- General information
As per the Course Description, this assignment constitutes 30 per cent of the total assessment in this course and is due week ten of semester on Thursday at 10.00am. Submission will be hard copy format via the assignment drop-box. Only one copy of the assignment is to be submitted per group.
Course BUACC1508 is concerned primarily with the use of accounting information. The main purpose of this assignment is to provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the semester to a practical task involving the use of ‘real-world’ accounting information. In particular this will enable you to gain insights into and information about the business of Billabong Limited, a merchandiser of surfwear and other outdoor action clothing, using the published financial statements of the company as your primary data source. This is intended to consolidate students’ accounting knowledge and skills. Students are required to complete the assignment in pairs and this is intended to foster the development of the co-operative work skills that will be of importance in most employment contexts.
- Assessment Details and Requirements
Students are to organise themselves into pairs to complete the assignment and do not have automatic entitlement to adopt some other arrangement (such as completing the assignment individually or in a group of three). Students who have difficulty finding a partner or who encounter other difficulties (for example, their partner withdraws from the course) should consult the Course Coordinator. There is no requirement that your partner be from the same tutorial group as yourself.
The basic requirement is to make a general analysis of the profitability, efficiency, liquidity, gearing (leverage), and investment performance of Billabong Limited using the information available in the company’s 2015 annual report available available at Billaboing Annual Report 2015 and also available via Moodle.
Students are to use the ‘Consolidated’ data in conducting their analysis. Note that the 2015 annual report contains comparative data for the year 2014. The assignment will contain two main elements:
Schedule(s) of relevant ratios and other useful calculations
The schedule(s) of relevant ratios and other useful calculations should be incorporated in one or more appendices. Ratios and other calculations should be presented so as to facilitate comparison between 2015 and 2014 data. Students are advised to show the calculations used in determining particular ratios and other figures.
A written report
The written report should:
- Explain briefly what is revealed by the ratios and other calculations in the context of the company’s profitability, efficiency, liquidity, gearing (leverage) and investment performance. In particular, any important changes from 2014 to 2015 should be identified, discussed and, where possible, explained.
- Provide an overall assessment of the company from the perspective of existing and potential equity investors (shareholders).
The assignment is to comply with the University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills and General Guide to Referencing
http://federation.edu.au/students/learning-and-study/online-help-with/study-skills-and-writing-guides and the written report is not to exceed 2,000 words (excluding the Executive Summaryand calculations which are to be incorporated in an appendix). Students are required to use the ‘APA system’ for the acknowledgment of sources. In order to help ensure that assignments meet required presentation standards, students are strongly advised to use the ‘Presentation check-list’ attached to these notes.
Students may, if they wish, seek and use additional information about the company from sources other than the annual report (for example, from newspapers, business magazines etc.). However, it is not envisaged that students will be engaged in extensive research of this nature and it is expected that the annual report provided will be the primary resource relied upon in completing the assignment. Students are expected to obtain relevant share price data for the company so that investment ratios (such as a dividend yield ratio) can be calculated. (It is recommended that students obtain the company’s share price as at 30 June 2014 and 30 June 2015 for the purpose of calculating relevant ratios on these dates. Share price data is available, among other sources, from newspapers archived in the library or on the ASX website). Under no circumstances are students to make direct personal contact with the company or its officers (for example by telephone, fax, letter or email) in an attempt to gather further information.
- SUGGESTED REPORT FORMAT AND APPROACH
SECTIONS IN REPORT:
Complete assignment in appropriate report format. Suggested report structure and headings:
- TITLE PAGE
Your title or cover page needs to convey the main information about your assignment. It must look professional and include:
The Course Code and Name:
The title of the assessment task:
Name of the Course-Coordinator and of your tutor
Trimester, year and date of submission
- TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Table of Contents (TOC) provides the outline of your report to the marker/reader. It is the first indication that you have addressed key issues and carefully planned you work. Your TOC should look well laid out as if it is the TOC in a book. Use numbering for major and minor headings where appropriate and include page numbers. You can use an extra page to detail illustrations or tables if it is appropriate.
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Executive Summary should give an overview of your report to a busy executive who does not have time to read it in full. It should:
- convey the purpose of the report,
- give a summary of key themes, ideas or findings (sub‐headings may be used),
- provide abridged
The Executive Summary should not exceed 150 words. The words in the Executive Summary are not included as part of the final word count.
- BACKGROUND: COMPANY OVERVIEW
The main body of the report should include a discussion of what is revealed by the ratios and other calculations in the context of the company’s profitability, efficiency, liquidity, gearing (leverage) and investment performance. In particular, any important changes from 2014 to 2015 should be identified, discussed and, where possible, explained. The main areas of analysis are:
- Gearing (Leverage)
- Investment Ratios
- CONCLUSIONS AND FINDINGS
The Conclusion is your evaluation or summary of the major points and key findings as discussed in the Body of the report. The Conclusion should always be concise and must not contain any new information. It should not require a substantial number of words to draw information together and summarise what you have found.
Your recommendations are the culmination of all your work and should deliver a well‐rounded and thoughtful ending to your research. The material in the body of your report provides the basis for your considerations. The conclusion provides a summary of your deliberation over your findings. The recommendations provide the reader with your considered opinions of what would be the best decision(s) to make, or course(s) of action to follow, based on your research and critical analysis.
For this assignment your recommendations should be directed towards both the internal management/directors of the company and also existing and potential external equity investors.
The appendix must contain a one page summary in table format of the results of your ratio calculations. This summary of your ratio results should be followed by the actual ratio calculations and workings. Footnotes should also be used in your appendix to justify any values you have used in your calculations where there is some uncertainty if you have selected the correct figure (value) from the annual report to be used in the formulas.
This must contain full details all sources referred to or cited in the report, using the Federation University author‐date (APA) style.
In particular, any important changes from 2014 to 2015 should be identified, discussed and, where possible, explained. This may include amongst other aspects discussion and analysis of:
- Key results/trends from the ratio calculations
- Implications of your findings on the various
- Possible reasons and explanations behind the company’s fianacial performance and results
- Strategic implications for the company
- Strategies to improve the companies financial performance and results and also improve investor (shareholder/member) confidence
- Presentation AND REFERENCING
The ‘Presentation check-list’ (see attached appendix) indicates the requirements and expected standards concerning presentation. An assignment that complies with the guidelines highlighted in this check-list would normally be expected to achieve the required presentation standard (see assessment criteria below). If further guidance is required, students should in the first instance refer to the General Guide to Writing and Study Skills and General Guide to Referencing
publications, available from the University bookshop at Mt Helen campus or online at: http://federation.edu.au/students/learning-and-study/online-help-with/study-skills-and-writing-guides
The link to the library website for more information is: FedUni Library – Referencing
If additional clarification is necessary, students should discuss the matter with the staff member responsible for conducting their tutorial.
- Assessment criteria
In assessing submitted assignments consideration will be given to:
- Overall neatness, completeness and quality of presentation.
Degree level students are expected to achieve a satisfactory standard with respect to this criterion as a matter of course and for this reason no credit will be granted for achieving it. However, assignments that fail to achieve the minimum standard in connection with this criterion will be penalised. The expected standard concerning this criterion is contained in the attached ‘Presentation check-list’.
- Timeliness of submission.
Degree level students are expected to be able to meet reasonable deadlines for the submission of assessable work as a matter of course. For this reason no credit will be given for submitting the assignment by the due date. Assessment tasks submitted after the due date, without prior approval/arrangement, will be penalised at 10% of the available marks per day. Requests for extension of time must be made with the lecturer concerned and based on Special Consideration guidelines
- Demonstrated skill in identifying and calculating relevant ratios and other indicators of profitability, efficiency, liquidity, gearing (leverage), and investment performance.
This criterion relates specifically to the requirement to prepare a schedule (or schedules) of relevant ratios and other calculations and carries a weighting of 12 marks out of the 30 available for the assignment.
- Demonstrated understanding of financial reports and ratios and other indicators of profitability, efficiency, liquidity, gearing (leverage), and investment performance.
This criterion relates specifically to the requirement to submit a written report and carries a weighting of 18 marks out of the 30 available for the whole assignment. Written reports in excess of 2,000 words will be penalised.
A single copy (only) of the assignment should be submitted, for which the two students who prepared it will usually receive the same mark. This is based on the expectation that each student will have contributed equally to the preparation of the assignment. Where this expectation has not been satisfied separate marks may be allocated.
Selected students may be invited to discuss their assignment with the person responsible for marking it. This discussion will only be taken into account in marking assignments where it provides evidence that the integrity of students’ work has been compromised. This may, for example, be evidenced by students being unable to explain the meaning of their assignment, being unable to explain why certain information has been included and so on.
Plagiarism is the presentation of the expressed thought or work of another person as though it is one’s own without properly acknowledging that person.
Students must not allow other students to copy their work and must take care to safeguard against this happening. In cases of copying, normally all students involved will be penalised equally; an exception will be if the student can demonstrate the work is their own and they took reasonable care to safeguard against copying.
Plagiarism is a serious offence. Please refer to the following documents:
Appendix: Presentation check-list
As indicated above, the assignment for BUACC1508 is to be presented in accordance with the University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills and General Guide to Referencing. To assist students in achieving the required standard the following check-list is provided.
It is highly recommended that students read through the following items before they commence work on the assignment so that they have a general understanding of what is expected concerning presentation. An assignment that complies with the guidelines highlighted in this check-list would normally be expected to achieve the required presentation standard (see the assessment criteria above).
Prior to submitting their assignments students should read carefully through the following statements and tick the ‘Completed’ box for each item only when they are satisfied that their assignment meets the specified presentation standard.
Section references are to the University’s General Guide for the Presentation of Academic Work (revised edition, 2014). All students should ensure that they have a copy of this document before commencing work on the assignment.
- We have read the General Guide to Writing and Study Skills and General Guide to Referencing and understand why the proper presentation of academic work is important.
- We have read and understood the section dealing with plagiarism.
- We have read the section concerning ‘Layout an appearance’ and complied with its guidelines. Please note that ‘1.5’ or ‘double’ spacing is required for the written sections of this assignment.
- Our assignment has a title page that contains the information specified in the ‘Title page or cover sheet’ section (and includes the BUACC1508 tutorial group of each student).
- Our assignment has an abstract (or synopsis or summary) prepared in accordance with the instructions contained in the ‘Reports’ section.
Note: As per p.36, the abstract follows immediately after the title page and ‘should summarise or précis the content of the work’. Note that the abstract or synopsis should not simply be a restatement of the topic, nor a table of contents in prose form.
- If our assignment contains a table of contents, it has been prepared in accordance with the General Guide to Writing and Study Skills.
- If our assignment contains appendices, they have been prepared in accordance with the General Guide to Writing and Study Skills.
- We have read the General Guide to Referencing and understand the importance of properly acknowledging the use of other writers’ works. For this assignment the APA system is required to be used.
- We have read the General Guide to Referencing which deals with the APA citation style, and used the APA system in our assignment.
Note: In an assignment of this nature the need to acknowledge sources by ‘author-date’ references may be limited. This is on account of the technical knowledge and skills required to complete the assignment being taught as part of the course content. However, where students quote or use ideas from a particular source (for example, a newspaper article or a textbook) this should be acknowledged. Some judgement is needed in this matter. For example, if a current ratio is calculated there is no need to acknowledge the source of the formula used since the current ratio forms part of general accounting knowledge. However, if a particular author is quoted, or a particular author’s ideas concerning, for example, an appropriate current ratio, are used, then an acknowledgment using an ‘author-date’ reference (see examples in the General Guide to Referencing) will be required. The proper acknowledgment of sources is very important in academic work and it is worth investing some time in learning to do it correctly, as the benefit will be enduring.
- Our assignment contains a reference list prepared in accordance with the General Guide to Referencing.
- We have carefully proofread our assignment prior to submitting it. (Simply running the assignment through a spell-checker, while helpful, is not a substitute for a careful proofreading). When proofreading our assignment we endeavoured to identify and correct all spelling, punctuation, grammatical and other similar errors.
- We understand that the staff member(s) responsible for taking our tutorials is(are) available to answer questions relating to the presentation of our assignment. If we were uncertain of how to achieve the proper presentation standard we asked a staff member for advice.