ICAS Scenario Approach?

mhepmhep New MemberPosts: 23Registered
Hi all,

I am in a high pressure situation (through no fault of my own) and have to have a fairly good ICAS Project draft completed for Monday. One that should need little tweaking because of time.

Before you ask, I cannot ask this of my tutor/school (Don't want to get into, but again through no fault of my own).

I have read through the whole scenario (It is Sandwichmaster) and all I am asking about is approach.

I have been in business, and also have been in the catering business, and I am afraid, for one thing, that I want to comment on way more than I need to comment, bordering at times on business advice, rather than what the project is looking for.

Because of the short time span that I have, I want to concentrate on the bare minimum (ie focus on what I am supposed to focus on) , or it will be a case of "how long is a piece of string". I don't doubt that that is part of the project, seeing what the student chooses and how well the student backs it up.

Here is the question: When I create the SWOT, do I pick everything up? Or do I choose an area? There are problems withing the head office regarding controls and personnel. But there are also problems within the retail outlets with controls and personnel. Each of which I could solely concentrate on. Yes, there are knock-on affects in both directions, but they don't necessarily directly affect the weakness in the other area.

I am afraid that if I don't mention something which I think is obvious, that I could be "marked down" for not mentioning it.

When I make recommendations and do cost analysis, do I pick just one area? I feel that whatever weaknesses I pick up, I must also make recommendations on, but I see so many weaknesses that I am overwhelmed by the approach that I should take.

Once I understand how to narrow my approach, I think that I will be fine. I am just not sure what AAT is looking for concerning the picking out of weaknesses and recommendations. All or just in a particular area?

I hope that I make sense....I appreciate any guidance.

Comments

  • SarahJSSarahJS Trusted Regular Posts: 273Registered
    If there are enough weaknesses in one part of the business I'd focus the report on that, as it makes it more 'real'.

    I would recommend doing a swot analysis for the whole business and putting it as an appendix to show that you spotted more problems.

    Good luck!
  • aaron0121aaron0121 Trusted Regular BirminghamPosts: 422Registered
    Hi Mhep,

    Lets get straight to business.

    Firstly do not talk about business advice, focus on the scenario provided which is your main priority. When you
    are doing the project keep referring to the mapping sheet, as long as the points are covered on the mapping
    sheet you should be ok. The mapping sheet is the main focus of the project!!!!

    Secondly for the SWOT analysis you should have a couple of weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats.
    They can be spaced out between all the areas of the company. So try and find 1 weakness and 1 strength for each
    area if you can.

    For the recommendations and cost benefit analysis, its best to focus on one area as you only have a short space
    of time. So try and focus on either trade receivables department or trade payables department or payroll, etc.
    Have a look at each area and see where you can find the most weaknesses. So if you see 5 weaknesses in
    the payroll department, try and make recommendations for all these 5 weaknesses. This can give you both
    the recommendation section and cost benefit analysis section. If one of the weaknesses requires a cost
    to implement. E.g for the wages and salaries (payroll) department you may recommend a clock in clock out
    system. This will be a cost as well so you would say how much it costs to install the system, train staff to use
    the system all these costs will go into the cost benefit analysis. So as long as you provide enough detail,
    you can make recommendations and a cost benefit analysis in a short space of time.

    Remember the SWOT is only the appendix, to compensate for having a small SWOT you can make a flow chart or
    grading the risk of fraud in the company. This will still show the assessor that your appendix is strong.

    Good luck for the project

    Remember keep referring to the mapping sheet and if you have any more questions or queries keep posting them
    up on the forums. :thumbup1:
    AAT

    Level 2 - 2010
    Level 3 - 2011
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA

    F4 - 2015
    F5 - 2015
  • mhepmhep New Member Posts: 23Registered
    Re SWOT for the whole business to show what I spotted.

    Thanks for that. It would really bug me if someone thought that I had missed something relatively obvious.
  • mhepmhep New Member Posts: 23Registered
    aaron0121 wrote: »
    Hi Mhep,

    Lets get straight to business.

    Firstly do not talk about business advice, focus on the scenario provided which is your main priority. When you
    are doing the project keep referring to the mapping sheet, as long as the points are covered on the mapping
    sheet you should be ok. The mapping sheet is the main focus of the project!!!!

    Secondly for the SWOT analysis you should have a couple of weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats.
    They can be spaced out between all the areas of the company. So try and find 1 weakness and 1 strength for each
    area if you can.

    For the recommendations and cost benefit analysis, its best to focus on one area as you only have a short space
    of time. So try and focus on either trade receivables department or trade payables department or payroll, etc.
    Have a look at each area and see where you can find the most weaknesses. So if you see 5 weaknesses in
    the payroll department, try and make recommendations for all these 5 weaknesses. This can give you both
    the recommendation section and cost benefit analysis section. If one of the weaknesses requires a cost
    to implement. E.g for the wages and salaries (payroll) department you may recommend a clock in clock out
    system. This will be a cost as well so you would say how much it costs to install the system, train staff to use
    the system all these costs will go into the cost benefit analysis. So as long as you provide enough detail,
    you can make recommendations and a cost benefit analysis in a short space of time.

    Remember the SWOT is only the appendix, to compensate for having a small SWOT you can make a flow chart or
    grading the risk of fraud in the company. This will still show the assessor that your appendix is strong.

    Good luck for the project

    Remember keep referring to the mapping sheet and if you have any more questions or queries keep posting them
    up on the forums. :thumbup1:

    Thanks for your comprehensive and thought out response. I was looking at the SWOT because I had read in a couple places and been advised to do the SWOT first to help organise, so I saw this as covering the whole business.

    The reminder of the mapping document was most helpful and of course you are absolutely right. I'll need to reign in my desire to look at this as a business case study and concentrate on the control/fraud aspect of the scenario. I have done the Credit Management and External Auditing (don't know if I passed yet) and I can see how I can bring in some of the knowledge into the scenario.

    Many thanks for your guidance and advice.
  • aaron0121aaron0121 Trusted Regular BirminghamPosts: 422Registered
    No worries :001_smile:
    AAT

    Level 2 - 2010
    Level 3 - 2011
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA

    F4 - 2015
    F5 - 2015
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,526Registered
    SarahJS wrote: »
    If there are enough weaknesses in one part of the business I'd focus the report on that, as it makes it more 'real'.

    I agree with this and I am doing the same case study. My tutor advised to focus on one area of the business as you will be making recommendations for various issues and need to be mindful of the word count/limit.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,526Registered
    aaron0121 wrote: »
    Hi Mhep,

    Lets get straight to business.

    Firstly do not talk about business advice, focus on the scenario provided which is your main priority. When you
    are doing the project keep referring to the mapping sheet, as long as the points are covered on the mapping
    sheet you should be ok. The mapping sheet is the main focus of the project!!!!

    Secondly for the SWOT analysis you should have a couple of weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats.
    They can be spaced out between all the areas of the company. So try and find 1 weakness and 1 strength for each
    area if you can.

    For the recommendations and cost benefit analysis, its best to focus on one area as you only have a short space
    of time. So try and focus on either trade receivables department or trade payables department or payroll, etc.
    Have a look at each area and see where you can find the most weaknesses. So if you see 5 weaknesses in
    the payroll department, try and make recommendations for all these 5 weaknesses. This can give you both
    the recommendation section and cost benefit analysis section. If one of the weaknesses requires a cost
    to implement. E.g for the wages and salaries (payroll) department you may recommend a clock in clock out
    system. This will be a cost as well so you would say how much it costs to install the system, train staff to use
    the system all these costs will go into the cost benefit analysis. So as long as you provide enough detail,
    you can make recommendations and a cost benefit analysis in a short space of time.

    Remember the SWOT is only the appendix, to compensate for having a small SWOT you can make a flow chart or
    grading the risk of fraud in the company. This will still show the assessor that your appendix is strong.

    Good luck for the project

    Remember keep referring to the mapping sheet and if you have any more questions or queries keep posting them
    up on the forums. :thumbup1:


    Excellent post Aaron :o
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • aaron0121aaron0121 Trusted Regular BirminghamPosts: 422Registered
    Thanks Jo
    AAT

    Level 2 - 2010
    Level 3 - 2011
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA

    F4 - 2015
    F5 - 2015
  • mhepmhep New Member Posts: 23Registered
    Jo Clark wrote: »
    I agree with this and I am doing the same case study. My tutor advised to focus on one area of the business as you will be making recommendations for various issues and need to be mindful of the word count/limit.

    Thanks, Jo. The reminder of the word count is helpful. That is a very concrete limitation and should help me focus on the relevant.
  • aaron0121aaron0121 Trusted Regular BirminghamPosts: 422Registered
    Hi Mhep,

    How's the first draft coming along?
    AAT

    Level 2 - 2010
    Level 3 - 2011
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA

    F4 - 2015
    F5 - 2015
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