Tips for Paper P2 exams

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q1 Vertical group, maybe a “D” shape, Statement of Financial Position,
some ethics or corporate governance
q2 Accounting treatment, possibly complicated inventory or substance over
form – but it could be any IAS / IFRS / Framework-based question / Reconstructions
q3 “Various IAS accounting treatment” ( 3 or 4 different IASs rather than
a specific one as in q2 )
q4 Role of IFRS, the need for and an understanding

Q1: group SOFP and/or SOCI including discontinued activities, acquisitions and disposals or a statement of cash flows, plus adjustments on other syllabus areas such as financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment and impairments. Written part on a linked accounting adjustment and social/ethical/moral aspects of corporate reporting.
Q2 & Q3:2 case study questions, one following a theme such as non-current assets, deferred tax, foreign currency, financial instruments, pensions, share-based payment, the other an industry-based question testing a range of standards such as accounting policies and the framework, leases, grants, IFRS for SMEs, reorganisations, provisions, events after the reporting period and related parties.
Q4:discussion question e.g. revenue recognition, fair values, management commentary, improvements in performance measurement, leasing, including an application part with some computations.
Kaplan tips
•Group statement of financial position
•Retirement benefits
•Financial instruments
•Non-current assets & assets held for sale
•Entity reconstructions
First Intuition
Q1 Group question on disposals, piecemeal acquisitions
Revenue recognition – current issues
Deferred tax
Share based payments
Related parties
•Consolidation Statement of Comprehensive Income (with complex groups)
•Consolidated Statement of Cashflow
•Accounting treatment for Pension / Share based payments.
•Current developments within IFRS’/IAS’
•Financial instruments at FVTPL and amortised cost.
The examiners name is Graham Holt, he wrote 2 articles which were based on IFRS 3 (revised 2008) that appeared in the February and April 2009 Student Accountant. Make sure you have read these articles, Q1 will be a consolidation question which will include issues from these articles.
As at October 2011 the examiner has not written any recent articles which may feature in the forthcoming exam, be on the lookout for any articles by him in the weeks leading up to the exam. However, there are a number of technical articles written by other people on subjects that may appear in the exams, these articles are worth a read but they are not an indication of topics that are going to be covered by future exams.
Be aware that IFRS 9 is now the examinable document in respect of the recognition and measurement of financial assets, make sure you are up to date with this new standard as it is likely to feature in part during the exam, it did appear as a question in the June 2001 exam but is a favourite topic with the examiner and so is likely to appear on a regular basis.
The examiner stresses that students should read around the subject and keep themselves up to date. He encourages students to regularly read Economist or Financial Times and look into one of the Big 4 audit companies IFRS website, the examiner himself regularly looks at these sites and may take inspiration for a question from them. Also do look at the CPD section of the ACCA website where you will see articles written by the examiner.
Exam Tips
Areas that feature on a regular basis in the exam are as follows;
Consolidations in Q1
Disposals and complex groups (June 2010)
Disposals (December 2009)
Step acquisitions (December 2009)
Cash flow (Dec 2010)
Foreign Sub (June 2010)
Complex group
It is possible that the consolidation issue in the June exam could either be a complex group or a disposal/step acquisition.
Financial Instruments (IAS 39/IFRS 9) to include hedge accounting, questions on this topic tend to appear in most exams
Employee benefits (IAS 19)
Leases (IAS 17)
Share-based Payments (IFRS 2)
Impairment of assets (IAS 36)
Deferred Tax (IAS 12)
At the 2011 teacher’s conference the examiner did state that he expects to examine IFRS 1 First-time Adoption on a more regular basis and this topic did feature in the June 2011 exam.
Issues of a topical nature at the moment may include the financial crisis, Fair Value accounting, accounting for Financial Instruments and Revenue Recognition issues. New to the syllabus for 2011 exams is capital reconstructions and reorganisations and it is to be expected that this topic will feature in an exam in the near future.
Exam Technique
Don’t forget the following advice while in the exam: Answer all questions, including the written elements of questions. It is very difficult to pass the exam by learning the numbers. Cross reference your workings, they are an integral part of your answer. Answer the question set, not the one you wished had been set, focus on the requirements especially relating to the written part of the answers.
Look at the marks available for each part of the question, do not write pages of answers for a 3 mark part similarly if the question has allocated 6 marks then make sure you adequately answer that part, a line is not enough to get you 6 marks.
For a 25 mark question you should be spending no more than 45 minutes on it.
• Group question involving changes in group structure;
• Financial Instruments;
• Revenue Recognition;
• Deferred tax;
• Impairments of assets.

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