ACCT13017 ASS#2 Steps 3-6 General Feedback

“I can value a company! I have learnt to use 2 x models being the DCF and economic framework models to value a company. Before doing this unit, I didn’t even know that these existed. As someone who refuses to just get stuck doing ‘tax work’ for the rest of my life I know that these skills will come in handy in the future.”

“I enjoyed this unit much more than I thought I would.  Whilst this is an accounting subject it is not as ‘technical’ as I thought it was going to be.

The overall experience was good. Martin was very interactive and responsive, and I particularly liked the unit Facebook group. Whilst in the unit I have met other students who like me are juggling the daily tasks of young children, work and study. This is my first unit back from a 2-year break from studying and it was refreshing to meet other students in a similar position. 

I feel I have learned practical skills that will help me to make money. I already have a keen interest in buying shares and this subject has helped me to ‘join’ the conversation, as opposed to listening to what ‘others’ say. 

My biggest ‘take home’ concept from the course is to focus on operating activities and to break the data down into smaller pieces.”

Step 3

“The most important skill I learnt was the calculation and analysis of ratios. This is something I have not completed to this extent before and is a great skill to have. It is one thing to calculate a ratio but the ability to understand what it is telling you about a firm’s performance is where the real value comes into play. This is an important skill because it can be done for anyone! The corner shop down the road can benefit from having a few ratios calculated and compared and so too can a $125M company such as, Laura Ashley. I will use this skill time and time again in the future.”

Many people made some interesting comments in their discussions about their firm’s ratios.  And most people did not limit their discussions to a simple consideration of the numbers of the ratios.

A strength of many people’s comments was the connection of their firm’s ratios to their firm’s business and what the numbers were telling them about aspects of its business. Most people could have further strengthened this step by doing even more of this.

Quite a few people’s discussion of their firm’s key accounting drivers was interesting, making some connections between their firm’s accounting drivers and aspects of its operations.

Step 4

” This brings me to the conclusion that it is possible to connect [my firm’s] key accounting drivers to its economic and business drivers. I just did it? Didn’t I?”

Most people discussed the Economic and business drivers of their firms in a thoughtful way. Although some people’s discussions of their firm’s Economic and business drivers were more insightful than others.

Some people did a great job connecting their firm’s key accounting to its Economic and business drivers. However, most people could have more strongly connected their firm’s Economic and business drivers to its accounting drivers; and commented more on their level of confidence in the connections that they have made.

Making the link between your firm’s past accounting drivers and its past economic and business drivers is at the heart of Financial Statement Analysis.

Step 5

The Key Value Drivers and Valuation worksheets were generally well prepared.

For most assignments, the analysis and report dealt with some of the key concerns and value drivers of your firm; and people’s forecasts were generally quite convincing, although I found some people’s forecasts to be more convincing than others.

I did learn a lot about each of your firms this term.

People’s reflections on your experience of learning in our unit were generally very interesting and occasionally quite outstanding. A number of people connected very well to the key concepts we were studying this term.

“…this unit is .a reminder of things we’ve learnt and an awakening to things we may not have learnt, whilst looking at how accounting can help us determine what adds value to a firm … I feel like I have shaken the cobwebs from some of the concepts I learnt early in my degree, I have a deeper understanding of some of the areas covered in business finance and I feel more confident trawling through a company’s financial statements.”

Comparison with share price

And once everyone had arrived at their valuation for their firm, they compared their view of the value of their firm with its share price:

“My valuation equates to $0.25 per share as at my firm’s last year’s balance date.   When I look at the historical share price on that date it was trading at $0.33.  My valuation came in much lower which indicates the shares were trading above value at the time.

The share price today has dropped to just $0.09 which tells me that the market has lost confidence in the firm.  

Whilst this firm still has some income from its drilling division, most of its money is invested in its oil and gas division. I have watched oil and gas exploration companies on my share watchlist, and their values can increase and decrease significantly in a short period of time. I have also been on the receiving end of these changes in value (both positive and negative) and it is quite common to see the share price differ from the fundamental values.” 

Step 6

Some people were not that keen to give and receive feedback at the beginning of the unit – perhaps thinking this might be just ‘busy work’ and not contribute to their learning. However, as we get to the end of term most people have seen the value of exchanging feedback with others in our unit:

“I have given feedback to three other students … When I first started this subject, I thought this part of the assignment was rather annoying.  Once I read other people’s assignments, I was able to get a broader sense of the assignment questions and improve my own work.  After reading some assignments I have now added some new ASX codes to my watchlist.”

Final Comments

“I finish this subject with a real confidence in restating financial statements and calculating ratios. I did, in fact, do just that for my workplace and it really did give me an insight into our business that I did not have before.

…I feel that with more experience and practice, I would become more proficient and adept at making judgements and arriving at conclusions based on such analysis.

I also take away a much greater confidence in reading and understanding financial statements, particularly in regards to the notes. I think previously I had been a little overwhelmed by the volume or even language used in the notes to financial statement, however, I found them so useful this term and felt increasing confidence in my ability to understand them.”

A number of people have taken some time to reflect on their learning in our unit and to comment on this in their assignment. This has included advice to future students in our unit:

“What I think future students should know about this unit:

1. There is a lot of content – do a bit each week (this is not a subject you can leave until an assignment is due)

2. The more you put in – the more you will get out.

3. It’s not as ‘technical’ as it seems from the onset “

“The three most important things you should make sure you do to keep your sanity in this unit/survive this unit?

1. Review the due dates and times for each task as they vary  

2. Get involved with the Blogging, PeerWise, Facebook & Forums from day one (makes it easier in the long run)

3. USE YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS”

“My advice to students going to complete this course in the future is to really get stuck into it. This will test your entire knowledge so far in my opinion and you will definitely find most of the topics relatable to your work inside a firm and how on works. This subject is essential for any accounting and business student and I highly recommend it.”

“Future students would be wise to take all the time considerations for this subject seriously. Some university subjects really don’t require the allocated time for completion but this is not one of those subjects. In order to really be successful at this subject, you need to put in the time. If you do the work and put in the time, there is only success ahead of you (though, as much could be said of all things!). The time invested, however, is well worth it for the knowledge and experience gained at the end.”

“Anyone pursuing this unit should not leave their tasks to the last minute.

It is very important to note all the due dates at the start of unit, so you won’t get left behind … Another thing should be to stay active on PeerWise. It is important to contribute few questions every day to maintain your score if you don’t want to lose any marks. In the end, it is very important to stay connected with your peers through Moodle or Facebook group to survive in this unit.”

“For a student starting this unit I would recommend that they manage their time wisely.

There is an element of information overload at the beginning of the unit and being able to sort through and prioritise tasks is an important skill.

To save your sanity, I would recommend subscribing to all the Moodle forums in the unit (I found most of mine were optional subscriptions) and setting up alerts through the WordPress sites.

Also, set down time for a coffee and a PeerWise session every other day of the week. Jot down questions as you read the study guide so that you can add them onto PeerWise once you’ve completed the reading.”

†Survival Guide:

Be prepared that your answers may not be correct and accept any feedback from your peers with gratitude.

Do not be afraid to ask for help on the Moodle forums.

Start Peer wise asap

Get onto your blog asap and

Manage your time efficiently, try not to get sick as falling behind will make it very difficult to get back on track.”

“The three most important things you should make sure you do to keep your sanity in this unit are:
1. Read carefully all the study guides, the examples and the information included there is quite helpful.
2. Interaction with other students is very important, reading about their thought and giving them a chance to provide feedback is a great opportunity to avoid making mistakes.
3. Don’t be shy to ask. Everyone in this unit has been very helpful, not only the unit coordinator but also the students who have been giving some very helpful recommendations.”

“The benefits of hindsight:

Start doing a little bit of the assignments every week – I really struggle with doing regular study. I found that family, work commitments and pregnancy were not conducive to the regularity of the submission dates.

Write down all the submission dates and put reminders in your calendar – Although the course outline says two assignments and one quiz, the assignment due dates are split throughout the term.

The more you can research your firm the better you will understand it and it is a huge benefit when completing assignment 2.”

What do I know now about this unit that I wish I had known when I came in?

This is something that I kind of already knew, but did not act on as well as I should have; keep up to date with the due dates for each step in the assessments. As soon as I read that late penalties did not apply until the due date of the final step, I became lax with completing the steps. DO NOT DO THIS! Otherwise, you will find yourself at the end of the term with 20 pages of assignment to write in 3 days. Sort yourself out at the start of the term, keep on top of the workload, and submit the steps when they are due!

The three most important things you should make sure you do to keep your sanity in this unit/survive this unit?

Plan out the term so you know when everything is due. You don’t want deadlines creeping up on you.

Start blogging at the beginning of the term and be consistent with your blog. Also, start writing/answering questions on PeerWise as soon as possible. As the term goes on, and the other students reach their grade levels, it becomes more and more difficult to improve your score. Therefore, if you get in first you don’t have to worry as much about it later in the term, and you can focus more on the big assignments.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; SUBMIT THE STEPS WHEN THEY ARE DUE! Your life will be that much easier because of it!

“If I could give other students advice on how to learn from my mistakes and flourish in this unit I would advise them to be more organised and plan ahead more than other units. It really is designed to be done step by step week by week for both assignments and peerwise, start early.

Make weekly plans noting all the due dates as there are so many steps

Don’t get lazy halfway through the semester – STICK TO YOUR WEEKLY PLANS

Do not let KCQs take your sanity. Conquer them!”

“… future students should make sure to give time to understand the lecture each week, making sure they can relate the topic to reality so they can give the best explanation and understanding on what the topic is all about.

Based on my experience in this unit, the assessment was not that hard, but it is harder than other accounting subjects because it requires an explanation from the student and relating that to their experience.

For me, doing an assessment that is more on research is quite easy in terms of answering the assessment as the principle and information is already given and I just need to make sure that is accurate. But, answering an assignment based on analysis that I have made and connecting it to reality by telling my own experience and knowledge is quite complicated.

However, I could say that I enjoy doing these assessments and this helps me understand important aspects about accounting and [business]reality.”

For future students in this unit, I recommend staying up to date with the workload, the estimated times in the assessment are correct so don’t fall behind. Also Moodle interactions are important … I was thankful for it … as we are all going through the same thoughts and it is reassuring to know your not the only one…”

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