How relevant is the CPA Program?

Here’s a look at what’s been happening in the news – and how it links to your CPA Program studies.

While often seen to be theoretical or dry, the content you are working on is very relevant, so have at look at what has been happening in the last week in the news:


Are you a woman hoping to break through the glass ceiling? You may have a fight on your hands:

Women executives in the minority –

Ethics & Governance (E&G) Module 4, page 251 – Diversity – fairness and performance.


Do car makers mislead customers when offering capped-price servicing?

Ethics & Governance (E&G) Module 4, page 290 – Misleading conduct and representations


How would you deal with a collapse in sales prices? The mining companies are facing disaster with iron-ore prices plummeting

If you are creating strategy, understand the external environment is critical – especially the business cycle and external environment. How would this situation influence your external analysis?

Global Strategy & Leadership (GSL) Module 2, page 99 – Economic factors


Do you have the courage to make tough decisions about sunk costs?

Mothballing (temporarily closing) a mine site than may have cost millions or even billions to develop because of high costs and low selling prices is an important decision.

Matthew Keane is quoted as saying “Atlas could close its Abydos mine to preserve cash. With prices below $US60 the [Atlas] board will be talking about what do we do?. If the price fall is sustained and if falls towards $US50 per tonne, that should prompt people to shut mines. They would look to go on care and maintenance.”

Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) Module 1, page 70 – relevant/sunk costs & Module 5, page 506 – Project costs


Do you prefer elves or star wars? Lego’s new elf range has been launched, with a girls-oriented theme. How would you classify this using Porter’s framework shown in Figure 3.9?

Global Strategy & Leadership (GSL) Module 3, page 179 – Competitive advantage and generic strategy.


How skilful or creative was Qantas with achieving a $367m profit this half-year?

$208 million of this was from reduced depreciation – but, is this just because Qantas wrote off a large chunk of its assets in a previous period. Creative accounting or genuine depreciation?

Financial reporting Module

Financial reporting (FR), Module 7, page 528 – Impairment of assets.

March 7, 2015

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