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A review of the business management and accounting issues of environmental costs of an organization
“The improved knowledge of the regulatory requirements relevant to the environment of a specific country that directly or indirectly impacts the overall operation of the selected company and their adequate discussion in the RAP by providing practical aspects under the guidance of a highly qualified mentor are the keys for successful passing of the RAP”
Environmental costs are the costs related to the actual or potential deterioration of the natural assets of a country resulting from the various economic activities. These costs can be looked from two perspectives:
(a) Costs caused: costs associated with the economic units that are actually or potentially causing the environmental deterioration via their activities;
(b) Costs born: costs that have occurred independently from the economic units or these units have actually caused the environmental impact.
These issues have an influence on the business and accounting management because the laws require the businesses to change their procedures and equipment in order to meet the proposed standards, and this is costing to the businesses.
Under topic 4 the student will have to implement the theoretical knowledge acquired from the different ACCA papers along with the proper approach from the beginning of the preparation of the RAP, paired with the guidance of a highly qualified Project Mentor. Further, the student will have to have adequate knowledge of the operations of the selected company so he/she can adequately connect the impacts of the environmental costs in both qualitative and quantitative terms.
A significant aspect that the student has to consider is the ethical and lawful liability (in more developed countries) of the company to operate their business in a manner by which the operations do not cause major impacts on the overall environment. In the developed countries, there are specific requirements and even laws that bind the companies to operate their business in a manner that lowers the impact on the overall environment, on the other side in underdeveloped countries there are no specific requirements relevant to the environment. Generally, for the purpose of this topic, the student will need to evaluate the environmental costs and if these costs are essential in meeting the regulatory requirements or if this is a managerial decision. If the case is binding regulatory requirements, both the qualitative and quantitative aspects should be noted in the RAP. On the other side, if there are no binding regulatory requirements related to the environment, the student should focus only on the quantitative aspect of the environmental costs.
An appropriate company for preparation of the RAP under topic 4 is a company for which the student has appropriate access to the management and such where the management is willing to provide the required information. The proper selection of the most suitable organization is very important and the student needs to have an adequate understanding of the sector where the company operates. Upon their knowledge on the company and sector, the student can connect the different aspects of the overall operations of the selected company and will be able to effectively fulfil the requirements of the topic and get good grades on their RAP.
The student will need to evaluate these aspects while choosing a company for their RAP:
An adequate plan needs to be set by the student from the beginning of the preparation for the RAP in order to effectively finish all the necessary tasks. The student will need to clearly understand the major requirements of the topic and to analytically evaluate all the necessary aspects with setting a detailed strategy. The student will need to decide on the approach he/she will follow in order to meet all the necessary requirements of this topic from the beginning of the RAP.
First, the student will need to prepare the table of contents for the RAP under topic 4 so that it flows in a logical manner. The table of contents will enable the student to stay on the correct track from the beginning of the work and also help the student to create a proper timetable and estimate the necessary time to complete each task for the RAP.
After preparing the table of contents of the RAP under topic 4, the student will need to start work in a logical manner to gather the necessary information. The student has to analytically and logically evaluate the gathered information via consultations with their Project Mentor. The feedback and proper guidance from the Project Mentor in many aspects of the RAP are of great importance for the proper completion of the RAP.
As there is not a prescribed approach for the creation of the RAP under topic 4 and the broad level approach described here is the start. The detailed approach depends on the student’s plans that were made at the beginning of the RAP in accordance with the available information on the selected company. No matter the approach the student will choose to follow, the guidance from the Project Mentor along every step of the process has an important influence in preparing a quality RAP and getting good grades.
The RAP needs to be created upon the information provided by the management of the company ( the primary source of information) in relation to the information gathered from reliable secondary sources of information (internet, newspapers, books, etc.). The availability of primary sources of information is of essential importance for topic 4, as this topic can’t be completed without access to the specific primary information. The student needs to be certain that he/she has access to information provided by the management of the selected company and there are no confidentiality clauses behind these.
The student needs to carefully evaluate topic 4 and all its prescribed requirements and assess the availability of primary sources of information before making the final decision to base their RAP on this topic. If there are doubts on any of these factors, the student should not choose this topic for their RAP, as these factors have a very big influence on the evaluation of the RAP and their final grades.
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