Technical articles

Advanced Financial Management was previously known as P4 Advanced Financial Management. All exam resources listed as P4 can be used for studying AFM.

Advanced Financial Management (AFM)

Basis risk
This article looks at basis risk, which arises when the price of a futures contract does not have a predictable relationship with the spot price of the instrument being hedged.

How to answer an interest rate risk management question
This article explains the significance of the information you’ll be given in interest rate risk management questions and shows you what you’ll be asked to do.

Reverse takeovers
Reverse takeovers is a topic that is now examinable in Advanced Financial Management (AFM). This article aims to provide an explanation of reverse takeovers and to discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with reverse takeovers.

Conditional probability
Management decision making in both financial and performance management involves making choices based upon what may happen in the future. This article looks at how to consider all possible outcomes that may arise, together with their associated chances of occurring.

Currency swaps
This article looks at currency swaps, an agreement in which two parties exchange the principal amount of a loan and the interest in one currency for the principal and interest in another currency.

Patterns of behaviour
Behavioural finance attempts to explain how decision makers take financial decisions in real life, and why their decisions might not appear to be rational every time and, hence, have unpredictable consequences. This article looks at how behavioural factors may influence decision making and, therefore, stock markets’ and companies’ financial strategies.

Using real options when making financial strategy decisions
This article considers how an individual traditional project could be reassessed using option valuation and how option valuation could assist when assessing a portfolio of projects. It then concludes with a brief discussion regarding inter-dependent projects.

Investment appraisal and real options
This article looks at how real options can be incorporated into investment appraisal decisions. It discusses real options and then considers the types of real options calculations which may be encountered in Advanced Financial Management (AFM), through three examples. The article then considers the limitations of the application of real options in practice and how some of these may be mitigated.

Securitisation and tranching
Securitisation became a topical issue during the credit crunch, and still remains a relevant issue for financial management and Advanced Financial Management (AFM) students.

Exchange traded foreign exchange derivatives
This article considers both foreign exchange futures and options using real market data, as well as focusing on other areas of significant importance.

Business valuations
The primary purpose of this article is to demonstrate how to tackle a business valuation question. The detailed understanding of this topic will be gained from your Advanced Financial Management (AFM) studies, whichever mode you choose to use.

International project appraisal – part 1
International project appraisal is an integral part of the Advanced Financial Management (AFM) syllabus. This article suggests a methodical approach to answering any exam question that may arise on this topic, with the first article of two looking at how to tackle a Section B, 25-mark question using materials from your Advanced Financial Management (AFM) studies.

International project appraisal – part 2
Part 1 underlined the importance of international project appraisal within the Advanced Financial Management (AFM) syllabus with a demonstration as to how to tackle a Section B question worth 25 marks. This follow-up piece looks at how to methodically approach an international project appraisal question that may arise in Section A, worth 50 marks.

Aspects of Islamic finance
This article provides a general overview of the different aspects, issues and developments of Islamic finance and extends the explanations provided in the article ‘Islamic finance – theory and practical use of sukuk bonds’.

Islamic finance – theory and practical use of sukuk bonds
This article looks at Islamic finance as a growing and important source of finance, including the success and failure of the use.

Determining interest rate forwards and their application to swap valuation
A look at how interest rate forwards may be determined from the spot yield curve, before considering what they mean and showing how they may be used in determining the value of an interest rate swap valuation.

Bond valuation and bond yields
In the first of two related articles, we consider how bonds are valued and the relationship between the bond value or price, the yield to maturity and the spot yield curve.

Risk management
This article explores the circumstances where the management of risk may lead to an increase in the value of a corporation.

Study support videos

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.

Exam technique

How to approach Advanced Financial Management
To study Advanced Financial Management effectively you need to understand the nature of the exam and what you will be asked to do.

Guide to discursive requirements
This article is designed to give you an insight into the discursive requirements of this exam, alongside feedback and observations from the marking team.

Passing Strategic Professional exams
This article looks at what you can do to improve your chances of passing ACCA’s Strategic Professional exams.

P4 – A guide to using the examiner’s reports
Guidance to help you if you are taking the P4 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 study-support guides. This document will help you to understand how you should be using the examiner’s reports to make the best use of them.

P4 – A guide to reflection for retake students
Guidance to help you if you are retaking the P4 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.

Stepping up from Financial Management to Advanced Financial Management
This article 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.

Advanced Financial Management – examiner approach
An outline of the aim of the exam, its structure and how the syllabus will be tested.

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

Exam support resources

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