The global body for professional accountants

Related Links

P5

P5: common pitfalls – and how to avoid them
This article takes a look at the P5 examiner’s comments from past sittings, focusing on illustrated shortcomings in P5 technical capabilities and examples where students haven’t answered the question set.

Making the most of ACCA’s P5 resources
ACCA produces a wealth of resources designed specifically to support students taking P5. Here, we outline the specific P5 resources on the ACCA website, explaining how they should be used and what issues they specifically address.

P5 examiner's approach
Advice on how to prepare for the exam, and the best ways to achieve success:

Improving your P5 answers
This article aims to give a marker’s perspective on the level of response that is required in a P5 answer. It addresses a specific past paper question that caused considerable difficulty in the June 2014 session.

Bringing forward F5 knowledge and skills into P5
A member of the P5 examining team provides candidates with some insight into the ways in which knowledge and skills gained at previous levels can be examined at the final professional level.

Reading the question requirements of P5
An insight into some common problems and misconceptions surrounding Paper P5. The article considers how to carefully understand the question requirement with use of selected examples from the past three Paper P5 exams.

Big data
Big data is now part of the P5 syllabus. But what exactly is big data?

Integrated reporting
Integrated reporting has been introduced to the syllabuses of many of the Professional level exams. This article aims to show how the idea of integrated reporting is relevant to the P5 syllabus.

Performance management models
This article provides a brief overview of two models which can assist accountants, not only in the determination of business strategy, but also in the appraisal of business performance.

Common mistakes and misconceptions in the use of numerical data used for performance measurement
This article considers the following learning outcome to be added to the P5 syllabus from September 2016: ‘Advise on the common mistakes and misconceptions in the use of numerical data used for performance measurement’.

Performance indicators
Both P3 and P5 require candidates to be able to establish key performance indicators and critical success factors. This article explains and illustrates these concepts.

Lean enterprises and lean information systems
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
This article considers Toyota’s lean principles that have led to a new approach to management in many industries, with a focus on satisfying the needs of the customer, and not wasting time and money on activities that do not ultimately add value to the customer.

Reports for performance management
Performance means different things to different organisations, so there is certainly no single correct way of measuring or presenting performance. However, this article offers some guidance on effective performance report design.

Activity-based management
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
Activity-based management (ABM) can be defined as the entire set of actions that can be taken on a better informed basis using ABC information. The aim is to achieve the same level of output with lower costs.

Human resource management and the appraisal system 
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
This article looks at the nature of human resource management, and at the link between human resource management and performance management. It then examines aspects of the staff appraisal system, and considers the impact of these on the performance of an organisation.

Reward schemes for employees and management
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
A major part of performance management involves managing employees and managers, as their performance will have a major effect on the performance of the organisation as a whole. This article looks at how reward schemes can be used to influence the behaviour of employees.

Benchmarking 
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
Many governments around the world have undertaken reforms aimed at making public sector organisations more accountable. One of the key features of these reform programmes has been the increasing use of performance measures like benchmarking, where one organisation compares its performance in a specific area with another – the benchmark – to identify areas for improvement.

The Performance Prism 
The Performance Prism has been described as a second generation performance management framework. In this article, we find out why its authors consider it a necessary replacement for established performance models like the balanced scorecard and performance pyramid.

Economic value added versus profit-based measures of performance – part 1
In the first part of two articles, we look at an alternative performance measurement system, Economic Value Added – or EVA – which has gained widespread use among companies such as Siemens, Coca Cola and Herman Miller.

Economic value added versus profit-based measures of performance – part 2
The second part of an article on Economic Value Added (EVA focuses on how to interpret the calculated EVA and its use as both an organisational and divisional performance measure.

The risks of uncertainty – part 1
This article considers the concepts of risk and uncertainty will be introduced together with the use of probabilities in calculating both expected values and measures of dispersion.

The risks of uncertainty – part 2
In this article on the risks of uncertainty, we build upon the basics of risk and uncertainty addressed in the first article published in the first part to examine more advanced aspects of incorporating risk into decision making.

Transfer pricing
Transfer prices are almost inevitably needed whenever a business is divided into more than one department or division.

Not-for-profit organisations – part 1
The first part of the article broadly describes the generic characteristics of not-for-profit organisations.

Not-for-profit organisations – part 2
The second part of the article takes a specific and deeper look at charities, which are one of the more important types of not-for-profit organisations.

Accounting and organisational cultures
A look at the Financial Control Culture and the Excellence/Service Culture and the type of performance contracts associated with both.

Business failure
The various failure prediction models.

Defining managers' information requirements
How critical success factors are used.

Business strategy and performance models
This article provides a brief overview of three models to assist accountants in the determination of business strategy and in the appraisal of business performance.

The pyramids and pitfalls of performance measurement
This article outlines the issues which are central to the understanding and assessment of performance measurement.

Performance measures to support competitive advantage   
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
A focus on the success of airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair and how the balanced scorecard might be utilised to maintain the low-cost carriers' competitive edge.

Beyond budgeting
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
A viewpoint has emerged during recent years which challenges the traditional approach to the budgeting process that has operated in both private and public sector organisations since time immemorial.

Management control – a pre-requisite for survival
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
This article explains why increasing recognition is given to satisfying the needs of different stakeholders.

Environmental management accounting
This article provides an insight into environmental management accounting, its increasing importance, and new developments.

Study support videos

Not wearing your P3 head when taking P5
We know that some students struggle with P5 because they try to approach it as a P3 exam. This video works through a past exam question highlighting where the student is going wrong and explaining how better to approach their answer.
Cannot access Youtube? Watch it here

P5 effective study and exam technique
Lisa Gilmore, ACCA qualification technical adviser, focuses on P5, looking at the common misconceptions students have about P5, the underpinning knowledge required, how to study and revise for it, and more. 
Cannot access Youtube? Watch it here

Performance management
Doug Haste from BPP takes a look at performance measurement, which is relevant to Syllabus area E of P5.
Cannot access Youtube? Watch it here

Professional marks – the difference between a pass and a fail
Julie Corkish, education technical adviser at ACCA, provides some hints and tips around ensuring you get those professional marks which could mean the difference between a pass and a fail in your exam.

Advice for students retaking exams
This video is about turning your exam fail into a pass at your next attempt. It suggests ways to reflect on where you went wrong, how to draw up an effective study plan, and practising exam questions.


Syllabus updates

Changes to the ACCA Qualification skills module, Professional level and Foundations in 2016–17
This article explains the planned updates to the ACCA Qualification syllabuses taking place as part of the process of continuous syllabus refreshment and improvement.

Changes to the ACCA Qualification and Foundation level in 2015–16
This article explains the planned updates to the ACCA Qualification syllabuses taking place as part of the process of continuous syllabus refreshment and improvement.

ACCA embeds integrated reporting
Gareth Owen, ACCA qualifications development manager, outlines how the ACCA Qualification embraces the underlying principles of integrated reporting (IR). IR is a different way of presenting information about the business to its stakeholders and, as such, is a new and exciting development in financial reporting.

Making the best Options choices 
The Options papers are the final exam hurdle. Peter Redfern, ACCA qualifications manager, explains how choosing Options papers which you are most comfortable with will, hopefully, improve your chances of success.

Exam technique

P5 – A guide to using the examiner’s reports
Guidance to help you if you are taking the P5 exam for the first time as this takes you through how to use the examiner’s reports as part of your revision phase as directed by the self-study guides. This document will help you to understand how you should be using the examiner’s reports to make the best use of them.

P5 – A guide to reflection for retake students
Guidance to help you if you are retaking the P5 exam as this takes you through the process of reflection using the examiner’s reports as directed in the retake guides. This document will help you to understand how you should be using the examiner’s reports to make the best use of them.

Guidance for P3 and P5 studiers
This article draws a distinction between P3 and P5 because although both exams share some common topics, the approach that is taken in both exams is different and this should be made clear to all students. In addition, we draw attention to specific areas of the P5 syllabus that will require more focus in a P5 programme of study because if P5 is attempted before P3, then these areas cannot be assumed knowledge.

How to earn professional marks
This article explains what professional marks are, how they are awarded at the Professional level and to remind potential candidates how best to achieve these additional, and often crucial, marks.

How to tackle exams – from a marker's perspective
A lack of knowledge is not the only thing that can lead to exam failure – poor technique could also let you down. This article highlights some common errors all ACCA students need to avoid.

Passing the Professional level papers
This article outlines what candidates can do to ensure they are well prepared for Professional level exams.


Exam support resources

Return to the exam resource finder to locate other materials to help with your studies

Search exam resources

Last updated: 26 Sep 2016