You are expected to prepare a 3,000-word written report in two parts: part one of the assignment is a short academic report of no more than 500 words and part two is a longer report, of no more than 2,500 words.
Part one: critically consider and evaluate the role and value of ratio analysis in an international sustainable business context (500 words max and 20% of the final marks). This section needs to relate to relevant theory.
This is a purely academic section and does not need to be linked to an organisation, the purpose of this is for you to choose a performance assessment method (Ratio Analysis) which you are planning to use as an investigation tool in part 2 and detail the theory behind it, list the value of the method etc, make sure it is balanced with advantages and disadvantages of the method. You need to demonstrate research (ensure you reference this research in the correct format) and show you have knowledge and understanding. You must be able to acquire adequate data to enable you to investigate your chosen method so please bear this in mind.
Part two: incorporating available information, investigate a significant aspect of the recent financial performance of an organisation of your choice – private or public sector, profit seeking or not-for-profit and clearly state and justify (from the perspective of an investor) the likely consequences of its assessed performance on future actions and investment decisions (2,500 words max and 80% of the marks). This section needs to refer to data and financial information available in the Appendix.
This is the section where you would detail the organisation you have chosen. You need to explain the objectives of the report, for example the purpose of the investigation, who your intended audience is going to be (your perspective) and how you are going to do this (your performance assessment method – ratio analysis), note you have listed the theory and values in part one and do not need to list this again. Note you are only basing your report on one perspective and one intended audience otherwise this will dilute information.
BE SPECIFIC! To maximise marks in this section you need to critically analyse your subject, prioritise your objectives based on this and go into detail on a maximum of 3 questions you are hoping to answer for your intended audience. If you are basing your report on ratio analysis and you are unsure of the objectives which you are wanting to prioritise it may be beneficial to complete a SWOT analysis to list the options for you then to focus on what you believe the main ones to be, then base your ratios specifically around this. You do not need to list or complete analysis on ratios that are not associated with your objectives as there are no additional marks available for this. Don not focus on large global companies, as there will be a huge amount of data to analyse which may hinder your report. If you are not basing the report on the company which you work for a good size company would be similar to Tesco Plc, therefore listed but not the size of Facebook etc. Do choose organisations that are listed and have investor pages on their website to ensure that you can access sufficient data.
In relation to formatting this is an essay based assignment, however I would expect this to be separated with titled sections to make the report clear and easy to follow. There are marks for presentations and graphs and diagrams also improve the overall presentation of the report. The report should be word processed in Times New Roman 12 font and in double-spaced format. Relevant back-up data, financial information and ratio calculations should be contained in an Appendix section which should not exceed 10 pages.
This paper needs to be Harvard Referenced correctly with a minimum of 15 references required.
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