Module Project preparation: Accounting and finance

•    Which organisation you would like to write about
•    Why this organisation is of interest to you
•    What you hope to learn about the organisation through this Project
•    How you plan to access this company’s financial information
•    Describe the scope, aims and objectives of the Module Project, as related to your chosen organisation and with reference to each proposed chapter of your final Project submission. (See the chapter outline for Week 7 below to gain an idea for basic aims and objectives for each chapter.)
•    Demonstrate an understanding of links to the related underlying academic literature that you will reference in your final Project.
•    Describe key steps and milestones for your ongoing and planned research plus how you are planning to achieve these by your final Week 7 deadline.
•    Does the business look healthy? Is it growing?
•    How is it financed? Is it highly geared (leveraged)?
•    How sound is working capital management, as indicated by the statement of financial position and trends in the appropriate financial ratios?
•    What do recent profitability trends suggest?
•    Calculate other key ratios and interpret these.
•    If your organisation is in the not-for-profit sector or the governmental sector, how are its operations assessed?
•    How does the organisation compare with close competitors/industry averages/other benchmarks?
•    Are there interesting issues that show up in the notes to the financial statements?
•    Who requires these financial statements? What is each of the user groups particularly interested in?
•    Are there qualitative factors which you consider important and which are not reflected in the financial statements? Do these affect resource management?
•    Have the accounts been audited, and, if so, do the audit reports provide additional information?
•    Are there any ethical or social (CSR) issues that have a bearing on the organisation and its resource management?
•    Is there a structured management accounting system in place?
•    Are budgets regularly prepared?
•    How does the budgeting system work? What sorts of budgets are generated?
•    Is participative budgeting in place?
•    How are variances identified and analysed?
•    Is the budgeting system effective?
•    What sort of costing structure is in operation?
•    Does the organisation use ABC? If not, might this be helpful?
•    Is break-even analysis undertaken? Can you estimate the break-even point (BEP) for key products/services?
•    How are prices calculated?
•    How well is management accounting information disseminated and communicated in order to manage resources effectively? Do employees have access to the information needed for them to perform their jobs effectively?
•    Is accounting and finance software utilised? If so, is this successful and effective?
•    Have management accounting changes occurred in the recent past? Are there any in the pipeline?
•    How successful do you think the management accounting system is overall? How might it be improved?
•    What financial management strategies are in place in the organisation that you are researching?
•    Have these changed in the recent past? Are any under current review?
•    How is capital budgeting undertaken?
•    How are capital projects financed?
•    How is capital rationing taken into account?
•    How successful do you think the financial management system is?

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