ISYS in ten days.....or fail...

Charlay New MemberRegistered Posts: 16

Another ISYS thread I'm afraid.

I'm in a bit of a pickle with this. My four month deadline is March 18th...ten days away (nine when I wake in a few hours). On top of this, I've got the PTAX exam the day after and I've not been through the whole text yet.

The thing is, I haven't written a single word of the ISYS project. I haven't got any idea how to get going with it. I have the BPP textbook and have been through that, but every time I try and get some work done on the project I just go round in circles.

I realise that I'll mostly get condemnation, but I wondered what peoples opinions were: can an ISYS first draft be done in ten days? How complete does the first part have to be? My tutor and a colleague (who is MAAT) have downplayed it saying that it's just a first draft and the real deadline is six months, but all of the AAT and textbook advice totally contradicts this.

I am completely lost and this will be the first AAT assessment that I've failed, so feeling gutted about it really.

If you were in my situation, with ten days to get something done, what would you do?




  • Lucy_M
    Lucy_M Feels At Home Registered Posts: 136
    I'm afraid the only advice is to start... there is a post on here from someone, I'll try to find it later, with links to all the reference material AAT supply, which includes a sample project, that should give you an idea of the layout expected, and loads of posts with advice on what to do first.

    It is easily possible to have the first draft completed in 10 days especially if you get a good start today, just start writing, if you change it later it doesn't matter, get writing!

    At the end of the day PTAX can be resat later, the project needs doing as that can't...

    Good luck

    Lucy x
  • welshwizard
    welshwizard Trusted Regular South WalesRegistered Posts: 465
    Try addressing each assessment criteria in turn - then move things round to build your report.
    Sadly too many people leave this til the last minute - I have at least one student a year who does it so you're not alone.
    Are you working on a case study or yor worrkplace as the ase studies are far easier to work on.

    As for timescales, you have 4 months to get yor first completed report submitted - then you have up to 4 more opportunities to submit remedial work within a 2 month timescale. You must remember that your assessor does NOT have to allow you further submissions if your work is too far away from competence.

    Good luck!
  • MWAUGH1983
    MWAUGH1983 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 420
    I had a nightmare with the project - did it on the workplace. Gave final draft to manager and said I need cover signed, along with plan and need cove letter as well. Got non of this and he lost 3 appendices and the plan I gave him as he gave me back the plan from earlier in the yr when he ok'd it. Suffice to say I had to change to the case. As welshwizard said the case is easier - what are you doing it on? The problem with workplace evidence is that if hinges on manager availability as they have to read and sign it in time for deadline - depending on your manager this can be a nightmare as I learnt! What I would do is write as much as you can - the introduction on company is fairly easier and then just roughly do a few paragraphs. As long as you meet the deadline the standard isnt that important. Once you hand in, go back to the project as if you were doing it for a deadline in 4 weeks for the next draft but aim to have it handed within a week of getting it back from the tutour which should no later than 2 weeks. You need to remember that you only have a further 2 months till your proper 6 month deadline. If they dont have to let you continue on the basis of your 1st draft then make sure that the standard is decent - maybe take a couple days holiday or prepare to work through the night or at least till 3am! It is doable if you think logically! Hope it works out and let us know here if you need anything! Martin
  • Charlay
    Charlay New Member Registered Posts: 16
    Thanks for the responses guys, I really do appreciate it and it really has given me food for thought and direction. Today has been (and continues to be a) long slog, but I've got going with some momentum.

    I'm taking your advice, leaving PTAX for another time, and just getting it all down on paper. I feel that now I have a real chance of getting something together, hopefully it will be of a high enough standard for them to let me do the remedial work required to reach competent. And I'm taking Friday off too: if it is as productive as today then I'll be done by lunchtime! (if only)

    I'm doing the Chic Paints Ltd case study btw.

    Thanks again, and anybody else that has something to share, I'm all ears (eyes?), I've taken something from all of the posts thus far.
  • topcat
    topcat Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 452
    if you fail the ISYS dont you just get to start again..

    I thought anything submitted would be discarded and you start again , but you had to do a complete re write and go in a different redirection

    Sure i heard this from tutor could be wrong though , so take this with a pinch of salt!
  • Lucy_M
    Lucy_M Feels At Home Registered Posts: 136
    Glad to hear you've got it underway!

    Topcat, it could be just the way it works when studying at college but I'm sure our tutor said that if we didn't pass this time round then it couldn't be re-done until next year? I guess it isn't the end of the world... Sorry if I implied that level 4 would be failed and everything would have to be re-sat as I don't think that's true! ;)

    lucy x
  • Pearce161
    Pearce161 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 57
    I was under the impression if you failed this one you were then given a second scenario (if doing the ones provided by AAT rather than workplace) hoping to find out as I had a catastrophe and didnt get it done :sad:
  • EmChoo
    EmChoo New Member Registered Posts: 7
    I was given my ICAS project on 01st of October 2013 and i started it on November 30th 2013. i did 8.5 hours over that weekend and did most of the leg work before hand with a SWOT analysis, writing lots of notes (pages and pages) and wanted it to be in before christmas...i didn't hand it in, and i finished in in January. My tutor extended my Deadline for another week and it was marked competent a couple of days after. It is hard to start it but just start writing it and you can move parts and add and remove bits later on. Good Luck for the deadline. :)
  • Malcolm Green
    Malcolm Green Well-Known Registered, Working Together with HMRC Posts: 105
    My understanding of the situation is that should you have a problem completing your assigned ICAS/ISYS project on time you will always have the option of completing another new project. As this is the only way for you to fully complete your AAT studies. However for this second attempt, this would have to be a totally new project theme ie work based or AAT case study. So ideally you would not want to find yourself in this position and waste all the work you have done to date on your project. In such a situation early intervention and discussions with your tutor or student support services at your college/training provider would be recommended. A further point to bear in mind would be for any cost implications for this due to the new deadlines for the completion of the project and how this may fit in with your training providers term times etc. The reason for this being that this unit needs to be supported and vetted for completion by a training provider. The hardest part many students find about this unit is just starting it. To be successful you need a plan and a timeline to keep you on track to do what is needed to pass. There is a great deal of useful information on this forum to help you do just that and if you spend some time filtering your search results and go over all the posts I am sure you will find almost all the answers you would ever need. The AAT have suggested that for a typical AAT student they would need to allow at least 70 hours to complete this unit. In reality you can achieve this in considerable less time. This would all be down to your planning and preparation for the completion of this unit. My final bit of advice is as this project is an artificial situation you are able to control the direction and outcome of your findings and so ensure that these will match with the criteria needed to be competent in the unit. To this end you would be best placed to start with the end of the unit in mind and focus on the outcomes the AAT are looking for. To help you with this they have produced a very useful assessors guide copy attached. Attachment not found. You may also like to have a look at the following link from our last ICAS revision workshop: [URL="mhtml:{A462C575-45CD-451B-8456-5AC9C7BBCD5E}mid://00001362/!x-usc:"][/URL] I trust this information will be of assistance. All the very best in getting this unit finished. Regards Malcolm
  • Charlay
    Charlay New Member Registered Posts: 16
    Hello again,

    Thought I'd give a bit of a quick update. Today really is D-Day as the day for upload is Tuesday, 18/03/2014.

    As it stands, I still have none of the report written. Most of my time has been spent (wasted) evaluating the Payroll system; Sales/Accounts Receivable/Credit control system; and the Purchases and Supplier Payments systems. My process has been to decide that each in turn is what I'm going to do the report on, get started, have lots of doubts, change my mind, and move onto another of the systems.

    I have come up with lots of weaknesses, but for each of the areas that I have picked I have a huge hole in one of the sections of the report: for example Payroll, my cost-benefit analysis will be about four sentences, etc. I've reached a stage where people doing the project properly would get some feedback and guidance from their tutor and would be able to push on. The position I've put myself in, I don't have that option so have hit a wall.

    So today, I'm going to complete a report on the payroll aspect of the accounts system. I have no idea about whether or not my report will be considered acceptable, but I am past caring.

    What I wanted to ask is this: If I am found not competent and have to begin again on a new case study; do I have to sit out the whole six months, or can I rattle it off in a few weeks, submit it and have it assessed in a much shorter time-scale?

    Thanks once again for all the support and advice.
  • Lucy_M
    Lucy_M Feels At Home Registered Posts: 136

    You can do it as quickly as you like, I passed mine at the beginning of Jan but some of the other students at college with me have only just uploaded their first submissions. They also only have a week or so to finish entirely...

    When I wrote mine, under weaknesses, I evaluated the whole company, so I picked up on all the system faults you have mentioned. Maybe you need to broaden your comments but then focus on just one aspect for the cost benefit analysis. Even my training section covered more than one area.

    Good luck!

    Lucy x
  • Kelly7
    Kelly7 Well-Known Registered Posts: 218
    Charlay, can you ask for some time with someone at your work or your tutor to give you a bit of help or some inspiration? Are there any certain bits anyone on here can help you with?

    Does anyone know what sort of things to put when it says internal controls to stay compliant with statutory requirements? I can't think of anything we have in place like this and my teacher has said I need to write how my company know about VAT changes but VAT has only changed once since I've been working and it was all in the news and papers you'd have to have been on another planet not to know lol. Any help anyone could offer on this section would be gratefully received.


  • Lucy_M
    Lucy_M Feels At Home Registered Posts: 136
    Hi Kelly

    I receive updates via email from HMRC for payroll legislation, and sage updates, they would advise of VAT changes to I would think? Do you have a supervisor or manager who may receive notifications you're not aware of? If you're not signed up, do so tomorrow ;)

    I think I just wrote something like it should be policy, within the procedures framework, to ensure that regular checks are made to stay compliant with statutory requirements...

    Good luck


  • Kelly7
    Kelly7 Well-Known Registered Posts: 218
    Thanks Lucy, that's a great help. Xx
  • Charlay
    Charlay New Member Registered Posts: 16

    I managed it. Well, I handed in an assessment that won't be competent but one that buys another two months. 4884 words in total, so it is possible to do something in a ridiculous timeframe. But it was an intense and horrible experience.

    The benefit of my experience for others:

    Don't leave yourself ten flippin' days to do it! Obviously. But more than that, this was always the next thing on my 'to-do' list, without ever actually getting round to do it. Starting is the hardest part, so the best piece of advice I can offer (or rather, repeat) is.....

    Just start writing. Get the example layout, print it out and use that as your guide. You will find that under each of the headings you do have ideas on what you want to say, even if you thought you knew nothing. I also printed out the tasks of the report, and with these documents stuck to the wall in front of my desk, I was able to get going.

    That gives you something to work on and from there you can chip away at it. Don't worry about quality to begin with; re-writing and re-drafting is inevitable, so just get it down on paper.

    I used the BPP text I have been given selectively; reading the relevant sections of the textbook as I tackled each of the headings in turn.

    Most of that is just a regurgitation of what is written in the thread above, because that's where my direction came from. It meant I was able to hand something in in time, so thanks very much to you all once again.
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