Accounting Principles for Business Decisions

Analyse and interpret information about financial position and performance.

Apply accounting principles to business decision making.

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Use of financial accounting data to analyse a simple investment decision.


This assignment is designed to assess your ability to conduct both qualitative and

quantitative analysis on financial information and to summarise and interpret your analysis.


Presentation of your assignment is extremely important.  The assignment must be typed

and should be prepared with care.  Marks will be deducted for poor presentation.


Written discussion will be assessed on the following: its ability to clearly answer the

question, readability, clarity of expression and grammar.




  1. You need to form a group a maximum of 3 (three) students. Every group is assigned to

choose 2 (two) Australian mining listed companies (BHP Billiton and Santos). Access their

annual reports from 2013 and 2014 and download the full reports.

  1. Review 2013 and 2014 financial statements

Look at:


2 year summary

Group/consolidated income statement

Group/consolidated balance sheet

Group/consolidated cash flow statement

Notes to the Group Financial Statements where necessary




Provide a report of not more than 1,500 words.


  1. Look at the Financial Review / 2 year summary. Profile an analysis of the

performance of each company from their 2 year summaries. Assess the operations

of each company by: (1) asset growth; (2) sales turnover growth; (3) profit growth;

(4) product range; (4) sustainability of the business, etc. etc.




(10 Marks)


  1. Compare the performance (income statement) (10 marks), balance sheet (10

marks), and cash flows (10 marks) of both companies:


  1. Try to avoid analysing the absolute amount as it needs to be in relative values;
  2. If it gets higher or lower, you need to explain what does it mean and what are

the consequences of the figures.

(30 marks)


  1. Conduct a ratio analysis to assess their profitability, efficiency, liquidity and financial



  1. Are the companies profitable (do you think each company is generating

healthy returns)? (10 marks)

  1. How well are the two companies managing their resources (are they efficient

in managing their assets)? (10 marks)

iii. Can they meet their short term debts and stay in operation in the short term?

(10 marks)

  1. Can they meet their long term debts and stay in operation in the long term,

i.e. their long term financial stability? (10 marks)

  1. Produce an overall summary of your analysis. If you were an investor would you be

happy with the performance of each company?  Why?  Why not?  If you could only

invest $1,000 in one of these two companies which one would you invest in, and


  1. Professional presentation of your assignment in a clear readable format with

appropriate referencing



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