Financial Information for Business Decisions

Financial Information for Business Decisions
must clearly be articulate AND numerate AND commercially aware AND anchored to the module ethos and questions. Numerate here means “the ability to situate basic analytical tools to gain visibility of case study data – it does not mean “the ability to re perform basic ratios and growth rates on case study data”.
A reliable critical understanding of the chosen company’s business model; a critical understanding of comparator company’s business models and a critical location is explicitly communicated.
Good technical understanding must be explicitly and reliably evident for a 2:1.
Answers should clearly demonstrate ideas like:
• revenue and gross margin drive gross profit,
• gross profit and indirect costs drive operating profit, and
• operating profit and all the other items listed below operating profit drive the reported profit for the year.
Alternatively this can be expressed as:
• gross profit is a function of revenue and gross margin,
• operating profit is a function of gross profit and indirect costs, and
• etc…
Key issues such as:
• trends, and
• standout features
need to be reliably identified and clearly communicated.
Such scripts should inspire a sense of “confidence” in the reader that the student understands how the Income Statements fit together.
A very good understanding of the business model and business environment is required.
Additionally (and very importantly), some form of mathematically inspired model must be created and used to assist explanation that carries with it a sense of justification. Eg. For a low 2:1 a pub business would, at the very least, need to be analysed in terms of number of pubs and revenue per pub. For a higher 2:1 such a business would need to be analysed using sales per square foot too.
For the avoidance of doubt….
An excellent understanding of the business model with weak analytics could justify a mid 2:1. Excellent analytics with a reasonable understanding of the business model would also only justify a mid 2:1.
A very good understanding of the business model and business environment is required.
Also: strong use of analytics must be evident. This means that analytics are being used to find the answer – rather than are being used as the answer.
A sense of mature quantification would be a typical characteristic of a 2:1 script.
For the avoidance of doubt….An excellent understanding of the business model with weak analytics could justify a mid 2:1. Excellent analytics with a reasonable understanding of the business model could justify a mid 2:1.
A very good understanding of the business models of all the different companies analysed and business environment is required.
Capable use of analytics is required to give an appropriate level of visibility to the issues under review.
A definite sense of criticism is required.
The narrative must firmly link the numbers to the underlying business factors.
There is a definite sense that some of the key issues have been addressed
:)

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