Strategic Business Management
SBM Tutor Conference Tips 2021
April 28, 2021
Quite a few useful tips passed on by the SBM examiner team at the 2021 ICAEW Tutor Conference:
The examiners confirmed that there will be no use of the dreaded Inflo data analytics package in SBM this year so that is good news. Except that you need to know Inflo anyway if you are doing Corporate Reporting this year as well.
A massive hint was dropped that the new syllabus content on statistics will be tested at some point in the 2021 examinations so make sure you read pages 925 to 931 inclusive of the 2021 edition of the SBM Workbook religiously between now and exam day. Learn the content too.
Relatedly, the examiners stated that no detailed statistical calculations will be required for the 2021 SBM exam but be prepared to interpret data already prepared by the client.
The examiners stated that the word "because" is the single most important word in an SBM answer because (!) it explains why the candidate has arrived at their conclusion. The examiners said that if only more candidates used the word "because" a lot more, the pass rate would be higher. Presumably you can't just copy and paste the word "because" a hundred times and expect to do any better. Because that would be stupid, but hopefully you get the idea. Because if you don't, you are missing out on some easy marks.
Try not to force the Transparency, Effective and Fairness framework into an SBM Ethics answer as it does not always fit the question wording well. Instead, it is better to emphasise specific ethical principles such as confidentiality, professional behaviour, integrity and so on.
If you have only found 1 Ethics issue in an SBM question, go back and look again because you have probably missed something.
If the acquisition options have different shareholding percentages (such as 15% v 80%), this will be for a reason so do not just pro-rate your valuation. Instead, look for important narrative factors to discuss.
There will very often be marks for Conclusions and Recommendations in any SBM response and the marker has discretion to award Recommendations marks even if the draft marking guidance does not specifically allocate any such marks. So it is always worth including these if you can.
That should hopefully help but for more advice, check out our SBM Exam Room Notes and SBM on-demand video course.