Strategic Financial Analysis (ACG 37)

STRATEGIC FINANCIAL ANALYSIS – ACG 37 BI-WEEKLY SUBMISSION GUIDANCE Purpose: The (bi-weekly) fortnightly assignments will test your understanding and application of concepts learned in prerequisite courses and during Strategic Financial Analysis (ACG 37). You will be required to draw on the considerable body of knowledge you have accumulated in your degree so far to perform different sets of business analysis. Questions to submit: Each bi-weekly assignment will cover questions from the “Case study questions” PDF files (formerly called “Workshop Questions”) which are contained under the relevant topic material sections of our Learnonline site. The questions you need to submit for each bi-weekly assignment are available under the “Assignments/assessments” tab of our Learnonline site. All questions for all of the bi-weekly submissions are now available there. For example, the Topics 1 & 2 bi-weekly submission covers Question 1 and Question 3 from Topic 1 Case study questions file. The first bi-weekly submission also covers Question 1 and Question 2 from Topic 2 Case study questions file. The deadlines for when to submit your assignment are available on the Course Outline for this unit. The submission link for your assignment is available under the “Bi-weekly submissions” section of the “Assignments/assessments” tab of our Learnonline site. Word limit: Each assignment is limited to 1500 words in total. As there are a number of questions to submit for each assignment, it is up to you to use your professional jud gment in deciding how much to write for each question. Your answers should be comprehensive and meet the criteria listed below in “marking expectations”. Some questions will naturally be longer/shorter than others to answer. But we expect that each question is given the same attention in relation to the expectations set below. Please be concise and clear in your expression as this is one of the core skills we are developing in this unit. Case study discussion forum: The “Case study discussion forum” provides an opportunity for you to discuss any questions related to the bi-weekly submission. Please do not seek “answers”, but rather, propose and seek feedback on your approaches to the questions. Students are also encouraged to discuss questions which are not part of the assignment submission to further their learning. Please note that while facilitators check forums regularly, formal responses generally will not be provided unless on Mondays and Fridays. As this is a 3 rd year capstone course, this encourages peer to peer discussions and learning. Marking expectations: Your assignments will be assessed based on your: 1) Quality of response to the question, 2) Use of analytical frameworks (e.g. Porter`s 5 forces model), 3) Application of frameworks to the question, 4) Insight for target audience (who are defined as "risk intolerant investors with limited knowledge" and 5) Conclusions/recommendations. More emphasis is placed on points 3) and 4) so please ensure that you tailor your submission accordingly. Most students perform well at providing ‘descriptive’ answers about content. However, the focus of this course is on how well you perform analysis and then tailor insights/conclusions/recommendations to our target audience of “risk averse investors with limited knowledge”. If we were to look at Topic 1 Question 3 for instance, many students have a tendency to broadly talk about what the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) is but not answer who they believe is primarily responsible for the GFC. The latter part is the fundamental question; so you need to directly address this by constructing an argument of the different actors involved and who, on balance, has the heaviest responsibility (according to your professional judgment). Thus, the quality of your evaluation is what we are assessing, not just your ability to reiterate content from your research. When applying theory, also please ensure that you explain any framework in “layman’s” terms. Again, think of your target audience as ‘risk averse investors with limited knowledge’. This means that your audience will not understand technical jargon like e.g. “Porter’s strategy of differentiation” without some background explanation. That said, you also need to apply theory to the case context. So you need to explain whether Qantas (as an example case study company) is a differentiator or a cost leader using Porter’s theoretical framework. Please do not just explain theory conceptually without any relationship to the case context. As this is a third year course, we expect you to perform research that goes beyond the textbook and sources such as (Investopedia and Wikipedia). It will be necessary to engage with the UniSA library resources (such as eBooks) and journal papers if you want Distinction and above marks. Very importantly, please ensure that you finish each answer to a question with a balanced conclusion that provides implications for our “risk averse investors with limited knowledge”. E.g. why should these investors spend time reading your ‘consultant style report’ on the GFC? In other words, what does your answer mean for our target audience and perhaps the investment decisions they make? What are the implications of your analysis? Referencing: All submissions will be filtered through the TurnItIn plagiarism detection software. All works/ideas/publications used in your report must be clearly referenced using the Harvard referencing format with a reference list included at the end of your submission. This is an important part of ensuring Academic Integrity. All the best with your bi-weekly submissions.


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