Forecasting and budgeting

Question – Are government officials in the budgeting department poor in forecasting?

The following are Hong Kong government’s experiences:-

  1. In 2009-10 budget, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah predicted a HK$39.9 billion deficit. But strong growth in income from stamp duty on property and stock transactions, the government may end up with a surplus of more than HK$10 billion.
  2. In 2006, then finance chief Henry Tang Ying-yen predicted a surplus of HK$5.6 billion for the 2006-07 financial year but recorded a HK$58.6 billion surplus.
  3. In 2001-02 budget, the then financial secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen predicted a HK$3 billion deficit. The government eventually recorded a HK$63.3 billion deficit.
  4. The best forecast was made by Donald Tsang in 2000. He predicted a HK$6.2 billion deficit for the 2000-01 financial year. The administration ended up with a deficit of HK$7.8 billion.

With another forecast of a budget deficit set to be proved wrong, a senior accountant has suggested the government carry out more frequent reviews of its financial position.


F1, F2 and F3 Changes due in Dec 2011 Exams

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There will be changes to almost all exam papers effective Dec 2011 exams.

That would mean you have 2 paper-based tries based on current exam format left before the change.

So what are the changes due for F1, F2 and F3?
In short, the exam format will change from a pure multiple choice question (MCQ) format to a combination of MCQ and short questions basis format.

Paper F1, Accounting in Business
Section A – 16 x one-mark short objective test and 30 x two-mark short test questions.
Section B – 6 x four-mark longer version objective questions with one taken from each objective test questions of the six sections of the syllabus.

Paper F2, Management Accounting
Section A – 35 x two-mark short objective test questions
Section B – 3 x 10-mark longer version objective test questions – one taken from each of the budgeting, standard costing and performance measurement sections of the syllabus.

Paper F3, Financial Accounting
Section A – 35 x two-mark short objective test questions
Section B – 2 x 15 mark longer version objective test questions with one question based on group accounts and the other on preparation of financial statements (which may include an element of interpretation of accounts)
[Edgar says it looks like old topics will be re-introduced to the syllabus.]

Source – ACCA

ACCA’s Certificate of Achievement for F1, F2 and F3

Under the new scheme,

There will be no more paper winners for F1 to F3. Instead a Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to students who have scored 85% and above in these papers. This is regardless of whether they took the paper-based or CBE exams.

MSER students will only be eligible for prizes from F4 to F9 and P1 to P7 when they transfer to the Professional Scheme.

P/S – So for those who have scored higher than 85%, please look out for your “Certificate of Achievement”. Cheers.