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Let’s face this hard truth – Our jobs mostly revolve around issues related to performance. They are part and parcel of daily work lives. At any given time, multiple issues are bound to impact a company’s overall performance which might stem from both internal and external factors.
Many of us are involved in reviews of performance reports, information systems, development of new strategies or projects to counter these issues/ changes. We understand these issues will often be resolved but stop for a while and think about it.
When was the last time you almost risked losing your company’s customers and revenue, ultimately damaging your company’s reputation when you could not identify a satisfactory solution?
The traditional management accountant only looked at the reducing cost through analysis and identification of cost cutting measures, often serving as second fiddle to the finance function. Today’s reality is that as businesses are continually evolving to meet the ever changing demands of customers today, it is imperative to have a robust performance measurement system that can conduct an evaluation of overall company performance from time to time to stay agile and enjoy continued business growth – the management accounting function of today is evolving to be that of a decision making role.
This is where the Advanced Performance Management (APM) of the ACCA Qualification comes into play. The skills imparted by this paper will not only be crucial in tackling mission critical tasks but also help you chart a career in handling and heading the operations of your organisation.
Advanced Performance Management not only helps better align strategic management accounting techniques with the business vision and mission, but also helps management accountants prioritise issues to be addressed by focusing on the impact on key business outcomes.
If you are new to this ACCA Professional Paper syllabus, this article gives you an overview of what Advanced Performance Management is, why it is important for professional accountants, as well as its value in the business environment.
Advanced Performance Management is one of the Optional papers in the Strategic Professional papers of the ACCA Qualification. With an expansive syllabus, APM aims to enable individuals to apply the relevant knowledge and skills of various strategic management accounting techniques across different business contexts while also exercising professional judgement in the process.
Advanced Performance Management is more than just performing some number-crunching processes. Instead, it works very much with the terms “applied skills” or “soft skills” and aims to avoid common mistakes in the use of numbers. The syllabus moves from performance management systems to the scope and application of high-level performance measurement techniques, for both the overall organisation and human resources involved in a variety of contexts, including non-profit organisations and multinational companies.
Having covered the strategic aspects of performance management and operational systems for the measurement and control of performance in a variety of contexts, students/ professionals are then expected to synthesise this knowledge in the role of an advisor to senior management, stakeholders or investors on how to assess, control or improve the performance of an entity, including the recognition of whether a business is facing difficulties or possible failure.
By deepening the knowledge in each subject area, students/ professionals are better able to demonstrate an integrated knowledge of the subject and an ability to relate their understanding of the subject to issues of strategic and operational importance to a company. It is about marrying strategy with creative thinking to resolve business problems that a company faces.
It is often the knowledge and skills in management accounting that helps a professional accountant get their foot in the door at a new job. In fact, accountants who demonstrate professionalism in planning, controlling and improving company performance are often perceived to be more competent and valuable.
Being knowledgeable in these areas can also give you a competitive edge to help kickstart your career. While Advanced Performance Management can help you achieve this, it is your ongoing effort to continually apply what you learn in your profession that really matters.
What Advanced Performance Management really does is that it enables you to start examining issues relating to performance management information systems and their designs and also identify and address the impact of changing developments in technology, natural environment, fiscal and economic environment on the performance management and measurement systems used. And we are barely touching the tip of the iceberg of what APM can provide to ACCA professionals here!
In summary, Advanced Performance Management is a must-have and relevant Professional Paper to sharpen your management accounting techniques and optimise your company’s business performance. Once learned, these critical problem-solving skills with creative thinking will help you when issues arise, driving agility and sustainability for the company.