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MCQ’s can come from any syllabus area.
Consolidation of Financial Statements
For the consolidation question you will benefit from having the proforma/standard workings of your final answer set up first. For example if the question requires a consolidated SFP then drawing up the SFP with open brackets beside those numbers that do not need a standard working can get all the easy adding across 100% of the Parent and subsidiary figures. The other headings can have the standard working number written beside them instead. A couple of lines would need to be left for each section of the SFP in case other things come up in the additional information.
In addition to this setting up the standard workings can also be done. The subsidiaries’ share capital figures and the year end retained earnings can be put into these without reading any of the additional information. In addition to this the parents retained earnings figure can also be put into W5 (Retained earnings) without reading any additional narrative.
With all of the proformas and standard workings set up, it means that you are able to tackle the issues in the order that they are presented in the question. It also allows you to deal with both sides of any adjustments as everywhere is set up to make the adjustments. It hopefully prevents non-balancing accounts and means that each issue only has to be addressed once; thus helping with time management. Also if you run out of time, you will get full credit for all that you have already done provided everything is referenced through.
A similar process can be applied to the income statement equivalent of setting up final answer and workings to help tackle the issues that come up.
Single Company Financial Statements
As with the groups question, it may be possible to get the proforma of the final answer set up, particularly if the data in the question is set up with the draft financial statements rather than the trial balance. If possible it then means that open brackets can be used and the draft figures placed in them, ready for adjustments as they arise. Generally speaking there are often more adjustments required for cost of sales figure in the income statement and the PPE figure in the SFP. As such I would suggest these are likely to need separate workings rather than just a bracket beside the final answer.
If there is a topic/adjustment that you are unsure of, come back to it. You are better to get the adjustments that you are comfortable with done first. It is easy to get bogged down and waste time on a difficult adjustment at the expense of doing an easier one that appears later in the question.
With a performance appraisal question you may be asked to calculate ratios or prepare a statement of cash flow or both. When calculating ratios, if you are unsure of a particular calculation always have a go, as even if the calculation is incorrect you will be awarded merit for your discussion of the incorrect number in the written section of the question. It also really helps the marker if you note your formula down so that your working is clearly identified.
When preparing a statement of cash flow setup you proforma immediately and begin to get the easy marks in the cash flow such as finding the movement in the cash and cash equivalent balance, and finding the movements on basic shares and loans. You will also find the operating activities section familiar and useful for scoring marks. If there are any cash items that you are unfamiliar with come back to these at the end after you have dealt with the items that you can do.
Finally, when appraising the performance of a company ensure that you always refer to the scenario provided to ensure maximum credit is awarded.