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Analysis and evaluation of the business and financial performance of an organisation over a three year period.
“A key to a successful RAP is the improved knowledge on the various models used in evaluation of the financial and business performance (ratio analysis, SWOT, Porter Five Forces, PESTEL, etc.) and their application to selected organization for a specific period of time (i.e. the last three years) by considering all the micro and macro level factors under the guidance of a highly qualified mentor”
OBU RAP topic 8 is based on the analytical assessment of the business and financial performance of the selected organization over a period of three years.
“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.
While preparing the RAP on this topic, the student needs to conduct financial and business analysis of the selected organization. The financial analysis is the process of understanding the risk and profitability of an organization by analyzing the reported financial information through different accounting tools and techniques. The business analysis is a practice of permitting a change in the organizational context, by defining the needs and recommending solutions that enable the delivery of value to the shareholders.
OBU RAP topic 8 is the most popular topic for the students because they can easily apply the models and all the learnt knowledge during the studying ACCA. Furthermore, to prepare for this topic, the students do not need to use primary sources of information (as the access to primary sources of information is very difficult for the majority of students), and the entire project can be completed by using reliable secondary sources of information. According to the OBU prescribed guidelines, the use of a primary source of information is not vital for topic 8.
Below are some key points that the student needs to have in mind while preparing for their RAP:
4010 Automobiles & Parts (3350 in older version)
4010020 Automobiles (3353 in older version) – Makers of motorcycles and passenger vehicles, including cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and light trucks. Excludes makers of heavy trucks, which are classified under Commercial Vehicles & Trucks, and makers of recreational vehicles (RVs and ATVs), which are classified under Recreational Products.
40101025 Auto parts (3355 in older version) – Manufacturers and distributors of new and replacement parts for motorcycles and automobiles, such as engines, carburetors and batteries. Excludes producers of tires, which are classified under Tires. 40101015
Tires (3357 in older version) – Manufacturers, distributors and retreaders of automobile, truck and motorcycle tires
4030 Media (5500 in older version)
40301010 and 40301035 Broadcasting & Entertainment (5553 in older version) – Producers, operators and broadcasters of radio, television, music and filmed entertainment. Excludes movie theatres, which are classified under Recreational Services. 40301020 Media agencies (5555 in older version) – Companies providing advertising, public relations and marketing services. Includes billboard providers and telemarketers. 40301030 Publishing (5557 in older version) – Publishers of information via printed or electronic media.
502060 Industrial Transportation (2770 in older version)
50206010 Trucking (2779 in older version) – Companies that provide commercial trucking services. Excludes road and tunnel operators, which are classified under Transportation Services, and vehicle rental and taxi companies, which are classified under Travel & Tourism.
50206020 Railroads* (2775 in the older version) – Providers of industrial railway transportation and railway lines. Excludes passenger railway companies, which are classified under Travel & Tourism. (Topic 8 or 15 * see note below).
50206025 Railroad equipment (2753 in the older version)
50206030 Marine Transportation (2773 in the older version) – Providers of on-water transportation for commercial markets, such as container shipping. Excludes ports, which are classified under Transportation Services, and shipbuilders, which are classified under Commercial Vehicles & Trucks.
50206040 Delivery Services – Operators of mail and package delivery services for commercial and consumer use. Includes courier and logistic services primarily involving air transportation.
50206060 Transportation Services – Companies providing services to the Industrial Transportation sector, including companies that manage airports, train depots, roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, and providers of logistic services to shippers of goods. Includes companies that provide aircraft and vehicle maintenance services.
* if you are considering topic 8 or 15 please be aware that this sub-sector may be difficult as much infrastructure is publicly owned. There may not be sufficient information to support your analysis, or the accounts may be very complex.
The most suitable organization where the student can properly undertake OBU RAP topic 8 is the one where the student has appropriate access to secondary sources of information. The selection of the proper organization is essential as the student needs to have a better understanding of the sector of operation of the selected organization. Upon the knowledge of the selected organization and its sector of operation, the student can interconnect the different aspects of the general operation of the selected organization with the prescribed requirements of this topic that will, in turn, help them obtain good grades on their RAP.
The student needs to address the following aspects during the selection of proper organization for their RAP.
If the student chooses OBU RAP topic 8, a proper plan must be set from the beginning so the student can conduct all the necessary tasks in a proper manner. The student needs to have an in-depth understanding of the major requirements of this topic and needs to analytically evaluate the obligatory required aspect by establishing a detailed strategy of operation. The student needs to assess the processes of action that they will follow in order to meet all the necessary requirements, this is possible by a thorough planning in the beginning of the RAP.
The student needs to prepare the overall contents of their RAP under topic 8 so that they flow in a logical sense, and cover all the tasks that the student needs to adhere to. The prepared contents will enable the student to stay on the proper track from the beginning of the project, and also the student can estimate the time factors of planned versus actual time necessary for completing the various tasks required for the proper completion of the RAP.
After finalizing the overall content for the RAP under topic 8, the student needs to start gathering the proper information per the requirements of the topic. The student needs to evaluate all the gathered information in an analytical manner through consultation with their Project Mentor. The feedback from the Project Mentor on the key areas of the RAP is essential in the proper completion of the RAP, so the student needs to regularly share their thoughts with their Mentor in order to get the proper guidance in a timely manner.
To sum up, there is no 100% guaranteed approach for topic 8. There is the broad level approach described above, but the detailed approach under topic 8 varies greatly on the students’ perception of the requirements of the topic along with the available information on the selected organization. Whichever approach you choose to follow, you need to keep getting guidance from your Project Mentor at every step of the way so you will meet all the prescribed information of this topic and get good grades on your RAP.
The student needs to complete their RAP based on the information provided straight from the management of the selected organization (the primary sources of information) along with various other relevant secondary sources of information (online sources, newspapers, journals, books, etc). For topic 8, the availability of primary sources of information is not essential, as this topic can be completed without getting direct information from the selected organization. The student needs to be sure that he has access to enough information on the selected organization from reliable secondary sources, and will not be facing major issues in obtaining this information.
The student needs to carefully consider selecting this topic for their RAP, as all the requirements of this topic are only met if the student has access to enough relevant information on the selected organization. If there are any issues in providing the required information during the preparatory stage of the RAP, the student should consider choosing a different topic, as the improper information can lead to low-quality RAP and low grades or even failure of the RAP.
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