Recent Question/Assignment

ACC702 Managerial Accounting
T116 Assignment Task Specification
Group Report: “Measuring and rewarding performance” – A study of Executive Remuneration for performance in Australian Public Companies
Most of the second half of this subject focusses on how firms can measure performance and in turn, reward effort through bonus and incentive schemes.
There is often a great deal of public discussion about how much is reasonable for a CEO to be paid either in their current role or at retirement are times when large payouts, often in the millions of dollars, are considered excessive.
Over the past decade publicly listed companies have been required to report in more detail, how their highest paid executives are being rewarded. This became enshrined in the Corporations Act 2010 in Section 300A which details what declarations are required.
Additionally, while not binding, if 25% or more of ordinary shareholders vote against the remuneration proposed by the Board, then that Board is obliged to reconsider their proposal. If again rejected in the following year, it is suggested that the Board should resign their positions to allow a vote for new candidates to take place. (This is not binding on a Company in Australia however if they ignored the will of the shareholders, then it is likely that investors would leave and the value of the shares would fall.
Each member of the group is to research the REMUNERATION REPORT for one major publically listed Australian corporation (Companies must be approved by Lecturer in Week 7 for the sake of ease of completing the summary task described below, your group should focus on companies within the SAME INDUSTRY or having close links. (For example NOT a bank and a retailer.)
Please note that the following format is a modification to the layout suggested in the Subject Outline. You should follow the guide.
The INDIVIDUAL components
Each individual group member is to research and write an individual summary report that includes the following:
1. How many executives are listed on the Report. Note executive’s remuneration are being studied, NOT board member’s remuneration.
2. For the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), what proportion of remuneration is based on: a. CASH;
b. EQUITY (Options)
c. EQUITY (Shares)
d. Any other listed incentive payment or reward
3. For the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), what proportion of remuneration is based on: a. CASH;
b. EQUITY (Options)
c. EQUITY (Shares)
d. Any other listed incentive payment or reward
4. Students should compare and contrast the pay/reward structure for these two officers of the company. In particular examine:
a. The mix of payments and rewards (as detailed above); and
b. The size of payments and rewards made.
5. The presentation should take a tabular format (perhaps work the results into a spreadsheet) to enable ease of comparison calculations however this should also be accompanied by a brief summary report of each executive.
The GROUP report requirements
The GROUP should then merge their individual reports into a group report and
a. Each target company’s approach;
b. The difference between the make-up of the CEO and CFO remuneration package, in particular the mix between LTI, STI and Cash/Salary components;
c. Discuss which company you feel is producing the best result AND the worst result and/or perhaps incentives which make no real change. Discuss WHY you think this is the case and if it is a reflection of only the CEO’s performance or the general state of the markets that company trades. (E.g. Mining companies are struggling to make their forecast profits due to world-wide low commodity prices.)
d. You should complete your analysis and present YOUR CONCLUSIONS in a summary and conclusion section.
This section has been provided to assist and guide students in creating your report, the things that may be useful to include, more detail on how marks will be awarded and tips on working in groups.
How to layout your report
To help you understand how to go about evaluating the Remuneration Report, I have posted an academic article by Clarkson, P., Lammerts Van Bueren, A. and Walker, J. (2006) Chief executive officer remuneration disclosure quality: corporate responses to an evolving disclosure environment Accounting and Finance, 46, pp. 771-796. Please note that you do NOT have to summarise this article (or even read all of it), however please see Table 5 on page 785 to and review the 10 items this study looked at to review the openness of the reporting of each company.
Headings and layout questions often arise and for this report, it is suggested the following headings would make the work more readable:
Executive summary – This is a ONE PAGE review of ALL of the report. This should be a stand-alone document which could be read by the CEO (for example) to find out what the report was about AND what was found in conclusion.
Introduction – This is an introduction TO THE REPORT NOT an introduction to the specific companies being studied. It introduces WHY the report exists, what it is examining (see the topic and tasks notes above for guidance) and how it is laid out.
Company reviews – This includes the investigative report – one for each group member on their chosen company – answering the questions about the remuneration report as required in the task requirements above.
Summary of findings – A GROUP effort bringing together the findings of the group members about each company and a discussion about how effective (or ineffective) the company’s remuneration program appears to be in improving company performance.
Role of the Management Accountant – Refer to subject material, slides and text to write a BRIEF (half page) review of the role of the management accountant in executive performance systems and the measures (financial and non-financial) they may use. Discuss and analyse how the ‘control’ mechanisms within enterprises work to achieve corporate outcomes and did you see evidence of these mechanisms working effectively in the companies that your reviewed.
Conclusion – Here NO NEW IDEAS should be introduced. Only a conclusion of your findings and perhaps your group’s nomination of which company has the best remuneration system and what your group believes can be learned from the report and the method of remunerating manager’s in organisations.
Bibliography – Full Harvard Anglia referencing should be undertaken for this report.
How can you find all that data for your company?
Download and review the last 3-5 years annual reports from their corporate website and search “Remuneration Report”. Additionally I would recommend reading the latest Chairman’s and CEO’s Reports to see what is being said about what is the most important management consideration going forward, and READ the explanatory notes and summary in the downloaded report.
Academic articles and how to use them
A number of academic articles have been placed in the Assignment Folder on Moodle which you can refer to include more in-depth analysis. Please note that some of these have very lengthy sections on the methodology the writers used to test their hypotheses. It is NOT IMPORTANT that you read all of that material. However it IS IMPORTANT to read ABOUT what it was they were trying to test (called a hypothesis) and then their conclusions and summary at the end to see what they discovered.
Does anything in these articles match what you have found? If so, write about it and quote that article, if not, do NOT include that article. Alternatively, spend a few minutes researching using EBSCOHOST (NOT just Google or Wikipedia) and find articles that you can use.
Your report must include a summary of the academic journal articles you have found and your subsequent research findings and include a full bibliography in the Harvard Anglia style.
Research requirements:
Groups need to notify the lecturer of their chosen companies and the industry in which they operate in WEEK 7. PLEASE HAVE ONE COMPANY SELECTED FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE GROUP. This should be emailed to the lecturer AND the tutor either before or during week 7.
Please note that COLES is NOT a publically listed company so you will probably have to go to and search for relevant companies within an industry grouping. (Such as three transport companies, three gold mining companies etc.)
The Group Presentation will give the lecturer the opportunity to ask questions of each student to clarify and points raised in their report that may require clarification and to demonstrate their higher level of critical evaluation of the topic and its application.
1. Student assessment:
Group report (15 Subject marks):
• The Group Report carries a subject weighting of 15 Marks.
• You must use a word processor to correctly format and complete the task.
• This is a mark awarded to the group however your individual mark may be adjusted up or down depending on the individual contribution to the report.
• Ensure the individual sections (company review) are labeled with each student’s name and ID.
Oral presentation (10 Subject mark weighting):
• Oral presentations will take place in Weeks 10-12 where the group will have an opportunity (no more than 15 minutes IN TOTAL for each GROUP) to demonstrate further their understanding of the entities and the work you have done in researching these entities. (Order of presentations will decided by random ballot held in-class (lecture) on or before Week 9.)
• These 10 marks will be awarded by the tutor/assessor individually based on the presentation itself and the notes provided.
• All group members should be part of the presentation and typically, MS Powerpoint presentations are prepared and printed.
• “Outline” copies of the presentation should be given to the lecturer BEFORE the presentation begins to allow marking and note-taking to take place.
At the end of the presentation time, students may be questioned on various aspects of the Assignment including research methods and sources, information within the report and the presentation and about the organisation under review. All members should be able to demonstrate their contributions to the report at this time. Note that your Group Mark will be finalised AFTER the presentation as this will contribute to your demonstration of your understanding of the topic.
Oral presentation grading:
The presentation will carry a mark out of 10 which will be based on how well students demonstrate the following presentation skills and technical skills. You will be assessed INDIVIDUALLY during the presentation based on the following:
• clear communication
• engage the audience
• use eye contact to involve audience members
• appropriateness and use of visual aids
• ability to answer questions convincingly
Note that a full copy of the presentation slides (and any other class handout) must be provided at the beginning of the class to assist in assessing the presentation. Each slide should have the NAME OF THE PERSON PRESENTING on every relevant slide.
Note that this will take a little time however, given this part of the assessment task carries a value of 10 marks, it is well worth allowing time to create and present well.
2. Submitting your written group assignment
The Report will require that you use Microsoft Word to format and complete the task.
This assessment task is marked progressively. There are THREE steps to submitting your assignment:
1) The Group is to form by Week 6 – any student not in a group will be subject to a 2 Mark Penalty from the final group score.
2) The group’s selected Company MUST be reported to the lecturer and tutor at the lecture and tutorial in Week 7. (2 Mark penalty to the GROUP MARK if not advised.) This should be sent by email to the lecturer.
3) The DRAFT Group Report is to be submitted using Turnitin BEFORE your Tutorial in Week 9 to obtain a Turnitin Score and then PRINT the Turnitin score and submission receipt. Once you have a printed copy of your submission receipt and Turnitin score, you MUST bring this as a printed copy to class along with a hard (printed) copy of your report as submitted to Turnitin. (5 GROUP Mark Penalty if the draft is not submitted and the above complied with in Week 9.)
Your draft report will be briefly reviewed in class in Week 9 (Students in multiple tutorials should submit it at the EARLIEST tutorial) and an acknowledgement certificate will be issued as receipt of your DRAFT. Please note that this is a “hurdle requirement” for final submission of your assignment. (That means, that you MUST show your draft AND Turnitin receipt with Turnitin Score in Week 9 to qualify to have your assignment submission marked after final submission on the due date.)
The Turnitin Score should be less than 30% as at DRAFT date (Week 9) and the final Turnitin Score should be below 20% in your final submission.
Final due time and date is Friday 8.00pm 20 May 2016. NOTE THIS IS AN
ONLY ONE soft copy (E.g. MS Word Document or pdf file) per group is to be uploaded to Turnitin on or before the due date and time. Updated reports may be submitted up until the due date and time however ALL copies MUST be submitted by the SAME GROUP MEMBER. (Nominate who in your group will be responsible for this uploading so mistakes are not incurred.)
The Turnitin link will be open shortly before the final due date.
Students MUST accompany their submitted copy of the assignment submission with a completed and KOI Group Assignment Coversheet. Please note that marks will be awarded to all members of the group based on their input. The lecturer should be consulted if a group member is not contributing to the task WELL IN ADVANCE of the due date so action may be taken.
Only ONE person in EACH GROUP (someone very reliable) should be nominated to make the GROUP lodgement to Turnitin. Do NOT lodge multiple copies of the GROUP assignment from each group member.
The written report component will be marked and then scaled to a mark out of 15 subject marks. While a group mark will be awarded, each student must be able to show evidence of their contribution to the overall success of the group’s efforts and submission.
The presentation will be made in weeks 10-12 in tutorials and each students will be given and individual score which will be scaled to a mark out of 10 subject marks.
3. Referencing:
Referencing is required. Ensure that you fully reference ALL material that is directly copied and enclose direct quotations appropriately with full references. Also ensure you have referenced and cited all ideas, words or other intellectual property from other sources used in the completion of your assignment.
Please see the Library for assistance if you are unfamiliar with the correct procedure for Academic Referencing.
Please note that WIKIPEDIA is NOT an acceptable reference source other than for very superficial checking and should NOT be used as a primary resource as there are no controlled peer review of the content on this or similar ‘Wiki’ sites.
4. Working as a group:
Group size: Minimum of three (3) and a maximum four (4) students to a group.
Groups found to have less than four members may have additional students randomly assigned to that group to make up the minimum allowed.
After forming your group and submitting the Group Membership details to the lecturer in week 6, you should commence work immediately. The session immediately after the Mid-Trimester Test will be used for this purpose.
Project Group Conflict
For a project like this, success means being organised. The group will have to establish a division of labour and divide the work that needs to be done in a fair manner. Contributions to the project MUST be equitable.
All group members will need to meet for a number of hours each week. Agree on a regular time and place and set an agenda.
Group conflict is inevitable and should be resolved early in the semester. Group breakdowns are amongst the most common reasons why students fail. Make records (e.g. keeping emails sent and received) of all agreed meetings, who did and did not attend, agreed actions coming from the meeting and who is responsible for each of these.
When group conflict becomes destructive, group members should first consider using mediation to resolve any dispute, disagreement, grievance or complaint.
If the conflict still cannot be resolved, then group members can “fire” a member from the group by openly voting a person out BUT only after consulting the module lecturer.
Upon the approval by the lecturer, the group leader/representative must inform the ousted person the outcome agreed via email and copy the message to all other group members including the lecturer. The ousted person has the right to present a defence within five calendar days if he or she wishes to remain in the group.
In this situation, every group member must complete a Peer Group Evaluation to evaluate the contribution of every group member to the group project during the semester. All evaluations must be submitted in a sealed envelope directly to the Lecturer on the project due date. The results of the Peer Group Evaluation to assess group members’ relative contribution to the project task will affect the individual mark for the group project. A mark of zero will be awarded to any student who does not participate.
When a group member has been fired and decides not to challenge the decision, he/she will have to complete the whole project on his/her own (and not just merely submit the part that he/she was previously assigned to contribute). Likewise, the remaining group members will have to take over the work originally assigned to the ousted person and complete it.
Please note that in the event a project group breaks up and that the disintegrated groups do not finish the whole project on their own, the submission will be treated as partially done. The lecturer will not grade the project work on a partial basis (to compensate as a whole due to the breakup).
Alternatively, the ousted group member is free to join any other project group provided there is still room for an additional group member (maximum four to a group) and a unanimous decision is made by all project members to accept him or her.
Group members need to be familiar with all aspects of the project requirements. While the group may divide the project tasks up among members, the final document will need to flow smoothly.
Where to find information:
Remember, you are looking for additional academic articles and information to support your Report. You should try to find current articles written between 2009 and 2015. Earlier articles may be OK but you need to think as to whether they are still relevant given today’s circumstances.
Finding articles:
1. Type the term into the Library database or EBSCO
2. Add a second search term such as “Shareholder Value” if you don’t get any results 3. Still no results that you can use? Try to use a different term that means the same thing.
Reading/reviewing/analysing articles
Many articles you will find will be several pages long – this is quite normal for academic research papers as they are required to explain in detail the research methodology and results. These details are necessary to support and validate the findings.
Do not let this concern you, as, for the purposes of your research for this, and most other assessment tasks, you do not need to read the detail about the research methodology and results. What you need to find out is the purpose of the research: what question they are trying to answer; any context considerations; the findings – i.e. the answer to the question; and any comments about future directions or the application of the findings
To gain this information, points 1 and 2 will be found in the abstract and the introductory section(s) – usually within the first 2 pages. Points 3 and 4 will be found at the end of the paper under the headings “Findings” and/or “Conclusions” and/or “Recommendations” or similar. These are usually the last page or two pages.
A FULL copy of your ‘reference’ article can be found on the subject website along with all other information under the heading ‘Assignment’ however there is also an ‘abbreviated version’ which omits the research methodology and statistical data. Although the article is quite long, only the first two pages (336 & 337) and page 350 have been needed for the review – i.e. students usually only need to read the introduction and conclusion sections of the articles.

Marking rubric to be applied to this assignment submission
Little or no evidence of the research quality in either source or evidence presented. Depth and quality of research research evidenced within this submission is unsatisfactory to meet the requirements. Depth and quality of research evidenced within this submission does not meet the required standard. Satisfactory depth and quality of research evidenced within this submission. Good depth and quality of research evidenced within this submission. Very good depth and quality of research evidenced within this submission. Excellent depth and quality of research evidenced within this submission. Outstanding depth and quality of research evidenced within this submission.
The material presented was not relevant to the task requirements. Most of the material presented failed to be relevant based on the task topic requirements. Some of the material presented failed to be relevant based on the subject topic requirements. The relevance of the material presented fulfulled the subject requirements of the task specification to a satisfactory level. The relevance of the material presented mostly fulfulled the subject requirements of the task specification. The relevance of the material presented met most of the subject requirements of the task specification. The relevance of the material presented matched the subject requirements of the task specification. The relevance of the material presented completely matched the subject requirements of the task specification.
Little or none of the material discovered in the research was analysed. Elementary analysis of the findings of the research only. Basic analysis of the findings of the research and insufficient consideration the alternatives available or discovered through the research process. Satisfactory analysis of the findings of the research and comparison of a selection of the alternatives available or discovered through the research process. Good analysis of the findings of the research and comparison of some of the alternatives available or discovered through the research process. Very good analysis of the findings of the research and comparison of the alternatives available or discovered through the research process. Excellent analysis of the findings of the research and comparison of the alternatives available or discovered through the research process. Outstanding analysis of the findings of the research and comparison of the alternatives available or discovered through the research process.
Failed this criteria 0 Unsatisfactory 20 Below standard 40 Satisfactory 55 Good 65 Very good 75 Excellent 85 Outstanding 100
Presentation 20% Assessment of how closely the submitted work follows the requested format and whether it presents the material as it would be in a professional business organization.
Failed to submit the material in the required format. Unsatisfactory presentation of material that failed to the task specifications. Less than satisfactory presentation of material as required in the task specification. Satisfactory presentation of material that met most of the stated format requirements to allow the material to be read and reviewed. Good presentation of material that met sufficient of the stated format requirements to allow the material to be read and understood. Very good presentation of material that met most of the stated format requirements to allow the material to be read and understood. Excellent presentation of material that met all the stated format requirements to allow the material to be read and understood with clarity. Outstanding presentation of material that both met and/ or even exceeded the stated format requirements to allow the material to be read and understood with clarity.
Research 25% Assessment of the depth and quality of research performed producing this report as evidenced by the references made throughout the submission.
Relevance 25% Assessment of how well the material presented satisfies the requirements of the task specifications
Analysis 25% Assessment of how thoroughly the findings of the research is reviewed and alternatives and/or comparisons have been presented.
Referencing 5% Review of how well the referencing follows the Harvard Anglia format requirements.
Little or no referencing provided in this submission. Unsatisfactory referencing provided which does not cover all sources in the research and/or fails to meet the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method. Minimal referencing provided which does not cover all sources in the research and/or fails to meet meets the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method. A sufficient list of references to cover most of the research and which mostly meets the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method. Good list of references which
mostly meets the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method. Very good list of references which for the most part meets the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method. Excellent and broad list of references which meets the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method. Outstanding and extensive list of references which completely meets the requirements of the Harvard Anglia method.

ACC702 Managerial Accounting – Written Assignment Task Page 9