How to Carry out an Evaluation & Analysis for the RAP?
One of the major reason for failure of RAPs, other than referencing and information gathering, is a poor evaluation, analysis & conclusion. Learning how to carry out a successful evaluation is a very vital element of scoring a pass in the RAP. Although this article is most common to TOPIC 8, the learning can be extended to any other topic that requires analysis of facts & figure.
The importance of a good evaluation & analysis is clear from the information provided in the Information Pack.
In order to produce a successful RAP you have to evaluate and analyse information from a range of sources. This means creating some meaning of what you have found, or making a judgment or coming to a conclusion.
If you only report the information that you have found or generated, you will not pass the RAP.
Ability to evaluate and analyse information is a very important graduate attribute and the grade that you are awarded for your RAP will be significantly influenced by how well you demonstrate your evaluative and analytical skills in your RAP.
Most often students think that evaluation & analysis is all about ratios and number. That’s not correct. In order to carry out a successful evaluation & analysis, you need to understand that the business and financial analysis are related. This means its best to carry out a business analysis first and then move on to the financial analysis part. Of course, both these component are your Part 3 of the RAP.
Lets start with the business analysis. This is all about your models and application of your models. OBU’s two vital Assessment Criterion are Understanding of Accountancy and Business models and Application of Accountancy and Business models which means that you need to state a relevant models and then apply it to them to your chosen organisation. A failure to do both will definitely result in an unsuccessful RAP.
Another important aspect of business analysis is understanding the past and existing strategies of the chosen organisation. The strategy will explain a lot going on with the organisation. A change in strategy is often a result of response to changes in external environment. This change helps organisation overcome its weakness or respond to a threat from external market. In most cases, this change can be linked with the changes in number.
Take an example of Kuwait based Telecom provider ZAIN. In 2003 ZAIN initiated its 3x3x3 strategy of expansion where the plan was to acquire organisations and then become a global provider. Here ZAIN witnessed numerous acquisitions with network extending from Middle East to North Africa. But in 2009 recession hit most of the world markets and Africa was badly affected. The main affect of this was on the African currency decreasing in value. In 2010 ZAIN sold all its African operation with an announcement that its new strategy is to focus on Middle Eastern operations.
If you look at the numbers from 2008 to 2010, you seen the African operations showing a significant decrease in revenue specially in 2009. Not to mention the high losses in Foreign exchange on the OCI section. So you see how all the information were linked. If I had carried an external market analysis [PEST] I would have discovered African market posing risk of failure. A SWOT analysis would show me Strength of diversification in different market, a Weakness in handling African operations (decrease in revenue) and Threat from African market because of recession and fall in currency. The numbers, the models and the changes all point to one thing: Reasons for selling off the African segment.
Your evaluation will require something similar. I have chosen a very simple and general examples. In the RAP, I would support this through numbers from financial statements, ratios and model assessment.