Advanced Finance for Decision-Makers Assignment Task Answers


Assignment detail:

  • Words: 6500 each


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Section 1 The role of financial information and analysis


Make detailed notes in preparation for a meeting with your mentor. You should:

  • Examine and explain the factors that guide and drive business decision-making
  • Assess the significance of financial factors in business decision-making
  • Identify the characteristics of business risks that impact on financial and business decisions
  • Summarise the financial priorities that need to be considered when making financial decisions.

AC (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)


Section 2 Financial Statements


Your mentor has asked you to attend a meeting with him and a junior colleague who recently joined the business. The purpose of the meeting is for you to lead a discussion on financial statements and published accounts and the accountability for financial reporting. You have been asked to prepare a document for distribution at the meeting and this will form the second section in your file. In preparing the document you will need to use two sets of published accounts which you can find on the website of any major business.


In your document you should:


  • compare the accrual and cash flow approaches to accounting and financial reporting and the implications of each for business decision-making
  • explain the structure and content of final accounts and their uses for business decision making
  • interpret the financial information in the financial statements you have obtained and illustrate differences between the sets of accounts (balance sheets, income statements and applications of funds statements)
  • differentiate between financial decisions relating to capital expenditure and those relating to revenue expenditure
  • calculate ratios from one set of published accounts and illustrate how they can be used to support business decision-making.
  • examine the key requirements for published accounts of a public limited company (plc)

AC 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 5.5

The meeting went well but in the discussions questions were raised about accountability for financial reporting.  It was evident that you needed to do some work on this area and this will form Section 3 of the file


Section 3 Accountability for Financial Reporting 


Prepare detailed notes which consider how accountability for financial reporting and the integrity of reporting are influenced by ethical, governance and accounting standards.

  • Differentiate between business ethics, governance and accounting ethics as controls on business accountability
  • Assess the role of the finance director/chief financial officer as a guardian of business ethics
  • Analyse the key concepts and principles of corporate governance that may impact on business decisions
  • Examine key national and international financial reporting standards that are relevant to business decisions

AC 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4,


Section 4 Sources of Finance


As part of your internship you have accompanied your mentor on a visit to a business which is planning a new business venture. Following the visit your mentor has asked you to prepare part of the induction materials used for new trainees.  This will focus on new sources of finance for long term financing and working capital needs. In the materials you should:

  • explain the difference between long-term financing needs and working capital needs for businesses
  • compare sources of long term finance and working capital finance for businesses
  • identify why access to working capital is critical to business continuity
  • critically examine techniques needed to manage cash flow and the impact of cash flow on key business decisions
  • evaluate – using illustrative examples – methods for making capital/investment decisions and criteria that may be used in the evaluation
  • explain the benefits and drawbacks of off-balance sheet financing.

AC 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


Section 5 Ownership Structures and Financial Performance


As part of your internship your mentor has asked you to produce a draft information guide for clients which looks at business structure and the financial implications of this.  The guide should:

  • analyse critically the financial implications of different business ownership structures
  • analyse the corporate governance, legal and regulatory environments of different business ownership structures
  • compare and contrast the stakeholder interests of owners and managers in decision making
  • using examples evaluate the significance of Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and other overall performance measures for the long-term sustainability of businesses
  • using examples examine the importance of earnings per share (EPS) as a measure of business performance

AC 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5