SBR | Study Text - KAP LAN

You should keep reading if you have an ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) exam coming up, are thinking about enrolling, or want to know how to resit.

Before we begin, it's important to understand that ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) is available in two versions: the International Paper and the UK and Ireland Paper. These are relevant to the reporting standards you're learning about. We'll be referring to the International Paper in this guide.

The structure, format, and majority of the syllabus are unaffected. You have the option of selecting the exam you will take based on the standards that are most relevant to your profession. More information on the ACCA variant exams can be found here.

2021 | SBR - Strategic Business Reporting | KAP LAN - STUDY TEXT and EXAM KIT


The ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) course teaches you how to use your knowledge, skills, and professional judgment in the field of business reporting. You'll learn how to prepare reports correctly and effectively communicate business reporting principles and concepts to stakeholders.

Essentially, knowing corporate reporting inside and out and being able to effectively communicate that knowledge to other business leaders is the goal. Scroll down to the syllabus section of this guide for a more detailed look at what ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) entails.

One of two Strategic Professional Essentials papers in your ACCA course is ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR).

The ACCA exams are taken in module order, with the complexity of the modules increasing as you progress. Strategic Business Reporting is the most advanced level of the ACCA, and you should already have a wealth of supporting knowledge and skills – either from the ACCA or, if you have exemptions, from a previous study. Before taking ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR), we also recommend that you complete your Ethics and Professional Skills module.

Although you must complete modules in order, you can take exams in any order you like within each module. This isn't always the order you'd expect at the Strategic Professional level.

That’s for two reasons.

(1)Taking the other Essential Strategic Professional paper, ACCA Strategic Business Leader (SBL), as your final or near-final exam has a lot of advantages. Much of the information in Strategic Business Leader has already been covered in previous modules, so you'll be in a better position to pass if you postpone this exam.

(2) ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) will almost certainly be your first Strategic Professional paper – and, depending on exemptions, it may even be your first ACCA paper.

As a result, this paper may serve as a major wake-up call. You can see how SBR performed in its first outing by looking at the most recent pass rates for Strategic Professional exams:

The brain surgeon is a common analogy we use.

Would you want someone who had gotten nearly half of the questions wrong on their professional medical exams performing surgery on you tomorrow?

The answer is emphatically no, which is one compelling reason to strive for a higher score on ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) than the bare minimum.

There's a significant shift in mindset going on here. The thing is, the ACCA isn't just a hurdle you must overcome in order to advance in your career. It's not something you can outsmart or hack. It has to do with your future professional career.

Everything you learn on the ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) and other papers are directly related to the professional you will become, the value you will add, the money you will earn, and the career path you will take.

Sure, it's good news if you get a pass with an average grade But why would you settle for scraping if you have big ambitions and want to achieve great things in your career?

Although there are always exceptions, people who excel in their ACCA exams are much more likely to excel in their subsequent careers.

So go ahead and be that person. Not the one who scribbled the 50s and 51s on every piece of paper.

And the good news is that we're here to assist you. Continue reading to find out how to ace ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) like a pro.

Exam Format

All of the Strategic Professional (Essentials and Options) papers, with the exception of Strategic Business Leader, follow the same format. You have three hours and fifteen minutes to complete ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR), and the pass mark is 50 percent, as it is for all other ACCA exams. ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) is currently only available as a paper-based exam.

The ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) exam is worth 100 points and is divided into two sections, each with two questions; all four questions are required. There are four professional marks available out of this total. In the exam technique section of this guide, we'll show you how to get them.

Let's break down those sections because the ACCA provides helpful guidance on which syllabus areas they look at in each.

Section A

Section A contains two scenario questions worth a total of 50 points. The first question will likely revolve around the financial statements of group entities, with some discussion of financial reporting thrown in for good measure. That's areas D and C of the syllabus, respectively; we'll go over the syllabus in more detail later in this guide.

The second question will be about the ethical and reporting implications of certain events in the scenario you've been given. For this question, there are two professional marks available.

Section B

Section B consists of two questions worth 25 points each, which may be based on a scenario, a case study, or an essay. They'll have elements of calculation and discussion in whatever format they choose.

Section B has a broader scope than section A, and you could be tested on any topic covered in the curriculum. However, there will always be a full or partial question on the appraisement of financial or non-financial data from the preparer's or other stakeholder's perspective.

For section B, there are two professional marks available. Later in this guide, we'll go over how to approach these questions on the exam.

Syllabus Guide

ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) is a slightly broader version of ACCA Corporate Reporting, ensuring that you can explain and communicate the implications of transactions and reporting to a variety of stakeholders.

Keep in mind the required exam technique, which we'll go over in more detail in a later section of this guide: the emphasis on written analysis over calculations.

These subjects are designed to align the ACCA qualification more closely with the direct needs of employers, as we've written elsewhere in our Ultimate Guide series.

Today's strategic accountant must be able to communicate with other stakeholders across the organization, understand and represent finance in a broader business context, and have a thorough understanding of ethics.

The paper's goal, according to the ACCA, is to:

“To discuss, apply, and evaluate the concepts, principles, and practices that underpin the preparation and interpretation of corporate reports in a variety of contexts, including the ethical evaluation of management stewardship and the information needs of a diverse group of stakeholders.”

You'll learn business reporting concepts, theories, and principles, as well as how to question, evaluate, and challenge proposed accounting treatments. Good scripts will make it simple to connect professional issues to real-world situations and concepts you've already learned.

To pass ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR), you'll need a thorough understanding of the Conceptual Framework, which lays out the concepts that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are built on.

For each IFRS that is examined, you must be able to confidently discuss the framework's consistency. Be prepared for questions about how the integrated reporting framework relates to corporate reporting, as it lays the groundwork for a new reporting model.

On the practical side, you'll need to understand how to prepare and present financial statements using current accounting principles. However, because this isn't a purely practical or calculation-based exam, evaluation is an important part of ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR).

You'll need both professional and ethical judgment, as well as technical knowledge, to accomplish this. ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) isn't just a test of your knowledge of the syllabus. It's a test of how well you can apply the syllabus in a business setting while conversing with other professionals.

To respond to the question, you'll frequently need to adopt a specific viewpoint. That viewpoint could come from an external or internal stakeholder. In any case, you'll need to demonstrate that you can communicate effectively depending on the situation and who you're speaking with.

Because ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) connects to other ACCA exams, you'll be able to apply what you've learned so far.

Financial Reporting (previously F7) and even Financial Accounting are examples of this (previously F3). There's also an indirect link to Advanced Audit and Assurance (previously P7), so if you're considering Advanced Audit and Assurance as an Options paper, it'll probably come after ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR).

Here’s a diagram from the ACCA:

The ACCA Global SBR study and syllabus guide lists six key learning objectives for ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR), arranged alphabetically from A to F.

Main capabilities:

Candidates should be able to: After successfully completing this paper, candidates should be able to:

  1. Discuss the consequences of unethical behavior and apply fundamental ethical and professional principles to ethical dilemmas.
  2. Examine the financial reporting framework's suitability and critically discuss changes in accounting regulations.
  3. In the reporting of the financial performance of a variety of entities, use professional judgment. Single entities, groups, public sector entities, and not-for-profit entities can all benefit from the learning outcomes in Section C of the syllabus.
  4. Prepare financial statements for a group of businesses.
  5. For various stakeholders, interpret financial statements.
  6. Communicate the financial reporting impact of changes and potential changes in accounting regulation.

Study Tips

This section examines the most effective methods for studying for the ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) exam in order to increase your chances of passing.

You should have a good idea of how to structure your study time if you've taken the previous Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills papers. Having said that, this may be your first exam, and certainly one of your first at this level, so these tips are worth reading again.

Especially if you want to get your ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) certification the first time around (of course you do).

#1 – Refresh previous papers – especially if you had exemptions

As previously stated, ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) is closely related to two other ACCA papers: Financial Reporting (previously F7) and Financial Accounting (previously F3). It's worth going over the previous syllabuses again to make sure you're completely comfortable with the assumed knowledge from these papers.

This is true even – or perhaps especially – if you were granted exemptions on these documents. Before enrolling in ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR), you may have covered the material at a similar level, but you may not have covered the same areas in the same depth.

One of the most common reasons students fail ACCA exams is that the paper assumes foundational knowledge that some students lack. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing halfway through an exam that you can't recall previous important concepts.

#2 – Leave at least 12 weeks

Because each student is so unique, the ACCA avoids prescribing a specific amount of study time. That is true, so take this specific recommendation with a grain of salt... However, if you believe you will need less than 12 weeks, you should reconsider.

Even the best students, in our experience, struggle to learn everything in less than 12 weeks, because once revision, practice questions, and mock exams are factored in, you're left with only a few weeks to study.

Although some students can prepare adequately for the earlier papers in less than 12 weeks, we do not recommend it. However, at the Strategic Professional level, these exams are extremely difficult, and the syllabus is extensive.

Take a look at how many students fail this exam and don't think you're exempt. The only way to stand out or be immune is to study harder and in the right way, which means not rushing through your studies just to finish sooner.

We've said before that this is a false economy because you're more likely to fail, and then you'll have to add another 12-weeks on top of that (because hopefully you'll do it right the second time and have 12 full weeks to study).

That is to say... If you pass ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) the first time, it will take you 12 weeks to complete. If you study for 8 weeks and fail, it's because you didn't pay attention. It will take you 20 weeks to complete. And that nicely leads us to the next point...

#3 – Don’t combine papers

When we say 12-weeks, we're referring to this specific paper. You might believe that studying two papers in one sitting will help you pass the ACCA faster, but this is a false economy.

You don't want to risk failing both and having to start from scratch. And, again, you'd like to do it right the next time, so you'll need another 12-weeks for each – so you'll need another 24-weeks if you pass the first time.

We advise taking only one paper per sitting, especially now that there are four sittings per year. That appears to be the least stressful and quickest way to pass ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR), with the best chances of passing the first time.

What if you require additional proof? Kelly Crawford, a Learnsignal student, placed joint first in Ireland and 11th worldwide in Audit and Assurance (despite the fact that all of her papers so far have been in the 70s and 80s), and she was very clear:

“I start studying two to three months before an exam, and I only take one exam at a time, so it's doable to study for a couple of hours a day.” Because I work during the week and spend my weekends with my family, I rarely study during the day.”

Kelly's approach may appear to take longer, but she'll likely pass four ACCA exams per year with minimal stress and disruption, all while working and raising a young family. This is a strategy that we wholeheartedly endorse.

#4 – Study the full syllabus

We've said it a thousand times, but every single sitting, students fail because they missed parts of the syllabus. Even if it seems insignificant, it can mean the difference between getting or leaving a mark – and in an exam where hundreds of students are sitting at 49, 50, and 51, that one mark can mean the difference between passing and failing.

There's no way out if you discover you don't know something because ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) only has mandatory questions. You can't avoid it if you don't know – and in a written paper, a guess isn't good enough.

You don't want to open the paper and discover that one area you skimmed is a major focus, believe us when we say that.

So, go over the entire syllabus, every single small detail, until you're completely comfortable. There's no reason to fail because of this because it's so simple: if you're taking an ACCA exam, you need to know the material.

#5 – Structure your study

We say it for every paper, and it's true for ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) as well: you'll need a study strategy. This will assist you in focusing your time and being disciplined in completing all of the tasks in a timely manner.

We suggest studying the entire ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) syllabus in nine weeks, leaving three weeks for revision, practice questions, and a mock exam. The ACCA recommends devoting even more time to revision and final preparation – a total of six weeks. The main point is to cover the entire syllabus as quickly as possible the first time so you can move on to questions and revisions.

When it comes to the mock exam, it's best to take it within the first ten days or so of your revision period so you can identify and revise problem areas based on your mock results.

#6 – Practice makes perfect

Forgive the cliché, but practice, practice, practice is the most effective way to learn ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR).

That should begin on the first day of your studies, not after you have completed them. It won't help if you keep writing notes over and over. Instead, you should constantly test your knowledge in order to force yourself to recall and remember information. (This is known as retrieval practice, which is the concept that repeated self-testing significantly improves memory.)

#7 – Understand how and where you learn best

People learn in different ways, at different times, in different places, and with different strategies. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it. You're trying to cram a square peg into a round hole otherwise.

There's no point in setting aside 12-weeks for studying unless you're also making good use of that time. You could leave for 100 weeks, but if you don't collect data, you won't pass the ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) exam.

So stick to what you're familiar with. If you're unsure, try new ways of working, but stick to what works rather than what you enjoy.

Integrating study with your daily life is critical, especially if you are working while you study.

#8 – Take your real-world blinkers off

Current accounting regulations and potential changes are specifically addressed in ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) Syllabus Area F, which means you must be aware of those current issues. Certainly, the examiners will be, and they will try to include elements of questions that address current issues whenever possible. They'll also look favorably on scripts that make reference to current events and issues.

The problem is, as we previously stated, this isn't just an exam. This updated Strategic Professional level was introduced by the ACCA to explicitly align your skills to the real-world skills that will best serve you – and the organizations you work with – in your career.

Knowing what's going on in the world that could affect you and your decisions, as well as the business and business decisions? That is critical to adding value as a strategic accountant in today's world.

So, when studying for the ACCA Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) paper, or any other paper, make sure you don't put your real-world blinders on. You should take an active role in the larger business world.

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