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ACA PROFESSIONAL STAGE SYLLABUS 2011

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

CONTENTS
Contents ............................................................................................................................................. 2 ACA Overview .................................................................................................................................... 3 Professional Stage.............................................................................................................................. 4 The Link to Work Experience .............................................................................................................. 5 Skills Progression through the ACA qualification................................................................................. 6 Accounting .......................................................................................................................................... 7 Assurance........................................................................................................................................... 9 Business and Finance....................................................................................................................... 12 Law ................................................................................................................................................... 15 Management Information .................................................................................................................. 18 Principles of Taxation........................................................................................................................ 20 Financial Accounting AAT Top Up.................................................................................................. 23 Audit and Assurance......................................................................................................................... 25 Business Strategy ............................................................................................................................. 29 Financial Accounting......................................................................................................................... 32 Financial Reporting ........................................................................................................................... 34 Financial Management...................................................................................................................... 37 Taxation............................................................................................................................................ 39 APPENDIX 1: Technical knowledge.................................................................................................. 43 Assurance and Audit......................................................................................................................... 44 Business Analysis ............................................................................................................................. 46 Ethics Codes and Standards............................................................................................................. 49 Financial Reporting ........................................................................................................................... 50 Differences between IFRS and UK GAAP......................................................................................... 51 Taxation............................................................................................................................................ 62

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

ACA OVERVIEW

Aim
The ACA qualification aims to ensure all newly qualified chartered accountants have the technical and professional skills to begin their career and from which to build their ongoing professional development.

Structure
The syllabus has been designed to develop core technical, commercial, and ethical skills and knowledge in a structured and rigorous manner. Progression through the ACA modules, in combination with integrated and monitored work experience, will equip and prepare students for the demanding multi-disciplinary case study. This final module assesses the highest level of analysis, synthesis and communication skills, commercial and ethical awareness and the application of professional judgement. The diagram above shows the twelve modules at the Professional Stage, where the focus is on the acquisition and application of technical skills and knowledge, and the Advanced Stage which comprises two technical integration modules and the Case Study. Ethics is embedded throughout the qualification and there are specific learning outcomes included in a number of the modules. The syllabus has been designed to ensure students understand the fundamental principles of ethics, can apply relevant ethical guidance and are able to recommend actions to resolve ethical issues.

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

PROFESSIONAL STAGE
Aim
The Professional Stage of the ACA qualification forms the first stage of formal learning and assessment for the ACA and, as such, aims to provide students with the technical skills and underpinning knowledge to perform their work as trainee chartered accountants in a variety of environments. The Professional Stage syllabus has been constructed with the following aims: to ensure that the required technical knowledge and skills can be learnt and assessed in a comprehensive and rigorous manner to allow the timing of exam study to be aligned with the knowledge and skills needed in the work place to enable appropriate educational progression and reinforcement during the study and assessment process.

Structure and progression


There are twelve modules in total. Six Knowledge modules focus on the introduction and development of core knowledge and skills. The other six Application modules further develop the knowledge and skills and assess practical technical application. The Professional Stage as a whole forms the foundation of technical knowledge that is further developed and integrated at the Advanced Stage.

Syllabus
This document presents the learning outcomes for the twelve Professional Stage modules. The learning outcomes in each module should be read in conjunction with the relevant knowledge tables in Appendix 1.

Assessment
The six Knowledge modules will be examined using computer based assessments. Each computer based assessment will be 1.5 hours in length. The six Application modules will be examined using traditional paper based assessments. Each paper based exam will be 2.5 hours in length. The AAT Top Up paper in Financial Accounting will be 1 hour in length.

Flexibility
There will be no regulations stipulating the order in which students must attempt the Professional Stage modules, allowing employers to design training programmes according to business needs. Students will be permitted a maximum of four attempts at each module.

Credit for prior learning


Students with accounting and business related qualifications should visit the ICAEW website for further information on applying for credit against one or more of the ACA modules.

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

THE LINK TO WORK EXPERIENCE

The work experience requirements for students provide a framework to develop appropriate work experience, completion of which is essential in order to qualify for membership. Work experience is also an essential component for examination preparation. The work experience framework is built around five key skills:
Business awareness being aware of the internal and external issues and pressure for

change facing an organisation and assessing an organisations performance.


Technical and functional expertise applying syllabus learning outcomes and where

appropriate, further technical knowledge to real situations.


Ethics and professionalism recognising issues, using knowledge and experience to

assess implications, making confident decisions and recommendations. Professional judgement making recommendations and adding value with appropriate, targeted and relevant solutions. Personal effectiveness developing, maintaining and exercising skills and personal attributes necessary for the role and responsibilities. The examinations, and in particular the Advanced Stage, embrace all of these skills. The link between work experience and the examinations is demonstrated by the skills development grids produced by the examiners. This will help students see that their practical knowledge and skills gained in the workplace feed back into the exam room and vice-versa. The message is clear students should use the work experience framework and skills development grids to ensure success in exam performance and success in their workplace performance
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SKILLS PROGRESSION THROUGH THE ACA QUALIFICATION


Assessed skills Professional Stage Knowledge modules Application modules
Simple scenarios Single information source provided Structured application of non-integrated knowledge

Advanced Stage Technical Integration Case Study


Complex scenarios Multiple information sources provided Structured application of integrated and nonintegrated knowledge and experience Tools inferred by nature of problem Specified integrated and non-integrated problems Specified in complex scenario Options included in complex scenario Alternative(s) provided Specified conclusions and recommendations in complex scenarios Short written professional presentations Unstructured complex business scenarios Multiple information sources including own research Unstructured application of integrated knowledge and experience Unspecified tools Defined output but unspecified problems Underlying requirement within complex scenario Balanced judgement of priorities and risks in unstructured scenario Alternatives identified using professional experience Conclusions and recommendations supported by own evidence Professional report with appendices and executive summary

Assimilating and using information Understanding the subject Specific issues matter and identifying issues Accessing, evaluating and Information/data as provided managing information Using technical knowledge Highly structured application and professional experience of non-integrated knowledge Structuring problems and solutions Using analytical tools Specified tools Analysing and evaluating Highly specified tasks problems Applying judgement Assessing quality of Objective testing information Assessing options and Options given priorities including ethical issues Considering other Not assessed perspectives Conclusions and recommendations and communication Drawing conclusions and Not assessed making recommendations Presenting data and written work Prescribed exam format

Specified tools Specified non-integrated problems Specified in simple scenario Options included in simple scenario Possible alternative provided Specified conclusions and recommendations in simple scenarios Exam requirements, including some professional presentation

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

ACCOUNTING
Module aim
To ensure that students have a sound understanding of the techniques of double entry accounting and can apply its principles in recording transactions, adjusting financial records and preparing non-complex financial statements. On completion of this module, students will be: proficient in the use of double entry accounting techniques and the maintenance of accounting records able to identify and correct omissions and errors in accounting records and financial statements able to specify the components of financial statements and prepare and present noncomplex accounts for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Maintaining financial records 2 Adjustments to accounting records and financial statements 3 Preparing financial statements Weighting (%) 30 35 35 100 The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Financial Reporting table in Appendix 1. 1 Maintaining financial records Candidates will be proficient in the use of double entry accounting techniques and the maintenance of accounting records. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. specify why an entity maintains financial records and prepares financial statements b. identify the sources of information for the preparation of accounting records and financial c. statements d. record and account for transactions and events resulting in income, expenses, assets, liabilities e. and equity in accordance with the appropriate basis of accounting and f. the laws, regulations and accounting standards applicable to the financial statements g. record and account for changes in the ownership structure and ownership interests in h. an entity i. prepare a trial balance from accounting records and identify the uses of the trial balance.

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

2 Adjustments to accounting records and financial statements Candidates will be able to identify and correct omissions and errors in accounting records and financial statements. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify omissions and errors in accounting records and financial statements and demonstrate how the required adjustments will affect profits and/or losses b. correct omissions and errors in accounting records and financial statements using control account reconciliations and suspense accounts c. prepare an extended trial balance d. prepare journals for nominal ledger entry and to correct errors in draft financial statements. 3 Preparing financial statements Candidates will be able to specify the components of financial statements, and prepare and present non-complex accounts for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the main components of a set of financial statements and specify their purpose and interrelationship b. specify the key aspects of the accrual basis of accounting, cash accounting and break-up basis of accounting c. prepare and present a statement of financial position, income statement and statement of cash flows (or extracts therefrom) from the accounting records and trial balance in a format which satisfies the information requirements of the entity.

ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

ASSURANCE
Module aim
To ensure that students understand the assurance process and fundamental principles of ethics, and are able to contribute to the assessment of internal controls and gathering of evidence on an assurance engagement. On completion of this module, students will be able to: explain the concept of assurance, why assurance is required and the reasons for assurance engagements being carried out by appropriately qualified professionals explain the nature of internal controls and why they are important, document an organisations internal controls and identify weaknesses in internal control systems select sufficient and appropriate methods of obtaining assurance evidence and recognise when conclusions can be drawn from evidence obtained or where issues need to be referred to a senior colleague understand the importance of ethical behaviour to a professional and explain issues relating to integrity, objectivity, conflicts of interest, conflicts of loyalty, confidentiality and independence.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 The concept, process and need for assurance 2 Internal controls 3 Gathering evidence on an assurance engagement 4 Professional ethics Weighting (%) 20 25 35 20 100 The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Assurance and Audit and Ethics Standards tables in Appendix 1. 1 The concept, process and need for assurance Candidates will be able to explain the concept of assurance, why assurance is required and the reasons for assurance engagements being carried out by appropriately qualified professionals. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. define the concept of assurance b. state why users desire assurance reports and provide examples of the benefits gained from them such as to assure the quality of an entitys published corporate responsibility or sustainability report. c. compare the functions and responsibilities of the different parties involved in an assurance engagement d. compare the purposes and characteristics of, and levels of assurance obtained from, different assurance engagements

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e. f.

g. h.

identify the issues which can lead to gaps between the outcomes delivered by the assurance engagement and the expectations of users of the assurance reports, and suggest how these can be overcome define the assurance process, including: - obtaining the engagement - continuous risk assessment - engagement acceptance - the scope of the engagement - planning the engagement - performing the engagement - obtaining evidence - evaluation of results of assurance work - concluding and reporting on the engagement - reporting to the engaging party - keeping records of the work performed recognise the need to plan and perform assurance engagements with an attitude of professional scepticism define the concept of reasonable assurance.

2 Internal controls Candidates will be able to explain the nature of internal controls and why they are important, document an organisations internal controls and identify weaknesses in internal control systems. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. state the reasons for organisations having effective systems of control b. identify the fundamental principles of effective control systems c. identify the main areas of a business that need effective control systems d. identify the components of internal control in both manual and IT environments, including: - the overall control environment - preventative and detective controls - internal audit e. define and classify different types of internal control, with particular emphasis upon those which impact upon the quality of financial information f. show how specified internal controls mitigate risk and state their limitations g. identify internal controls for an organisation in a given scenario h. identify internal control weaknesses in a given scenario i. identify, for a specified organisation, the sources of information which will enable a sufficient record to be made of accounting or other systems and internal controls. 3 Gathering evidence on an assurance engagement Candidates will be able to select sufficient and appropriate methods of obtaining assurance evidence and recognise when conclusions can be drawn from evidence obtained or where issues need to be referred to a senior colleague. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. state the reasons for preparing and keeping documentation relating to an assurance engagement b. identify and compare the different methods of obtaining evidence from the use of tests of control and substantive procedures, including analytical procedures c. recognise the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods of obtaining evidence d. identify the situations within which the different methods of obtaining evidence should and should not be used e. compare the reliability of different types of assurance evidence f. select appropriate methods of obtaining evidence from tests of control and from substantive procedures for a given business scenario
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g. h. i.

recognise when the quantity and quality of evidence gathered from various tests and procedures is of a sufficient and appropriate level to draw reasonable conclusions on which to base a report identify the circumstances in which written confirmation of representations from management should be sought and the reliability of such confirmation as a form of assurance evidence recognise issues arising whilst gathering assurance evidence that should be referred to a senior colleague.

4 Professional ethics Candidates will be able to understand the importance of ethical behaviour to a professional and identify issues relating to integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, professional behaviour and independence. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. state the role of ethical codes and their importance to the profession b. recognise the differences between a rules based ethical code and one based upon a set of principles c. recognise how the principles of professional behaviour protect the public and fellow professionals d. identify the key features of the system of professional ethics adopted by IFAC and ICAEW e. identify the fundamental principles underlying the IFAC and the ICAEW code of ethics f. recognise the importance of integrity and objectivity to professional accountants, identifying situations that may impair or threaten integrity and objectivity g. suggest courses of action to resolve ethical conflicts relating to integrity and objectivity h. respond appropriately to the request of an employer to undertake work outside the confines of an individuals expertise or experience i. recognise the importance of confidentiality and identify the sources of risks of accidental disclosure of information j. identify steps to prevent the accidental disclosure of information k. identify situations in which confidential information may be disclosed l. define independence and recognise why those undertaking an assurance engagement are required to be independent of their clients m. identify the following threats to the fundamental ethical principles and the independence of assurance providers: - self-interest threat - self-review threat - management threat - advocacy threat - familiarity threat - intimidation threat n. identify safeguards to eliminate or reduce threats to the fundamental ethical principles and the independence of assurance providers o. suggest how a conflict of loyalty between the duty a professional accountant has to their employer and the duty to their profession could be resolved.

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BUSINESS AND FINANCE


Module aim
To provide students with an understanding of how businesses operate and how accounting and finance functions support businesses in achieving their objectives. On completion of this module, students will be able to: identify the general objectives of businesses and the functions and tasks that businesses perform in order to meet their objectives specify the nature, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of different forms of business and organisational structure identify the purpose of financial information produced by businesses, specify how accounting and finance functions support business operations, and identifying sources and methods of financing for businesses and individuals specify the role of the accountancy profession and why the work of the profession is important identify the role that governance plays in the management of a business and specify how a business can promote corporate governance, sustainability, corporate responsibility and an ethical culture specify the impact on a business of the economic environment in which it operates.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Business objectives and functions 2 Business and organisational structures 3 The role of finance 4 The role of the accountancy profession 5 Governance, sustainability, corporate responsibility and ethics 6 External environment Weighting (%) 30 25 15 15 15 100

The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Ethics Standards table in Appendix 1. 1 Business objectives and functions Candidates will be able to identify the general objectives of businesses and the functions and tasks that businesses perform in order to meet their objectives. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. state the general objectives of businesses b. state the general objectives of strategic management and specify the strategic management process and interrelationship between a businesss vision, mission and strategic objectives c. identify the various functional areas within businesses and show how the functions assist the achievement of business objectives d. identify the nature and functions of organisational management, human resources management and operations management and show how these are influenced by human behaviour e. identify the relationship between a businesss overall strategy and its functional strategies
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f. g. h. i.

identify the nature and purpose of strategic plans, business plans and operational plans specify how a strategic plan is converted into fully-integrated business and operational plans identify the main components of the risk management process and show how they operate identify the key issues in relation to risk and crisis management.

2 Business and organisational structures Candidates will be able to specify the nature, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of different forms of business and organisational structure. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the differences between businesses carried out by sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, alliances and groups, and show the advantages and disadvantages of each of these business structures b. identify the differences between unincorporated businesses and companies, and show the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation. c. identify different organisational structures and specify their advantages and disadvantages 3 The role of finance Candidates will be able to identify the purpose of financial information produced by businesses, specify how accounting and finance functions support business operations, and identify sources and methods of finances for businesses and individuals. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. specify the extent to which financial information: - provides for accountability of management to shareholders and other stakeholders - reflects business performance - is useful to users in making economic decisions - meets the information needs of national, social and economic contexts (e.g. national statistical information) b. specify how accounting and finance functions support businesses in pursuit of their objectives c. identify the main considerations in establishing and maintaining accounting and financial reporting functions and financial control processes d. identify, in the context of accounting and other systems, the issues surrounding: - information processing - information security - information management e. specify why the management of a business require information about performance measurement including non-routine areas such as in supporting an entitys sustainability management f. identify the accountants role in preparing and presenting information for the management of a business g. specify the relationship between a business and its bankers and other providers of financial products h. identify the characteristics, terms and conditions and role of alternative short, medium and long term sources of finance available to different businesses i. identify the processes by which businesses raise equity, capital and other long term finance j. identify appropriate methods of financing exports, including: - bills of exchange - letters of credit - export credit insurance k. specify the general objectives of personal financial management l identify the principles of personal financial management and the personal financial management process 4 The role of the accountancy profession
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Candidates will be able to specify the role of the accountancy profession and why the work of the profession is important. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the importance to the public interest of high quality, accurate financial reporting and assurance b. specify the rationale for key parts of the professions work and the links between technical competence and professional responsibility, including accounting principles, accounting standards, sound business management and the public interest c. specify the key features of the structure of the accountancy profession, the regulatory framework within which professional accountants work and the ways in which the accountancy profession interacts with other professions. 5 Governance, corporate responsibility and ethics Candidates will be able to identify the role that governance plays in the management of a business and specify how a business can promote corporate governance, sustainability, corporate responsibility and an ethical culture. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. state the reasons why governance is needed and identify the role that governance plays in the management of a business b. identify the key stakeholders and their governance needs for a particular business c. identify and show the distinction between the roles and responsibilities of those charged with corporate governance and those charged with management including the basics of the combined code on corporate governance d. specify how differences in national and business cultures affect corporate governance e. identify the roles and responsibilities of the members of the executive board, any supervisory board, the audit committee and others charged with corporate governance, internal audit and external audit f. identify the roles and responsibilities of those responsible within a business for internal audit and for the external audit relationship g. specify the nature of ethics, business ethics, sustainability and corporate responsibility h. specify the policies and procedures a business should implement in order to promote an ethical culture. 6 External environment Candidates will be able to specify the impact on a business of the environment in which it operates including the potential effects of sustainability issues In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. specify the signalling, rewarding and allocating effects of the price mechanism on business (including the concept of price elasticity) b. specify the potential types of failure of the market mechanism and their effects on business c. identify the key macroeconomic factors that affect businesses d. specify the principal effects of regulation upon businesses e. show how the needs of different stakeholders in a business (e.g. shareholders, the local community, employees, suppliers, customers) impact upon it f. specify the effects of key international legislation (including the Sarbanes- Oxley Act and trade restrictions) on businesses.

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LAW
Module aim
To provide students with an understanding of the principles of English law On completion of this module, students will be able to: explain the nature of contractual agreements, the agency relationship and the consequences of negligence understand the legal implications of incorporation, including the roles of shareholders and directors, and the main implications of insolvency law identify instances of criminal behaviour that may be encountered by professional accountants identify other key areas in which the law affects the role and work of the professional accountant.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 The impact of civil law on business and professional services 2 Company and insolvency law 3 The impact of criminal law on business and professional services 4 The impact of law in the professional context 1 The impact of civil law on business and professional services Candidates will be able to explain the nature of contractual agreements, the agency relationship and the consequences of negligence. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: Contract a. recognise when a legally binding contract exists between two parties and how a contract may be enforced b. identify the circumstances under which a contract can be terminated and possible remedies for breach of contract Agency c. identify the methods by which agency can be created d. identify the duties and rights of agents e. recognise the authority an agent has to enter into contracts on behalf of a principal, including express, implied and apparent authority; and that given to partners under legislation Negligence and liability f. identify instances and consequences of negligence (particularly negligent misstatement) in a given scenario g. identify instances and consequences of vicarious liability in a given scenario. Weighting (%) 35 40 10 15 100

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Company and insolvency law

Candidates will be able to understand the implications of incorporation, including the roles of shareholders and directors, and the main implications of insolvency law. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the differences between partnerships and companies and recognise the circumstances when the veil of incorporation can be lifted b. identify the procedures required to form a registered company or a limited liability partnership, including any practical considerations, and the nature and contractual force of a companys memorandum and articles of association and identify the advantages and disadvantages of off-the-shelf companies c. identify the administrative consequences of incorporation or the formation of a limited liability partnership including requirements regarding statutory books, accounts, meetings and the role of the Company Secretary d. identify the procedures for the issue of shares, including issues at a premium and preemption rights e. identify aspects of capital maintenance including reduction of capital redemption and purchase of a companys own shares financial assistance for the purchase of a companys own shares distribution of profits f. identify share transfer requirements and disclosure requirements g. recognise how a shareholder can influence the management of a company through meetings and resolutions, including shareholders rights to requisition a meeting h. identify the various statutory rights of shareholders to challenge the management of the company under the Companies Act 2006 and the Insolvency Act 1986 i. identify the rights and duties which a member of a limited liability partnership possesses j. identify the ways in which a director may be appointed and removed k. identify directors duties, explaining the consequences of any major breach l. identify the powers of directors and in what circumstances they will bind the company in a contract with third parties m. identify the nature of fixed and floating charges and the procedures for registering them n. identify the nature and function of receivership, an administration order, a compulsory and a voluntary winding up (including relevance of secured debt) o. identify the main implications of insolvency law, including: - the principal means of termination of companies or other business entities - the priorities on a liquidation of the distribution of assets including rights of creditors and employees (including secured assets) - bankruptcy and other responses to personal insolvency. 3 The impact of criminal law on business and professional services

Candidates will be able to identify instances of criminal behaviour that may be encountered by professional accountants. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify circumstances where an accountant will be protected from dismissal and victimisation if he raises concerns about malpractice in the workplace b. identify instances and consequences of fraud in a given scenario c. identify instances and consequences of bribery and corruption d. identify instances and consequences of money laundering and select appropriate courses of action for a professional accountant in accordance with international and national regulations and law e. recognise the relationships and interaction between legal principles, legislation, case law, ethics and ethical codes.
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The impact of law in the professional context

Candidates will be able to identify other key areas in which the law affects the role and work of the professional accountant. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: Information and its legal environment a. identify the key requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, on the use of personal information and how the act can affect the manner in which information systems are used by businesses. Employment law b. identify who is an employee and the main legal consequences of employment status c. identify the key features of employment contracts and recognise circumstances in which an employment contract may be terminated and the consequences arising d. identify when dismissal constitutes: - a wrongful dismissal - an unfair dismissal e. identify the circumstances where an employee can claim a statutory redundancy payment.

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MANAGEMENT INFORMATION
Module aim
To enable students to prepare essential financial information for the management of a business. On completion of this module, students will be able to: establish the costs associated with the production of products and provision of services and use them to determine prices select appropriate budgeting approaches and methods and prepare budgets identify key features of effective performance management systems, select appropriate performance measures and calculate differences between actual performance and standards or budgets identify and calculate relevant data for use in management decision making.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Costing and pricing 2 Budgeting and forecasting 3 Performance management 4 Management decision making 1 Costing and pricing Candidates will be able to establish the costs associated with the production of products and provision of services and use them to determine prices. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. recognise the use of cost information for different purposes b. classify costs as fixed, variable, direct or indirect c. calculate unit costs from information provided, using: - direct costing - absorption costing and reconcile the differences between the costs obtained d. select the most appropriate method of costing for a given product or service e. calculate the sales price for a given product or service using cost based pricing f. calculate transfer prices for specified sales to internal customers which take account of appropriate costs. 2 Budgeting and forecasting Candidates will be able to select appropriate budgeting approaches and methods and prepare budgets. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. apply forecasting techniques to assist management in performance measurement and planning b. prepare budgets, or extracts therefrom, from information supplied c. select the most appropriate of the following budgeting approaches and methods, taking into account their advantages and disadvantages for planning, control and motivation:
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Weighting (%) 25 25 25 25 100

d. e. f. g.

- bottom-up and top-down approaches to generating and managing budgets - activity-based, responsibility-based and product-based budget structures - zero-based and incremental budgeting prepare and/or comment upon a cash budget for a business which highlights the quantity and timing of cash surpluses and deficits calculate the cash cycle for a business and recognise its significance identify the constituent elements of working capital and treasury and specify the methods by which each element can be managed to optimise working capital and cash flows recognise how a business manages surpluses and deficits predicted in cash budgets.

3 Performance management Candidates will be able to identify key features of effective performance management systems, select appropriate performance measures and calculate differences between actual performance and standards or budgets. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the reasons for and key features of effective performance management systems b. select appropriate financial and non-financial performance measures which effectively encourage the business as a whole to meet its objectives c. identify the role of controls in ensuring effective performance management d. identify how performance measures and compliance measures are integrated into the general systems of control in businesses e. calculate differences between actual performance and standards or budgets in terms of price and volume effects and identify possible reasons for those differences f. calculate profits under direct, absorption or marginal costing and reconcile the results under these different methods. 4 Management decision making Candidates will be able to identify and calculate relevant data for use in management decision making. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. calculate the break even point, contribution and margin of safety for a given product or service b. allocate scarce resource to those products or services with the highest contribution per limiting factor c. calculate the net present value, internal rate of return, payback period or accounting rate of return for a given project d. identify and comment upon the advantages and disadvantages of the investment appraisal techniques specified in 4(c) above.

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PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION
Module aim
To enable students to understand the general objectives of tax and to calculate income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporation tax and VAT in straightforward scenarios. On completion of this module, students will be able to: explain the general objectives of tax, the influences upon the UK system of tax and the different types of tax in the UK recognise the ethical issues arising in the course of performing tax work and identify the obligations the UK system of tax imposes on taxpayers and the implications for taxpayers of non-compliance calculate the amounts of income tax owed by or owed to individuals and the amounts of national insurance payable calculate the capital gains tax payable by individuals and the chargeable gains subject to corporation tax calculate the corporation tax liabilities of companies calculate the amount of VAT owed by or owed to businesses.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Objectives and types of tax 2 Ethics and administration 3 Income tax and national insurance contributions 4 Capital gains tax and corporation tax on chargeable gains 5 Corporation tax 6 VAT Weighting (%) 26 20 14 20 20 100

The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Taxation table in Appendix 1. 1 Objectives and types of tax Candidates will be able to explain the general objectives of tax, the influences upon the UK system of tax and the different types of tax in the UK. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the objectives of tax in general terms of economic, social justice and environmental issues, the range of tax opportunities open to the government and the relative advantages of different types of tax in meeting the governments objectives b. recognise the impact of external influences, including EU tax policies, on UK tax objectives and policies c. classify entities as individuals, partnerships, or companies for tax purposes and state how they are taxed d. identify who is liable for the following taxes, how the taxes apply to income, transactions and assets, identify the government bodies responsible for the taxes, and determine when an individual or entity comes within the scope of the taxes: - capital gains tax - corporation tax
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e.

- income tax - national insurance - VAT recognise the importance of the budget cycle, tax year and the following sources of UK tax law and practice: - legislation - case law - HM Revenue & Customs manuals, statements of practice and press releases Ethics and administration

Candidates will be able to recognise ethical issues arising in the course of performing tax work and identify the obligations the UK system of tax imposes on taxpayers and the implications for taxpayers of non-compliance. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify the guidance given in the IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and ICAEW Code Ethics in relation to a tax practice with regard to: - disclosure of information - conflict of interest - confidentiality - HM Revenue & Customs errors - money laundering - tax avoidance and tax evasion b. identify the records which companies and individuals must retain for tax purposes and state the periods for which the records must be retained c. identify the key features of the PAYE and national insurance system and calculate PAYE tax codes for employees d. identify the key features of the self assessment system for both companies and individuals e. determine, in straightforward cases, due dates for: - companies, sole traders, partners and individuals tax returns, tax payments and payments on account - businesses VAT returns and payments - employers PAYE and national insurance returns and payments f. identify and calculate the interest and penalties due for: - late submissions of and/or incorrect returns, and - late and/or incorrect payments of tax g. identify the periods within which HM Revenue & Customs can enquire into a taxpayers returns or other information and tax liabilities and recognise the taxpayers right of appeal and the process for dealing with disputes. 3 Income tax and national insurance contributions

Candidates will be able to calculate the amounts of income tax owed by or owed to individuals and the amounts of national insurance payable. a. b. c. d. recognise the main sources of taxable and non-taxable income calculate the personal allowance available to an individual according to personal circumstances including personal age allowances and married couples allowance calculate assessable employment income for an employee or director, including taxable and exempt benefits recognise the badges of trade

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e. f. g. h. i. j.

allocate given items of business expenditure as allowable or disallowable for tax purposes and calculate the adjusted trading profits after capital allowances on plant and machinery of a sole trader or partnership allocate the tax adjusted profits of a partnership to each partner and calculate the final assessable profits for each partner for any given tax year calculate the assessable trading profits for a new unincorporated business and identify the overlap profits on the commencement of trade calculate the final assessable trading profits for an unincorporated business ceasing to trade calculate total taxable income and the income tax payable or repayable for employed and self-employed individuals. calculate the total national insurance contributions payable by employees, employers and self-employed individuals.

4 Capital gains tax and corporation tax on chargeable gains Candidates will be able to calculate the capital gains tax payable by individuals and the chargeable gains subject to corporation tax. a. b. c. classify persons, assets and disposals as either chargeable or exempt for capital gains purposes calculate the chargeable gains and losses on the disposal of assets, including indexation where appropriate calculate total taxable gains and capital gains tax payable, utilising capital losses to reduce the liability

5 Corporation tax Candidates will be able to calculate the corporation tax liabilities of companies. a. b. c. d. identify chargeable accounting periods for a company recognise the effect of having one or more associated companies on corporation tax payable allocate given items of business expenditure as allowable or disallowable for tax purposes and calculate the adjusted trading profits after capital allowances on plant and machinery calculate the profits chargeable to corporation tax and the corporation tax payable for a company resident in the UK which has no associated companies and an accounting period of 12 months or less.

6 VAT Candidates will be able to calculate the amount of VAT owed by or owed to businesses. a. b. c. d. e. f. classify supplies in given straightforward situations as exempt, zero-rated, standard-rated, subject to a reduced rate of 5% or outside the scope of VAT recognise the implications of supplies being classified as standard-rated, zero-rated or exempt identify when a business could or should register or deregister for VAT and state the time limits determine the tax point for a supply of goods or services state the principles of VAT payable or repayable on the supply of goods or services by a taxable person and calculate the monthly, quarterly and annual VAT payable or repayable by a business state the alternative schemes for payment of VAT by businesses.

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FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AAT TOP UP


Module Aim
To enable students to prepare a set of consolidated financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) On completion of this module, students will be able to:
Identify the circumstances in which entities are required to present consolidated financial

statements and prepare and present them in accordance with IFRS. Learning outcomes apply to non-specialised profit-oriented entities.

Specification grids
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module. Syllabus area 1 Preparation of consolidated financial statements 1 Preparation of consolidated financial statements Candidates will be able to identify the circumstances in which entities are required to present consolidated financial statements and prepare and present them in conformity with IFRS. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. b. c. d. identify and describe the circumstances in which an entity is required to prepare and present consolidated financial statements identify the laws, regulations, accounting standards and other requirements applicable to the legal entity and consolidated financial statements of an entity identify from financial and other data any subsidiary or associate of an entity according to the international financial reporting framework calculate from financial and other data the amounts to be included in an entitys consolidated financial statements in respect of its new, continuing and discontinuing interests in subsidiaries and associates (excluding partial disposals of subsidiaries and disposals of associates) according to the international financial reporting framework prepare and present the consolidated financial statements, (excluding the preparation of a ` full consolidated statement of cash flows) or extracts therefrom, (including extracts from a consolidated statement of cash flows) of an entity in accordance with its accounting policies and the international financial reporting framework, using calculated amounts and other information Weighting (%) 100

e.

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International Financial Reporting Standards The knowledge level of the financial reporting standards in respect of the presentation of consolidated financial statements is as follows: Title IAS7 Statement of Cash Flows IAS27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements IAS28 Investments in Associates IAS36 Impairment of Assets IAS38 Intangible Assets IFRS3 Business Combinations Key: Level B A working knowledge with a broad understanding of the subject matter and a level of experience in the application thereof sufficient to apply the subject matter in straightforward circumstances. AAT Top Up B B B B B B

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AUDIT AND ASSURANCE


Module aim
To develop students understanding of the critical aspects of managing an assurance engagement (including audit engagements): acceptance, planning, managing, concluding and reporting. On completion of this module, students will be able to: understand and advise on the regulatory, professional and ethical issues relevant to those carrying out an assurance engagement understand the processes involved in accepting and managing assurance engagements, and how quality assurance processes mitigate the risks to those conducting the engagement plan assurance engagements in accordance with the terms of the engagements and appropriate standards conclude and report on assurance engagements in accordance with the terms of the engagements and appropriate standards.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Legal, ethical and current issues 2 Accepting and managing engagements 3 Planning assurance engagements 4 Concluding and reporting on assurance engagements Weighting (%) 20 15 40 25 100

The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Assurance and Audit and Ethics tables in Appendix 1. For clarity, learning outcomes applicable to all types of assurance engagements (including audit) are separated from those that are relevant only to audit engagements. 1 Legal, ethical and current issues Candidates will be able to understand and advise on the regulatory, professional and ethical issues relevant to those carrying out an assurance engagement. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: All assurance engagements a. identify and advise upon the professional and ethical issues that may arise during an assurance engagement b. recognise the professional and ethical issues that may arise during an assurance engagement, explain the relevance and importance of these issues and evaluate the relative merits of different standpoints taken in debate c. judge when to raise legal and ethical matters arising from assurance work with senior colleagues for review and possible referral to external parties d. discuss the purpose of laws, standards and other requirements surrounding assurance work e. explain the standard-setting process used by national and international (IAASB) bodies and the authority of the national and international standards
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f. g.

explain, in non-technical language, significant current assurance issues being dealt with by the national standard-setting body and the IAASB explain, using appropriate examples, the main ways in which national legislation affects assurance

Audit engagements h. explain the main ways in which national legislation affects the scope and nature of the audit and the appointment and removal of auditors (including the relationship between the law and audit standards) i. explain the principles behind different auditing requirements in different jurisdictions and describe how national and international bodies are working to harmonise auditing requirements, including requirements to report on internal controls (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) j describe the principal causes of audit failure and their effects and the gap between outcomes delivered by audit engagements and the expectations of users of audit reports. 2 Accepting and managing engagements Candidates will be able to understand the processes involved in accepting and managing assurance engagements and how quality assurance processes mitigate the risks to those conducting the engagement. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: All assurance engagements a. identify the legal, professional and ethical considerations that an individual or firm must consider before accepting a specified assurance engagement b. identify the sources of liability (including professional negligence) arising from an assurance engagement and their impact upon the conduct of the engagement c. discuss the issues which underlie the agreement of the scope and terms of an assurance engagement (new or continuing) d. formulate the approach suitable for management of the assurance engagement e. discuss the principles and purpose of quality control of assurance engagements f. demonstrate how the assurance function within an organisation can be monitored procedures for review g. describe how quality can be monitored and controlled through procedures external to the organisation Audit engagements h. discuss the process by which an auditor obtains an audit engagement i. discuss the issues and risks that an individual auditor or audit firm must consider with regard to the acceptance of an audit engagement (new or continuing) with a client, including terms of engagement and their documentation k. identify the legal, professional and ethical considerations that an individual auditor or audit firm must consider before accepting a specified audit engagement.

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3 Planning assurance engagements Candidates will be able to plan assurance engagements in accordance with the terms of the engagements and appropriate standards. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: All assurance engagements a. explain, in the context of a given scenario, why it is important to have a knowledge and understanding of the business when planning an engagement b. identify ways of gaining knowledge and understanding of a clients business c. recognize the need on occasion to bring in expertise from other parties such as experts in sustainability management to support assurance processes d identify the risks arising from, or affecting, a given set of business processes and circumstances and assess their implications for the engagement e identify the risks arising from error, fraud and non-compliance with law and regulations and assess their implications for the engagement f. assess significant business risks identified for their potential impact upon an organisation, in particular their potential impact on performance measurement g. identify the components of risk for a specified assurance engagement h. assess the impact of risk and materiality on the engagement plan, including the nature, timing and extent of assurance procedures, for a given organisation i. discuss the benefits and limitations of analytical procedures at the planning stage j. determine an approach appropriate for an engagement for a specified organisation which addresses: - possible reliance on controls (including those within IT systems) - possible reliance on the work of internal audit or other experts - possible reliance on the work of another auditor - probable extent of tests of control and of substantive procedures, including analytical procedures - nature and extent of client-generated information - probable number, timing, staffing and location of assurance visits - the assurance of entities published sustainability and corporate responsibility reports Audit engagements k. identify the components of audit risk for a specified audit engagement, including the breakdown of audit risk into inherent risk, control risk and detection risk l. outline the aspects of employment and social security law which are relevant to statutory audit m. discuss the differences between the audit of a non-specialised profit oriented entity and the audit of a given specialised profit oriented entity n. discuss the differences between the audit of a non-specialised profit oriented entity and the audit of a given not-for-profit entity o. specify and explain the steps necessary to plan, perform and conclude and report on the audit of the financial statements of a non-specialised profit oriented entity in accordance with the terms of the engagement including appropriate auditing standards. 4 Concluding and reporting on assurance engagements Candidates will be able to conclude and report on assurance engagements in accordance with the terms of the engagements and appropriate standards. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: All assurance engagements a. describe the nature and timing of specific procedures designed to identify subsequent events that may require adjustment or disclosure in relation to the matters being reported on
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b. c. d.

e. f.

evaluate, quantitatively and qualitatively (including use of analytical procedures), the results and conclusions obtained from assurance tests and procedures draw conclusions on the ability to report on an assurance engagement which are consistent with the results of the assurance work draft suitable extracts for an assurance report (including any report to the management issued as part of the engagement) in relation to a specified organisation on the basis of given information, including in the extracts (where appropriate) statements of facts, their potential effects, and recommendations for action relevant to the needs and nature of the organisation being reported upon advise on reports to be issued to those responsible for governance in accordance with International Standards on Auditing, legislation, regulation and codes of corporate governance judge when to refer reporting matters for specialist help

Audit engagements g. draw conclusions on the ability to report on an audit engagement, including the opinion for a statutory audit, which are consistent with the results of the audit work h. explain the elements (both explicit and implicit) of the auditors report issued in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing and statutory requirements and recommend the nature of an audit opinion to be given in such a report i. draft suitable extracts for an audit report (including any report to the management issued as part of the engagement) in relation to a specified organisation on the j. basis of given information, including in the extracts (where appropriate) statements of facts, their potential effects, and recommendations for action relevant to the needs and nature of the organisation being reported upon.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY
Module aim
To provide students with an understanding of how businesses develop and implement strategy. On completion of this module, students will be able to: identify and analyse the consequences of a businesss current objectives, market position and direction evaluate the likely consequences of strategic choices and recommend strategies to meet the objectives of a business develop a business plan to achieve a businesss strategic objectives, recommend an appropriate organisational structure and explain the process of effective change management.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Strategic analysis 2 Strategic choice 3 Implementation and monitoring of strategy 1 Strategic analysis Candidates will be able to analyse and identify the consequences of a businesss current objectives, market position and direction. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. evaluate a businesss purpose, in terms of its stated mission, objectives and critical success factors, highlighting omissions, inconsistencies and weaknesses in its strategic management systems and considering the different objectives of stakeholders b. analyse for a given situation the external factors which may impact upon a businesss performance and position, identifying significant issues in areas such as: - sustainability issues - global macroeconomic forces - international trade and financial systems - government policies - industry developments - cultural environment - stakeholder impact - current markets - markets for finance, labour and other resources c. analyse a businesss current markets and competitive strategy in sufficient detail for decisions to be made, drawing conclusions consistent with the data and results and highlighting relevant issues in terms of their likely impact on the strategy of the business Weighting (%) 35 35 30 100

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d.

e. f. g.

identify the significance and effect of the internal factors in a given situation which affect or may influence a businesss ability to achieve its chosen strategy, including its: - current resources - product/service portfolio - organisational and operational capabilities (including core competencies existing business processes, human resource capabilities and information systems capabilities) analyse the governance structure of a business identifying strengths and weaknesses identify the risk attached to a businesss present position, considering all relevant factors (including attitudes to risk). assess a business current position and performance from both a financial perspective and a non-financial perspective, using a variety of information sources and data analysis.

2 Strategic choice Candidates will be able to evaluate the likely consequences of strategic choices and recommend strategies to meet the objectives of a business. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify and describe in a given scenario the alternative strategies available to a business b. analyse financial and other data in order to provide information for strategic decision making c. identify the implications for stakeholders, including shareholder value, of choice between strategies d. identify the risks attached to proposed courses of action in a given situation, considering all relevant factors (including attitudes to risk) stating all assumptions made and identifying strategies for managing risk e. show, in a given scenario, how a business chooses from competing strategies in order to maximise the achievement of its key objectives, including those relating to corporate responsibility and sustainability f. evaluate the ethical implications of a businesss strategies and operations including those for the organisation and for individuals g. choose for a given scenario a strategy or combination of strategies which will achieve the businesss objectives and take account of known constraints, including stakeholder risk preferences h. explain, in a given scenario, how products and services must evolve in the face of changing consumer demand i. explain, using information provided, how to position particular products and services in the market place to maximise competitive advantage and develop a marketing strategy 3 Implementation and monitoring of strategy Candidates will be able to develop a business plan to achieve a businesss strategic objectives, demonstrate how data and information can be used to help implement and monitor strategy recommend an appropriate organisational structure and explain the process of effective change management. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. evaluate, in a given scenario, the functional strategies necessary to achieve a businesss overall strategy. b. evaluate the different types of organisational structure and recommend an appropriate structure for a given strategy c. identify the steps needed for a given business to enable it to meet the appropriate regulations, codes of conduct and disclosure requirements in respect of its governance d. identify methods of further developing a specific business which take account of positional analysis and risk and would be most likely to achieve the businesss strategic objectives, and justify the methods selected e. draft a simple business plan, or extracts therefrom, which will achieve given or implied objectives
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f. g. h. i.

critically assess an entitys business plan explain and demonstrate how financial and non financial data can be analysed in order to implement and manage a businesss strategy and to monitor the performance of its projects, divisions and other strategic units explain and demonstrate how a business can use an information system to implement and monitor a strategy in order to create competitive advantage identify in a given situation the key issues which should be addressed by the management of a business during the planning and implementation of change

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FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING
Module aim
To enable students to prepare a complete set of financial statements for single entities and for groups in conformity with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). On completion of this module, students will be able to: explain the contribution and inherent limitations of financial statements in meeting stakeholders needs for financial information and apply the International Accounting Standards Boards (IASB) conceptual framework for financial reporting prepare and present financial statements from accounting data for single entities, whether organised in corporate or in other forms, in conformity with IFRS identify the circumstances in which entities are required to present consolidated financial statements and prepare and present them in conformity with IFRS. Learning outcomes apply to non-specialised profit-oriented entities unless otherwise specified.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Accounting and reporting concepts 2 Preparation of single company financial statements 3 Preparation of consolidated financial statements Weighting (%) 10 55 35 100

The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Financial Reporting table in Appendix 1. 1 Accounting and reporting concepts Candidates will be able to explain the contribution and inherent limitations of financial statements in meeting stakeholders needs for financial information and apply the International Accounting Standards Boards conceptual framework for financial reporting. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. discuss the purpose of accounting regulations, standards and other requirements b. explain the objectives of financial statements, giving appropriate examples c. explain the qualitative characteristics of financial information and the constraints on such information, using appropriate examples to illustrate the explanation d. identify the financial effects of transactions in accordance with the IASB Framework e. explain the differences between financial statements produced using the accrual basis and those produced using the bases of cash accounting and break-up, performing simple calculations to illustrate the differences f. explain, in non-technical language, the different bases of measurement of the elements of the financial statements and the different definitions of capital and capital maintenance used in accrual basis financial statements, illustrating the explanation with simple calculations and examples g. explain and demonstrate the concepts and principles surrounding the consolidation of financial statements. 2 Preparation of single entity financial statements
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Candidates will be able to prepare and present financial statements from accounting data for single entities, whether organised in corporate or in other forms, in conformity with IFRS requirements. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify and describe the circumstances in which an entity is required to prepare and present statutory financial statements b. identify the laws, regulations, accounting standards and other requirements applicable to the statutory financial statements of an entity c. prepare and present the financial statements, or extracts therefrom, of an entity according to its accounting policies and appropriate international financial reporting standards d. identify the circumstances in which the use of IFRS, and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) for not-for-profit entities might be required e. calculate from financial and other data the amounts to be included in the equity section of the statement of financial position of a not-for-profit entity in accordance with its accounting policies and the appropriate financial reporting framework. 3 Preparation of consolidated financial statements Candidates will be able to identify the circumstances in which entities are required to present consolidated financial statements and prepare and present them in conformity with IFRS. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify and describe the circumstances in which an entity is required to prepare and present consolidated financial statements b. identify the laws, regulations, accounting standards and other requirements applicable to the legal entity and consolidated financial statements of an entity c. identify from financial and other data any subsidiary or associate of an entity according to the international financial reporting framework d. calculate from financial and other data the amounts to be included in an entitys consolidated financial statements in respect of its new, continuing and discontinuing interests in subsidiaries and associates (excluding partial disposals of subsidiaries and disposals of associates) according to the international financial reporting framework e. prepare and present the consolidated financial statements or extracts therefrom, of an entity in accordance with its accounting policies and the international financial reporting framework, using calculated amounts and other information.

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FINANCIAL REPORTING
Module aim
To enable students to prepare and present extracts from financial statements, including accounting policies, for entities undertaking a wide range of accounting transactions, and to conduct financial analysis. On completion of this module, students will be able to: explain the current issues in the regulatory framework for reporting and identify key ethical issues for an accountant undertaking work in accounting and reporting formulate accounting and reporting policies for single entities and groups prepare and present extracts from the single entity and consolidated financial statements for entities undertaking a wide range of accounting transactions in conformity with IFRS and accounting policies analyse and interpret financial statements and other financial information and draw appropriate conclusions. This module builds on the skills acquired in the Financial Accounting module.

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Current issues in the reporting framework 2 Formulation of accounting and reporting policies 3 Preparation and presentation of extracts from financial statements 4.Analysis and interpretation of financial information Weighting (%) 10 30 30 30 100

The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Financial Reporting table in Appendix 1. 1 Current issues in the reporting framework Candidates will be able to explain the current issues in the regulatory framework for reporting and identify key ethical issues for an accountant undertaking work in accounting and reporting. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. explain the standard-setting process used by national and international bodies (IASB) and the authority of the national and international standards, using appropriate examples as illustration b. explain the main ways in which national and international requirements affect financial reporting, performing simple calculations to illustrate the effects c. explain, in non-technical language and with appropriate examples, the current work to achieve convergence between UK GAAP and international reporting standards d. explain the sources of reporting requirements in different jurisdictions and the principles behind different reporting treatments, illustrating the principles with suitable calculations e. recognise the ethical and professional issues for a professional accountant undertaking work in and giving advice on accounting and financial reporting; explain the relevance and importance of these issues and evaluate the relative merits of different standpoints taken in debate. 2 Formulation of accounting and reporting policies

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Candidates will be able to formulate accounting and reporting policies for single entities and groups. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. formulate accounting and reporting policies in accordance with laws, regulations, accounting standards and other requirements for use in the single entity and consolidated financial statements b. illustrate how different methods of recognising and measuring assets and liabilities can affect the financial performance of the single entity or group c. discuss the concepts of fair presentation and true and fair view and the circumstances in which these concepts may override the detailed provisions of legislation or of accounting standards. 3 Preparation and presentation of extracts from financial statements Candidates will be able to prepare and present extracts from the single entity and consolidated financial statements for entities undertaking a wide range of accounting transactions in conformity with IFRS requirements and accounting policies. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. prepare and present extracts from the financial statements of a single entity undertaking a wide range of transactions according to its accounting policies, subject to the international financial reporting framework b. identify from financial and other data any subsidiary, associate or joint venture of a single entity according to the international financial reporting framework c. calculate, from financial and other data, the amounts to be included in an entitys consolidated financial statements in respect of its new, continuing and discontinuing interests (excluding partial disposals) in subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, according to the international financial reporting framework d. prepare and present extracts from the consolidated financial statements of an entity undertaking a wide range of transactions in accordance with its accounting policies and the international financial reporting framework e. define and calculate from information provided the distributable profits of an entity and allocations of distributable profit f. identify financial and operational information in documents containing audited financial statements (for example reports on operations by management or those responsible for governance, financial summaries and highlights) that could be relevant to the legal entity or consolidated financial statements, and assess whether those financial statements adequately reflect that information. 4 Interpretation of financial information Candidates will be able to analyse and interpret financial statements and other financial information, and draw appropriate conclusions. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. explain, in non-technical language and with suitable examples, the application of IFRS, UK GAAP and other accounting and disclosure requirements to information provided in single entity and consolidated financial statements b. select and calculate relevant indicators, including ratios (for example stock market ratios), trends and interrelationships, to analyse a single entitys or groups financial position, performance and changes in financial position c. identify the choice of accounting treatments adopted in financial statements and other financial information and assess how they affect the view presented d. identify and compare significant features in the information supplied for a given entity or entities, including inconsistencies between the results of analysis and the information supplied e. specify any additional information required for a meaningful analysis
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f.

draw conclusions and make inferences from an analysis which take account of significant features in the information supplied, and which allow for the limitations of the information supplied and the analytical methods used, economic conditions and the businesss circumstances.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Module aim
To enable students to recommend relevant options for financing a business, recognise and manage financial risks and make appropriate investment decisions. On completion of this module, students will be able to: identify capital requirements of businesses, assess financing options and recommend relevant methods of financing identify the financial risks facing a business and the principal methods of managing those risks apply appropriate investment appraisal techniques taking into account other factors affecting investment decisions

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Financing options 2 Managing financial risk 3 Investment decisions and valuation 1 Financing options Candidates will be able to identify capital requirements of businesses and assess financing options. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. explain the general objectives of financial management and describe the financial strategy process for a business b. describe the impact of financial markets and other external factors on a businesss financial strategy, using appropriate examples to illustrate the impacts c. describe the implications of terms included in loan agreements in a given scenario (e.g. representations and warranties; covenants; guarantees) d. explain the roles played by different stakeholders, advisors and financial institutions in the financial strategy selected by a business e. identify the possible conflicts of objectives between different stakeholders in a business f. compare the features of different means of making returns to owners and lenders, explain their effects on the business and its stakeholders, and recommend appropriate options in a given scenario g. identify and calculate a businesss future requirements for capital, taking into account current and planned activities referring to levels of uncertainty and making reasonable assumptions which are consistent with the situation h. assess the suitability of different financing options for a given business i. identify in the business and financial environment factors that may affect financing for investment in a different country j. compare the financing costs and benefits (including those that are not separately quantifiable) of various courses of action, using appropriate appraisal techniques k. calculate and interpret the costs of different financing methods (before and after tax) and the weighted average cost of capital l. explain, in non-technical terms and using appropriate examples, the effect of capital gearing/leverage on investors perception of risk and reward
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Weighting (%) 35 30 35 100

m. describe options for reconstruction (e.g. group reconstruction, spin-off, purchase of own shares, use of distributable profits) 2 Managing financial risk Candidates will be able to identify the financial risks facing a business and the principal methods of managing those risks. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. identify and describe the key financial risks facing a business in a given scenario b. explain how financial instruments (e.g. derivatives, hedging instruments) can be utilised to manage financial risks and describe the characteristics of those instruments c. explain different methods of managing interest rate exposure appropriate to a given situation and perform non-complex calculations to determine the cost of the hedge d. explain different methods of managing currency risks appropriate to a given situation and perform non-complex calculations to determine the cost of the hedge e. explain methods of managing other key financial risks and perform non-complex calculations to determine the cost of particular methods 3 Investment decisions and valuation Candidates will be able to apply appropriate investment appraisal techniques and calculate the value of shares and businesses In the assessment, candidates may be required to: a. select and justify investment appraisal techniques which are appropriate to the objectives and circumstances of a given business b. explain the investment decision making process c. select and justify an appropriate discount or interest rate for use in selected investment appraisal techniques from information supplied d. choose appropriate values to be used in selected appraisal techniques from information supplied, taking account of inflation and tax e. apply appraisal techniques and demonstrate how the interpretation of results from the techniques can be influenced by an assessment of risk f. recognise how the results of the appraisal of projects or groups of projects are affected by the accuracy of the data on which they are based and factors which could not be included in the computational analysis g. calculate the optimal investment plan when capital is restricted h. recommend and justify a course of action which is based upon the results of investment appraisal and consideration of relevant non-financial factors such as sustainability and which takes account of the limitations of the techniques being used i draft a straightforward investment and financing plan for a given business scenario. j value shares and businesses using income and asset based approaches (including performing appropriate sensitivity calculations)

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TAXATION
Module aim
To enable students to prepare tax computations and provide tax advice to individuals and companies in straightforward scenarios. On completion of this module, students will be able to: calculate the amount of tax that businesses owe to or are owed by the relevant authorities and provide practical tax advice calculate the amount of tax that individuals owe to or are owed by the relevant authorities and provide practical tax advice.

Taxes covered in this module


Capital gains tax Corporation tax Income tax Inheritance tax National insurance VAT

Specification grid
This grid shows the relative weightings of subjects within this module and should guide the relative study time spent on each. Over time the marks available in the assessment will equate to the weightings below, while slight variations may occur in individual assessments to enable suitably rigorous questions to be set. Syllabus area 1 Application of the principles of tax to businesses (companies, partnerships and sole traders) 2 Application of the principles of tax to individuals Weighting (%) 60 40 100

The following learning outcomes should be read in conjunction with the Taxation table in Appendix 1. 1 Application of the principles of tax to businesses Candidates will be able to calculate the amount of tax that businesses owe to or are owed by the relevant tax authorities and provide practical tax advice. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: Taxation of gains a. calculate the chargeable gains and losses on assets, including shares and securities and pre 31 March 1982 assets, taking account of indexation as appropriate b. describe the circumstances in which the following reliefs apply and calculate the amount of full or partial relief available in a given situation: - gift relief - incorporation relief - rollover relief - substantial shareholding exemption - entrepreneurs relief c. explain and illustrate the possible uses of capital losses d. calculate total taxable gains and tax payable thereon, utilising available reliefs and losses to reduce the liability.
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Trading profits e. explain the relevance of the distinction between revenue and capital for both receipts and expenses and apply the distinction in a given scenario f. recognise the effect on trading profits of the treatment of: - provisions - capitalised revenue expenditure - intangible assets g. calculate Schedule D Case I/trading profits or losses after adjustments and allowable deductions (including capital allowances on plant and machinery and industrial buildings). Unincorporated businesses h. calculate the assessable trading profits or losses of a partnership including after a change in the profit sharing ratio or change in partners, allocate the profits or losses to each partner including the allocation of notional profits and losses, and explain the loss relief restriction that applies to partners of a limited liability partnership i. calculate the assessable trading profits or losses for a new unincorporated business and identify the overlap profits on the commencement of trade j. calculate the final assessable trading profits or losses for an unincorporated business ceasing to trade k. calculate the assessable trading profits or losses of a continuing business following a change in accounting date l. explain and illustrate the possible uses of trading losses in a new or continuing business or a business ceasing to trade. Corporation tax m. recognise the effect of the following issues on corporation tax payable: - having a period of account less than or more than 12 months in length; and - having one or more associated companies; and - being a member of a group; and - being a close company n. explain and illustrate how losses may be used effectively by a company or group, and describe the effect of a change in the companys ownership on the use of its losses o. calculate the profits chargeable to corporation tax and the tax payable or repayable for companies, utilising trading losses to reduce the tax liability where appropriate. Application of the principles of VAT to business entities p. explain the VAT consequences of a transaction being classified as the transfer of a business as a going concern q. explain the VAT consequences of property transactions r. explain the VAT consequences of group registration for VAT s. explain the VAT consequences of imports and exports of goods and services to and from VAT registered and non-VAT registered entities in the EU t. evaluate the VAT implications of various courses of action, and provide practical and relevant tax advice in compliance with statutory obligations to help businesses achieve their stated objectives. Tax planning and advice u. identify legal and ethical issues arising from tax work undertaken, explain the significance of these issues and provide guidance in given scenarios v. identify investments which produce non-taxable income and/or chargeable gains and recognise when they might be appropriate for businesses w. identify investments and expenditure which reduce tax liability and recognise when they might be appropriate for businesses x. evaluate and quantify the tax implications of different courses of action and provide practical and relevant tax advice to help businesses achieve their stated objectives
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evaluate and quantify the tax implications for a company of being a member of a loss relief group and / or a chargeable gains group z. compare the tax implications and consequences of trading as a sole trader, partnership, company or group aa. provide practical and relevant tax planning advice, supporting it with reasonable arguments, stating any assumptions made and limitations on the advice given bb. discriminate between tax avoidance and tax evasion cc. judge when to refer matters for specialist help. 2 Application of the principles of tax to individuals Candidates will be able to calculate the amount of tax that individuals owe to or are owed by the relevant authorities and provide practical tax advice. In the assessment, candidates may be required to: Taxation of income a. calculate assessable employment income for an employee or director, taking into account expenses, allowable deductions and assessable benefits b. calculate taxable termination payments on the cessation of employment c. calculate taxable savings, income from property, dividend income, taxed income and investment income d. describe the principal aspects of the taxation of property income, including rent-a-room relief and premiums on short leases e. explain the alternative ways in which an individual can provide for retirement and calculate the tax relief available f. calculate total taxable income and the income tax and national insurance contributions payable or repayable for employees, company directors, partners and self-employed individuals, utilising trading losses to minimise tax liabilities where appropriate. Taxation of gains g. calculate the chargeable gains and losses on assets, including shares and securities and pre 31 March 1982 assets h. describe the circumstances in which the following reliefs apply and calculate the amount of full or partial relief available in a given situation: - principal private residence relief - letting relief i. explain and demonstrate the possible uses of capital losses and converted trading losses j. calculate total taxable gains and capital gains tax payable, utilising available reliefs and losses to reduce the liability. Inheritance tax k. explain the principles of inheritance tax and identify the different classes of taxpayer liable to pay inheritance tax l. recognise when the lifetime transfer of an asset gives rise to an inheritance tax liability, calculate the inheritance tax payable on chargeable lifetime transfers in straightforward scenarios and state the due date for payment m. calculate the death tax due on lifetime transfers and state the due date for payment n. calculate the value of an individuals estate at death and the inheritance tax due and state the due date for payment o. describe the circumstances in which the following inheritance tax reliefs apply and calculate the amount of relief available in a given situation: - agricultural property relief - business property relief - quick succession relief - taper relief p. calculate the interest and penalties due in respect of late payment of inheritance tax q. explain how wills can be changed after death.
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4 41

y.

Tax planning and advice r. identify legal and ethical issues arising from tax work undertaken, explain the significance of these issues and provide guidance in given scenarios s. advise whether an individual is likely to be treated as employed or self-employed for tax purposes and advise individuals on the tax advantages and disadvantages of being selfemployed compared with being an employee t. compare the tax advantages and disadvantages of providing for retirement if self-employed compared with being an employee u. identify investments which produce non-taxable income and/or capital gains and recognise when they might be appropriate for individuals v. identify investments and expenditure which reduce tax liability and recognise when they might be appropriate for individuals w. provide practical and relevant tax planning advice to help individuals minimise their tax liabilities, including the use of pensions and the use of trading losses of unincorporated businesses, supporting the advice with assumptions made and stating limitations on the advice given x. evaluate and quantify the tax implications of different courses of action and provide practical and relevant tax advice to help individuals achieve their stated objectives y. provide practical and relevant tax planning advice, supporting it with reasonable arguments, stating any assumptions made and limitations on the advice given z. discriminate between tax avoidance and tax evasion aa. judge when to refer matters for specialist help.

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42

APPENDIX 1: TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE


The tables contained in this section show the technical knowledge in the disciplines of financial reporting, audit and assurance, ethics and taxation covered in the ACA syllabus by module. For each individual standard the level of knowledge required in the relevant Professional Stage module and at the Advanced Stage is shown. The knowledge levels are defined as follows: Level D An awareness of the scope of the standard. Level C A general knowledge with a basic understanding of the subject matter and training in its application sufficient to identify significant issues and evaluate their potential implications or impact. Level B A working knowledge with a broad understanding of the subject matter and a level of experience in the application thereof sufficient to apply the subject matter in straightforward circumstances. Level A A thorough knowledge with a solid understanding of the subject matter and experience in the application thereof sufficient to exercise reasonable professional judgement in the application of the subject matter in those circumstances generally encountered by Chartered Accountants. Key to other symbols: the knowledge level reached is assumed to be continued

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43

ASSURANCE AND AUDIT


Advanced Stage

Professional Stage
Assurance

Title

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board The Authority Attaching to Standards Issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board The Authority Attaching to Practice Statements Issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Discussion Papers Working Procedures International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) 200 Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing 210 Agreeing the Terms of Audit Engagements 220 Quality Control for an Audit of Financial Statements 230 Audit Documentation 240 The Auditors Responsibilities Relating to Fraud in an Audit of Financial Statements 250 A Consideration of Laws and Regulations in an Audit of Financial Statements 250 B The Auditors Right and Duty to Report to Regulators in the Financial Sector 260 Communication with Those Charged with Governance 265 Communicating Deficiencies in Internal Control to Those Charged with Governance and Management 300 Planning an Audit of Financial Statements 315 Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement Through Understanding the Entity and its Environment 320 Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit 330 The Auditors Responses to Assessed Risks 402 Audit Considerations Relating to an Entity Using a Service Organisation 450 Evaluation of Misstatements Identified during the Audit 500 Audit Evidence 501 Audit Evidence - Specific Considerations for Selected Items 505 External Confirmations 510 Initial Audit Engagements - Opening Balances 520 Analytical Procedures 530 Audit Sampling 540 Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures 550 Related Parties 560 Subsequent Events 570 Going Concern 580 Written Representations 600 Special Considerations Audits of Group Financial Statements (including the Work of Component Auditors) 610 Using the Work of Internal Auditors 620 Using the Work of an Auditors Expert
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Audit & Assurance

C A A C C B A B B B B B A A A

B B B C C A A A B C
A A A B B B

A A A C

C B

B C C C

A A A A A A A A A A A

C B B B A B C C C
44

Title

700 The Auditors Report on Financial Statements 705 Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditors Report 706 Emphasis of Matter Paragraphs and Other Matter Paragraphs in the Independent Auditors Report 710 Comparative Information Corresponding Figures and Comparative Financial Statements 720 A The Auditors Responsibility in Relation to Other Information in Documents Containing Audited Financial Statements 720 B The Auditors Statutory Reporting Responsibility in Relation to Directors Reports 800 Special Considerations Audits of Financial Statements prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks 805 Special Considerations Audits of Single Financial Statements and Specific Elements, Accounts or items of a Financial Statement 810 Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements International Auditing Practice Statements (IAPSs) 1000 Inter-bank Confirmation Procedures 1004 The Relationship Between Banking Supervisors and Banks External Auditors 1006 Audits of the Financial Statements of Banks 1010 The Consideration of Environmental Matters in the Audit of Financial Statements 1012 Auditing Derivative Financial Instruments 1013 Electronic Commerce: Effect on the Audit of Financial Statements International Standards on Review Engagements (ISREs) 2400 Engagements to Review Financial Statements 2410 Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity International Standards on Assurance Engagements (ISAEs) 3000R Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information 3400 The Examination of Prospective Financial Information International Standards on Related Services (ISRSs) 4400 Engagements to Perform Agreed-upon Procedures Regarding Financial Information 4410 Engagements to Compile Financial Information IFAC Statements ISQC1 Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements APB Bulletins 2009/2 Audit Reports on Financial Statements in the UK

A B A B B

A A

B B

A A

D D D A B A C B B B B B B C B

C C

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Advanced Stage

Professional Stage
Assurance Audit & Assurance

BUSINESS ANALYSIS
Professional Stage Management Information Financial Management Business & Finance Business Strategy

Topic

STRATEGIC ANALYSIS Environmental and market analysis tools PEST analysis Porters five forces Product life cycle Boston consulting group matrix Competitor analysis Positional and other analysis tools Resource audit Resource-based strategy Value chain analysis SWOT analysis Gap analysis Competitor analysis Marketing analysis Competitive advantage Benchmarking Directional policy matrix Business process analysis Strategic risk analysis Balanced scorecard STRATEGIC CHOICE Strategy formulation, evaluation and choice Business risk management Financial analysis and data analysis Stakeholder analysis Objectives and stakeholders preferences Corporate responsibility and sustainability STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION Business plans Organisational structure Information management Change management Project management COST ANALYSIS FOR DECISION MAKING Costing Cost classification Costing systems direct, marginal, absorption Activity based costing (ABC) Break even analysis Multi-product break even analysis Budgeting and performance management Pricing Pricing decisions Transfer pricing BUSINESS AND SHAREHOLDER VALUE Valuation Techniques
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

C C C C C C C C C

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A B C B B B A

B B B A A A A

C C C C C C C

A B C B B B B

B A B A

A A

46

Advanced Stage

Professional Stage Management Information Financial Management Business & Finance Business Strategy

Topic

Income dividend yield Income P/E Income discounted cash flow Asset based measures Options approach Shareholder value Value based management (VBM) Value drivers Shareholder value analysis (SVA) Short and long term growth rates and terminal values Economic profit Cash flow return on investment (CFROI) Total shareholder return (TSR) Market value added (MVA) INVESTMENT APPRAISAL AND BASIC RISK ANALYSIS Project appraisal NPV B IRR B Payback B Relevant cash flows Tax and inflation Replacement Analysis Capital rationing Adjusted present value (APV) Assessing risk Project appraisal and sensitivity analysis Project appraisal and simulation Expected values Scenario planning Gap analysis Continuous vs. event risk FINANCIAL ANALYSIS Cost of capital Cost of equity Cost of debt Cost of preference shares Cost of bank loans Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) Effective interest rates Splitting convertibles into equity and debt elements Public sector discount rates Portfolio theory and CAPM Portfolio theory CAPM APT and MCPM CAPM and cost of capital International cost of capital Bonds Bond pricing using NPV
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

B B B B

A A A A A A A A A A A

B B

A A A A A A A A B B B B B B B B B B

A A A A

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
47

B B B

Advanced Stage

Professional Stage Management Information Financial Management Business & Finance Business Strategy

Topic

Yields to maturity Duration and price volatility Convexity Term structure of interest rates Corporate borrowing and default risk SOURCES OF FINANCE AND FINANCING ARRANGEMENTS Short, medium and long term sources of finance Loan agreement conditions (warranties; covenants; guarantees) Raising capital Gearing and capital structure Loan agreements and covenants Dividend policy Financing reconstructions (eg: group reconstruction, spin off, purchase of own shares, use of distributable profits) C Working capital management FINANCIAL ENGINEERING Futures, options and swaps Options Interest rate futures Interest rate options Interest forward rate agreements (FRAs) Interest rate swaps Foreign exchange Currency forward contracts Currency money market cover Currency options Currency swaps Operational techniques for managing currency risk Theoretical determinants of foreign exchange rates Option value Value of a call and put option Black Scholes option pricing model Binomial Option Pricing Model Real options

A A A A A B B B A A A B A A A A A B B B B B B B B B B B C C B B B A A A A A A A A A A A

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Advanced Stage

ETHICS CODES AND STANDARDS


Ethics Codes and Standards IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (parts A, B and C and Definitions) ICAEW Code of Ethics (section 3 of the members handbook) Level A Professional Stage modules Assurance Business and Finance Law Principles of Taxation Audit and Assurance Business Strategy Financial Reporting Taxation Assurance Audit and Assurance

APB Ethical Standards 1-5 (revised) Provisions Available to Small Entities (revised)

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FINANCIAL REPORTING
Professional Stage
Accounting Financial Accounting Financial Reporting

Title

Preface to International Financial Reporting Standards Framework for Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements IAS1 Presentation of Financial Statements IAS2 Inventories IAS7 Statement of Cash Flows IAS8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors IAS10 Events after the Reporting Period IAS11 Construction Contracts IAS12 Income Taxes IAS16 Property, Plant and Equipment IAS17 Leases IAS18 Revenue IAS19 Employee Benefits IAS20 Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance IAS21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates IAS23 Borrowing Costs IAS24 Related Party Disclosures IAS26 Accounting and Reporting by Retirement Benefit Plans IAS27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements IAS28 Investments in Associates IAS29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies IAS31 Interests in Joint Ventures IAS32 Financial Instruments: Presentation IAS33 Earnings per Share IAS34 Interim Financial Reporting IAS36 Impairment of Assets IAS37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets IAS38 Intangible Assets IAS39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement IAS40 Investment Property IAS41 Agriculture IFRS1 First-Time Adoption of IFRS IFRS2 Share-based Payment IFRS3 Business Combinations IFRS4 Insurance Contracts IFRS5 Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations IFRS6 Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources IFRS7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures IFRS8 Operating Segments IFRS9 Financial Instruments IFRS for SMEs

A A C B C A A B A A A A A

A A C A A A

B B C B A B C

A A A A B A A B A

B B B A B A A D D A C C

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Advanced Stage A A A D D A A A D A A

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN IFRS AND UK GAAP


The following table identifies the scope of the differences examinable in the ACA qualification and where they will be introduced. In general, the differences will become examinable where the relevant IFRS is set at knowledge level A. The differences may also be examined in subsequent modules but only in a different context, for example at the Advanced Stage where knowledge of the differences forms part of an integrated question. Where a general awareness only of an accounting standard is expected (knowledge level D) any differences will also be dealt with at this level. Key: First Module FR = Financial Reporting AS = Advanced Stage First Module FR FR

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

Preface to International Financial Reporting Standards Framework for Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements

No examinable differences ASB Statement of Principles for Financial Reporting


Includes chapters on the reporting entity, presentation and accounting for interests in other entities

where there is no direct equivalent in the IASB Framework


Measurement chapter is more detailed with an emphasis on the deprival value model.

Companies Act
Format 1 and 2 profit & loss account classifications of expenses are similar to IAS1. However, IAS1

requires further detail, but not necessarily as individual line items in the statement of comprehensive income. CA balance sheet formats are less flexible than IAS1 formats that allow a wider choice of classification formats. Differences in terminology used, including a balance sheet which is described as a statement of financial position under IAS 1. FRS3 Reporting Financial Performance
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4 51

First Module

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

Specifies certain mezzanine exceptional items that must be presented on the face of the profit &

loss account after operating profit. IAS1 doesnt specify items and doesnt contain the strict concept of exceptional items. Requires separate presentation of profit & loss account and STRGL. IAS1 allows a single statement of comprehensive income which combines both. Requires a sub-total for operating profit which is not explicitly required by IAS1. FRS18 Accounting Policies IAS1 Presentation of Financial Statements FR
The disclosure requirements for estimation techniques are not as extensive. FRS18 only requires a

discussion of significant estimation techniques. FRS28 Corresponding Amounts


Does not specifically require comparative information for narrative and descriptive information to be

disclosed.

SSAP9 Stocks and Long Term Contracts FR IAS2 Inventories


No examinable differences.

FRS1 Cash Flow Statements


Allows certain exemptions from preparing a cash flow statement for certain subsidiaries and small

companies. No exemptions in IAS7. IAS7 Statement of Cash Flows FR


The definition of cash is more restrictive and only includes cash and deposits repayable on demand

(within 24 hours). IAS7 uses the wider terminology of cash and cash equivalents.
Cash flows are classified under eight standard headings rather than three. There is less flexibility as

to where certain cash flows, such as interest paid, are presented.


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First Module FR FR

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

FRS3 Reporting Financial Performance Comparative financial information is restated where a fundamental prior period error has occurred which is more restrictive than IAS 8 which requires restatement for material prior period errors. IAS8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors FRS18 Accounting Policies Impending changes to accounting policies are not required to be disclosed FRS28 Corresponding Amounts No examinable differences FRS21 Events After the Balance Sheet Date IAS10 Events after the Reporting Period
No examinable differences

SSAP9 Stocks and Long-Term Contracts


Unlike IAS11, service contracts may fall within its scope. Requires the asset representing the gross amount due from customers for contract work to be split

IAS11 Construction Contracts

FR

between amounts recoverable on contracts (debtors) and long-term contract balances (stocks).
Inequalities in profit generation from different stages of a contract should be considered in

determining the attributable profit. IAS11 is silent on this. FRS19 Deferred tax Requires deferred taxation to be recognised on the basis of timing differences rather than IAS12s temporary differences. May require deferred taxation to be recognised at a different rate than IAS12 for intra-group transactions eliminated on consolidation. FRS19 permits, but does not require, the discounting of deferred tax balances, whereas IAS12 prohibits this. FRS 19 does not normally recognise deferred taxation on the revaluation of assets
53

IAS12 Income Taxes

AS

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First Module

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

FRS15 Tangible Fixed Assets


Where assets have been revalued FRS15 requires the use of existing use value (EUV) rather than

fair value.
FRS15 specifies a maximum period of five years between full valuations and an interim valuation

IAS16 Property, Plant and Equipment

FR

every three years. IAS16 does not specify a maximum period and the timing of revaluations depends on changes in market values. FRS15 requires impairment losses to be debited first against any revaluation surplus in respect of the asset unless it reflects a consumption of economic benefits. IAS16 does not include such a limitation. The residual values of assets are assessed at the date of acquisition and not adjusted for expected future price changes. However, residual values should be reviewed at each balance sheet date and revised if appropriate. IAS16 requires them to be reassessed at the end of each reporting period taking into account current price changes. This may affect the depreciation expense. Annual impairment reviews are required for all assets, which are either depreciated over a period of more than 50 years or not depreciated. IAS16 does not include such a requirement. SSAP21 Accounting For Leases and Hire Purchase Contracts
SSAP21 contains the 90% test rebuttable presumption for determining the classification of finance

IAS17 Leases

FR

and operating leases. IAS17 specifically requires leases of land and buildings to be split at inception as a separate lease of the land and a separate lease of the buildings. Under SSAP21 they are considered together. The net cash investment method is used for lessor accounting. IAS17 requires the net investment method. UK GAAP requires operating lease rental incentives to be spread over the shorter of the lease term and the period until the next rent review. IAS requires any incentives to be spread over the whole lease term. There is no comprehensive UK accounting standard covering revenue. The main principles in FRS 5 Reporting the Substance of Transactions and IAS 18 are consistent. FRS17 Retirement Benefits
54

IAS18 Revenue IAS19 Employee Benefits

FR AS

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First Module

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

The scope of IAS19 is wider and covers different types of employee compensation. IAS19 allows a similar immediate recognition approach to actuarial gains and losses as FRS17.

However, it alternatively permits the deferral from recognition of actuarial gains and losses that remain within a 10% corridor. Deferred tax balances are netted off the net pension scheme asset\liability under FRS17. Under IAS19 they must be shown separately. IAS20 Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance Companies Act FR
There are no examinable differences

IAS21 The Effects of Change in Foreign Exchange Rates

FRS23 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates AS


No examinable differences.

FRS15 Tangible Fixed Assets


FRS 15 allows the option for borrowing costs to be capitalised and this is a choice of accounting

IAS23 Borrowing Costs

FR

policy. IAS 23 requires directly attributable costs, including borrowing costs, to form part of the cost of the asset. FRS 15 limits the capitalisation of borrowing costs to the finance costs incurred on the expenditure incurred. IAS23 limits the amount to the borrowing costs on the total related funds raised less the investment income from any temporary investment of those funds. FRS8 Related Party Disclosures
Unlike IAS24, parent companys individual financial statements are exempt from providing

disclosures when consolidated financial statements are presented.


Unlike IAS24, wholly owned UK subsidiaries are exempt from disclosing transactions with the parent

IAS24 Related Party


ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

entity Disclosure requirements differ. In general FRS8 requires the disclosure of the name of the
55

First Module FR

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

Disclosures

related party where a transaction has occurred whereas IAS24 does not.
Management compensation disclosures are included in CA rather than FRS8 as well as disclosures

on loans and other transactions involving directors.


IAS24 does not consider the materiality of related party transactions. FRS8 considers materiality

from the perspective of both the company and the related party. IAS26 Accounting and Reporting by Retirement Benefit Plans AS
No examinable differences.

FRS2 Accounting for Subsidiary Undertakings


Includes an exclusion of a subsidiary from consolidation on the grounds of severe long-term

restrictions. No exemption exists under IAS27. (FR) IAS27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements
Under IAS27 the existence of potential voting rights should be considered in assessing control. No

FR, AS

consideration is required under UK GAAP. (FR)


Requires the non-controlling interest to be presented separately from shareholders funds. IAS27

requires it to be shown as a separate component of equity. (FR)


IAS27 requires changes in a parents ownership interest in a subsidiary that do not result in the loss

of control are accounted for within equity. (AS)


IAS27 requires any investment retained in the former subsidiary following a loss of control to be

measured at its fair value at the date when control is lost. FRS2 does not require this. (AS) FRS9 Associates and Joint Ventures
Prescribes detailed format for equity accounting. IAS 28 does not prescribe guidance for the

IAS28 Investments in Associates

FR

statement of comprehensive income. However, IAS1 provides limited guidance which uses a pre-tax presentation of the associates income. FRS9 shows the components separately. Requires investors to recognise their share of any interest in net liabilities. IAS28 only requires this where there is a legal or constructive obligation to make good those losses. FRS24 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Environments

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First Module AS

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

IAS29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies IAS31 Interests in Joint Ventures

No examinable differences

FRS9 Associates and Joint Ventures FR


Requires the use of the gross equity method rather than proportionate consolidation or equity

methods allowed by IAS31. FRS25 Financial Instruments: Disclosure and Presentation IAS32 Financial Instruments: Presentation IAS33 Earnings per Share IAS34 Interim Financial Reporting FR
No examinable differences.

FRS22 Earnings Per Share FR


No examinable differences.

AS

No UK accounting standard on interim financial reporting. IAS34 is broadly comparable with the ASB statement on interim reports. FRS11 Impairment of fixed assets and goodwill
Impairment losses on previously revalued assets are taken to the profit & loss account where they

relate to a consumption of economic benefits (see IAS16\FRS15 above)


Impairment losses are allocated to goodwill, intangible assets and tangible assets in that order.

IAS36 Impairment of Assets

FR

IAS36 allocates the losses to goodwill first and then on a pro-rata basis to intangible and tangible assets. FRS11 is more restrictive on the recognition of the reversal of intangible assets other than goodwill. Unlike IAS36, where cash flows have been used to demonstrate the recoverable amount, FRS11 requires future cash flows to be monitored against those forecasts for the 5 subsequent years (look back test).
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First Module FR

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

FRS12 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets IAS37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
No examinable differences

SSAP13 Accounting for Research and Development


The capitalisation of development expenditure is optional. IAS38 requires it to be capitalised where

it meets the recognition criteria.


Development expenditure recognition criteria include a requirement to have a reasonable

expectation of future benefits. IAS38 is more stringent as the requirement is to demonstrate future benefits. IAS38 Intangible Assets FR FRS10 Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Only intangible assets that can be sold separately from the business are recognised under UK

GAAP. IAS38 allows non-separable assets to be recognised where they arise from contractual or other legal rights. Allows amortisation of intangibles over economic life or no amortisation where an indefinite life is assessed. Under IAS38 goodwill and indefinite life assets should not be amortised but instead tested annually for impairment. FRS26 Financial Instruments: Measurement IAS39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement IAS40 Investment Property IAS41 Agriculture AS
No examinable differences

SSAP19 Accounting for Investment Properties FR


Requires measurement at open market value. IAS40 allows a choice between cost and fair value. Investment gains and losses are taken to STRGL unless they represent a permanent deficit in fair

value. Under IAS40 all gains and losses are recognised in profit or loss. AS No equivalent UK accounting standard.
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First Module AS AS

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

IFRS1 First-Time Adoption of IFRS IFRS2 Share-based Payment

Not applicable not relevant to UK GAAP FRS20 Share-based Payment


No examinable differences

IFRS3 Business Combinations

FR, AS

FRS6 Acquisitions and Mergers Merger accounting is required when criteria are met. Not permitted under IFRS. Group reconstructions are merger accounted for (AS). Common control transactions are not within scope of IFRS3 (AS). IFRS3 contains explicit option (not in UK GAAP) to measure minority interest (or non-controlling interest (NCI)) as fair value. FRS7 Fair Values in Acquisition Accounting Provides specific guidance on fair value measurement. IFRS3 only offers brief guidance on fair value measurement. Only requires separable intangible assets to be fair valued. Hence, more intangibles could be recognised under IFRS3. Requires acquisition-related costs to be included in the cost of the investment. IFRS3 requires them to be treated as period costs. Post-acquisition changes to the estimates of contingent consideration affect the amounts of goodwill recognised. IFRS3 permits few subsequent changes to be reflected in goodwill. FRS10 Goodwill and Intangible Assets Goodwill is often amortised over its estimated useful economic life. There is a rebuttable presumption that it is not more than 20 years. IFRS3 prohibits amortisation and requires annual impairment reviews. Negative goodwill is capitalised as a separate item within goodwill and amortised over the period over which any related losses are expected and as acquired non-monetary assets are realised. IFRS3 requires immediate recognition as a gain in the profit & loss account.
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Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

Companies Act IFRS4 Insurance Contracts


Contains specific requirements for insurance companies

Specific requirements in SORP and FRS27, Life Assurance FRS3 Reporting Financial Performance
Continuing and discontinued activities must be analysed. Unlike IFRS5 detailed analysis is shown

on face of P&L account.


Discontinued classification will often be at a later date than IFRS5 as disposal must be completed

during the reporting period or before the earlier of the approval of the financial statements and three months after year-end. IFRS5 Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations FR FRS15 Tangible Fixed Assets
Classification and measurement of assets generally continues as normal without regard for the

disposal. This includes depreciation until the date of disposal. IFRS5 on the other hand requires depreciation to cease while a non-current asset is held for sale. FRS1 Cash flow Statements
Encourages the separate disclosure of cash flows from discontinued operations. This is required

rather than encouraged by IFRS5. IFRS6 Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources AS SORP discusses the issues surrounding oil and gas exploration and production.

IFRS7 Financial

FRS29 Financial Instruments: Disclosures


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First Module AS

Title

Key examinable differences between IFRS and UK GAAP

Instruments: Disclosures

No examinable differences

SSAP25 Segmental Reporting


Omission of segment information is allowed where disclosure may be seriously prejudicial to the

entitys interests. No exemption exists under IFRS8.


Requires disclosures for both geographic and business segments. IFRS8 requires disclosure about

IFRS8 Operating Segments

FR

the components of the entity that management uses to make decisions about operating matters.
Requires segment information to be prepared in accordance with accounting policies. IFRS8

requires the

amounts reported to be on the same basis as for internal decision making.

SSAP25 does not require unlisted subsidiaries of listed parents to disclose segment information

where the parent has prepared such information.

IFRS in individual company accounts.


Candidates may be required to discuss the key issues that need to be considered when considering whether UK companies should retain UK GAAP for their individual company accounts or to move to IFRS. This is examinable in the Financial Reporting module.

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61

TAXATION
Advanced Stage A A A A A A
62

Professional Stage
Principles of Taxation

Objectives of taxation Ethics HM Revenue & Customs Tax evasion and avoidance Business Tax Administration Administration Appeals Payments Penalties and interest Self assessment Chargeable gains Chargeable assets Chargeable disposals Chargeable persons Chattels: wasting and non wasting Costs of acquisition and disposal Indexation Leases Nil gain/nil loss transfers Part disposals Pre 31 March 1982 assets Qualifying corporate bonds Relief for capital losses Reorganisations and reconstructions Shares and securities (including bonus and rights issues) Chargeable gains reliefs Entrepreneurs relief Gift relief Incorporation relief Roll-over relief Substantial shareholding exemption Trading profits Adjustments to profits Badges of trade Capital allowances Foreign currency transactions Long periods of account Pension contributions Royalty payments Royalty receipts Unincorporated businesses Basis of assessment current year basis Change of accounting date
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

C A B C B C B B B C C C B C B

A A A B B B B A A B A

A A A A A A A

B B B C

A A A A B B B A B

Taxation

Title

Commencement and cessation of trade Overlap profits and treatment of opening year losses Partnerships Trading losses Profits chargeable to corporation tax Property income (including lease premiums) Trading profits Loan relationships Intangible assets Research and development expenditure Research and development tax credits Miscellaneous income Chargeable gains Charges on income gift aid Trading losses Use of deficit on non-trading loan relationships Corporation tax computation Chargeable accounting periods Close companies Corporation tax liability Corporate Venturing Scheme Distributions Double tax relief (including underlying tax and withholding tax) Liquidation Onshore pooling provisions Provision of services through a company Rates of tax Residence Groups Associated companies Capital gains groups Changes in group structure Change in ownership Consortium relief Controlled foreign companies Degrouping charges Group loss relief Group relationships Non-coterminous accounting periods Overseas companies and branches Pre-acquisition gains and losses Roll-over relief Transfer of assets Transfer of pricing Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Land Tax Basic principles Chargeable occasions
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

B B B

A A A A A A A B B A A A A A B A A B

Taxation

Title

Principles of Taxation

A A A A A B A C A A A A A A A A A A B B
63

B B

B B B

C B

B C C

A B B A B

A A A A A

Advanced Stage

Professional Stage

Exemptions VAT Administration Appeals Capitals goods scheme Group aspects Input VAT Output VAT Overseas aspects Partial exemption Payments Penalties and interest Property transactions Registration and deregistration Small business reliefs Taxable person Taxable supplies Transfer of a business as a going concern VAT records and accounts Personal tax Administration Administration Appeals PAYE Payments Penalties and interest Self assessment Employees Allowable deductions against employment income Employment income Share schemes Statutory Mileage Rates Scheme Taxable and exempt benefits Termination payments Other income Dividends from UK companies Enterprise Investment Scheme Investment income ISAs Property income Lease premiums Savings income Venture Capital Trusts Income tax computation Exempt income Gift aid Income tax liable and payable
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

Taxation

Title

Principles of Taxation

B C A A A A A A A A A B C B B B B B B B B B C B B B B

A A B A B

A A A A A A A B A A B A A A A A A
64

A B B

Advanced Stage B

Professional Stage

Independent taxation and jointly owned assets Married couples allowance Pension contributions - Provisions for retirement - Tax reliefs Personal age allowance Personal allowance Rates of tax Taxable persons Capital gains tax Annual exemption Chargeable assets Chargeable disposals Chargeable persons Chattels: wasting and non wasting Connected persons Converted trading losses Costs of acquisition and disposal Indexation Leases Nil gain/nil loss transfers Part disposals Pre 31 March 1982 assets Qualifying corporate bonds Rate of tax Relief for capital losses Reorganisations and reconstructions Shares and securities (including bonus and rights issues) Capital gains tax reliefs Letting relief Principal private residence relief Reinvestment relief under EIS National insurance contributions Administration Classes of NIC Directors Maximum contributions Taxable benefits Basic principles of inheritance tax Chargeable persons Chargeable property Excluded property Inter-spouse transfers Rates of tax Related property Seven year accumulation period Inheritance tax on lifetime transfers
ACA Professional Stage Syllabus 2011 Final version 4

B A B B A A A A A B B B A B B A A B A

Taxation

Title

Principles of Taxation

A A A A A A B
65

B B B C B C C C B C

A B

A A A A

C C

B B B C B B B B A A B A

Advanced Stage

Professional Stage

Discretionary trusts Potentially exempt transfers Inheritance tax on death Death estate Deeds of variation Lifetime transfers Reliefs & exemptions from inheritance tax Agricultural property relief Annual exemption Business property relief Gifts to charities and political parties Gifts with reservation of benefit Marriage exemption Normal expenditure out of income Quick succession relief Small gifts exemption Taper relief Overseas aspects of personal taxation Arising basis Deemed domicile for IHt Domicile Foreign assets income and gains Double tax relief Ordinary residence Remittance basis Residence Temporary absence UK taxation of non-domiciled individuals

A A A B A B B A A B A A B A A

Taxation

Title

Principles of Taxation

A A A A A A A A A A

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Advanced Stage

Professional Stage