Updated: Aug 19, 2019
ACCA F3 June 2018 exam pass rate is 71%. In the past five sessions, ACCA Financial Accounting pass rates are very stable which ranged from 67% to 72%.
Link: June 2018 pass rates
ACCA F3 is a paper aiming to develop knowledge and understanding of financial accounting principles and concepts.
You are required to study well in:
Using double entry accounting techniques;
Preparation of basic financial statements and consolidated financial statements.
The strong linkage in knowledge between Financial Accounting (FA, or F3) and Financial Reporting (FR, or F7) suggest you to attempt Financial Reporting exam once you completed Financial Accounting.
There are total 8 areas in the syllabus in exam.
Area A, B and C are explaining and introducing financial accounting fundamental principles and concepts.
Area D is important as it explains how to record transactions and events.
Area E focus on preparing trial balance and correcting errors.
Area F and G explain how to prepare basic financial statements as well as consolidated financial statements.
Area H is a conclusion of Financial Accounting by sharing how to interpret financial statements.
The exam is divided into two parts. Section A of the exam contains 35 objective test questions and each question worth 2 marks. Section B contains 2 longer questions, 15 marks each, testing your understanding and application of financial accounting skills in more dept.
All questions are compulsory.
For those 35 objective test questions in Section A, 3 areas are very important for you to study and prepare well. They are Recording Transactions and Events (Part D), Preparing Trial Balance (Part E) and, Preparing Basic Financial Statements (Part F).
In the Specimen paper (Link: Specimen paper), we found around 26 marks is in Part D of the syllabus, Part E contains 10 marks and Part F contributes 18 marks.
These 3 parts contributes 54 marks out of total 70 marks in Section A.
The remaining 16 marks are from Part A, B, C and H.
The syllabus design is you have to master the accounting techniques on recording different transactions and events, according to accounting standards, and preparing trial balance with the transactions recorded.
Once trial balance is done or errors are corrected, financial statements can be prepared.
It is also the basic principle in accounting department operation!
In Section B, each longer question focuses in only 1 area in the syllabus.
One question will test consolidations (Part G) and sometimes including a small amount of interpretation (Part H).
Another question will test the preparation of basic financial statements for single entities (single companies or sole traders).
In the report (Examiner’s Report), ACCA F3 Examiner highlights what you should know to prepare the exam by sharing which questions are more difficult to students.
It is highly recommended to read through the Examiner’s Report for your exam preparation. Here I would like to take the most important parts to share with you.
Section A Performance
Section A contains 35 2-mark objective test questions. It covers all areas in the syllabus. However, as mentioned before, more marks are found in Recording Transactions and Events (Part D), Preparing Trial Balance (Part E) and Preparing Basic Financial Statements (Part F) from Specimen paper.
June 2018 Examiner’s Report discusses three examples. Usually, these examples are important as many students cannot do them well but the knowledge is considered to be core in the syllabus.
The examples shared by Examiner are:
Understanding of the errors that may occur in financial statements
Record a share issue in the financial statements
Reconciliation of receivables control account and receivables ledger balances
A brief of the questions and solutions are provided below for your easy reference.
Example 1 – Understanding of the errors that may occur in financial statements
Question: M Co’s trial balance does not agree and therefore a suspense account with a debit balance of $3,000 has been opened.
Which of the following errors could explain this difference?
A receipt of $3,000 from a credit customer has been credited to the payables control account instead of the receivables control account
The interest received account of $1,500 has been omitted from the trial balance
Equipment repairs of $3,000 have been incorrectly capitalized as part of plant and equipment
A $1,500 bank balance has been shown in the trial balance as an overdraft of $1,500
First, you should know what suspense account is. A suspense account is an account showing a balance equal to the difference in a trial balance.
Or it is an account used temporarily or permanently to carry doubtful and discrepancies pending their analysis and permanent classification.
Option A is an error of recording receipt in payables control account while it will not impact the suspense account because of no difference in a trial balance.
It is the same for Option C too while the incorrectly capitalized equipment repairs of $3,000 will not make a difference in trial balance, therefore, no impact on suspense account.
Option B is an error of interest income omission where the account is omitted from the trial balance entirely and to balance a suspense account on the credit side, not debit side.
Option D is correct as it will impact the suspense account as a positive bank balance or debit balance has incorrectly been recorded as an overdraft or credit balance on the trial balance. It results in debits being understated by $1,500 and credits being overstated by $1,500.
Total debit entry to the suspense account of $3,000.
Example 2 – Trial Balance: Capital Accounts
Again, the example shared by ACCA F3 examiner is on correcting error which you will find this type of question is often considered challenging to students.
Question: On 1 October 20X6, N Co had 400,000 25c ordinary shares in issue. On 1 January 20X7, there was a right issue of one for five at $1.50. The entry in the share premium account was omitted in error and as a result the trial balance at 30 September 20X7 did not agree.
What balance would have been entered in the suspense account when it is opened?
Correct answer is D.
Number of shares to be issued under the right issue program is 400,000 / 5 = 80,000 shares. The capital raised is $1.50 per share while the share capital per each share is $0.25, therefore, the share premium per share is $1.50 - $0.25 = $1.25.
Total share premium is therefore, $1.25 x 80,000 = $100,000.
The accounting entries for the transaction should be:
Dr Bank $120,000
Cr Share capital $20,000
Cr Share premium $100,000
The credit of share premium account by $100,000 is omitted.
Example 3 – Reconciliation of receivables control account & receivables ledger balances
D Co’s year-end balance on the receivables control account does not agree to the total of the list of receivables ledger balances of $560,000. The following errors have been identified:
An irrecoverable receivable balance of $30,000 has been correctly written off in the receivables control account but no adjustment has been made in the relevant customer’s account in the receivables ledger
Early settlement discounts of $12,500, which were not expected to be taken at the time the invoice was raised, have been omitted from both the receivables control account and the receivables ledger balances
What was the balance on the receivables control account AFTER the errors were corrected?
Correct answer is D.
The principle here is receivables control account and the list of receivables (ledger balances) should agree.
The first error found in ledger balances while it should be adjusted. Therefore, both the control account and ledger balances after correcting first error should be:
Total list of receivable ledger balances $560,000
Irrecoverable debt written off ($30,000)
The early settlement discount in second error was omitted in both control account and ledger balance, and it should be adjusted accordingly:
Balance b/f $530,000
Settlement discounts ($12,500)
Adjusted receivables $517,000
The receivables control account after all errors were corrected is $517,000.
Section B Performance
Section B contains 2 longer questions on 2 areas which are preparation of basic financial statements for single entities and simple consolidated financial statements.
For basic financial statements for single entities preparation, it is found that the major issues in this attempt are:
Select the correct format and title for the statement of profit or loss or statement of financial position (IAS 1);
Workings on adjustments or calculations must be shown if you are being asked to prepare;
Problem in calculating adjustments for depreciation while some of students are not familiar with straight line and reducing balance methods.
For basic consolidation questions, a thorough understanding of consolidation techniques required, such as goodwill calculation, non-controlling interests and consolidated retained earnings. In addition, you need to pay the following issues as well:
Select the correct title, i.e. “consolidated statement of financial position at (date)”;
Show your workings in calculation of items asked, such as goodwill, net assets and non-controlling interests as it is your benefit to gain some partial marks in case your final answer is not correct;
Wrongly do time apportionment on items on the statement of financial position;
No time apportionment on profit on mid-year acquisition;
Incorrectly record the equity share capital;
Not paying extra care on calculating unrealized profit.
Examiner states that Financial Accounting paper requires you to have a thorough understanding of financial accounting techniques and the capability of preparing financial statements for both single and group entities.
It is not rare to find the wrong formats of financial statements are presented by students.
Therefore, you should pay extra care on writing the correct format of financial statements as these marks are considered as easy marks.
In addition, Recording Transactions and Events (Part D) and Preparing Trial Balance (Part E) are two core areas in this paper.
They formed the fundamentals on basic financial statements preparation (Part F) and basic consolidated statements (Part G).
You are advised to spend much more time in Part D and Part E to ensure you fully understand the knowledge for exam.
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