Technical articles

The last exam session for P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics was June 2018. This exam is no longer part of the ACCA Qualification.


Organising transactions
Is transaction cost theory just simply a different lens through which agency theory may be observed and analysed? Are both theories trying to tackle the same problem: how do we persuade company management to pursue shareholders’ interests and company/shareholder profit maximisation rather than self-interest?

Corporate governance - from the inside out
This article explains that effective corporate governance has both internal and external drivers. Although directors and managers of companies may have little influence over the external regulatory framework, they can and must play their part in ensuring effective internal governance and compliance from deep within their own organisations.

CSR strategy and strategic CSR
Corporate social responsibility (or CSR) has now been added to the P1 Study Guide. But what exactly is CSR? And what is the difference between the concepts of ‘CSR strategy’ and ‘strategic CSR’?

The Integrated Report framework
In 2013, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) released a framework for integrated reporting. The framework establishes principles and concepts that govern the overall content of an integrated report.

Public sector governance – part 1
Available as a podcast on iTunes
There is a new section of the P1 Study Guide for exams from December 2014 onwards. It is on public sector governance and is included as a new addition under section A9. The purpose of this article is to introduce these topics and give some pointers as to what the important themes are in terms of teaching and learning.

Public sector governance – part 2
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
The second part of this article continues its discussion of the new topics introduced under section A9 of the P1 Study Guide, relevant from the December 2014 exam session.

Diversifying the board – a step towards better governance
In the P1 Study Guide, section A3i requires students to (i) explain the meaning of ‘diversity’ and (ii) critically evaluate issues of diversity on the board of directors. This article elaborates on this topic by introducing the concept of board diversity and how it may benefit the organisation, followed by a discussion on the possible costs of board diversity. It concludes with a comment on the current regulatory initiatives of board diversity.

Environmental accounting and reporting
From 2013, environmental reporting will become part of the P1 syllabus and, therefore, an examinable topic due to its relevance to many discussions around accountability, transparency and sustainability – key themes of the paper. This article outlines what environmental reporting is, where it can occur and its advantages and purposes.

COSO's enterprise risk management framework
Examining the guidance published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations (COSO).

Internal audit 
Internal audit – the control of controls – can feature as a key part of the corporate governance framework of an organisation, and can be viewed as a high level control in response to risk or by considering the detailed work required of internal audit.

Independence as a concept in corporate governance
We explore the theory of independence, and discusses why it is vital in many contexts relating to corporate governance and professional behaviour.

'Non-corporate' corporate governance
This article considers two broad types of non-corporate organisation: public sector organisations and charitable/voluntary organisations.

Corporate governance – external and internal actors
Not all elements of a company's corporate governance system are part of the internal structure. External actors can have a role to play in governance too.

Risk and environmental auditing
A focus on Section D1c and Section E7d of the P1 Study Guide.

Strategic and operational risks
Examining the risks in terms of their potential impact and probability of occurrence.

Rules, principles and Sarbanes-Oxley
Introducing some of the main themes in relation to the control of corporate governance and discusses how this control differs by country.

Ethical decision making
This article takes a look at two of the main decision-making frameworks.

All about stakeholders – part 1
An introduction to the idea of stakeholders and stakeholding, and and explanation of the different ways in which stakeholders are categorised.

All about stakeholders – part 2
The second of a two-part article focuses on stakeholders and stakeholding by looking at a number of different stakeholder groups.

Study support videos

Answering P1 questions on corporate governance
Steve Whittenbury, a subject matter expert at BPP Learning Media, outlines how to approach P1 questions on corporate governance.
Cannot access Youtube? Watch it here

Digest the news
In this video for P1 students, Kaplan tutors Stuart Williams and Paul Kirkwood discuss the ethical, transparency and corporate governance considerations of the alleged FIFA bribery scandal surrounding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Cannot access Youtube? Watch it here

Ethical theories kept simple
Kaplan tutor Paul Kirkwood reviews and explains the core ethical theories in P1.
Cannot access Youtube? Watch it here

Focus on risk
Steph Crook from Kaplan Financial outlines some of the key aspects of the risk element of P1.
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.

Exam technique

Read the mind of the P1 marker
This article is intended to give you some real insight into the mind of the marker and to understand what they are looking for when they mark P1 scripts, but the general advice on technique in this article could equally apply to all Professional level exams.

P1 – A guide to using the examiner’s reports
Guidance to help you if you are taking the P1 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.

P1 – A guide to reflection for retake students
Guidance to help you if you are retaking the P1 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.

Support for your P1 exam (on-demand webinar)
Stephanie Keenan, a tutor at Kaplan Financial, hosts a free 60-minute webinar on P1 exam technique. Stephanie suggests ways to tackle this key exam, in addition to helping you come up with some effective revision strategies.

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.

Examiner's approach to P1
The P1 examiner provides an approach to the exam.

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 Strategic Professional exams

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

Professional marks
This article looks at a past exam question and review an example of how not to approach the professional marks, and then see how the examiner chose to answer it and look for what we can learn from his approach.

Exam support resources

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