To develop knowledge and skills in the application of management accounting techniques to quantitative and qualitative information for planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control.
The syllabus for Paper F5, Performance Management, builds on the knowledge gained in Paper F2, Management Accounting and seek to examine candidates’ understanding of how to manage the performance of a business. It also prepares candidates for more specialist capabilities which are covered in P5 Advanced Performance Management.
The syllabus begins by introducing more specialized management accounting topics. There is some knowledge assumed from Paper F2 – primarily overhead treatments. The objective here is to ensure candidates have a broader background in management accounting techniques.
The syllabus then considers decision-making. Candidates need to appreciate the problems surrounding scarce resource, pricing and make-or-buy decisions, and how this relates to the assessment of performance. Risk and uncertainty are a factor of real-life decisions and candidates need to understand risk and be able to apply some basic methods to help resolve the risks inherent in decision-making.
Budgeting is an important aspect of many accountants’ lives. The syllabus explores different budgeting techniques and the problems inherent in them. The behavioural aspects of budgeting are important for accountants to understand, and the syllabus includes consideration of the way individuals react to a budget. The preparation of fixed, flexible and incremental budgets is assumed knowledge from F2 Management Accounting.
Standard costing and variances are then built on. All the variances examined in Paper F2 are assumed knowledge in F5. Mix and yield variances, and planning and operational variances are explored here and the link is made to performance management. It is important for accountants to be able to interpret the numbers that they calculate and ask what they mean in the context of performance.
The syllabus concludes with performance management systems, measurement and control. This is a major area of the syllabus. Accountants need to understand how a business should be managed and controlled and how information systems can be used to facilitate this.
They should appreciate the importance of both financial and non-financial performance measures in management. Accountants should also appreciate the difficulties in assessing performance in divisionalised businesses and the problems caused by failing to consider external influences on performance. This section leads directly to Paper P5. All of the subject areas covered in this syllabus could be examined in either a public sector or private sector context.