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Assignment Briefs 12-25-2022

1.1 Critically appraise how the Finance function supports organisational success

UNIT CMI 706 Finance for Strategic Leaders

 

Assessment Brief: Finance for Strategic Leaders

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KEY INFORMATION FOR LEARNERS

Overview of assessment tasks

Each task in this assessment brief has been developed to enable you to evidence achievement of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria for CMI 706: Finance for Strategic Leaders. Each of the assessment criteria must gain a pass outcome for you to successfully achieve the unit. LO1 Understand the scope of the Finance function within an organisational context

Preparation for the assessment

  • Before you begin the assessment brief please read the CMI 706 unit specifications thoroughly as only the content related to the achievement of the assessment criteria will be assessed.
  • Research the topics being assessed.  Suggested reading/web resources are provided on the CMI 706 unit specification. Your tutor may signpost you to relevant resources. Additionally, you may access excellent online resources at ManagementDirect https://members.md.cmi.org.uk/.
  • If you are enrolled on the Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme you are encouraged to review the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship standard.

Completing the assessment brief

  • The assessment brief contains a series of tasks which are clearly referenced to the relevant assessment criteria and indicative content.
  • Refer to the Assessment Guidance Table at the end of the assessment brief which outlines the requirements for a Pass or Refer.
  • Evidence must be provided in the evidence booklet. Additional work-based evidence such as plans or documentation (which has been referred to within the main text) should be included at the end of the booklet marked ‘Work Based Evidence’.  Appendices are not a requirement of this assessment brief.  If appendices are included these will not be marked or moderated by the CMI.
  • Work based evidence must be accompanied by a supporting statement in the learner evidence box, to explain the link to the assessment criteria.  Work based evidence (where required by the task) must not exceed SIX (6) pages.  Files embedded in the booklet must not exceed 10MB. 1.1 Critically appraise how the Finance function supports organisational success
  • The evidence booklet must be completed in a professional manner (e.g. applying business conventions for writing formal reports) and by using Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format or another compatible software programme. 
  • An appropriate referencing system (such as Harvard Referencing) must be used to ensure the original source(s) of quotations or models can be verified.
  • Finally, you must sign the Learner Authenticity statement (an electronic signature is accepted).

Learner support

For information regarding policies and procedures for assessment (e.g. special assessment arrangements, learner support, appeals, complaints, certification, confidentiality, plagiarism) you should contact your tutor or Centre manager and refer to the CMI Level 7 in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice.

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INTRODUCING ASSESSMENT BRIEF CMI 706

Practicing leaders must have an understanding of the Finance function to be an effective decision maker within their role. Finance impacts on all aspects of an organisation and has a profound influence on the development and achievement of strategic objectives.

Assessment brief CMI 706 has been designed to enable leaders to evidence their understanding of the scope, complexity and role of Finance within an organisational context. They will develop an understanding of how Finance impacts on strategic decision making.

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ASSESSMENT TASKS AND WORD COUNT

Assessment brief CMI 706 features the following assessment tasks. Further detail is provided against each assessment task within the brief.

Assessment Task

Learning outcomes covered by assessment method

Assessment criteria

Guideline word count

1

Written report entitled:

‘The scope of the Finance function within an organisational context’

LO1 Understand the scope of the Finance function within an organisational context

1.1 Critically appraise how the Finance function supports organisational success

Approx. 1500 words

1.2 Discuss the scope, boundaries and governance of Finance within an organisational context

1.3 Critically assess current and emerging technological factors which impact on Finance 

2a

Written report entitled:

‘The role of Finance in strategic decision making’

LO2 Understand the role of Finance in strategic decision making

2.1 Critically assess how strategic decision making is informed by financial and cost analysis

Approx. 1500 words

2b

Written account entitled:

‘Approaches to legal and ethical financial reporting’

2.2 Discuss approaches for legal and ethical financial reporting

Approx. 1000 words

 

Guideline word count

The written word, however generated and recorded, is still expected to form the majority of assessable work produced by Learners at Level 7. The amount and volume of work for this unit should be broadly comparable to a word count of 3500 - 4000 words within a margin of +/-10%.  The excessive use of word count is not grounds for referral, however the CMI reserve the right to return work to the Centre for editing and resubmission by the Learner. 

The following are excluded from inclusion in word count, if used and not required by the assessment brief an introduction to a job role, organisation or department, index or contents pages, headings and sub headings, diagrams, charts and graphs, reference list or bibliography, reflective statement drawn from undertaking the assessment and how this has impacted on the learner’s work.

Please see the CMI Assessment Guidance Policy for further guidance.

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THE SCOPE OF THE FINANCE FUNCTION WITHIN AN ORGANISATIONAL CONTEXT

The Finance function impacts on all aspects of an organisation as well as contributing to strategic decision making.

The aim of Task 1 is to evidence the leader’s understanding of how the Finance function supports organisational success. They will have an opportunity to discuss the scope, boundaries and governance of Finance within an organisation and assess the impact of current and emerging technology on Finance.

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TASK 1

You are required to write a report entitled:

‘The scope of the Finance function within an organisational context’

The report must include well-chosen examples and be based on an organisation you know well or have researched. It must be presented in THREE (3) sections:

i. The Finance function role in supporting organisational success

You are required to critically appraise how the Finance function supports organisational success (AC1.1)

ii. The scope, boundaries and governance of Finance within an organisational context

You are required to discuss the scope, boundaries and governance of Finance within your chosen organisational context. You much include reference to relevant legal and regulatory frameworks. (AC1.2)

iii. Technological impact on Finance

You are required to critically assess a minimum of THREE (3) current and emerging technological factors which impact on Finance in an organisational context. (AC1.3)

Guidance for completion of Task 1

  • The report must be based on an organisation you know well or have researched.
  • The report must include well-chosen examples which illustrate the role of Finance within an organisational context. 
  • The report should include subheadings. You may choose to include tables and diagrams (as appropriate) to support your report.
  • Please note: your response for Section ii need not cover all types and use of Finance, rather the response should be focussed on Finance within the organisational setting of your choice.
  • Please refer to the indicative content for each of the assessment criteria (AC) outlined in the unit specification.

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THE ROLE OF FINANCE IN STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING

Strategic decision making is greatly influenced by the role of Finance.  Whilst it is not an expectation for leaders to be accountants, an understanding of the role of Finance enables leaders to make strategic decisions in a more insightful way.

The aim of Task 2 is to enable leaders to assess the influence of financial and cost analysis on strategic decision making and discuss approaches for legal and ethical financial reporting. Exemplars of financial analysis and cost analysis are presented in the table below. 1.1 Critically appraise how the Finance function supports organisational success

Exemplars of Financial and Cost Analysis

Financial Analysis

Financial statement (e.g. statement of financial position, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, annual report). Use of key financial ratios (e.g. Liquidity, profitability, solvency, efficiency/effectiveness).

Cost Analysis

Budgeting and cashflow. Costing methods (e.g. fixed cost, variable cost, activity costs, marginal, project costing). Investment appraisal (e.g. Discounted Cash Flow. Internal Rate of Return. Net Present Value. Return on Investment. Payback. Return on Capital Employed. Weighted Average Cost of Capital).

 

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TASK 2A

You are required to develop a report entitled:

‘The role of Finance in strategic decision making’

The report must critically assess how strategic decision making is informed by financial analysis and cost analysis.  (AC2.1)

To meet the requirements of the task, you must select ONE (1) of the following options as the basis of the report:

Option 1: Financial/cost analysis and strategic information from your own organisation

OR

Option 2: Financial/cost analysis and strategic information from a Publicly listed FTSE 100 company (e.g. Company information including strategic plan, results and presentations, annual report and accounts)

Guidance for completion of Task 2A

  • The report or reflective account must clearly show how financial analysis and cost analysis influenced a strategic decision or strategic decisions.
  • ONE (1) or more examples of financial analysis on strategic decision making must be given.
  • ONE (1) or more examples of cost analysis on strategic decision making must be given.
  • Extracts of financial analysis and cost analysis must be included in the report or reflective account to evidence the influence on decision making.
  • The strategic decision (decisions) must be clearly stated.  These may be drawn from the strategic priorities published by the organisation of your choice.
  • LO1 Understand the scope of the Finance function within an organisational context
  • Please refer to the indicative content for each of the assessment criteria (AC) outlined in the unit specification.

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TASK 2B

With reference to legal and ethical requirements for financial reporting in an organisation you know well or have researched, write an account entitled:

‘Approaches to legal and ethical financial reporting’

You are required to discuss a minimum of TWO (2) approaches for legal and ethical financial reporting (AC 2.2)

Guidance for completion of Task 2B

  • The account must refer to examples of legal and ethical reporting.
  • The account must include well-chosen examples which illustrate reporting within an organisational context. 
  • The account must be based on an organisation you know well or have researched.
  • Please refer to the indicative content for each of the assessment criteria (AC) outlined in the unit specification.

 

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ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE

 

Refer

Pass

  • The submission is incomplete
  • Tasks are incomplete
  • Not all assessment criteria have been met
  • No examples are used or the examples given do not match the requirements of the assessment criteria
  • Evidence is
  • Unclear
  • Technically incorrect or inaccurate
  • Biased
  • Unprofessional language
  • Poorly structured and presented
  • Ideas are under-developed
  • Lacks sufficient detail to show understanding of the topic
    • The application of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought is unclear or inappropriate
    • Little or no evaluation of evidence has taken place
    • The ability to make judgments and solve complex problems has not been evidenced
    • Evidence is not directly attributable to the learner
    • External sources of information are not acknowledged
    • Work based evidence or artefacts (e.g. planning documents or presentation slides) do not meet the requirements of the assessment criteria and are not current (within 5 years)
    • All tasks have been completed
    • All assessment criteria have been met
    • Examples given are well chosen and match the requirements of the assessment criteria
    • Evidence is
    • Well written and presented
    • Contains a breadth of examples
    • Accurate
    • Current (e.g. use of up to date legislation)
    • Authentic
    • Inclusive
    • Coherent
    • Credible
    • Technically correct
      • Evidence shows understanding and application of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the reasoning behind them. 1.1 Critically appraise how the Finance function supports organisational success
      • Evidence shows the learners ability to evaluate evidence and solve problems to achieve set outcomes.
      • Evidence used from external sources has been correctly referenced
      • Evidence is directly attributable to the learner
      • Work based evidence or artefacts (e.g. planning documents or presentation slides) match the requirements of the assessment criteria and are current (within 5 years)
 
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