and recent disciplinary proceedings
49 MY EXPERIENCE
Your online tool for recording practical experience
49 EXAM ENTRY
Information on entering for exams and claiming exemptions
50 OXFORD BROOKEs UNIVERSITY bsc (hons) Information about the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University
50 ACCA STUDENTS NOW ONLINE
Web-based system for exam results and other student services
APPROVED LEARNING PARTNERS
Search for a tuition provider using ACCA’s Tuition Provider Directory
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org +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: email@example.com myACCA: https://portal.accaglobal.com Student Accountant | FEBRUARY 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
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.
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
READ THE ACCA RULEBOOK online
SHOULD I CLAIM? ▶
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
HOW DO I CLAIM? ▶
Computer-based exams (CBEs) are available for the first seven of the Foundation level exams – Papers FA1, MA1, FA2, MA2, FAB, FMA and FFA (but not the specialist papers) – as well as for the Knowledge module exams (Papers F1, F2 and F3) of the ACCA Qualification. Sitting CBEs provides the following benefits: ¤ Flexibility – You are not restricted to June and December paper-based exam sessions as you can sit CBEs at any time of year. CBEs also offer flexibility for re-sits, which you can take at any time. There is no restriction on the number of times you can resit the exams by CBE. ¤ Instant results – Your result is displayed on the computer screen at the end of the exam. ¤ Results – Your results are uploaded by the licensed centre and will be transferred to your ACCA account within 72 hours. FIND OUT MORE
EXAM ENTRY information ACCA’s exam entry process offers you flexibility and can save you money. 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.
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 ▶
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 | FEBRUARY 2013
ACCA STUDENTS GO ONLINE ACCA rolls out web-based system for exam results and other student services ACCA has launched a fully online service for registration, exam entry, exam dockets, exam results and certificates to increase processing speed and reliability. Since 1 August 2012, these services have been 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 joined Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and the Ukraine, all of which converted to paperless status in 2011. 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. Students in all countries can print an official notification of their results via myACCA. Paper copies of exam results will not be issued to students in the above listed locations.