OBU RAP Topic 8

Analysis and evaluation of the business and financial performance of an organisation over a three year period.


“Better knowledge of various models used for evaluation of financial and business performance (e.g. ratio analysis, SWOT, Porter Five Forces, PESTEL etc.) and their application on selected organisation for a specific period of time (i.e. last three latest years) by considering all micro and macro level  factors under well qualified mentor is key to success in RAP”

This topic relates with critical assessment of business and financial performance of selected organisation over a three year period.

“Analysis” is a careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other while “Evaluation” is the making of a judgment about the amount, number, or value of something.

During preparation of RAP on this topic students need to carry out financial and business analysis of selected organisation. Financial analysis is the process of understanding the risk and profitability of an organisation through analysis of reported financial information, by using different accounting tools and techniques. Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.

Topic number 8 is the most demanding topic among all students because they can easily apply models and associated framework which they have studied during ACCA. Moreover, students don’t need to use primary source of information(as access to primary sources of information is very difficult for majority of students) and entire project can easily complete through usage of secondary sources of information. As per OBU guidelines , primary source of information is not necessary for topic 8.

Some key points that student must consider during preparation of RAP are as follows;

  • As per requirements of OBU, student who want to work on topic 8 or 15 must choose company from three sectors. These sectors are Aerospace , Food Products and Hotels. Definitions of these three Sectors are as follows:

Aerospace: Manufacturers, assemblers and distributors of aircraft and aircraft parts primarily used in commercial or private air transport. Excludes manufacturers of communications satellites, which are classified under Telecommunications Equipment

Food Products:Food producers, including meatpacking, snacks, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and frozen seafood. Includes producers of pet food and manufacturers of dietary supplements, vitamins and related items. Excludes producers of fruit juices, tea, coffee, bottled water and other non-alcoholic beverages, which are classified under Soft Drinks.

Hotels:Operators and managers of hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, spas and campgrounds.

  • Choose company for which you have sufficient information and you should well aware about different parameters of associated sector of your selected company. Without , fair knowledge at inception of project,       your analyses will not be more focused and it is high probability that you may discuss various aspects in your RAP that are not important. In short, basic understating of overall operations of selected  company and associated sector is essential to get good grades under topic number 8.
  • Discuss all aspects of ratio analysis logically and properly link with providing various internal and external factors along with micro and macro level factors.
  • Whenever, discuss trend of any ratio then student must consider and discussed various internal and external factors along with micro and macro level factors that actually impact on movement of specific ratios under specific span of time. Internal reasons for movement in different ratios of your selected company mainly gets from annual reports (especially report to shareholders section, key achievement sections, financial performance section, chairman/MD review section etc.) of the company along with articles on websites and newspapers pertaining to your selected company. On the other hand, external  reasons for movement in different ratios of your selected organisation mainly get from sector reports (in which your selected company operates) over websites (especially website related to business  activities or economy of country), articles related to associated sectors over online journals , business magazines , newspaper etc.
  • Discuss performance of competitor with your selected organisation in parallel rather than at the end of each ratio as inline discussion of both primary (i.e. selected) company and opponent company  will help reader of your report to analyze your work quickly.
  • Keep balance of information gathered from various mediums (e.g. annual reports, newspaper, online journals, books, etc.) so that  marker can understand that you used vast mediums of information as vast research is essential to pass good grades and proper presentation of usage of vast information is an important key to pass RAP under topic number 8.
  • Use one or maximum two business models so that you can describe each aspect of selected model in good manner by also consider overall allowed words under part 3 of RAP (i.e. 4,500 Words).
  • Provide enough graphs to reader of your RAP so they can easily get a quick idea of which company is performing well without even reading text within your RAP. This aspect is called IT skills which is extremely important to pass RAP under topic number 8.
  • There are many others key success factors of passing RAP under topic number 8 that cannot explain here in detail so student should engage well qualified mentor for their RAP so that they can get regular advise from him/her on various technical aspects of this topic that ultimately  help him/her to get good grades.

Key features / requirements:

  • Critical assessment of financial performance of the organisation in specific period of time (i.e. last three years).
  • Critical assessment of business performance of the organisation in specific period of time (i.e. last three years).
  • Proper discussion on financial and business performance of the selected organisation through consideration of various internal & external factors along with both micro and macro level factors.
  • Provide proper conclusion based on overall performed work by keeping all practical aspects in consideration.

*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.

Key Success Factors:

  • Good knowledge of broader categories of all ratios.
  • Excellent knowledge and application of all selected accounting and business models.
  • Proper linkage of all aspects of selected accounting and business models through providing practical examples/reasons.
  • Comparison of primary organisation (i.e. selected organisation) with opponent organisation alongside in whole discussion in RAP.
  • Proper application of all selected aims and objectives (that decided in inception of RAP) in appropriate sections of RAP.
  • Proper answering of all research questions (that decided in inception of RAP) in appropriate sections of RAP.
  • Usage of proper research methodology to achieve good result against all selected aims and objectives (that decided in inception of RAP).
  • Maintain proper sequence of all discussion in logical manner by keeping all requirements of the topic.
  • Logically conclude all performed work at the end of Research Report by keeping in consideration of all requirements of the topic.

*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.

Major benefits for choosing this topic:

  • Student will practically apply his/her bookish knowledge into real life.
  • Student will get aware about proper application of various accounting and business models.
  • Various techniques learned under this topic will substantially help student in his/her professional life.

Major possible limitations faced by student under this topic:

  • Students may not entertain well by the management of selected organisation in provision of required information due to various issues (e.g. confidentiality aspects, non availability of authorized person to disseminate information to student for research work, etc.)
  • Student may not find good stuff from internet  or other sources (due to weak research approach) to bring ideas for improvement in the project.
  • Student may be confused due to variation in actual information (verbal or documented) provided from primary sources with the result that he/she actually derive from his/her research work as per requirement of the topic.  

*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.


Suitable organisation under this topic:

The most suitable organisation under this topic is that for which student have access to management of the company and moreover management of the company is willingly provide all required information to student as required under the topic. Selection of most appropriate organisation is very essential as student must have better understanding of overall operations of the organisation and moreover he/she also have enough knowledge of the sector in which his/her selected organisation actually operates. Based on better knowledge of the organisation and respective sector , student will be able to interlink various aspect of overall operations of the selected organisation with all requirements of the topic that ultimately help him/her in getting good grades.

In short student need to assess following aspects in selection of organisation for RAP.

  • OBU requirements of choosing organisation from only three sectors (i.e. Aerospace , Food Products and Hotels).
  • Student’s own interest related to overall business of the organisation;
  • Accessibility of information from primary sources (not necessary in topic 8);
  • Accessibility of information from secondary sources;
  • Knowledge of overall operations of the organisation;
  • Knowledge of overall associated sector of the organisation;
  • Availability of time from concerned officials of selected organisation (extremely important in topic 8);
  • Basic idea of requirements of selected topic and their applications on proposed organisation in inception of RAP.

*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.

Suggested approach for this topic:

Under this topic, student must plan properly from inception so that he/she can complete all tasks effectively in proper manners. First of all, student must  gain excellent understanding of major requirements of this topic and he/she need to critically assess all aspects of requirement by defining detailed strategy.  Student need to assess that what process that he/she actually follow to meet all requirements that only possible through detailed planning in inception of RAP.

Student need to  prepare overall content of RAP under topic 8 that describes logical sequence of all tasks that need to adhere by the student. This content will also help student to keep on right track from inception and at the same time student can also assess time factor against planned vs. actual tasks through considering his allocated time for complete preparation of RAP.

After finalization of overall content of RAP under topic 8, student need to start working logically from gathering of information as per requirement of topic. Student need to assess all gathered information very critically through consultation from mentor. Mentor feedback on key areas of RAP is very essential so student should share his/her thoughts with project mentor regularly to get efficient guidance in time accordingly.

In short, there is no 100% suggested approach for topic 8 as keeping broader level approach (described above) , detailed approach under topic 8 varies due to student’s perception that he conceived from requirements of the topic along with available information of selected organisation. Whatever, the approach you will follow , keep getting guidance from project mentor at every step so that you can meet all requirements of topic and get good grades.

*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.

Availability of Information:

Student have to complete his/her RAP based on provision of information directly from management of the organisation (i.e. primary sources of information) along with vast information available through different mediums (internet, newspaper, books, etc.) under secondary sources of information.  Availability of information from primary sources under topic number 8 is not essential as this topic can complete without getting any information of the selected organisation. Student need to ensure that he has access of vast information from secondary sources of the selected organisation and there is no issue for them in getting information.

In short, student need to assess very critically before opting this topic for RAP as all requirements of this topic only meet if student have enough information about selected organisation. If there is any doubt on provision of required information during perpetration of RAP then student should not select this topic for RAP as it impact on overall evaluation of information and overall grades of RAP.

*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.

Important Links:

Business Analysis Section of RAP

Reference Generator Link


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