ACCA MA (Management Accounting)
Guides, Practice & Mock Exam
ACCA MA (Management Accounting) or Foundation in Accountancy (FMA) is one of papers in Applied Knowledge Module. The syllabus states its aim is to introduce knowledge and understanding of:
Nature, source and purpose of cost accounting;
Applying cost accounting techniques;
Preparing budgets for planning and control;
Comparing actual costs with standard costs and analyse any variances;
Performance measurements and monitor business performance.
In examiner’s report, it highlights some areas that many students performance can be improved such as calculation of abnormal gain, interpretation of ratios, net present value calculations and standard cost variances calculation.
It is found that students are better performed in narrative questions rather than numeric questions.
Even we note there is about half of the questions in exam is narrative, you need to fully understand all topics including both concepts and calculations in order to ensure you pass it.
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All questions are compulsory. The 2-hour computer-based exam will assess all parts of the syllabus and will test knowledge and some comprehensive or application of this knowledge.
Section A includes 35 two-mark objective test questions covering all areas in the syllabus.
Section B comprises 3 ten-mark multi-task questions and each of which will Budgeting, Standard costing and Performance measurement sections of the syllabus.
In other words, Section A contributes 70% of total marks while Section B shares another 30%.
ACCA MA is one of the fundamental papers to begin with your ACCA professional qualification journey.
Its syllabus introduces to management accounting techniques to support management in planning, controlling and monitoring performance in a variety of business contexts.
ACCA MA is the fundamental to ACCA PM (Performance Management) especially on budgeting, costing techniques and performance measurement methodologies. An edge to ACCA PM if you master these techniques in ACCA MA.
In addition, the capital budgeting concepts, such as discount cash flow analysis, internal rate of return, net present value and payback period, are critical in your study on ACCA FM (Financial Management).
There are 6 sections in the syllabus, which are –
A. The nature, source and purpose of management information
Explain the nature, source and purpose of management information
B. Data analysis and statistical techniques
Explain and apply data analysis and statistical techniques
C. Cost accounting techniques
Explain and apply cost accounting techniques
Prepare budgets for planning and control
E. Standard costing
Compare actual costs with standard costs and analyse any variances
F. Performance measurement
Explain and apply performance measurements and monitor business performance
In the exam, you will see questions from every section in the summary above. There is no one area you can ignore as all of them will be in your exam. Perhaps you find the topics above are separated, however, they are linked together in real business world as well as the syllabus design.
Section A introduces the general ideas and purposes of management accounting. You have to know why do we need management accounting and what’re the differences between financial accounting and management accounting. In addition, your skills on presenting information in different types of charts are needed.
Section A is the base for all the areas covered in other sections.
Section B explains statistical techniques used to analyse data.
Section C is cost accounting techniques while marginal costing and absorption costing are shared. These cost accounting techniques are the core in budgeting, standard costing and performance measurement.
The syllabus also share with you on the management accounting operation cycle.
First of all, you need to set up a budget (Section D) while different types of budget introduced.
Next, you would like to focus on finding out why and actual and standard costs are different. It is covered in Section E.
Last but not the least, you need to measure the business performance and understand what kind of tools to apply in your performance measurement. It is the purpose of Section F.
The general principle in ACCA Management Accounting Paper exam is 1 mark per 1.2 minute which means you have 100 marks to complete an exam within 120 minutes.
But you should be careful that the time spent on the case-based questions in Part B of the exam. It is probably more than what you need to work on objective test questions.
It is wise for you to practice mock exam to train your time management skills before you need to attempt the paper.