(b) On 1 April 2004 Volcan introduced a ‘reward scheme’ for its customers. The main elements of the reward
scheme include the awarding of a ‘store point’ to customers’ loyalty cards for every $1 spent, with extra points
being given for the purchase of each week’s special offers. Customers who hold a loyalty card can convert their
points into cash discounts against future purchases on the basis of $1 per 100 points. (6 marks)
For each of the above issues:
(i) comment on the matters that you should consider; and
(ii) state the audit evidence that you should expect to find,
in undertaking your review of the audit working papers and financial statements of Volcan for the year ended
31 March 2005.
NOTE: The mark allocation is shown against each of the three issues.
(b) Reward scheme
■ If the entire year’s revenue ($303m) attracted store points then the cost of the reward scheme in the year is at
most $3·03m. This represents 1% of revenue, which is material to the income statement and very material
(31·9%) to profit before tax (PBT).
■ The proportion of customers who register for loyalty cards and the percentage of revenue (and profit) which they
represent (which may vary from store to store depending on customer profile).
■ In accordance with the assumption of accruals, which underlies the preparation and presentation of financial
statements (The Framework/IAS 1 ‘Presentation of Financial Statements’), the expense and liability should be
recognised as revenue is earned. (It is of the nature of a discount.)
■ Any restrictions on the terms for converting points (e.g. whether they expire if not used within a specified time).
■ To the extent that points have been awarded but not redeemed at 31 March 2005, Volcan will have a liability at
the balance sheet date.
■ Agree the total balance due to customers at the year end under the reward scheme to the sum of the points on
individual customer reward cards.
■ The proportion of reward points awarded which are not expected to be claimed (e.g. the ‘take up’ of points awarded
may be only 80%, say).
■ Whether reward points are valued at selling price or cost. For example, if the average gross profit margin is 20%,
one point is equivalent to 0·8 cents of goods at cost.
(ii) Audit evidence
■ New/updated systems documentation explaining how:
– loyalty cards (and numbers) are issued to customers;
– points earned are recorded at the point of sale; and
– points are later redeemed on subsequent purchases.
■ Walk-through tests (e.g. on registering customer applications and issuing loyalty cards, awarding of points on
special offer items).
■ Tests of controls supporting the extent to which audit reliance is placed on the accounting and internal control
system. In particular, how points are extracted from the electronic tills (cash registers) and summarised into the
weekly/monthly financial data for each store which underlies the financial statements.
■ Analytical procedures on the value of points awarded by store per month with explanations of variations (‘variation
analysis’). For example, similar proportions (not exceeding 1% of revenue) of points in each month might be
expected by store – possibly increasing following any promotion of the ‘loyalty’ scheme.
Tutorial note: Within a close community, for example, a high proportion of customers might be expected to sign
up for the reward scheme. However, in big cities, where a large proportion of the customers might be transitory
(e.g. tourists or other visitors) the proportion may be much lower.
■ Tests of detail on a sample of transactions with customers undertaken at store visits. For example, for a sample of
copy till receipts:
– check the arithmetic accuracy of points awarded (1 per $1 spent + special offers);
– agree points awarded for special offers to that week’s special offers;
– for cash discounts taken confirm the conversion of points is against the opening balance of points awarded
(not against purchases just made).
The senior management team is aware of your success in implementing necessary change following a change in
ownership and control.
(c) Identify and explain the key areas of change likely to be needed in Bonar Paint in order to implement a
successful buyout. (15 marks)
(c) A management buyout represents a change in ownership rather than a change in strategy. However it should, as suggested
above, lead to a comprehensive review of the customers and product groups the firm chooses to supply and the basis on
which it seeks to achieve competitive advantage. In terms of the strategy pursued prior to the buyout, Bonar Paint seems to
be trying to achieve a differentiation focus strategy but without being able to achieve the higher profit margins associated with
the successful implementation of such a strategy.
If as seems likely Bonar Paint chooses to become a more focused company through product range reduction and serving fewer
customers, implementation of such a strategy will have clear implications for the whole of the organisation. Using the
McKinsey 7S model strategy change will lead to changes in the structure of the organisation. The departure of Bill and Jim
Bonar will have major repercussions for the roles taken by the three senior managers. Decisions will be needed on who is to
lead the company and the responsibilities of the other two managers. Bonar Paint has a very traditional functional structure
with the managers being responsible for discrete areas of activity. The change in ownership gives a major opportunity to see
whether this structure continues to be an appropriate one for handling the challenges of an increasingly competitive
environment. Any significant change to the product and/or customer portfolio as proposed by Tony Edmunds will need to be
implemented through a change to the structure. Product divisions may need to be set up if there is a decision to enter the
market for D-I-Y paints.
Systems will also need to change to accommodate any reduction in the product range and numbers of customers. Reference
has already been made to the impact on the production side of the business of such a strategic decision and the associated
consequences for areas such as sales and finance. Clearly, the lack of marketing information on product sales, customers and
profitability needs to be quickly addressed before any divestment decisions are taken. Making strategic decisions using poor
or inadequate information is a recipe for disaster. Decisions on new product development also will require a system that better
integrates the interests and information of the key functional areas.
Staff are the critical resource without which the buyout will not succeed. The change in ownership will cause uncertainty and
the buyout managers will need to spell out the changes that are both necessary and needed. Changes to the product and
customer portfolio will have a significant impact on some members of staff. Issues of redundancy/redeployment are best
addressed early, along with opportunities the change in strategy will create. Closely linked to staff are the skills those staff
will need to implement chosen strategy. The need to have a greater awareness of customer and competitor activity will require
new skills in the marketing area. Any investment in new production technology will affect the type of skills needed to use it.
The links between strategic decisions and human resource strategy need to be appreciated.
Style. concerns the way the three buyout managers carry out their new roles and communicate with staff. There is a significant
difference between leading and managing the business and each of the buyout managers will need to communicate a clear
sense of where the firm is going and inspiring staff to follow their vision and mission. This links closely with the concept of
shared values and the overall culture of the firm. The exit of the founders of the business could potentially create a cultural
void, which could lead to staff uncertainty. Unless quickly addressed good staff may leave the firm and adversely affect the
strategic change the new owners and managers are trying to introduce.
In implementing a chosen strategy there is a danger that the ‘hard’ Ss of strategy, structure and systems are attended to while
the soft Ss of staff, skills, style. and shared values are largely ignored. There is compelling evidence to suggest that it is thesoft Ss which will determine the success or otherwise of the management buyout.
(b) Describe the content of a reference. (5 marks)
A simple standard form. to be completed by the referee is acceptable to provide all the required details. A standard form. should
ask about the existing job title, the main duties and responsibilities of the current job, period of employment, present pay or salary
and the attendance record.
1 Bailey’s is a large toy manufacturer based in a traditional industrial region. Established in the 1970s, it has faced many changes in the market and survived. This has been due in part to employing a largely unskilled low paid staff,and maintaining its main advantage, that of low production costs based on low pay. Most of the production involves repetitive and boring work with little challenge and opportunity for innovation. Although many of the employees have
been with the company for some time, there has been a high level of employee turnover.
However, an unhappy atmosphere has been apparent for some time. There has been a number of instances ofarguments between the staff, friction between different departments, disturbance, low morale, poor production and general unrest, made worse recently by a decline in business which may lead to staff reduction and redundancy. Poor pay is leading to family problems that are affecting the commitment and motivation of the employees.
The business was recently sold to the new owner, Rebecca Stonewall. She is concerned that the negative atmosphere she has found will harm the prospects of the business and is determined to address the issues that have become apparent.
She has therefore decided that it is time to take account of opinions and views of the employees in an attempt both to identify the problems and to resolve them. She has appointed external counsellors since she thinks that a programme of individual counselling might be appropriate and is also of the opinion that some form. of different or improved approach to motivation might be the answer to the problems at Bailey’s.
(a) Define the role that the external counsellor must fulfil at Bailey’s. (3 marks)
1 One of the many skills that managers are called upon to use is counselling. Situations often arise in the workplace where particular and careful people-centred skills are required. It is important that managers understand exactly what counselling involves and the delicate skills involved. In addition, many problems identified by counselling can be resolved through appropriate methods of motivation. Widening and deepening interest in the organisation and its many tasks and departments is a tried and tested method
for motivating employees. However, financial rewards remain a strong and important motivator.
(a) The external counsellor’s role must be as ‘a person who takes on the role of counsellor and agrees explicitly to offer time,attention, advice, guidance and support to another person (or persons) temporarily in the role of client’.
Assume that the rates and allowances for 2004/05 apply throughout this part.
(b) Explain the consequences of filing the VAT returns late and advise Fred how he should deal with the
underpayment and bad debt for VAT purposes. Your explanation should be supported by relevant
calculations. (10 marks)
(b) Late filing of VAT returns
The late filing of two or more VAT returns within the period of one year will give rise to a default surcharge. This occurs when
– The return is late and/or
– The payment is late.
Customs & Excise will serve a surcharge liability notice on the taxpayer when a single return is filed late and/or the VAT due
is paid late. The surcharge period will run from the date of notice to the anniversary of the quarter end of the period in which
the trader is in default.
Any further defaults within the surcharge period will extend the surcharge period.
If there is a late payment of VAT in the surcharge period, a surcharge will be levied at the rate of 2% on the first occasion,
rising progressively to a maximum of 15% if there are several defaults. One complete year of correct compliance is necessary
to escape the default surcharge regime.
For Flop Ltd, the surcharge period originally ran to 31 December 2005 but was extended to 31 March 2006 as the second
return is late. This could be extended again if the June return is late. The second default (31 March return) will give rise to
a 2% surcharge, based on the tax paid late of ￡24,000. This gives a surcharge of ￡480. This exceeds the de minimus level
of ￡400, so will be collected.
To avoid a further surcharge, the VAT return to 30 June 2005 should be submitted by 31 July at the latest. This would save
5% x ￡8,250 = ￡412.
In addition, Flop Ltd should obtain a refund of the VAT on the bad debt. Relief is available where;
(i) the debt is more than six months old, and
(ii) the debt has been written off in the creditor’s accounts.
The claim must be made within three years. The amount of VAT repayable is 17·5% of ￡50,000 = ￡8,750. If this is claimed
though the VAT return to 30 June 2005, there should be a net VAT repayment of (￡8,250 - ￡8,750) = ￡500. Even if this
return is submitted late, the fact that no VAT is outstanding means that there will be no surcharge actually payable (as
calculated above), but the surcharge period will nevertheless be extended.
2 Traditionally, the only objective of a business was to make a profit. However, some writers have suggested that this idea is simplistic and that profitability is only one objective amongst many.
State and explain Drucker’s eight classifications of objectives.
2 For the complex, modern business, the view that the single objective of business is to make a profit is regarded by many writers as simplistic. Peter Drucker has argued that for a business to be successful, it must address a number of objectives.
Drucker was one of the first writers to identify the dangers of the single objective of profit maximisation. Concentrating on a single objective (invariably profit) is not only unproductive but potentially harmful to the organisation and can endanger the survival of the business and seriously undermine its future. He argues that business organisations have in fact eight objectives, all of which must be addressed concurrently. These eight objectives are particularly relevant to management, bringing together as they do the need to address all the issues with which the organisation is concerned.
Market standing is the need to identify and maintain market share and to ensure the development of new products to maintain share. Without market standing, no organisation can succeed.
Innovation is the need to develop and find new products and processes; no business can survive on providing the same product or service over the long term. Innovation is fundamental to understanding growth; organisations grow by developing innovative differences to their competitors.
Productivity and ‘contributed value’ recognises the need for efficiency and the efficient use of business resources.
Physical and financial resources is a recognition of the need to use the correct and appropriate financial resources.
Profitability. The word ‘profit’ does not appear, but ‘profitability’. Here there are three important determinants, profitability as a measure of effectiveness (many businesses make a profit which in fact is a poor return on the effort produced), the need for profit so that the business can be self-financing and the need to attract new capital.
Manager performance and development is the explicit recognition that the business requires objectives and that management activity can be linked directly to those objectives.
Worker performance and attitude is recognition that it is vital to measure the performance of the workforce by such means as labour turnover. However, worker attitude is more difficult to measure, but should be attempted.
Public responsibility has become an issue in the twenty-first century. Any business needs to be aware that it is a part of the community within which it operates and is therefore part of a wider social system.
(d) Explain whether or not Dovedale Ltd, Hira Ltd and Atapo Inc can register as a group for the purposes of value
added tax. (3 marks)
(d) Dovedale Ltd and Hira Ltd can register as a group for the purposes of value added tax (VAT) because Dovedale Ltd controls
Hira Ltd and both companies are established in the UK in that their head offices are in the UK.
Dovedale Ltd will also control Atapo Inc. However, Atapo Inc cannot be part of a group registration unless it is established
in the UK or has a fixed establishment in the UK. It will be regarded as established in the UK if it is centrally managed and
controlled in the UK or if its head office is in the UK. A fixed establishment is a place where the company has staff and
equipment and where its business is carried on.
(b) The chief executive of Xalam Co, an exporter of specialist equipment, has asked for advice on the accounting
treatment and disclosure of payments made for security consultancy services. The payments, which aim to
ensure that consignments are not impounded in the destination country of a major customer, may be material to
the financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2006. Xalam does not treat these payments as tax
deductible. (4 marks)
Identify and comment on the ethical and other professional issues raised by each of these matters and state what
action, if any, Dedza should now take.
NOTE: The mark allocation is shown against each of the three situations.
(b) Advice on payments
■ As compared with (a) there is no obvious tax issue. Xalam is not overstating expenditure for tax purposes.
■ The payments being made for security consultancy services amount to a bribe. Corruption and bribery (and extortion)
are designated categories of money laundering offence under ‘The Forty Recommendations’ of the Financial Action Task
Force on Money Laundering (FATF).
■ Xalam clearly benefits from the payments as it receives income from the contract with the major customer. This is
criminal property and possession of it is a money laundering offence.
■ Dedza should consider the seriousness of the disclosure made by the chief executive in the context of domestic law.
■ Dedza should consider its knowledge of import duties etc in the destination country before recommending a course of
action to Xalam.
■ Dedza may be guilty of a money laundering offence if the matter is not reported. If a report to the FIU is considered
necessary then Dedza should encourage Xalam to make voluntary disclosure. If Xalam does not, Dedza will not be in
breach of client confidentiality for reporting knowledge of a suspicious transaction.
Tutorial note: Making a report takes precedence over client confidentiality.
PV Co is evaluating an investment proposal to manufacture Product W33, which has performed well in test marketing trials conducted recently by the company’s research and development division. The following information relating to this investment proposal has now been prepared.
Initial investment $2 million
Selling price (current price terms) $20 per unit
Expected selling price inflation 3% per year
Variable operating costs (current price terms) $8 per unit
Fixed operating costs (current price terms) $170,000 per year
Expected operating cost inflation 4% per year
The research and development division has prepared the following demand forecast as a result of its test marketing trials. The forecast reflects expected technological change and its effect on the anticipated life-cycle of Product W33.
It is expected that all units of Product W33 produced will be sold, in line with the company’s policy of keeping no inventory of finished goods. No terminal value or machinery scrap value is expected at the end of four years, when production of Product W33 is planned to end. For investment appraisal purposes, PV Co uses a nominal (money) discount rate of 10% per year and a target return on capital employed of 30% per year. Ignore taxation.
(a) Identify and explain the key stages in the capital investment decision-making process, and the role of
investment appraisal in this process. (7 marks)
(b) Calculate the following values for the investment proposal:
(i) net present value;
(ii) internal rate of return;
(iii) return on capital employed (accounting rate of return) based on average investment; and
(iv) discounted payback period. (13 marks)
(c) Discuss your findings in each section of (b) above and advise whether the investment proposal is financially acceptable. (5 marks)
(b) Anne is experiencing some tension due to the conflict between her duties and responsibilities as an employee of
Fillmore Pierce and as a qualified professional accountant.
(i) Compare and contrast her duties and responsibilities in the two roles of employee and professional
accountant. (6 marks)
(b) (i) Contrasting roles
Joint professional and organisational roles are common to most professionals (medical professionals, for example).
Although the roles are rarely in conflict, in most cases it is assumed that any professional’s primary duty is to the public
interest rather than the organisation.
As a member of the staff of Fillmore Pierce, Anne is a part of the hierarchy of an organisation and answerable to her
seniors. This means that under normal circumstances, she should comply with the requirements of her seniors. As an
employee, Anne is ultimately accountable to the principals of the organisation (the partners in an audit firm or the
shareholders in a company), and, she is subject to the cultural norms and reasonable expectations of work-group
membership. It is expected that her behaviour at work will conform. to the social and cultural norms of the organisation
and that she will be efficient and hard working in her job.
As an accountant, Anne is obliged to maintain the high professional and ethical standards of her profession. If her
profession is underpinned by an ethical or professional code, she will need to comply with that in full. She needs to
manage herself and co-ordinate her activities so as to meet professional standards. In this, she needs to ensure that she
informs herself in current developments in her field and undertakes continuing professional development as required by
her professional accounting body. She is and will remain accountable to her professional body in terms of continued
registration and professional behaviour. In many cases, this accountability will be more important than an accountability
to a given employer as it is the membership of the professional body that validates Anne’s professional skills.
(iii) Can audit teams cross sell services to their clients? (4 marks)
For EACH of the three FAQs, explain the threats to objectivity that may arise and the safeguards that should
be available to manage them to an acceptable level.
NOTE: The mark allocation is shown against each of the three questions.
(iii) Cross selling services
The practice of cross selling is intended to give incentives to members of audit teams to concentrate their efforts on the
selling of non-audit services to audit clients.
It is not inappropriate for an audit firm to cross sell or for members of the audit team to recognise on an ongoing basis
the need of a client to have non audit services. However it should not be an aim of the audit team member to seek out
Boleyn should have policies and procedures to ensure that, in relation to each audit client:
■ the objectives of the members of the audit team do not include selling of non-audit services to the audit client;
■ the criteria for evaluating the performance of members of the audit team do not include success in selling nonaudit
services to the audit client;
■ no specific element of remuneration of a member of the audit team and no decision concerning promotion within
the audit firm is based on his or her success in selling non-audit services to the audit client; and
■ the ethics partner being available for consultation when needed.
Therefore objectives such as the following are inappropriate:
■ to meet a quota of opportunities;
■ to specifically make time to discuss with clients which non-audit services they should consider;
■ to develop identified selling opportunities.
An audit engagement partner’s performance should be judged on the quality and integrity of the audit only. There are
no restrictions on normal partnership profit-sharing arrangements.
(b) Misson has purchased goods from a foreign supplier for 8 million euros on 31 July 2006. At 31 October 2006,
the trade payable was still outstanding and the goods were still held by Misson. Similarly Misson has sold goods
to a foreign customer for 4 million euros on 31 July 2006 and it received payment for the goods in euros on
31 October 2006. Additionally Misson had purchased an investment property on 1 November 2005 for
28 million euros. At 31 October 2006, the investment property had a fair value of 24 million euros. The company
uses the fair value model in accounting for investment properties.
Misson would like advice on how to treat these transactions in the financial statements for the year ended 31
October 2006. (7 marks)
Discuss the accounting treatment of the above transactions in accordance with the advice required by the
(Candidates should show detailed workings as well as a discussion of the accounting treatment used.)
(b) Inventory, Goods sold and Investment property
The inventory and trade payable initially would be recorded at 8 million euros ÷ 1·6, i.e. $5 million. At the year end, the
amount payable is still outstanding and is retranslated at 1 dollar = 1·3 euros, i.e. $6·2 million. An exchange loss of
$(6·2 – 5) million, i.e. $1·2 million would be reported in profit or loss. The inventory would be recorded at $5 million at the
year end unless it is impaired in value.
The sale of goods would be recorded at 4 million euros ÷ 1·6, i.e. $2·5 million as a sale and as a trade receivable. Payment
is received on 31 October 2006 in euros and the actual value of euros received will be 4 million euros ÷ 1·3,
i.e. $3·1 million.
Thus a gain on exchange of $0·6 million will be reported in profit or loss.
The investment property should be recognised on 1 November 2005 at 28 million euros ÷ 1·4, i.e. $20 million. At
31 October 2006, the property should be recognised at 24 million euros ÷ 1·3, i.e. $18·5 million. The decrease in fair value
should be recognised in profit and loss as a loss on investment property. The property is a non-monetary asset and any foreign
currency element is not recognised separately. When a gain or loss on a non-monetary item is recognised in profit or loss,
any exchange component of that gain or loss is also recognised in profit or loss. If any gain or loss is recognised in equity ona non-monetary asset, any exchange gain is also recognised in equity.
3 Assume that today’s date is 10 May 2005.
You have recently been approached by Fred Flop. Fred is the managing director and 100% shareholder of Flop
Limited, a UK trading company with one wholly owned subsidiary. Both companies have a 31 March year-end.
Fred informs you that he is experiencing problems in dealing with aspects of his company tax returns. The company
accountant has been unable to keep up to date with matters, and Fred also believes that mistakes have been made
in the past. Fred needs assistance and tells you the following:
Year ended 31 March 2003
The corporation tax return for this period was not submitted until 2 November 2004, and corporation tax of ￡123,500
was paid at the same time. Profits chargeable to corporation tax were stated as ￡704,300.
A formal notice (CT203) requiring the company to file a self-assessment corporation tax return (dated 1 February
2004) had been received by the company on 4 February 2004.
A detailed examination of the accounts and tax computation has revealed the following.
– Computer equipment totalling ￡50,000 had been expensed in the accounts. No adjustment has been made in
the tax computation.
– A provision of ￡10,000 was made for repairs, but there is no evidence of supporting information.
– Legal and professional fees totalling ￡46,500 were allowed in full without any explanation. Fred has
subsequently produced the following analysis:
Analysis of legal & professional fees
Legal fees on a failed attempt to secure a trading loan 15,000
Debt collection agency fees 12,800
Obtaining planning consent for building extension 15,700
Accountant’s fees for preparing accounts 14,000
Legal fees relating to a trade dispute 19,000
– No enquiry has yet been raised by the Inland Revenue.
– Flop Ltd was a large company in terms of the Companies Act definition for the year in question.
– Flop Ltd had taxable profits of ￡595,000 in the previous year.
Year ended 31 March 2004
The corporation tax return has not yet been submitted for this year. The accounts are late and nearing completion,
with only one change still to be made. A notice requiring the company to file a self-assessment corporation tax return
(CT203) dated 27 July 2004 was received on 1 August 2004. No corporation tax has yet been paid.
1 – The computation currently shows profits chargeable to corporation tax of ￡815,000 before accounting
adjustments, and any adjustments for prior years.
– A company owing Flop Ltd ￡50,000 (excluding VAT) has gone into liquidation, and it is unlikely that any of this
money will be paid. The money has been outstanding since 3 September 2003, and the bad debt will need to
be included in the accounts.
1 Fred also believes there are problems in relation to the company’s VAT administration. The VAT return for the quarter
ended 31 March 2005 was submitted on 5 May 2005, and VAT of ￡24,000 was paid at the same time. The previous
return to 31 December 2004 was also submitted late. In addition, no account has been made for the VAT on the bad
debt. The VAT return for 30 June 2005 may also be late. Fred estimates the VAT liability for that quarter to be ￡8,250.
(a) (i) Calculate the revised corporation tax (CT) payable for the accounting periods ending 31 March 2003
and 2004 respectively. Your answer should include an explanation of the adjustments made as a result
of the information which has now come to light. (7 marks)
(ii) State, giving reasons, the due payment date of the corporation tax (CT) and the filing date of the
corporation tax return for each period, and identify any interest and penalties which may have arisen to
date. (8 marks)
(a) Calculation of corporation tax
Year ended 31 March 2003
Corporation tax payable
There are three adjusting items:.
(i) The computers are capital items, as they have an enduring benefit. These need to be added back in the Schedule D
Case I calculation, and capital allowances claimed instead. The company is not small or medium by Companies Act
definitions and therefore no first year allowances are available. Allowances of ￡12,500 (50,000 x 25%) can be claimed,
leaving a TWDV of ￡37,500.
(ii) The provision appears to be general in nature. In addition there is insufficient information to justify the provision and it
should be disallowed until such times as it is released or utilised.
(iii) Costs relating to trading loan relationships are allowable, as are costs relating to the trade (debt collection, trade disputes
and accounting work). Costs relating to capital items (￡5,700) are not allowable so will have to be added back.
Total profit chargeable to corporation tax is therefore ￡704,300 + 50,000 – 12,500 + 10,000 + 5,700 = 757,500. There are two associates, and therefore the 30% tax rate starts at ￡1,500,000/2 = ￡750,000. Corporation tax payable is 30% x￡757,500 = ￡227,250.
Although the rate of tax is 30% and the company ‘large’, quarterly payments will not apply, as the company was not large in the previous year. The due date for payment of tax is therefore nine months and one day after the end of the tax accounting period (31 March 2003) i.e. 1 January 2004.
This is the later of:
– 12 months after the end of the period of account: 31 March 2004
– 3 months after the date of the notice requiring the return 1 May 2004
i.e. 1 May 2004.
(b) Draft a report suitable for inclusion in a Management Commentary for Jones and Cousin which deals with:
(i) the key risks and relationships of the business (9 marks)
(b) Jones and Cousin, a public quoted company
Annual Report 2006
Jones and Cousin is a global company engaged in the medical products sector. This report provides information to assist
the assessment of strategies adopted by the company and the future potential of those strategies.
Principal risks and relationships
Expenditure in the medical sector is often controlled by governments and is, therefore, affected by government policy.
Thus the Group is largely dependent on governments providing funds for health care. Product innovation and the
resultant increase in competition could lead to downward pressure on the price of goods and a decline in the Group’s
market share which could affect the operational results and hinder the growth of the Group.
The Group reports its results using the dollar as its functional currency. As there is only five per cent of the business in
the country of incorporation, fluctuations in exchange rates may have a material effect on the Group. If the exchange
rate of the dollar strengthens against the Dinar and Euro, then group turnover and operating profit would be lower on
translation into dollars. As the manufacturing base is worldwide, the finished products when sold to the Group’s selling
operations could expose the Group to fluctuations in exchange rates.
Product liability claims and loss of reputation:
Although the products are not inherently high risk, there is a possibility of malfunction which could entail risk of product
liability claims or recalls on the product. Both these events could be costly and harmful to the Group’s reputation which
is dependent upon product safety. Any product liability claims or product recalls would have a negative effect on cash
flow and profit, and are likely to adversely affect sales of the product.
Highly Competitive markets:
The principal business units compete across many diverse geographic and product markets. Technical advances and
product innovations by competitors could adversely affect the operating results. Some of the Group’s competitors could
have greater resources and may be able to sell products on more competitive terms. If the Group were to lose market
share or have lower than expected sales growth, there could be an adverse impact on the Group’s share price and future
Patents and Products;
The Group protects its intellectual rights in its products and opposes third parties where there is a conflict with the
group’s patents. The Group may itself be subject to patent infringement claims. If the Group failed to protect its position,
its competitive position could suffer and operating results be harmed. Similarly if any claims are successful then damages
may have to be paid, or non patent infringing products developed, both of which would adversely affect results.
Product innovations will occur constantly in the sector and, therefore, the Group has to continually develop products to
satisfy consumer needs and to provide cost and other advantages. Not all products will be brought to the market for
several reasons, including failure to receive regulatory approval or infringement of patents. Thus there is a significant
cost implication in the research and development of products. However, if new products do not remain competitive with
competitors’ products, then Group sales revenue could decline.
The Group has developed a set of corporate social responsibility principles which is the responsibility of the Board of
Directors, and the Managing Director in particular. The Group contributes to the treatment and recovery of patients within
its product range by providing solutions to health care needs. Although having a relatively minor impact on the
environment compared to some companies, any obsolete products are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way
so as not to potentially compromise the health of its customers. Reusable materials are used in the manufacture of
The Group fosters ethical relationships with its suppliers and encourages them to share the same social and
environmental standards. In this way a long term relationship is expected to be developed with suppliers.
The Group’s employment policies are based on equality of opportunity and the performance standards and goals are
communicated to the employees. Jones and Cousin is committed to the provision of continuous training and
development and open communication with its employees. Additionally the group encourages its subsidiaries to reinvestprofits in local educational projects.
(b) Ratio analysis in general can be useful in comparing the performance of two companies, but it has its limitations.
State and briefly explain three factors which can cause accounting ratios to be misleading when used for
such comparison. (6 marks)
(b) (i) One company may have revalued its assets while the other has not.
(ii) Accounting policies and estimation techniques may differ. For example, one company may use higher depreciation rates
than the other.
(iii) The use of historical cost accounting may distort the capital and profit of the two companies in different ways.
Other answers considered on their merits.
(ii) Analyse the effect of delaying the sale of the business of the Stiletto Partnership to Razor Ltd until
30 April 2007 on Clint’s income tax and national insurance position.
You are not required to prepare detailed calculations of his income tax or national insurance liabilities.
(ii) The implications of delaying the sale of the business
The implications of delaying the sale of the business until 30 April would have been as follows:
– Clint would have received an additional two months of profits amounting to ￡6,920 (￡20,760 x 1/3).
– Clint’s trading income in 2006/07 would have been reduced by ￡13,015 (￡43,723 – ￡30,708), much of which
would have been subject to income tax at 40%. His additional trading income in 2007/08 of ￡19,935 would all
have been taxed at 10% and 22%.
– Clint is entitled to the personal age allowance of ￡7,280 in both years. However, it is abated by ￡1 for every ￡2
by which his total income exceeds ￡20,100. Once Clint’s total income exceeds ￡24,590 (￡20,100 + ((￡7,280
– ￡5,035) x 2)), his personal allowance will be reduced to the standard amount of ￡5,035. Accordingly, the
increased personal allowance would not be available in 2006/07 regardless of the year in which the business was
sold. It is available in 2007/08 (although part of it is wasted) but would not have been if the sale of the business
had been delayed.
– Clint’s class 4 national insurance contributions in 2006/07 would have been reduced due to the fall in the level
of his trading income. However, much of the saving would be at 1% only. Clint is not liable to class 4 national
insurance contributions in 2007/08 as he is 65 at the start of the year.
– Changing the date on which the business was sold would have had no effect on Clint’s class 2 liability as he is
not required to make class 2 contributions once he is 65 years old.
(b) Comment (with relevant calculations) on the performance of the business of Quicklink Ltd and Celer
Transport during the year ended 31 May 2005 and, insofar as the information permits, its projected
performance for the year ending 31 May 2006. Your answer should specifically consider:
(i) Revenue generation per vehicle
(ii) Vehicle utilisation and delivery mix
(iii) Service quality. (14 marks)
difference will reduce in the year ending 31 May 2006 due to the projected growth in sales volumes of the Celer Transport
business. The average mail/parcels delivery of mail/parcels per vehicle of the Quicklink Ltd part of the business is budgeted
at 12,764 which is still 30·91% higher than that of the Celer Transport business.
As far as specialist activities are concerned, Quicklink Ltd is budgeted to generate average revenues per vehicle amounting to
￡374,850 whilst Celer Transport is budgeted to earn an average of ￡122,727 from each of the vehicles engaged in delivery
of processed food. It is noticeable that all contracts with major food producers were renewed on 1 June 2005 and it would
appear that there were no increases in the annual value of the contracts with major food producers. This might have been
the result of a strategic decision by the management of the combined entity in order to secure the future of this part of the
business which had been built up previously by the management of Celer Transport.
Each vehicle owned by Quicklink Ltd and Celer Transport is in use for 340 days during each year, which based on a
365 day year would give an in use % of 93%. This appears acceptable given the need for routine maintenance and repairs
due to wear and tear.
During the year ended 31 May 2005 the number of on-time deliveries of mail and parcel and industrial machinery deliveries
were 99·5% and 100% respectively. This compares with ratios of 82% and 97% in respect of mail and parcel and processed
food deliveries made by Celer Transport. In this critical area it is worth noting that Quicklink Ltd achieved their higher on-time
delivery target of 99% in respect of each activity whereas Celer Transport were unable to do so. Moreover, it is worth noting
that Celer Transport missed their target time for delivery of food products on 975 occasions throughout the year 31 May 2005
and this might well cause a high level of customer dissatisfaction and even result in lost business.
It is interesting to note that whilst the businesses operate in the same industry they have a rather different delivery mix in
terms of same day/next day demands by clients. Same day deliveries only comprise 20% of the business of Quicklink Ltd
whereas they comprise 75% of the business of Celer Transport. This may explain why the delivery performance of Celer
Transport with regard to mail and parcel deliveries was not as good as that of Quicklink Ltd.
The fact that 120 items of mail and 25 parcels were lost by the Celer Transport business is most disturbing and could prove
damaging as the safe delivery of such items is the very substance of the business and would almost certainly have resulted
in a loss of customer goodwill. This is an issue which must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
The introduction of the call management system by Quicklink Ltd on 1 June 2004 is now proving its worth with 99% of calls
answered within the target time of 20 seconds. This compares favourably with the Celer Transport business in which only
90% of a much smaller volume of calls were answered within a longer target time of 30 seconds. Future performance in this
area will improve if the call management system is applied to the Celer Transport business. In particular, it is likely that the
number of abandoned calls will be reduced and enhance the ‘image’ of the Celer Transport business.
This scenario summarises the development of a company called Rock Bottom through three phases, from its founding in 1965 to 2008 when it ceased trading.
Phase 1 (1965–1988)
In 1965 customers usually purchased branded electrical goods, largely produced by well-established domestic companies, from general stores that stocked a wide range of household products. However, in that year, a recent university graduate, Rick Hein, established his first shop specialising solely in the sale of electrical goods. In contrast to the general stores, Rick Hein’s shop predominantly sold imported Japanese products which were smaller, more reliable and more sophisticated than the products of domestic competitors. Rick Hein quickly established a chain of shops, staffed by young people who understood the capabilities of the products they were selling. He backed this up with national advertising in the press, an innovation at the time for such a specialist shop. He branded his shops as ‘Rock Bottom’, a name which specifically referred to his cheap prices, but also alluded to the growing importance of
rock music and its influence on product sales. In 1969, 80% of sales were of music centres, turntables, amplifiers and speakers, bought by the newly affluent young. Rock Bottom began increasingly to specialise in selling audio equipment.
Hein also developed a high public profile. He dressed unconventionally and performed a number of outrageous stunts that publicised his company. He also encouraged the managers of his stores to be equally outrageous. He rewarded their individuality with high salaries, generous bonus schemes and autonomy. Many of the shops were extremely successful, making their managers (and some of their staff) relatively wealthy people.
However, by 1980 the profitability of the Rock Bottom shops began to decline significantly. Direct competitors using a similar approach had emerged, including specialist sections in the large general stores that had initially failed to react to the challenge of Rock Bottom. The buying public now expected its electrical products to be cheap and reliable.
Hein himself became less flamboyant and toned down his appearance and actions to satisfy the banks who were becoming an increasingly important source of the finance required to expand and support his chain of shops.
Phase 2 (1989–2002)
In 1988 Hein considered changing the Rock Bottom shops into a franchise, inviting managers to buy their own shops (which at this time were still profitable) and pursuing expansion though opening new shops with franchisees from outside the company. However, instead, he floated the company on the country’s stock exchange. He used some of the capital raised to expand the business. However, he also sold shares to help him throw the ‘party of a lifetime’ and to purchase expensive goods and gifts for his family. Hein became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the newly quoted company, but over the next thirteen years his relationship with his board and shareholders became increasingly difficult. Gradually new financial controls and reporting systems were put in place. Most of the established managers left as controls became more centralised and formal. The company’s performance was solid but unspectacular. Hein complained that ‘business was not fun any more’. The company was legally required to publish directors’ salaries in its annual report and the generous salary package enjoyed by the Chairman and CEO increasingly became an issue and it dominated the 2002 Annual General Meeting (AGM). Hein was embarrassed by its publication and the discussion it led to in the national media. He felt that it was an infringement of his privacy and
Phase 3 (2003–2008)
In 2003 Hein found the substantial private equity investment necessary to take Rock Bottom private again. He also used all of his personal fortune to help re-acquire the company from the shareholders. He celebrated ‘freeing Rock Bottom from its shackles’ by throwing a large celebration party. Celebrities were flown in from all over the world to attend. However, most of the new generation of store managers found Hein’s style. to be too loose and unfocused. He became rude and angry about their lack of entrepreneurial spirit. Furthermore, changes in products and how they were purchased meant that fewer people bought conventional audio products from specialist shops. The reliability of these products now meant that they were replaced relatively infrequently. Hein, belatedly, started to consider selling via an Internet site. Turnover and profitability plummeted. In 2007 Hein again considered franchising the company,but he realised that this was unlikely to be successful. In early 2008 the company ceased trading and Hein himself,now increasingly vilified and attacked by the press, filed for personal bankruptcy.
(a) Analyse the reasons for Rock Bottom’s success or failure in each of the three phases identified in the
scenario. Evaluate how Rick Hein’s leadership style. contributed to the success or failure of each phase.
(b) Rick Hein considered franchising the Rock Bottom brand at two points in its history – 1988 and 2007.
Explain the key factors that would have made franchising Rock Bottom feasible in 1988, but would have
made it ‘unlikely to be successful’ in 2007. (7 marks)
(a) The product life cycle model suggests that a product passes through six stages: introduction, development, growth, shakeout,
maturity and decline. The first Rock Bottom phase appears to coincide with the introduction, development and growth periods
of the products offered by the company. These highly specified, high quality products were new to the country and were
quickly adopted by a certain consumer segment (see below). The life cycle concept also applies to services, and the innovative
way in which Rock Bottom sold and marketed the products distinguished the company from potential competitors. Not only
were these competitors still selling inferior and older products but their retail methods looked outdated compared with Rock Bottom’s bright, specialist shops. Rock Bottom’s entry into the market-place also exploited two important changes in the
external environment. The first was the technological advance of the Japanese consumer electronics industry. The second
was the growing economic power of young people, who wished to spend their increasing disposable income on products that
allowed them to enjoy popular music. Early entrants into an industry gain experience of that industry sooner than others. This
may not only be translated into cost advantages but also into customer loyalty that helps them through subsequent stages of
the product’s life cycle. Rock Bottom enjoyed the advantages of a first mover in this industry.
Hein’s leadership style. appears to have been consistent with contemporary society and more than acceptable to his young
target market. As an entrepreneur, his charismatic leadership was concerned with building a vision for the organisation and
then energising people to achieve it. The latter he achieved through appointing branch managers who reflected, to some
degree, his own style. and approach. His willingness to delegate considerable responsibility to these leaders, and to reward
them well, was also relatively innovative. The shops were also staffed by young people who understood the capabilities of the
products they were selling. It was an early recognition that intangible resources of skills and knowledge were important to the
In summary, in the first phase Rock Bottom’s organisation and Hein’s leadership style. appear to have been aligned with
contemporary society, the customer base, employees and Rock Bottom’s position in the product/service life cycle.
The second phase of the Rock Bottom story appears to reflect the shakeout and maturity phases of the product life cycle. The
entry of competitors into the market is a feature of the growth stage. However, it is in the shakeout stage that the market
becomes saturated with competitors. The Rock Bottom product and service approach is easily imitated. Hein initially reacted
to these new challenges by a growing maturity, recognising that outrageous behaviour might deter the banks from lending to
him. However, the need to raise money to fund expansion and a latent need to realise (and enjoy) his investment led to the
company being floated on the country’s stock exchange. This, eventually, created two problems.
The first was the need for the company to provide acceptable returns to shareholders. This would have been a new challenge
for Hein. He would have to not only maintain dividends to external shareholders, but he would also have to monitor and
improve the publicly quoted share price. In an attempt to establish an organisation that could deliver such value, changes
were made in the organisational structure and style. Most of the phase 1 entrepreneur-style. managers left. This may have
been inevitable anyway as Rock Bottom would have had problems continuing with such high individual reward packages in
a maturing market. However, the new public limited organisation also demanded managers who were more transactional
leaders, focusing on designing systems and controlling performance. This style. of management was alien to Rick’s approach.
The second problem was the need for the organisation to become more transparent. The publishing of Hein’s financial details
was embarrassing, particularly as his income fuelled a life-style. that was becoming less acceptable to society. What had once
appeared innovative and amusing now looked like an indulgence. The challenge now was for Hein to change his leadership
style. to suit the new situation. However, he ultimately failed to do this. Like many leaders who have risen to their position
through entrepreneurial ability and a dominant spirit, the concept of serving stakeholders rather than ordering them around
proved too difficult to grasp. The sensible thing would have been to leave Rock Bottom and start afresh. However, like many
entrepreneurs he was emotionally attached to the company and so he persuaded a group of private equity financiers to help
him buy it back. Combining the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is also controversial and likely to attract
criticism concerning corporate governance.
In summary, in the second phase of Hein’s leadership he failed to change his approach to reflect changing social values, a
maturing product/service market-place and the need to serve new and important stakeholders in the organisation. He clearly
saw the public limited company as a ‘shackle’ on his ambition and its obligations an infringement of his personal privacy.
It can be argued that Hein took Rock Bottom back into private ownership just as the product life cycle moved into its decline
stage. The product life cycle is a timely reminder that any product or service has a finite life. Forty years earlier, as a young
man, Hein was in touch with the technological and social changes that created a demand for his product and service.
However, he had now lost touch with the forces shaping the external environment. Products have now moved on. Music is
increasingly delivered through downloaded files that are then played through computers (for home use) or MP3s (for portable
use). Even where consumers use traditional electronic equipment, the reliability of this equipment means that it is seldom
replaced. The delivery method, through specialised shops, which once seemed so innovative is now widely imitated and
increasingly, due to the Internet, less cost-effective. Consumers of these products are knowledgeable buyers and are only
willing to purchase, after careful cost and delivery comparisons, through the Internet. Hence, Hein is in a situation where he
faces more competition to supply products which are used and replaced less frequently, using a sales channel that is
increasingly uncompetitive. Consequently, Hein’s attempt to re-vitalise the shops by using the approach he adopted in phase
1 of the company was always doomed to failure. This failure was also guaranteed by the continued presence of the managers
appointed in phase 2 of the company. These were managers used to tight controls and targets set by centralised management.
To suddenly be let loose was not what they wanted and Hein appears to have reacted to their inability to act entrepreneurially
with anger and abuse. Hein’s final acts of reinvention concerned the return to a hedonistic, conspicuous life style. that he had
enjoyed in the early days of the company. He probably felt that this was possible now that he did not have the reporting
requirements of the public limited company. However, he had failed to recognise significant changes in society. He celebrated
the freeing of ‘Rock Bottom from its shackles’ by throwing a large celebration party. Celebrities were flown in from all over the
world to attend. It seems inevitable that the cost and carbon footprint of such an event would now attract criticism.
Finally, in summary, Hein’s approach and leadership style. in phase 3 became increasingly out of step with society’s
expectations, customers’ requirements and employees’ expectations. However, unlike phase 2, Hein was now free of the
responsibilities and controls of professional management in a public limited company. This led him to conspicuous activities
that further devalued the brand, meaning that its demise was inevitable.
(b) At the end of the first phase Hein still had managers who were entrepreneurial in their outlook. It might have been attractive
for them to become franchisees, particularly as this might be a way of protecting their income through the more challenging
stages of the product and service life cycle that lay ahead. However, by the time Hein came to look at franchising again (phase
3), the managers were unlikely to be of the type that would take up the challenge of running a franchise. These were
managers used to meeting targets within the context of centrally determined policies and budgets within a public limited
company. Hein would have to make these employees redundant (at significant cost) and with no certainty that he could find
franchisees to replace them.
At the end of phase 1, Rock Bottom was a strong brand, associated with youth and innovation. First movers often retain
customer loyalty even when their products and approach have been imitated by new aggressive entrants to the market. A
strong brand is essential for a successful franchise as it is a significant part of what the franchisee is buying. However, by the
time Hein came to look at franchising again in phase 3, the brand was devalued by his behaviour and incongruent with
customer expectations and sales channels. For example, it had no Internet sales channel. If Hein had developed Rock Bottom
as a franchise it would have given him the opportunity to focus on building the brand, rather than financing the expansion
of the business through the issue of shares.
At the end of phase 1, Rock Bottom was still a financially successful company. If it had been franchised at this point, then
Hein could have realised some of his investment (through franchise fees) and used some of this to reward himself, and the
rest of the money could have been used to consolidate the brand. Much of the future financial risk would have been passed
to the franchisees. There would have been no need to take Rock Bottom public and so suffer the scrutiny associated with a
public limited company. However, by the time Hein came to look at franchising again in phase 3, most of the shops were
trading at a loss. He saw franchising as a way of disposing of the company in what he hoped was a sufficiently well-structured
way. In effect, it was to minimise losses. It seems highly unlikely that franchisees would have been attracted by investing in
something that was actually making a loss. Even if they were, it is unlikely that the franchise fees (and hence the money
immediately realised) would be very high.
5 An enterprise has made a material change to an accounting policy in preparing its current financial statements.
Which of the following disclosures are required by IAS 8 Accounting policies, changes in accounting estimates
and errors in these financial statements?
1 The reasons for the change.
2 The amount of the consequent adjustment in the current period and in comparative information for prior periods.
3 An estimate of the effect of the change on future periods, where possible.
A 1 and 2 only
B 1 and 3 only
C 2 and 3 only
D All three items
1 Stuart is a self-employed business consultant aged 58. He is married to Rebecca, aged 55. They have one child,
Sam, who is aged 24 and single.
In November 2005 Stuart sold a house in Plymouth for ￡422,100. Stuart had inherited the house on the death of
his mother on 1 May 1994 when it had a probate value of ￡185,000. The subsequent pattern of occupation was as
1 May 1994 to 28 February 1995 occupied by Stuart and Rebecca as main residence
1 March 1995 to 31 December 1998 unoccupied
1 January 1999 to 31 March 2001 let out (unfurnished)
1 April 2001 to 30 November 2001 occupied by Stuart and Rebecca
1 December 2001 to 30 November 2005 used occasionally as second home
Both Stuart and Rebecca had lived in London from March 1995 onwards. On 1 March 2001 Stuart and Rebecca
bought a house in London in their joint names. On 1 January 2002 they elected for their London house to be their
principal private residence with effect from that date, up until that point the Plymouth property had been their principal
No other capital disposals were made by Stuart in the tax year 2005/06. He has ￡29,500 of capital losses brought
forward from previous years.
Stuart intends to invest the gross sale proceeds from the sale of the Plymouth house, and is considering two
investment options, both of which he believes will provide equal risk and returns. These are as follows:
(1) acquiring shares in Omikron plc; or
(2) acquiring further shares in Omega plc.
1. Omikron plc is a listed UK trading company, with 50,250,000 shares in issue. Its shares currently trade at 42p
2. Stuart and Rebecca helped start up the company, which was then Omega Ltd. The company was formed on
1 June 1990, when they each bought 24,000 shares for ￡1 per share. The company became listed on 1 May
1997. On this date their holding was subdivided, with each of them receiving 100 shares in Omega plc for each
share held in Omega Ltd. The issued share capital of Omega plc is currently 10,000,000 shares. The share price
is quoted at 208p – 216p with marked bargains at 207p, 211p, and 215p.
Stuart and Rebecca’s assets (following the sale of the Plymouth house but before any investment of the proceeds) are
Assets Stuart Rebecca
Family house in London 450,000 450,000
Cash from property sale 422,100 –
Cash deposits 165,000 165,000
Portfolio of quoted investments – 250,000
Shares in Omega plc see above see above
Life insurance policy note 1 note 1
1. The life insurance policy will pay out a sum of ￡200,000 on the death of the first spouse to die.
Stuart has recently been diagnosed with a serious illness. He is expected to live for another two or three years only.
He is concerned about the possible inheritance tax that will arise on his death. Both he and Rebecca have wills whose
terms transfer all assets to the surviving spouse. Rebecca is in good health.
Neither Stuart nor Rebecca has made any previous chargeable lifetime transfers for the purposes of inheritance tax.
(a) Calculate the taxable capital gain on the sale of the Plymouth house in November 2005 (9 marks)
Note that the last 36 months count as deemed occupation, as the house was Stuart’s principal private residence (PPR)
at some point during his period of ownership.
The first 36 months of the period from 1 March 1995 to 31 March 2001 qualifies as a deemed occupation period as
Stuart and Rebecca returned to occupy the property on 1 April 2001. The remainder of the period will be treated as a
period of absence, although letting relief is available for part of the period (see below).
The exempt element of the gain is the proportion during which the property was occupied, real or deemed. This is
￡138,665 (90/139 x ￡214,160).
(2) The chargeable gain is restricted for the period that the property was let out. This is restricted to the lowest of the
(i) the gain attributable to the letting period (27/139 x 214,160) = ￡41,599
(iii) the total exempt PPR gain = ￡138,665
(3) The taper relief is effectively wasted, having restricted losses b/f to preserve the annual exemption.
(c) Calculate the expected corporation tax liability of Dovedale Ltd for the year ending 31 March 2007 on the
assumption that all available reliefs are claimed by Dovedale Ltd but that Hira Ltd will not claim any capital
allowances in that year. (4 marks)
(d) Suggest a set of SIX performance measures which the directors of SSH could use in order to assess the
quality of service provided to its clients. (3 marks)
(d) The following performance measures which could be used to assess the quality of service provided to its clients:
– The reliability of staff in keeping to scheduled appointment times with clients
– The responsiveness of staff to client enquiries or requests for assistance
– The quality of communications between SSH and its clients
– The competence of its staff in providing training to its clients
– The access times to staff upon the request of clients
– The availability of staff to meet emergency needs of clients
– The security of the data of its client base.
Notes: (i) Only six performance measures were required
(ii) Other relevant performance measures would be acceptable.
(iii) Explain the potential corporation tax (CT) implications of Tay Limited transferring work to Trent Limited,
and suggest how these can be minimised or eliminated. (3 marks)
(iii) Trading losses may not be carried forward where, within a period of three years there is both a change in the ownership
of a company and a major change in the nature or conduct of its trade. The transfer of work from Tay Limited to Trent
Limited is likely to constitute a major change in the nature or conduct of the latter’s trade. As a consequence, any tax
losses at the date of acquisition will be forfeited. Assuming losses were incurred uniformly in 2005, the tax losses at the
date of acquisition were ￡380,000 (300,000 + 2/3 x 120,000)). This is worth ￡114,000 assuming a corporation tax
rate of 30%.
Thus, Tay Limited should not consider transferring any trade to Trent Limited until after the third anniversary of the date
of the change of ownership i.e. not before 1 September 2008. As the trades are similar, there should be little problem
in transferring work from that date onwards.
3 At a recent international meeting of business leaders, Seamus O’Brien said that multi-jurisdictional attempts to
regulate corporate governance were futile because of differences in national culture. He drew particular attention to
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and International Corporate Governance
Network (ICGN) codes, saying that they were, ‘silly attempts to harmonise practice’. He said that in some countries,
for example, there were ‘family reasons’ for making the chairman and chief executive the same person. In other
countries, he said, the separation of these roles seemed to work. Another delegate, Alliya Yongvanich, said that the
roles of chief executive and chairman should always be separated because of what she called ‘accountability to
One delegate, Vincent Viola, said that the right approach was to allow each country to set up its own corporate
governance provisions. He said that it was suitable for some countries to produce and abide by their own ‘very
structured’ corporate governance provisions, but in some other parts of the world, the local culture was to allow what
he called, ‘local interpretation of the rules’. He said that some cultures valued highly structured governance systems
while others do not care as much.
(a) Explain the roles of the chairman in corporate governance. (5 marks)
(a) Roles of the chairman in corporate governance
The chairman is the leader of the board of directors in a private or public company although other organisations are often run
on similar governance lines. In this role, he or she is responsible for ensuring the board’s effectiveness as a unit, in the service
of the shareholders. This means agreeing and, if necessary, setting the board’s agenda and ensuring that board meetings
take place on a regular basis.
The chairman represents the company to investors and other outside stakeholders/constituents. He or she is often the
‘public face’ of the organisation, especially if the organisation must account for itself in a public manner. Linked to this,
the chairman’s roles include communication with shareholders. This occurs in a statutory sense in the annual report
(where, in many jurisdictions, the chairman must write to shareholders each year in the form. of a chairman’s statement)
and at annual and extraordinary general meetings.
Internally, the chairman ensures that directors receive relevant information in advance of board meetings so that all
discussions and decisions are made by directors fully apprised of the situation under discussion. Finally, his or her role
extends to co-ordinating the contributions of non-executive directors (NEDs) and facilitating good relationships between
executive and non-executive directors.
(b) The marketing director of CTC has suggested the introduction of a new toy ‘Nellie the Elephant’ for which the
following estimated information is available:
1. Sales volumes and selling prices per unit
Year ending, 31 May 2009 2010 2011
Sales units (000) 80 180 100
Selling price per unit ($) 50 50 50
2. Nellie will generate a contribution to sales ratio of 50% throughout the three year period.
3. Product specific fixed overheads during the year ending 31 May 2009 are estimated to be $1·6 million. It
is anticipated that these fixed overheads would decrease by 10% per annum during each of the years ending
31 May 2010 and 31 May 2011.
4. Capital investment amounting to $3·9 million would be required in June 2008. The investment would have
no residual value at 31 May 2011.
5. Additional working capital of $500,000 would be required in June 2008. A further $200,000 would be
required on 31 May 2009. These amounts would be recovered in full at the end of the three year period.
6. The cost of capital is expected to be 12% per annum.
Assume all cash flows (other than where stated) arise at the end of the year.
(i) Determine whether the new product is viable purely on financial grounds. (4 marks)
2 Benny Korere has been employed as the sales director of Golden Tan plc since 1994. He earns an annual salary of
￡32,000 and is provided with a petrol-driven company car which has a CO2 emission rate of 187g/km and had a
list price when new of ￡22,360. In August 2003, when he was first provided with the car, Benny paid the company
￡6,100 towards the capital cost of the car. Golden Tan plc does not pay for any of Benny’s private petrol and he is
also required to pay his employer ￡18 per month as a condition of being able to use the car for private purposes.
On 1 December 2006 Golden Tan plc notified Benny that he would be made redundant on 28 February 2007. On
that day the company will pay him his final month’s salary together with a payment of ￡8,000 in lieu of the three
remaining months of his six-month notice period in accordance with his employment contract. In addition the
company will pay him ￡17,500 in return for agreeing not to work for any of its competitors for the six-month period
ending 31 August 2007.
On receiving notification of his redundancy, Benny immediately contacted Joe Egmont, the managing director of
Summer Glow plc, who offered him a senior management position leading the company’s expansion into Eastern
Europe. Summer Glow plc is one of Golden Tan plc’s competitors and one of the most innovative companies in the
industry, although not all of its strategies have been successful.
Benny has agreed to join Summer Glow plc on 1 September 2007 for an annual salary of ￡39,000. On the day he
joins the company, Summer Glow plc will grant him an option to purchase 10,000 ordinary shares in the company
for ￡2·20 per share under an unapproved share option scheme. Benny can exercise the option once he has been
employed for six months but must hold the shares for at least a year before he sells them.
The new job will require Benny to spend a considerable amount of time in London. Summer Glow plc has offered
Benny the exclusive use of a flat that the company purchased on 1 June 2003 for ￡165,000; the flat is currently
rented out. The flat will be made available from 1 September 2007. The company will pay all of the utility bills
relating to the flat as well as furnishing and maintaining it. Summer Glow plc has also suggested that if Benny would
rather live in a more central part of the city, the company could sell the existing flat and buy a more centrally located
one, of the same value, with the proceeds.
On 15 March 2007 Benny intends to sell 5,800 shares in Mahana plc, a quoted company, for ￡24,608. His
transactions in the company’s shares have been as follows:
June 1988 Purchased 8,400 shares 6,744
February 1996 Sale of rights nil paid 610
January 2005 Purchased 1,300 shares 2,281
The sale of rights, nil paid, was not treated as a part disposal of Benny’s holding in Mahana plc.
Benny’s shareholding in Mahana plc represents less than 1% of the company’s issued ordinary share capital. He will
not make any other capital disposals in 2006/07.
In addition to his employment income, Benny receives rental income of ￡4,000 (net of deductible expenses) each
year. He normally submits his tax return in August but he has not yet prepared his return for 2005/06. He expects
to be very busy in December and January and is planning to prepare his tax return in late February 2007.
(a) Calculate Benny’s employment income for 2006/07. (4 marks)
(ii) Assuming that Donald operates through a company, advise Donald on the corporation tax (CT) that
would be payable for the year ended 31 March 2007 if he pays himself a gross salary of ￡31,000, plus
a net dividend of ￡10,000, instead of a gross salary of ￡42,648. (4 marks)
2 Your audit client, Prescott Co, is a national hotel group with substantial cash resources. Its accounting functions are
well managed and the group accounting policies are rigorously applied. The company’s financial year end is
Prescott has been seeking to acquire a construction company for some time in order to bring in-house the building
and refurbishment of hotels and related leisure facilities (e.g. swimming pools, squash courts and restaurants).
Prescott’s management has recently identified Robson Construction Co as a potential target and has urgently requested
that you undertake a limited due diligence review lasting two days next week.
Further to their preliminary talks with Robson’s management, Prescott has provided you with the following brief on
Robson Construction Co:
The chief executive, managing director and finance director are all family members and major shareholders. The
company name has an established reputation for quality constructions.
Due to a recession in the building trade the company has been operating at its overdraft limit for the last 18
months and has been close to breaching debt covenants on several occasions.
Robson’s accounting policies are generally less prudent than those of Prescott (e.g. assets are depreciated over
longer estimated useful lives).
Contract revenue is recognised on the percentage of completion method, measured by reference to costs incurred
to date. Provisions are made for loss-making contracts.
The company’s management team includes a qualified and experienced quantity surveyor. His main
(1) supervising quarterly physical counts at major construction sites;
(2) comparing costs to date against quarterly rolling budgets; and
(3) determining profits and losses by contract at each financial year end.
Although much of the labour is provided under subcontracts all construction work is supervised by full-time site
In August 2005, Robson received a claim that a site on which it built a housing development in 2002 was not
properly drained and is now subsiding. Residents are demanding rectification and claiming damages. Robson
has referred the matter to its lawyers and denied all liability, as the site preparation was subcontracted to Sarwar
Services Co. No provisions have been made in respect of the claims, nor has any disclosure been made.
The auditor’s report on Robson’s financial statements for the year to 30 June 2005 was signed, without
modification, in March 2006.
(a) Identify and explain the specific matters to be clarified in the terms of engagement for this due diligence
review of Robson Construction Co. (6 marks)
2 PRESCOTT CO
(a) Terms of engagement – matters to be clarified
Tutorial note: This one-off assignment requires a separate letter of engagement. Note that, at this level, a standard list of
contents will earn few, if any, marks. Any ‘ideas list’ must be tailored to generate answer points specific to the due diligence
review of this target company.
■ Objective of the review: for example, to find and report facts relevant to Prescott’s decision whether to acquire Robson.
The terms should confirm whether Prescott’s interest is in acquiring the company (i.e. the share capital) or its trading
assets (say), as this will affect the nature and scope of the review.
Tutorial note: This is implied as Prescott ‘has been seeking to acquire ... to bring building … in-house’.
■ Prescott’s management will be solely responsible for any decision made (e.g. any offer price made to purchase Robson).
■ The nature and scope of the review and any standards/guidelines in accordance with which it will be conducted. That
investigation will consist of enquiry (e.g. of the directors and the quantity surveyor) and analytical procedures (e.g. on
budgeted information and prior period financial statements).
Tutorial note: This is not going to be a review of financial statements. The prior year financial statements have only
recently been audited and financial statements for the year end 30 June 2006 will not be available in time for the
■ The level of assurance will be ‘negative’. That is, that the material subject to review is free of material misstatement. It
should be stated that an audit is not being performed and that an audit opinion will not be expressed.
■ The timeframe. for conducting the investigation (two days next week) and the deadline for reporting the findings.
■ The records, documentation and other information to which access will be unrestricted. This will be the subject of
agreement between Prescott and Robson.
■ A responsibility/liability disclaimer that the engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose errors, illegal acts or other
irregularities (e.g. fraudulent financial reporting or misappropriations of Robson’s assets).
Tutorial note: Third party reliance on the report seems unlikely as Prescott has ‘substantial cash resources’ and may not
need to obtain loan finance.
Roy Crawford has argued for a reduction in both the product range and customer base to improve company
(b) Assess the operational advantages and disadvantages to Bonar Paint of choosing such a strategy.
(b) Divestment of products or parts of the business is one of the most difficult strategic decisions. As apparent in Bonar Paint a
reduction in the products and customers served by the firm is likely to cause significant changes to the firm’s value chain and
system. Currently Bonar Paint supplies its customers, regardless of size, directly and this inevitably means that their
distribution costs are increased. The reduction in products and customers may allow a choice to be made about the costs of
supplying customers directly as against using distributors to handle the smaller customers.
In using the value chain one is looking to identify the significant cost activities and how those costs behave. Some costs may
be affected by the overall size of the firm e.g. advertising while others affected by the batch size being processed. The changeto fewer products will lead to a bigger batch size and a number of positive consequences for costs. The value chain’s major
benefit is in identifying and quantifying the links that exist between various activities within the firm and between the firm
and its customers and suppliers. In Bonar Paint’s case does a reduction in product range lead to less product failures and
consequent warranty claims? Does simplifying the product range lead to shorter lead times and better delivery time
performance for its customers? Above all, a good understanding of its value chain will let it know if it changes an activity what
are the consequences for other parts of the system.
In terms of reducing the product range, before such a decision is taken Bonar Paint must carry out a thorough analysis of the
pattern of customer demand for each paint type. In all probability it will find that 80% of its sales come from 20% of its
product range. Having given this qualification, reducing the product range can have a number of beneficial results on other
parts of the value chain. The immediate effect is likely to be that Bonar Paint produces fewer batches over a given time period
but produces them in larger quantities. This will bring cost savings but the impact on other parts of the value chain is equally
important. The beneficial effects are:
– With a smaller product range the control of raw materials and finished inventory will be simplified affecting inbound and
outbound logistics. This will improve the inventory turn and make for better product availability.
– With an improved inventory turn this will reduce the firm’s working capital needs and release significant amounts of
– A simpler operations process should facilitate staff savings and support more automation.
– Warranty claims and support costs could be reduced.
– Bonar Paint will be purchasing fewer raw materials but in greater volume and on a more regular basis. This will lead to
improved price and delivery terms from its suppliers.
– Bonar Paint can offer improved product reliability and better delivery to its customers and should improve its market
In terms of operational disadvantages, these therefore are largely in terms of the impact on customer service levels seen in
terms of product range availability. Once again it is important to have accurate information on the sales and profitability of
each product so informed divestment decisions could be taken. Care must be taken to identify any paints, which though
ordered infrequently, and in small quantities are a pre-cursor for customers ordering other paints. Some important customers
may require that the full range of their paint needs are met in order to continue buying from Bonar Paint.
Reduction of the product range and customer base is an important strategic decision. Eliminating non-contributors or ‘dog’
products both in terms of paints and customers is a key part of managing the product portfolio. However, inertia both in terms
of products and customers is a real strategic weakness. In terms of the three tests of suitability, acceptability and feasibility
the analysis suggests that only acceptability is likely to be an issue. Tony Edmunds needs to be convinced that it is an
appropriate strategy to adopt. It is the lack of accurate sales analysis that lies at the heart of the problem and that is his areaof responsibility!
(b) The management of Division C has identified the need to achieve cost savings in order to become more
competitive. They have decided that an analysis and investigation of quality costs into four sub-categories will
provide a focus for performance measurement and improvement.
Identify the FOUR sub-categories into which quality costs can be analysed and provide examples (which
must relate to Division C) of each of the four sub-categories of quality cost that can be investigated in order
that overall cost savings might be achieved and hence the performance improved. (8 marks)
(b) Quality costs may be monitored by measuring costs of non-conformance and costs of conformance.
Costs of non-conformance occur when the product fails to reach the design quality standards. Such costs may be subdivided
into internal failure costs and external failure costs.
Internal failure costs occur when the failure is detected before the transfer of the product to the customer.
External failure costs occur when the failure to reach the required standards is not detected until after the product has been
transferred to the customer.
Costs of conformance are those incurred in reducing or eliminating the costs of non-conformance. Such costs may be
subdivided into appraisal costs and prevention costs.
Appraisal costs are those associated with the evaluation of items such as purchased material and services in order to ensure
that they conform. to the agreed specification.
Prevention costs are those associated with the implementation of a quality improvement programme. Such costs are planned
in advance and their implementation should lead to continuous improvement.
Examples of quality costs relevant to Division C may include:
Internal failure costs: cost of materials scrapped due to poor receipt and storage procedures or losses of CC output due to poor
External failure costs: cost of quality problems with batch of CC not detected until it has reached Division B. This may require
free replacement of the batch and compensation for loss of output by Division B.
Appraisal costs: evaluation of purchased material and services in relation to the manufacture of CC to ensure that it conforms
to the agreed specification; e.g. inspection and testing before use.
Prevention costs: the cost of implementation of staff training and the costs of equipment testing to ensure that it conforms to
the specification standards required for the production of CC.
(Alternative relevant examples would be accepted)
(ii) The recoverability of the deferred tax asset. (4 marks)
(ii) Principal audit procedures – recoverability of deferred tax asset
– Obtain a copy of Bluebell Co’s current tax computation and deferred tax calculations and agree figures to any
relevant tax correspondence and/or underlying accounting records.
– Develop an independent expectation of the estimate to corroborate the reasonableness of management’s estimate.
– Obtain forecasts of profitability and agree that there is sufficient forecast taxable profit available for the losses to be
offset against. Evaluate the assumptions used in the forecast against business understanding. In particular consider
assumptions regarding the growth rate of taxable profit in light of the underlying detrimental trend in profit before
– Assess the time period it will take to generate sufficient profits to utilise the tax losses. If it is going to take a number
of years to generate such profits, it may be that the recognition of the asset should be restricted.
– Using tax correspondence, verify that there is no restriction on the ability of Bluebell Co to carry the losses forward
and to use the losses against future taxable profits.
Tutorial note: in many tax jurisdictions losses can only be carried forward to be utilised against profits generated
from the same trade. Although in the scenario there is no evidence of such a change in trade, or indeed any kind
of restriction on the use of losses, it is still a valid audit procedure to verify that this is the case
(b) Briefly explain THREE limitations of negotiated transfer prices. (3 marks)
(b) Negotiated transfer prices suffer from the following limitations:
– The transfer price which is the final outcome of negotiations may not be close to the transfer price that would be optimal
for the organisation as a whole since it can be dependent on the negotiating skills and bargaining powers of individual
– They can lead to conflict between divisions which may necessitate the intervention of top management to mediate.
– The measure of divisional profitability can be dependent on the negotiating skills of managers who may have unequal
– They can be time-consuming for the managers involved, particularly where large numbers of transactions are involved.
Following a competitive tender, your audit firm Cal & Co has just gained a new audit client Tirrol Co. You are the manager in charge of planning the audit work. Tirrol Co’s year end is 30 June 2009 with a scheduled date to complete the audit of 15 August 2009. The date now is 3 June 2009.
Tirrol Co provides repair services to motor vehicles from 25 different locations. All inventory, sales and purchasing systems are computerised, with each location maintaining its own computer system. The software in each location is
the same because the programs were written specifically for Tirrol Co by a reputable software house. Data from each location is amalgamated on a monthly basis at Tirrol Co’s head office to produce management and financial accounts.
You are currently planning your audit approach for Tirrol Co. One option being considered is to re-write Cal & Co’s audit software to interrogate the computerised inventory systems in each location of Tirrol Co (except for head office)
as part of inventory valuation testing. However, you have also been informed that any computer testing will have to be on a live basis and you are aware that July is a major holiday period for your audit firm.
(a) (i) Explain the benefits of using audit software in the audit of Tirrol Co; (4 marks)
(ii) Explain the problems that may be encountered in the audit of Tirrol Co and for each problem, explain
how that problem could be overcome. (10 marks)
(b) Following a discussion with the management at Tirrol Co you now understand that the internal audit department are prepared to assist with the statutory audit. Specifically, the chief internal auditor is prepared to provide you with documentation on the computerised inventory systems at Tirrol Co. The documentation provides details of the software and shows diagrammatically how transactions are processed through the inventory system. This documentation can be used to significantly decrease the time needed to understand the computer systems and enable audit software to be written for this year’s audit.
Explain how you will evaluate the computer systems documentation produced by the internal audit
department in order to place reliance on it during your audit. (6 marks)
3 Mary Hobbes joined the board of Rosh and Company, a large retailer, as finance director earlier this year. Whilst she
was glad to have finally been given the chance to become finance director after several years as a financial
accountant, she also quickly realised that the new appointment would offer her a lot of challenges. In the first board
meeting, she realised that not only was she the only woman but she was also the youngest by many years.
Rosh was established almost 100 years ago. Members of the Rosh family have occupied senior board positions since
the outset and even after the company’s flotation 20 years ago a member of the Rosh family has either been executive
chairman or chief executive. The current longstanding chairman, Timothy Rosh, has already prepared his slightly
younger brother, Geoffrey (also a longstanding member of the board) to succeed him in two years’ time when he plans
to retire. The Rosh family, who still own 40% of the shares, consider it their right to occupy the most senior positions
in the company so have never been very active in external recruitment. They only appointed Mary because they felt
they needed a qualified accountant on the board to deal with changes in international financial reporting standards.
Several former executive members have been recruited as non-executives immediately after they retired from full-time
service. A recent death, however, has reduced the number of non-executive directors to two. These sit alongside an
executive board of seven that, apart from Mary, have all been in post for over ten years.
Mary noted that board meetings very rarely contain any significant discussion of strategy and never involve any debate
or disagreement. When she asked why this was, she was told that the directors had all known each other for so long
that they knew how each other thought. All of the other directors came from similar backgrounds, she was told, and
had worked for the company for so long that they all knew what was ‘best’ for the company in any given situation.
Mary observed that notes on strategy were not presented at board meetings and she asked Timothy Rosh whether the
existing board was fully equipped to formulate strategy in the changing world of retailing. She did not receive a reply.
(a) Explain ‘agency’ in the context of corporate governance and criticise the governance arrangements of Rosh
and Company. (12 marks)
(a) Defining and explaining agency
Agency is defined in relation to a principal. A principal appoints an agent to act on his or her behalf. In the case of corporate
governance, the principal is a shareholder in a joint stock company and the agents (that have an agency relationship with
principals) are the directors. The directors remain accountable to the principals for the stewardship of their investment in the
company. In the case of Rosh, 60% of the shares are owned by shareholders external to the Rosh family and the board has
agency responsibility to those shareholders.
Criticisms of Rosh’s CG arrangements
The corporate governance arrangements at Rosh and Company are far from ideal. Five points can be made based on the
evidence in the case.
There are several issues associated with the non-executive directors (NEDs) at Rosh. It is doubtful whether two NEDs are
enough to bring sufficient scrutiny to the executive board. Some corporate governance codes require half of the board of larger
companies to be non-executive and Rosh would clearly be in breach of such a requirement. Perhaps of equal concern, there
is significant doubt over the independence of the current NEDs as they were recruited from retired executive members of the
board and presumably have relationships with existing executives going back many years. Some corporate governance codes
(such as the UK Combined Code) specify that NEDs should not have worked for the company within the last five years. Again,
Rosh would be in breach of this provision.
Succession planning for senior positions in the company seems to be based on Rosh family membership rather than any
meritocratic approach to appointments (there doesn’t appear to be a nominations committee). Whilst this may have been
acceptable before the flotation when the Rosh family owned all of the shares, the flotation introduced an important need for
external scrutiny of this arrangement. The lack of NED independence makes this difficult.
There is a poor (very narrow) diversity of backgrounds among board members. Whilst diversity can bring increased conflict,
it is generally assumed that it can also stimulate discussion and debate that is often helpful.
There is a somewhat entrenched executive board and Mary is the first new appointment to the board in many years (and is
the first woman). Whilst experience is very important on a board, the appointment of new members, in addition to seeding
the board with talent for the future, can also bring fresh ideas and helpful scrutiny of existing policies.
There is no discussion of strategy and there is evidence of a lack of preparation of strategic notes to the board. The assumption
seems to be that the ‘best’ option is obvious and so there is no need for discussion and debate. Procedures for preparing
briefing notes on strategy for board meetings appear to be absent. Most corporate governance codes place the discussion and
setting of strategy as a high priority for boards and Rosh would be in breach of such a provision.
There is no evidence of training for Mary to facilitate her introduction into the organisation and its systems. Thorough training
of new members and ongoing professional development of existing members is an important component of good governance.
(iv) critiques the performance measurement system at TSC. (5 marks
(iv) The performance measurement system used by TSC appears simplistic. However, it may be considered to be measuring
the right things since the specific measures used cover a range of dimensions designed to focus the organisation on
factors thought to be central to corporate success, and not confined to traditional financial measures.
Internal benchmarking is used at TSC in order to provide sets of absolute standards that all depots are expected to attain.
This should help to ensure that there is a continual focus upon the adoption of ‘best practice’ at all depots. Benchmarks
on delivery performance place an emphasis upon quality of service whereas benchmarks on profitability are focused
solely upon profitability!
Incentive schemes are used throughout the business, linking the achievement of company targets with financial rewards.
It might well be the case that the profit incentive would act as a powerful motivator to each depot management team.
However, what is required for the prosperity of TSC is a focus of management on the determinants of success as opposed
to the results of success.
(Alternative relevant discussion would be acceptable)