FNPF Study & Exam Motivation Thread !

So, from looking around the forums it would seem that quite a few of us are studying FNPF at present.

I thought I would set up a thread for us to chat as we study this unit, share how we are getting along and generally motivate each other towards sitting the exam (with confidence) and getting a competent result !

I think I find this one of the toughest units because it is an area that is most removed from my practical work experience, and also one that I find of less interest than some of the other units.

I'm studying by distance learning, and started this unit 4 weeks ago. I've just reached the midway point using the Osborne text. I'd like to get the exam sat no later than the last week of November, so I'm giving myself 10 weeks in total.

The part that is tripping me up most at the moment is.... index numbers ! They have been there right since level 2, but I still have to think carefully each time they come up as part of a question and remember which way I am coverting from and to ( note to self - year converting from always goes on the bottom of the fraction !)

So, where are you all up to with your studies ? What do you like and dislike about this unit ?Are you finding it more difficult or more straightforward than other units ? Do you have any plans for when you will be sitting the exam ?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts soon !

Comments

  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Evening,

    I only just started this unit at the beginning of Oct but it is very much budgeting so far, which I suppose is good because I have just done that one!

    I also find that it's stuff that we learn right near the beginning which is tripping me up at the moment. Fixed Overhead efficiency variance, Fixed Overhead Capacity variance?! Haha having trouble with these- I just don't seem to understand the way the book explains it..! Anyone got an easy explanation for these?

    (That's exactly how I remember the Indexing bit!:))
    B x
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    Hi Becca

    Yeah it took a bit for capacity and efficiency to sink in for me.

    I remember them the following way. Capacity is the difference between what actually happened and the budget (unflexed). If capacity is lower than budgeted then it is adverse because the full potential was not reached.

    Efficiency is the difference between what actually happened and the standard (i.e. flexed budget) If efficiency is lower than standard then it is favourable because it took less hours than planned.

    Thats my own way of wording it to try make sense of it in my own mind so if I've confused the matter - Sorry !

    Do you use the Osborne books ? I really like the way that they show the variances on a sort of flow chart so you can see how they all relate. I'm the sort of person who needs to see the big picture and understand how all the parts slot in to it before I can understand the individual details.

    I've just started Chapter 5 of the Osborne book, the second half of the book seems to deal more with application of the theory to situations that may arise as opposed to learning the variances and forumlas . The other formulas for assessing performance (gearing, roce and so on look familiar from FNST but I am sure that there will be a few new things to learn on top) Still finding that this unit is really dragging and need motivation to get it finished
  • stephleedz
    stephleedz Registered Posts: 179 🎆 🐘 🎆
    Hi guys,

    Oh my god we did this tonight at college and I honestly have no idea how I am going to remember how to work out the variances!! As we use Kaplan books (studying with Kaplan) this osbourne book you mention what's its title as I think I may need to purchase one!

    Thanks

    Steph
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    Steph,

    It took me a while for the variances to sink in, but seeing how they all tie in together helped me to understand. They don't exactly trip of the tongue - but if I think about what it is I am trying to express then I can recall the calculations I need to use.

    If you are interested in trying the Osborne books it is much cheaper if you buy direct from the Osborne books website than from amazon or other bookstores.

    Link here

    http://www.osbornebooks.co.uk/financial_performance_tutorial

    I'm probably going to get the Kaplan Revision kit a bit closer to exam time and I may get the BPP question bank as well.
  • stephleedz
    stephleedz Registered Posts: 179 🎆 🐘 🎆
    Thank you very much UKitty,

    They are actually very reasonablly priced.

    Have you looked through the Budgeting Osbourne book? Is that any good?

    Are you also studing with Kaplan evening classes or distance learning?

    Steph
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    I study with Premier Training via distance learning. I recieved the Osborne books as part of my course materials - so yes, I did use the Osborne book for budgeting.

    I've only really studied from Osborne books so I can't really compare the study texts. I've had a flip through Kaplan and BPP textbooks and my feeling is that Kaplan look OK (but from what I have heard they are full of errors) and I just don't like the layout of the BPP books. I do however really really like the BPP "Question Banks" which I think are really good value for money for extra practice questions. I also found the Kaplan revision kit to be useful - although I do think it is very overpriced for what you actually get !
  • stephleedz
    stephleedz Registered Posts: 179 🎆 🐘 🎆
    I have just purchased the Financail Performance osbourne book.

    The Kaplan books are good and I have git used to their layout the only things is I think their activity questions good be worded a bit more user friendly. I did find their used to be a fair few errors but so far this year we havent really come across any in the budgeting book or financial performace book.

    is the BPP Bank Book just like a revision book with various questions in?

    Thanks

    Steph
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    The BPP question banks are similar to the Kaplan Revision Kits - just loads and loads of exam style questions., I have found them pretty much invaluable for exam preparation.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/AAT-Financial-Performance-Question-Bank/dp/0751797677/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1319131362&sr=8-7
  • stephleedz
    stephleedz Registered Posts: 179 🎆 🐘 🎆
    That's really great information. I will definitely purchase one for Budgeting and Financial Performance.

    Thanks

    Steph
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Hey guys,

    I use the BPP books. I find the layout quite straight forward and easy to understand.. But then again I haven't used any other book so can't compare!

    I like the question banks to use on the computer. It's so much easier than looking at the book for the questions. Very good idea to do it that way.

    So I am still working on the variances but think I am getting there! :| we shall see!!

    How is it going then? Anything else you're getting stuck on? I've had a bit of a break this week, but tomorrow- bright and early- 6am I will be up and studying! :)

    Becca x
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    Hi guys
    I am doing this unit too - exam is 15 December.
    I am struggling with understanding 'subdivision of variances' - seasonanlity, inflation, indexation and currency exchange rates.
    Were moving onto chapter 5 - Osborne after half term. :/
  • SandyHood
    SandyHood Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    The PEV syllabus has topics that are not likely to be tested in FNPF yet.

    Splitting say a material price variance into the part due to a rise in the index for the material and the part due to other factors was not in my class content for variances this year.

    I recommend that you focus on the other areas, and leave this. It might be on the exam, but if it is it won't carry a lot of marks. I am certainly not planning to include it in my classes (unless someone asks for it).
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    thanks Sandy - ive emailed you.
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    Annie, I also have to think very carefully when it comes to index numbers and inflation.

    I've just been reading through Osborne chapter 5 this week. I think most of the information is to give an appreciation of the way in which businesses can reduce costs whilst still ensuring that high levels of customer satisfaction are maintained. There is quite a lot to read but most of it is quite straightforward. This unit is quite heavy going, but I still think compared to FNST its not quite so bad !

    Becca, I just can't take to the BPP books (or their passcards for that matter). The way that the information is laid out and presented on the page just doesn't seem logical to me. That said, my partner is very visual in his learning style and he loves the layout of the BPP books.
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    How is everyone getting on with FNPF ?

    I have zipped through most of my AAT studies but my oh my, I am struggling with this unit. It demands lots of attention that is for sure, but I do understand what the aim of the calculations are, and how to perform them...


    ...I just find it so, very, very dull

    I have no idea why it is making my brain switch off so much because the mechanics of how and why a business makes (or loses) money should be really interesting. Maybe its just not a subject that seems particularly exciting from a textbook ?

    I really need a big push to get this one finished ! Maybe if I book my exam in that will provide the motivation I need to get my head down and finish it off ? I only started 4 weeks ago, but it seems like much longer than that ... a
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    I am going through all the past papers - section 1s at the moment, we will start the performance indicators next thursday at college, so trying to go through all the variances to make sure i defo know them and the index bits etc...
    my exam is 15 December. we are doing PTX after Christmas and ICAS (case study).
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    If you have done FNST then the performance indicators will all be very familiar. I don't think that there are any new ratios to learn .

    I've just called Kaplan today to book my exam (30th November). I thought if I had a date to focus on it may give me more motivation .
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    Hi, no I havent done FNST yet - only budgeting.
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Anybody fancy testing me(anyone) on the variances..? Obv I can get the bf to do it but if it will help others to play too..?

    B x
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    @ Annie there is a huge amount of cross over between FNST and FNPF when it comes to using ratios to interpret financial information. So the good news is that if you are doing FNPF first then it will cut out a huge chunk of learning for when you come to do FNST.

    @ Becca (and anyone else who wants to joing in !) sure we can test each other

    I'll start off by asking you this one:

    The difference between the budgeted fixed overheads and the actual fixed overheads is called the fixed overhead *********** variance

    (Fill in the stars)
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Oh goody I'm glad you started with an easy one... the difference between budgeted and actual o/h is the fixed overhead expenditure variance.. I think :)

    Ok.. total material cost variance.. how is this found? Anyone..

    B x
  • samblanchys
    samblanchys Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
    Hi,

    Material price variance is calculated by dividing the budgeted material cost by quantity of material and then multiplying it by the actual amount of production to find the standard cost. then finally you subtract the standard cost of material by the actual cost of material =D.

    How do we work out efficiency variance? anyone? :)

    xx
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Fixed Overhead Efficiency Variance? Or Labour Efficiency Variance?

    Standard Hours for Actual Production at Standard Absorption Rate Less Actual hours for Actual Production at Standard Absorption Rate? F O/h Efficiciency V

    Standard Hours for Actual Production at Standard Rate Less Actual Hours for Actual Production at Standard Rate. Labour Efficiency V

    I hope I'm right or I am just making a fool of myself :)

    How about Material Usage Variance?

    B x
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    Well! we started chapter 6 in Osborne today at college - and I have come home with my brain battered - I have at least 3 different ways of calculating ROCE and it took me ages to fathom out the right answers to 6.2 from the workbook. Was really happy that I had managed to understand and calculate all the variances and now I feel a bit deflated. :( and only 6 weeks to the exam. Is it just me with these worries ?
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    The first time I looked at all the different rations for ROCE my head started fizzing ! Its starting to sink in slowly though :)

    Its definitely not just you - this is a pretty intense unit and it is taking lots of concentration from me. I'm finding that I understand things initially but have a hard time retaining the steps to take to get to the answer I want - I'd say it's a bit like when you have a person's name on the tip of your tongue but it just won't come unless you concentrate really hard ! I get there eventually but it is a bit like wading through treacle.

    The latest PQ magazine has states the pass rates for FNFP as 58.2% (Apr) 58.9% (May) and 60%(June) - so we are most definitely not alone in finding it hard going !

    I've got a little under 4 weeks until my exam - I don't feel anywhere near ready ! Just going to have to work extra hard between now and then...
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    I am so glad its not just me, I dont know how I am going to manage learning all of these ratios etc and do revision - we only have 5 mornings left on this unit and then its the exam! I am sure that Level 3 wasnt that rushed - or maybe it was and I have just forgotten :/
    I am working on this unit every day.
    We can only give it our best shot - fingers crossed we all pass.
  • Daz1865
    Daz1865 Registered Posts: 67 💫 🐯 💫
    Back from holiday to find that I have passed this :-)

    I'm sure you guys will do great. I found it was quite similar to the practice ones, so once you are at a level where you can do those, then I would hope you would be ok.
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Registered Posts: 595
    Hi Daz
    I am ok with most of the computer CBEs for FNFP- its just the report for the ratios and margins that is my major worry.
    Does anyone know of any good resources to help with explaining margins etc... ( besides the margin doc on the AAT webite -that I cant get to work properly on my lap top-not sure if that is because I have microsoft works and only excel viewer.)
    Thanks
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