Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) essentials on one page

How to approach the Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) exam
SBR has a wide ranging syllabus which includes many accounting standards, some introduced in Financial Reporting and others examined only in SBR.

SBR: about the exam

Current issues, exposure drafts and narrative reporting frameworks also feature. Questions are set in the context of single entities, groups, private or public sector, for-profit, or not-for-profit organisations.

To study SBR effectively you need to understand the nature of the exam and what you will be asked to do.

SBR: the big picture

In SBR, as in the workplace, you need to consider the point of view of investors and other stakeholders. This means analysing and interpreting information, explaining how transactions affect the financial statements and other reports or explaining accounting treatments and disclosures.


The Conceptual Framework underpins the whole syllabus. The better you know the Framework, the easier it is to learn the principles of each indvidual standard.

Triangular illustration with various levels.  From bottom to top: conceptual framework, detailed knowledge, reporting, professionalism, judgement, ethics.

How to prepare

Advice from an expert tutor

  • Make use of ACCA resources
  • Real life reading – eg real company financial statements
  • Cover the syllabus widely – breadth rather than depth
  • Practice questions, and take time to review your answers. Visit the past exams and question practice page for SBR for guidance on how to approach question practice, including using the new ACCA Practice Platform
  • Written aspects are very important – don’t just practice numbers
  • Get used to planning and writing clear answers.

Key resources

Tackling the exam

Question approach:

  • Analyse the requirements
  • Read the scenario carefully to understand issues and any stakeholder perspective
  • Identify relevant technical knowledge
    • Remember – more than one standard may be relevant, and consider the principles from the Conceptual Framework
  • Apply this to the scenario
    • Don’t simply regurgitate everything you can remember. Select relevant points and explain how they apply to the facts in the scenario
    • You may need to produce some calculations as part of an explanation but numbers alone will not earn enough marks to pass.

Writing a good answer – how to demonstrate professionalism:

  • Plan your answer
  • Use headings and short paragraphs
  • Consider the stakeholders – relevant content and appropriate tone.