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Turning students into writers

NeilMaguireNeilMaguire AAT StaffAATAdministrator, Staff Posts: 152
Mike Webster recently posted the following article on Tutor talk which I thought you may be interested in:

Hi all

Following Cathy Littler's excellent presentation on 'Turning your students into writers' I thought I would share the 'formula' we've been using to help our students get to grips with written tasks looking at financial ratios.

Here's our 'formula' students can use for any ratio:

1. The........... ratio has deteriorate/improved from ......... in 20XX to ........... in 20XX.

2. This is good/bad or the company or This is a good/bad indicator.

3. Because it is now:
• more/less profitable
• more/less liquid
• more/less risky
• more/less efficient

4. Expand of the comment above - why is it good/bad?
• less profitable - the business generated less profit pr £ of revenue/capital employed/equity/total assets
• less liquid - the ratio is below the ideal ratio of ...... and the business might not be able to pay its current liabilities on time
• more risky - the business is more reliant on borrowed funds which incur interest cargoes and reduce profits
• less efficient - inventory took ..... days longer to sell, receivables took ..... longer to pay which could cause cash flow problems

5. The reason(s) for this improvement/deterioration could be..........

We always emphasise that they should be using improve/deteriorate rather than increase/decrease to demonstrate to the assessor that they understand not just the calculations, but also what the changes actually mean.

Using this flowchart has seen a marked improvement in assessment feedback on tasks requiring analysis of financial ratios in Financial Statements, Credit Control and Financial Performance.

I am sure someone will have a better formula for such tasks but, for us, this flowchart has helped reduce the stress learners experience when answering such tasks.



  • NeilMaguireNeilMaguire AAT Staff AATAdministrator, Staff Posts: 152
    After speaking to a tutor recently, it was clear that students still struggle to interpret financial data in the real world.

    I thought I'd share a video which captures the importance of being able to interpret financial data in real life...well, kind of, although it may be something to share with students :)

    Does anyone else have any thoughts around how they help turn students into writers?
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