ATHE Level 3 Assignments


Unit 6 Introduction to Financial Controls in Business ATHE Level 3 Assignment Answer UK

Unit 6 Introduction to Financial Controls in Business ATHE Level 3 Assignment Answer UK

Unit 6 Introduction to Financial Controls in Business, part of the ATHE Level 3 course. Effective financial management is crucial for any successful business. Financial controls provide a systematic approach to managing and monitoring a company’s financial resources. This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of the importance of financial controls in business and how they can help to ensure financial stability and growth. During this unit, you will explore various financial controls and techniques used to manage a company’s finances. You will learn how to develop and implement financial policies and procedures that will enable you to effectively manage budgets, cash flow, and financial reporting.

Additionally, you will develop an understanding of financial risk management, including the identification, assessment, and mitigation of financial risks. You will also explore the role of financial controls in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and ethical considerations. By the end of this unit, you will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to develop and implement effective financial controls and management strategies that will enable you to make informed financial decisions and contribute to the overall success of a business.

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In this section, we discuss some assignment tasks. These are:

Assignment Task 1: Understand business costs and breakeven.

Explain (a) fixed (indirect) costs (b) variable (direct) costs (c) semi-variable costs and (d) marginal costs.

(a) Fixed (indirect) costs are expenses that do not vary with changes in production or sales volume. They are expenses that must be paid regardless of the level of production or sales. Examples of fixed costs include rent, salaries of administrative staff, property taxes, insurance, and depreciation of fixed assets.

(b) Variable (direct) costs are expenses that vary directly with changes in production or sales volume. They are expenses that increase or decrease as production or sales increase or decrease. Examples of variable costs include raw materials, direct labor, and sales commissions.

(c) Semi-variable costs are expenses that have both fixed and variable components. These costs have a fixed portion that does not change with changes in production or sales volume, and a variable portion that changes with changes in production or sales volume. Examples of semi-variable costs include utilities, such as electricity and water, where there is a fixed portion of the bill and a variable portion based on usage.

(d) Marginal costs are the costs incurred by producing one additional unit of a product. They are the change in total cost that results from producing one more unit of output. Marginal costs can be used to determine the optimal level of production, as firms will continue to produce as long as the marginal revenue from each additional unit sold is greater than the marginal cost of producing it.

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(a) Explain the concept of contribution and (b) the significance of the breakeven level of output.

(a) Contribution refers to the difference between the total revenue earned by a business and its total variable costs. It represents the amount of revenue that is available to cover the fixed costs of the business and generate a profit.

In other words, contribution is the amount by which sales revenue exceeds variable costs. It is calculated by subtracting the total variable costs from the total revenue.

Contribution is an important measure for businesses as it helps to assess the profitability of individual products or services, and also to make decisions regarding pricing, cost control and product mix.

(b) The breakeven level of output is the level of sales or production at which a business generates enough revenue to cover its total costs (both fixed and variable) but does not make a profit or incur a loss.

At the breakeven level of output, the contribution margin is equal to the fixed costs, so there is no net income. Below the breakeven level of output, the business incurs a loss, while above the breakeven level of output, the business earns a profit.

The significance of the breakeven level of output lies in its use as a tool for financial planning and decision-making. By determining the breakeven point, businesses can assess the viability of a particular product or service, make pricing decisions, evaluate cost structures, and plan production levels. It is an important metric for businesses to monitor in order to ensure their financial sustainability and profitability.

Assignment Task 2: Understand the importance of managing budgets.

Construct a simple budget.

Certainly! Here’s a simple budget you can use as a starting point:

  1. Determine your monthly income: Calculate your total monthly income from all sources, such as your salary, rental income, or freelance work.
  2. List your monthly expenses: Write down all your monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, transportation, groceries, insurance, and any other bills you have to pay.
  3. Categorize your expenses: Divide your expenses into necessary and discretionary categories. Necessary expenses are the ones that you must pay each month, such as rent, utilities, and groceries. Discretionary expenses are the ones that are not essential, such as dining out, entertainment, and hobbies.
  4. Set spending limits: Based on your income and expenses, set spending limits for each category. For example, you may decide to spend no more than 30% of your income on housing, 15% on groceries, 10% on transportation, and so on.
  5. Monitor your spending: Keep track of your actual spending each month and compare it to your budget. Adjust your budget as needed to ensure that you’re living within your means and making progress towards your financial goals.

Remember that budgeting is a process, and it may take some time to find a system that works for you. But with a little practice and patience, you can take control of your finances and achieve your goals.

Explain (a) how budgets are monitored using budget variance analysis and (b) the benefits of an effective budgetary control process.

(a) Budget variance analysis is a process that involves comparing actual financial results against the budgeted figures to identify any significant differences. The purpose of this analysis is to monitor and control the budget by identifying areas where actual spending or revenues differ from the budgeted amounts.

The budget variance analysis typically involves calculating the variance between the budgeted figures and the actual results for each line item in the budget. This analysis may be done on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The variance is calculated by subtracting the actual figure from the budgeted figure, and the resulting number is either positive or negative, indicating whether the actual result was higher or lower than the budgeted amount.

Once the variances are identified, they can be investigated to determine the reasons for the difference between the budgeted and actual figures. For example, if the actual expenditure is higher than the budgeted amount, the reasons for this over-expenditure can be identified, and corrective action can be taken to control the spending. Similarly, if the actual revenue is lower than the budgeted amount, the reasons for this shortfall can be investigated, and strategies can be developed to improve revenue generation.

(b) An effective budgetary control process can bring several benefits to an organization, including:

  1. Cost control: Budgetary control enables an organization to monitor its expenditure and identify any areas of overspending. This helps to control costs and prevent financial losses.
  2. Improved decision-making: An effective budgetary control process provides accurate and timely financial information, enabling managers to make informed decisions about resource allocation and investment opportunities.
  3. Performance evaluation: Budgetary control allows an organization to measure its performance against the budgeted targets, providing valuable insights into areas where the organization is excelling and areas where improvements are needed.
  4. Accountability: Budgetary control ensures that managers are held accountable for their financial decisions, and they are required to justify any variances from the budgeted figures.
  5. Strategic planning: An effective budgetary control process enables an organization to develop realistic budgets based on its strategic objectives, and it helps to align the budget with the overall organizational goals.

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Assignment Task 3: Can calculate and analyse basic financial ratios.

Calculate the (a) gross and net profit ratios (b) return on capital ratio and (c) the current and quick liquidity ratios.

To calculate the gross profit ratio, we need to know the gross profit and the net sales revenue.

The formula for the gross profit ratio is:

Gross profit ratio = (Gross profit / Net sales revenue) x 100

To calculate the net profit ratio, we need to know the net profit and the net sales revenue.

The formula for the net profit ratio is:

Net profit ratio = (Net profit / Net sales revenue) x 100

To calculate the return on capital ratio, we need to know the net profit and the total capital employed.

The formula for the return on capital ratio is:

Return on capital ratio = (Net profit / Total capital employed) x 100

To calculate the current and quick liquidity ratios, we need to know the current assets and liabilities, as well as the inventory.

The formula for the current ratio is:

Current ratio = Current assets / Current liabilities

The formula for the quick ratio is:

Quick ratio = (Current assets – Inventory) / Current liabilities

Once you provide me with the necessary information, I would be happy to help you with the calculations.

Assignment Task 4: Understand the importance of monitoring cash flow.

Explain the differences between cash and profit.

Cash and profit are two important financial concepts that are often used in business and accounting. While they are related, they are not the same thing.

Cash refers to the actual physical money that a business has on hand, including bank balances, currency, and coins. Cash is the amount of money that a business can use immediately to pay for expenses, investments, or other financial obligations.

Profit, on the other hand, refers to the amount of money that a business earns after subtracting all of its expenses from its revenue. Profit can be calculated over a period of time, such as a month or a year, and is usually expressed as a percentage of revenue.

The main difference between cash and profit is that cash is the actual money that a business has on hand, while profit is a measure of how much money a business has earned after accounting for all of its expenses. A business can have a high profit but still have cash flow problems if it has a lot of unpaid bills or if its customers take a long time to pay. Similarly, a business can have a lot of cash on hand but still be unprofitable if it has high expenses or low revenue.

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Construct a simple cash flow statement.

Cash Flow Statement for the Year Ended December 31, 2022

Cash Inflows Amount ($) Cash Outflows Amount ($)
Operating activities:
Cash received from customers 100,000 Cash paid to suppliers 70,000
Cash received from interest 2,000 Cash paid for rent 10,000
Cash received from dividends 5,000 Cash paid for salaries and wages 25,000
Total operating activities 107,000 Total operating activities 105,000
Investing activities:
Cash received from sale of equipment 20,000 Cash paid for new equipment 30,000
Total investing activities 20,000 Total investing activities 30,000
Financing activities:
Cash received from issuance of stock 50,000 Cash paid for dividends 5,000
Total financing activities 50,000 Total financing activities 5,000
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 77,000
Beginning cash and cash equivalents 10,000
Ending cash and cash equivalents 87,000

In this example, we have listed the cash inflows and outflows for a fictional company for the year ended December 31, 2022. The cash inflows are categorized into operating activities, investing activities, and financing activities. The cash outflows are also categorized in the same way.

The net increase in cash and cash equivalents for the year is $77,000, which is calculated by subtracting the total cash outflows from the total cash inflows. The beginning cash and cash equivalents balance is $10,000, and the ending balance is $87,000, which is calculated by adding the net increase to the beginning balance.

 Analyse the importance to a business of managing cash flow.

Managing cash flow is crucial to the success of any business, regardless of its size or industry. Cash flow refers to the movement of money in and out of a business, including revenue, expenses, and investments. Effective cash flow management involves tracking and controlling the inflow and outflow of cash, ensuring that there is enough money available to cover expenses and investments.

Here are some reasons why managing cash flow is important to a business:

  1. Ensure financial stability: Managing cash flow helps ensure the financial stability of a business. When cash flow is managed effectively, a business is better able to pay its bills on time, invest in growth opportunities, and weather economic downturns.
  2. Meet financial obligations: A business must have sufficient cash flow to meet its financial obligations, such as paying salaries, rent, utilities, and other expenses. If a business fails to manage its cash flow effectively, it may struggle to meet these obligations, which could lead to financial instability and even bankruptcy.
  3. Forecast and plan for the future: Effective cash flow management enables a business to forecast and plan for the future. By analyzing historical cash flow data, a business can identify trends and make informed decisions about investments and expenses, ensuring that it is well-positioned for future growth.
  4. Access to credit: Managing cash flow is also important for securing credit. Lenders typically look at a business’s cash flow to determine its ability to repay loans. If a business has a strong history of cash flow management, it is more likely to be approved for loans and other forms of credit.
  5. Improve profitability: By managing cash flow effectively, a business can improve its profitability. By reducing expenses, accelerating payments from customers, and negotiating better terms with suppliers, a business can increase its cash flow, which can translate into increased profits.

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