Thursday, 4 June 2009

Exam day

Many student's around the world are taking their professional examinations today. They have studied at a distance, some have attended courses, most have not but have relied upon study manuals and their own wits to get them this far. Distance learning is the toughest form of education and you all deserve the highest praise for your hard work and commitment. I wish you well and given that all nations and religions are going to be at it hard today I send the one greeting which I think everyone will appreciate everywhere:

May the force be with you!


Anonymous said...

Hi Bob.

Today I sure i will fail P4 but this time your paper is kinda fair but demanding for us to complete all the questions in 3 hours.

i not asking you to pass us or whatever. I found your paper quite challenging and right now i planned to purchase the books you can recommend for my distance learning.

Not sure if you can intro all the reference book title and practice kit for P4 in your blogspot so that we can purchase and put it more effort for coming P4 for December 2009.

Thank you


Anonymous said...

if want to cheeck what students say about p4 paper you check the comments at

hope u didnt mind it

Anonymous said...

This exam was totally unfair...whilst I am almost certain it was not too difficult for this level, the requirements were just too much for the time alloted. No time to think!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi bob

I doubt i could pass it, although i spent months of effort on it. Most of student have the same feel in one of uk centre. I cant tell I gain any benefit from an intensive and lengthy revision. I doubt myself could be differentiated with students who do not do revision from the result. I cant blame myself, as I try 100% effort. Dont understand questions and no time for solving tricky information.

Anonymous said...

+45 should tbe the pass mark for this paper otherwise the failure rate will be unheard of in any paper...i wonder what mark the highets scorer is going to get on this one...

Anonymous said...

what force Bob?

cotraveller said...

Dear Bob,

I would totally agree to the comments of Anonymous 3 & 1:
1/ yes, the exam was as simple as could be but very demanding at the same time - I am sure I failed though tried my very best after sacrificing many evenings of this "crisis" yet beautiful spring
2/ can you please give us all an advice on what book to use when preparing for December exam. I tried Kaplan but once again found out it is a useless piece of wasted paper.

PS. And I thought Black&Scholes would be there...:)

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

We studied hard, but unfortunately the books do not have the information you asked in your exam questions. I spend a lot of time practicing past papers and reading the study book and it was useless ... It would be good to have study materials which gives everything you can test. To my mind it is unfair to test what we did not study... What book would you recommend us for our effective preparation for December exam?

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

Based on the Kaplan publishing I could not in any way reach the optimal level to believe to get a pass on this paper. That means that either the Kaplan is a garbage or your paper has an issue.. My comment in brief would be summarised in the following: "if i want a so tricky and extensive knowledge of financial mgt reaching the investment banking field I would start reading for CFA and not ACCA" ....

Anonymous said...

If you want us to read your book in order for you to sell and consequently for us to pass say so but do not manipulate the paper serving your purposes indirectly...!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

I am dissapointed. For two reasons:
1. Most likely I failed,
2. Apparently I wasted my time and money on paid ATC courses and Kaplan books. I solved most of questions in revision kits and learned by heart the principles of exam based on past 3 exam papers. And what is even more ridiculous for me - I work for 2 years now as a private equity consultant in a quite a company for our country.

Any clue you can give?
Please use this opportunity to get feedback from students and communicate with them as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

While I believe it is a good thing that papers at this level are tough, there is a big difference between having a tough paper and a paper that it almost impossible to be prepared for, no matter how much studying is done.

So far I have had good 1st time passes, but there is no way I got the required 50% yesterday. I probably studied more for this exam than any other (as it is my last), and past results show I have good exam technique yet I felt totally unprerpared for this exam once I opened the paper.

Please give some advice on how to prepare for Decembers sitting as like my peers I feel the BPP courses I attended were a waste of time and Money


Anonymous said...

I agree with a majority of these comments. I appreciate that the exam should be a challenge and enjoy solving difficult questions but I do not feel that this paper covered the main areas of the syllabus!

It is not testing an individuals intelligence by putting in info that is on such a narrow area of the syllabus that we did not go through in class!

Most of us are working and not doing a masters degree, it is therefore not realistic to expect us to know everything! Surely the more complex and relevant areas of the syllabus should be tested that we have covered! I feel that this would more accurately reflect the individuals ability to pass the exam!

I've studied hard and feel that I understood the main core technical areas on the syllabus and was disappointed to see that very few were actually on the paper. This will deter students from doing this paper!

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the comments on this blog. I spent virtually the whole of the last 3 months studying and revising the P4 syllabus as well as attending college tuition and revision days, reading through the examiner articles and the approach interviews. I passed the tests set by the college quite well and was (i thought) well prepared for this exam... right up to the point i opened the paper.
Either the colleges have got their entire study package wrong, or this was a very unfair paper. I hope this will be reflected in the marks given.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Thanks for all your comments. As I am now deep in the marking process I am not able to make a substantive reply. I will return to the topic when the results are out and will be very interested to hear via the blog how you have got on (I suspect many of you will be very pleasantly surprised but we must wait and see).

Only one comment and that relates to my book and the suggestion that I am using the exam process as a way of covertly promoting sales. This is nonsense. My book covers a wide range of financial topics but only two of the questions (1) and (5) are explicitly considered in my text - but they also get very full treatment in many other books on the subject as well. My book is listed with others in the ACCA Study Guide as supplementary reading but that is not made clear by the publishers of the manuals.

Anonymous said...

I agreed that Bob did not try to sell more of this books by setting the exam this way, as I have seen the book. However, the fact that you(Bob) did not give us enough time to think in the exam was unfair. Question 3 and 5 were a little bit strange, and we should have provided a reasonably good answers for them if we are given more time to think about them. Question 1 and 2 were far too long, leaving not enough time for the other two optional ones. Bearing such time pressure, setting an unfamiliar question 3/5 was ridiculous.We students are humans, not robots. I ended up leaving a whole 20 mark optional question unanswered due to time pressure, as to answer it, I need some time to think about it.
Allow us more time to think, please!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I guess you should have your paper done by yourself first before you put it as exam questions. You should write it down with a pen with all the complete workings and theory answers for explanation in 3 hours time. And also try to stay in the syllabus. Asking questions that are difficult is impossible to be done without giving ample of time to think. Take note of that. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi bob,

Please check here to see how many people (out of 73 who took part in the poll) are satisfied by by you.

Please ignore some of the harsh comments but i think many of them were too frustrated by the exam and not had ample time to calm down.

I respect you but i was also not satisfied with the paper and i put much of the blame on the P4 subject Co-ordinator and Assessor.

Were you Shocked by P4 Paper said...

sorry forgot to add the link to poll.

and wanted to ask one more question.Are all the procedures identified in this article "The Exam Cycle - How ACCA Papers are set" still followed???

Professor Bob Ryan said...

I can confirm that all of the procedures (including a trial sitting) were followed. Its a long and exhaustive process through review, panel, trial sitting, review and numerous checks. After having been in the professional and academic examining business for over 30 years I like most of my colleagues have a pretty clear sense of what can be done and what can't be done in the time.

The ACCA has set a very clear specification for this paper - its advanced, its masters degree level, its set at level 3 skills throughout and its an option. Its tough.

Adverse comments about an exam really do not bother me - if they did I would have given it all up years ago. What matters is that the examination does its job effectively and all those who have prepared thoroughly pass.

Sometimes a paper turns out to be too tough and sometimes too easy - we correct for that in the marking process. So once more: wait for the results and then if any of you who feel really hard done by actually pass perhaps you can let us all know through the blog how you did it!

Anonymous said...

Vanilla currency swap!! Come on!!

Besides that the pattern of questions were totally different. A well prepared student who knew everything most of the stuff, and a student with only important knowledge were in the same position.

Both could have done the exam in the same way.

Anyway, I'm already an affiliate but wanted to have some extra knowledge, I guess I won't have the pleasure of having an extra optional passed. Though I would like to wish otherwise.

Too time pressured and unfair at many instances.

Masters, but this was an overkill.

BTW, everybody commenting as Anonymous, goes on to show that we are so intimidated by the professor that we don't even want to disclose our name, who knows may be we will fail just for commenting on the blog, despite of knowing all the 'blahs' about Quality assurance.

Anonymous said...

First of all, P4 is a very enjoyable course and very relvant to a professional accountant. EVA free cash flows, merger valuations, hedging and the cost of capital will no doubt be used by students as they progress in their careers. However, the exam is a big step up from the coursebooks (kaplan in my case) and for this reason many students will advise their friends to stay well away from this course.

The word is already out, that if you want to pass ACCA as quick as possible, do not attempt P4. P4 is the most difficult exam in ACCA, even more difficult than P2 corporate reporting, which should be the central piece to any accountancy qualification. Now, I'm not suggesting setting easy exams, but surely students should be rewarded for work done.

Even if I fail this exam, I will be back in December 09, this exam won't get the better of me again. I'll be reading multiple books at a much higher level that Kaplan and BPP, and Bob you won't get me next time!

Professor Bob Ryan said...

To the author of the last comment - well done. With luck you wont be back for a resit but why not do what you suggest anyway? It's a great subject covering accounting, corporate finance, financial markets and by your remarks you have found your real interest.

With respect to this paper I stress again that an exam paper may appear very difficult but if you look at the mark gradient you will discover that it is possible to get to the pass zone relatively quickly. What absorbs the time are the discriminators - those elements of questions which are designed to spread the mark distribution. If you have worked your way into four questions - which you may not have been able to complete - then it is quite likely that you have passed. A highly discriminating exam paper is very difficult to complete in the time - it is easy to get the pass mark providing you are reasonably well prepared and work to the time.

ps: to the commentator who suspects I might be biased if I knew who the anonymous contributors were. Sorry, but all that reveals is your own ethical standard and ignorance of the process. Even assuming I would seek to fail a student who had annoyed me (of which there have been quite a few) neither I nor my markers have any idea of the candidates' identities. So relax the QA procedures work just fine. Oh, and by the way - you have studied AFM for a year and do not know what a vanilla currency swap is? Try putting the words into Google - it's a standard term.

Anonymous said...

Professor Bob.
Looking back at exam. I have to say that it is possible to pass and i hope i pass. Butthe time cruch was a huge problem, you put in some very complicated element into the question that made it difficult to dechipher in the allocated time. For instance the 1st question on NPV where we had to worked back to produce a revised post tax cashflow to find the NPV. There was this issue with the tax savings on capital allowance that i didnt observe untill later and had to go back therby taking so much time that it affected the other question i had to do.

Also the vanilla currency swap was not the issue cos i know what a vanilla swap is but how to solve the question was the real issue. I completing left this question and did the other 2 options

your 2nd question was another issue altogether. I realized how i was suppossed to answer the question after the exam.due to the volume of info in the question itwas difficult to understandthe question in the allocated time. But i did the best i could withh the calculation of WACC.

I'm really hoping that with the much i did i'll be able to obtain a pass mark. but i definitely wont advice anyone to sit this paper. It is my second sitting- i read both kaplan and BPP and your book, a lot of internet materials, practiced all the past question i could lay my hands on. i can proudly say that i know this course very very well. but still all i can hope for based on what i wrote in the exam is btw 50- 53 marks.

You need to really look into this issues because this is really a very interesting course that many people should attempt.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I agree - this paper is very interesting (which is why I chose it) and makes me want to learn more on the subject.

However, difficult exams deter students away from the paper. If the exams were fair, the paper would be much more enjoyable, and students wouldn't fear choosing this paper instead of the 2 other options which I feel aren't that exciting as this.

Thanks for the prompt replies on your blogsite. It is good to know that you're directly in touch with students and know the problems they're facing.

Anonymous said...

I know what a vanilla currency swap is. But that pattern of the question was totally out of the league.

Besides that I was trying to point student's psyche. It has little to do with ethics.

BTW just wondering was interest rate parity applied anywhere in the exam? If it did, I have passed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

By saying the same thing over and over I do not think we achieve anything. I would like to ask and to get a clear - straightforward answer as the examiner of the paper:

- In order to be ready and well prepared according to you what should we actually study? (i.e. is it enough only with Kaplan or BPP material or you suggest further options in order next time we see your questions be able to handle them and not think "was i studying for another paper?")

Many thanks in advance for your reply.

Anonymous said...

A notice to all,

When you reflect fairly on the exam, I think you will find the exam was passable.

Q1 nothing new asked here compared to past papers

Q5 Assumed knowledge NPV

Q4 Discursive with major hints at the issues in the qestion.

Q3 Tricky, but optional

Q2 Very tricky, lots going on and hard to identfiy the issues in the alloted time

I think a well prepared student can pass as long as they didn't panic in the exam, and used time effectively.

No point getting angry about it, prepare to a higher level if you fail, if you pass well done great achievement. Nothing worthwile is easy to achieve.

Also, we must pay respect to Professor Bob Ryan, he has chosen to meet critics and be positive when many others would just simply ignore the rants.

It's clear from the comments that neither BPP or Kaplan have provided texts up to the standard required. In many other courses we can lazily read the texts and get by, but in this case we must put in extra effort, so please let's communicate this to other students.

Anonymous said...

i like to just ask acca to take the kaplan and bpp p4 textbooks of their recommended reading, as it misleading. in the future im going to use your book bob, just for the sake of passing the exam, as i know the p4 kaplan textbook inside out and it was no help.

As for the paper the other day, yes it was hard, but no one keeps me down, if i fail this time, i pass next time.

Just like to ask for question 3, was it asking for the forward rate which the european company borrows at in 6 months?
if it was then i applied the interest rate parity, as the difference in currencys is due to the interest rate, as in a efficient market. therefore the euro was trading at a premium, so the answer must of been that the euro % was lower then the 6month us interest rate. i think i fucked up, if i get 50 marks i be over the moon

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Many thanks for your thoughtful comments on the P4 paper. A couple of comments before signing off for the time being. On study manuals - they are an important part of your study for the ACCA qualifications. However, I take the view that at this level you do need the support of other reading material unless you are taking a taught course. My suggestion is get a good standard textbook such as Brearley and Myers, Pike and Neale or indeed my own book. Also use or to keep up with what is new and relevant. With a subject as big as this, and with the depth of content required, it would be a tall order for any single source to take you through to a good level. However, the study manuals are entirely relevant but to maximise their benefit as study aids you do need to read around.

With respect to the inidvidual questions I will have to reserve comment until the marking process is over. ACCA will publish my examiners report in due course. However, as a general point any reasonable approach to a question will attract marks.

And now, I am sorry but for the time being I must close down this thread - thanks for all your comments and I wish you well with your results.

Anonymous said...

As I see above, another person have applied interest rate parity. I did that too. May be a yes or no from Professor Bob Ryan will relief many students.

kabir said...

Hello Bob,

You deleted my comments and have also modified your last few comments, I can understand that but I would also request you to please consider anything which has come to your notice through this blog.


Professor Bob Ryan said...

This must really be the last or none of the many thousands of scripts will get sorted, bagged, dispatched and marked. I can see a few routes (IRP is one of them) which will solve the Q3 problem. The MA uses a very simple pre-F9 trick with discounting to solve it. However, as I have said above any viable route into the answer will get rewarded. So don't worry.

To Kabir - I have had to delete some posts as they came in if they mentioned people or organisations in a way that should not be published. As far as I recollect it, yours was not in that category so I am sorry I appear to have deleted it in error. However, rest assured I have taken note of all your concerns and will in outline be discussing the issues raised across all of the posts with the ACCA. Anyway Kabir, to you and all the others who have taken the trouble to send me your comments, thankyou and I hope you all get through. Do let me know through the blog how you get on.

That's it for now.

Anonymous said...

Hi bob , may i ask you if qn 2b soln works like this:

- Ungear the property Be and regear to find the company's prop Be

- Using the combined Be , you establish the Company's Be after it divested its operation using the following eqn

Combined Be = 0.5Co's Be + 0.5 prop's Be

Reason for this is i make the assumption that the property's division represent 50% of the company's division

- Then use CAPM to find Ke

- With the kd given , you can find WACC.In this case , the Kd will be the Swap Int rate. This might varry depends on the scenerio

May i know if the above approach was correct? Thanks for your guidance

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Spot on!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,
Question 2b
For option 1 if the company divested its operation by selling off some of its property then buy some more non current assets(assumed to be property) again, its operations won't change much, thus its business risk, why have to add the Be of a prop company (half) for?
Maybe i am thick, but I can't quite get the logic.
I hope these points will be explained clearly in the suggested solutions in a month so that I understand what I am missing.

Anonymous said...

We never add the formula , we just use the formula to establish the Co's Be after it divested its property division ( need to work backwards)

In this case:

0.5CO Be = Combined Be-0.5 Prop Be

The logic is this since Company divested the property's operation , the business risk has changed . It dosent make sense to use the combined Be to establish company's Ke. Once i establish the CO'Be where property division has been divested , i would be able to find the "new" Ke. With that i would be able to find WACC

Tough this question is tough , the working is very short.I managed to finish it before time's up

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Well done: this part of the question gets progressively tougher as you proceed. The point is that divestiture does alter the business risk and hence the value of the business. What one is doing is the reverse of an acquisition and we also get a recursive effect which the Q assumes away but will in practice be signicant. Altering the exposure to risk alters the value of what is left but you need that value to get at the change in business risk and so on.

The case is based upon a real problem which was the proposed sell off of the Marks and Spencer property portfolio. The impact upon shareholder value may not have been quite what the institutional investors expected.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused in that Q2b i did sth like this:

_ Found the coy's Asset Beta
- Subtracted the property divison's asset beta
- used the new asset beta to regear with the new capital capital structure to get the new equity beta
- used the new equity beta to find the Ke
- using the Kd given to find the WACC.

Hope im not too wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous and Bob for clarifying the problem. I get the logic now, quite straightforward, but could not think of it in the exam time. I did have some concern when I saw two betas were given, but my mind just blurred. I was seriously short of time for the optional questions. Surely fail this paper. Hat off to those who pass this paper.
P4 is a very exciting and highly practical paper to do. I am glad I did, and got some valuable knowledge.
But I think I will switch to P7 next December sitting, as I need to qualify. This is my last paper and the passing of which links to my pay increase and bonus. P4 is just not for me (sigh)

Jazib said...

Yeah would be really happy if i cleared P4 in this attempt (well now have some hope after bobs comments)

But if it is not the case me also going after P7

Charles said...

Hi Bob , since you mention the value would change significantly after a proposed sell off.There's a qn which has been in mind and yet it seems that no one can clear my doubts ! Can i use M&M Proposition 2 to establish this company value?

The formula goes like this:

-Ungear this CO's Be

-Using CAPM , i can find the ungeared KEu

- With this KEu , i can establish Veu

- Using M&M Prop II , i can establish the value of the company

Where Vg= Veu + Dt

Sorry this might not be relevant for exam , but i am just another curious cat. Your help will be very much appreciated

Anonymous said...

I guess I did the Question 2 totally wrong :-( :-(

Just wondering if I get any marks for ungearing and regearing beta and calculate cost of equity under both the assumptions :(

I didn't do anything like what others have suggested above :(

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

I used IRP for Q3 as well...

Though i know it is wrong approach now. Guess at that point in time, that the only approach I thought of.

For question 2 i know that there will be a change in the beta e cos of the disposal but due to time constraint so that i can attempt q1 i simply state that i assumed beta e to remain constant. Sorry about that.

Hmm... this is my second attempt with this paper. I know that assumption of my is not practical but i guess with the time constaint i have to lose out a couple of mark and try attempt all the four questions.

Seriously I have chosen this as my option paper because a lecturer of mine told us that what makes an accountant an accountant is p4 (P3.7) and I like the topics and find them totally different from all the papers i have taken.

Nevertheless, the approach for p4 q3 this exam was unbelieveable and i do agree with the rest that we have not being taught that approach.

Basically this paper is rather fair with exception of question 3 & 5

Anonymous said...

well Bob ....

its a good marketing strategy to make this paper so difficult so all will buy your very own book

keep it up Bob.

Lilian said...

Dear Bob,

Actually P4 is the only paper that can go beyong our thoughts. The topics are very in depth and practical. It is in fact a pity that the paper has switched from a core to a optional paper...

Hi all the guys and gals, we all took this paper means that we do appreciate this subject and we know the importance of this paper in reality and the application of this subject to our work as accountant in future...

No matters how we pass or fail in this exam, we must tell ourselves we are brave enough to challage the adverse!! :P

Professor Bob Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilian said...

Seriously Bob, as an individual I must admit I am shock by your exam question for this June and last decemeber where I taken the exam. As an individual i feel your questions are very much different from the ex examiner and is very much into testing us to be more flexible rather than sticking to the book. The only thing was the students we were so used to other papers concept and this paper is the only 1 that tested us totally and completely draining our brain power. Yes like many other students after your paper we feel very upset because of time contraint which restrict our flexibility. Not to find excuse for all the students. I believe everyone has studied hard your p4 in fact much harder than any of the previous paper that we have done.

P4 I recall, I told a lecturer before exam is a beautiful paper because it is the only one that can be linked to P1, p2, p3 and p5. The fact that it can link business and FRS, CG and business strategies makes it a wonderful and intelligent paper. Of course behind this is the usage of knowledge, wills and ploy. We all appreciate the subjects but because of the diffultity of the paper, more and more students are evading this paper which is really sad. This will means that more and more future accountant tends to lack the adv. financial management aspects and depends upon f9 for treasury management which is insufficient. Without p4 for them, they may even find it harder if they opt to do CFA at the later stage of their career.

With effect from June 1, for all students and graduates who wishes to registered as CPA will have to pass p7 and this may or may not affect the number of student intake for p4 which i feel again is a pity. I personally feel that although i keep failing p4, but I also learnt the most out of p4 and i felt it should be more important than audit.

Nevertheless, some of the words used in exam are indeed hard to understand and could be simplify. (just a suggestion). I remember when I was doing decemeber paper, most of us do not understand "Minimum rate of return", or rather we know roughly what it mean but do not know how to go about doing it. We didn't know we need to calculate shareholder value.

It does conclude p4 makes us more brainy...

Bob, please do not mind about what we say after the exam cos instead of saying we are upset with you, i should say we are upset with our own performance. Of course we feel bitter about it especially at times we have to admit even if we practice all the past yrs and all rev kit questions, turn it upside down and know it upside down does not mean we know how to answer your exam questions cos your questions is really out of the world...

Lilian said...

Btw bob, the p7 issue i mentioned is for Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappiont you Prof Bob your book is not better than the Harry Potter series it doent even come close. Maybe could be a little closer to the twilight series. Your book though enjoyable contains a lot of complex concept which you failed to make clear.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree, Bob's book are highly practical, very well written yet very complex, I can't understand.
But Please somebody above stop winding him up as your saying he's using the exam as the promotion for his book is totally ridiculous. Take it like a man, you may fail the exam because you are not good enough, not because of anybody else.
I think I fail this exam as well, irrespective of how the passing threshold will alter. but then, who force me to choose P4 in the first place? Blame myself first.

Anonymous said...

than better dun put bbp and kaplan in the recommended series . These book are useless for this P4 . Lecturers also got no clue what will be asked . better Bob you write more articles in ACCA newsletters . not many visit your boring blog.

Sheena said...

So much hostility towards Mr Bob Ryan! Very pathetic.
I too did p4, found it a very different paper. But then, when the results would come, If I do fail (hopefully not), I would blame me solely and not the examiner.
The performance is probably very poor which explains the low pass rate.

Furqan said...

I hope professor Bob Ryan can explain a more about this part

"It certainly looks as though Q3 caught many candidates out which is a bit of shame although we can cope with that in the marking. It would appear that the use of annuities to determine the a constant equivalent to a variable cash flow is not well integrated into F9 level thinking"

Also a little informal insight of how the questions were supposed to be tackled could be very good idea and we all will appreciate it.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Supposing you have three annual cash flows of 100, 200 and 300 and a 10% interest rate. You would like to find out the constant cash flow which will be equal to the variable cash flow. First calculate the pv of the future cash flows - the answer is 481.6. Then set this equal to the unkown value discounted at 10%. The unknown value is calculated by dividing the PV by the sum of the discount rates (the answer is 193.66).

Now with this technique in mind see if you can work out what constant exchnange rate will, when discounted at the forward rates equal the variable exchange rates. Step 1: convert the forward interest rates to monthly rates (they are currently annual rates). Step 2: Discount 10000 times the quoted exchange rates using the forward rates to get the present value. Step 3: divide the answer by 10000 x the sum of the discount rates. This gives a single exchange rate which gives the same pv as the variable rates and is therefore the rate that should be swapped.

So you see, this question is very easy and tests whether you know the underlying logic of a swap. You are contracting to exchange a fixed rate of exchange for a variable rate and both, when used to calculate the cash flows must have the same present value when discounted using the stated forward rates.

Many students appreciated what needed to be done but resorted to an IRP procedure to find a current forward rate. Its a blind alley but we would not mark such an attempt to zero but give some marks for the underlying understanding.

To get any more you need to wait for the model answers which should be out very shortly now.

Charles said...

Thats very impressive ! Who would have thought of linking NPV to SWAP forward rate, thats 2 totally different topics- and u managed to integrate them up as a whole package.

To be honest , i was very impressed when you wrote the article " how lenders set their interest rate" , the method you devised is definitely more objective and easier- with a simple probability tree you managed to establish this interest rate.

As a candidate, i would not like your exam- could see is fairly demanding.The problem with me is that I fail to see the integration between NPV and SWAP rate ! To do this, you really need a detail understanding of the Swap structure.

Maybe i just adopted a "standard operating procedure" when doing the exam questions- Thinking that the exam question will be more or less the same as compared to the past papers.All it takes is a little twist (in the question) and i would be confused.

That was when i started dumping these procedures during the exam hours and managed to cut down my losses. I hope i would be able to pass though i cannot complete 12m of the qn.

Your question is definitely less tedious as compared to the previous examiner but a lot of intense thinking is required.

Anonymous said...

WOW! That's all I can think of right now.

Obviously I don't think I could have thought that at the time of exams.

The thing is that we all are studying ACCA with 'passing the exams' in mind. And hence the way we study, the way we take classes from learning providers, the way learning provider give classes, and the way students are advised to practice by our beloved Kaplan and BPP is all so much exam-passing based that we don't look beyond what's in the book and the revision kit.

Plus the explanation in the kaplan and bpp books of swap can't be worse.

Having done both exam kits of bpp and kaplan, reading through the whole study book of bpp and i-learn, practising through i-pass and ofcourse the exam kit.. if I can't solve answers in the exam and then its all waste of time and money.

I can swear I have never learned this technique or even indicated by anyone about this technique ever. And I can bet the teachers wouldn't know this technique either (atleast in my country, save for few)

I hope I can study from you sometime in gloucestershire or MBS, if you are still teaching there.

Furqan said...

ohh and after reading your comment where students will be rewarded for their understanding, obviously thatw ould 4-6 marks hardly, out of 12 for Question 3.

And not to mention Q2 that was a bouncer for most of the students.

This makes me think I can only score about 40 marks :-(

Lilian said...

Let me draw a conclusion for every one for the exam.

If we think it is tough and hard...Everyone must have felt the same. So we are on on par, whether we make it or not depends on the marker and our understanding.

Basically, the exam measure our flexibility not just being hardworking cos I believe we all study hard, in fact must harder than we did for many other papers.

Nevertheless, the paper itself is well integrated with all the other papers such as p1 and p3.

Bob is a examiner of great substance, if we find his writing and book difficult to understand, this is because we are not up to the standard as yet.

Anyway the paper is over... Lets wait for the results and see how it goes.

Thanks everyone for working so hard for the paper :)

Thanks BOB for sharing with us on the approach and thanks for listening to our views...


Professor Bob Ryan said...

Well said Lilian - let me know how you get on.

Lilian said...

I hope I can graduate with P4 then...

As long as the results is not out, there is still hopes

psmujo said...

you guys can't start blaming bpp,atc,'s the assessors and bob we should blame and i can't certainly blame myself coz i read what i thought would be coming.mind you i used both bpp and kaplan study texts and exam where did we go wrong. i think this examiner is being too clever for his own good.who suffers in the end after reading day and night(and i must say this has been the most stressing time of my life),we do my friends,who suffers when we fail,no neeed guessing.this guy will just set his hard papers n he doesn't give a hoot.Now what will i say for guys in africa,my friends that paper was hell.
Bob ryan way forward,please and 1.please don't put things in the student accountant that you know will not come and waste our precious nights. should include more relevant articles in the student acountant,atleast then we won't complain.

Lilian said...

hey guys,

like all of you. I used IRP. Neither did I finish Question 1 c. Q2 was tough for me. I skipped some steps as well. But everyone in the same situation.

I agree I never learn that approach from school for q3 at school though I attended 2 revision class.

Nevertheless, what was done was done.
Maybe schools need to be guide on what will be inclusive in the learning material for students.

Actually Q4 was a relatively easier question. Basically, Bob need to distinct the better students from the average ones like us. So not really his fault. In an exam aka to a battle, there always a winner and a loser.

I believe Bob will consider alternative ways of computations right? Afterall P4 is like P3. Strategic paper and they both reflect reality of business world. There is not prefix 100% way of doing things or valuating something. The key thing is that companies are fighting to be the one who find out the solution or market faster than their competitors.

We be gauged more for the approach that the actual computation. Though I do not know whether i can pass or not. I say, let's keep our fingers cross and wait for the news.
Also it is a learning process for us and Bob. We get to learn new approaches that we never thought of and Bob get to know the problems we faced in studying the paper.

The fact that we study globally, there are some techniques that we are either not aware or not been taught. Perhaps Bob can take this into consideration and schools should be aware of the different techniques which will be examable.

No point crying over split milk. I was upset after leaving the exam hall but after that the feeling is no longer intense.

Maybe you will pass? Don't give up HOPE :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob

May be you should consider passing it back to Scott .

Anonymous said...

Well i really dont know why Bob,s paper is so damn difficult. If this continues NOBODY and i mean NOBODY want to commit suicide themself taking this paper

So what will happen ? ACCA graduates will be so dumb in the hardcore finance issues .

The other graduates eg CIMA will outshine them. Is it what ACCA wants ? Their members dont know how derivatives market work ? or even how Merger and aquisition taking place.

All they will say is ACCA did not learn all that . What a shame!!!

just like now ACCA graduates dont know a thing about serious economics . Those days i recall my dad mentioning there was an economic paper in the lower level .


you have now two choice :-

1) MAKE P4 compulsory or

2) ..................(you all know what i mean)

Anonymous said...

I agree with economics comments.

I would like to see some additions to the syllabus of ACCA. There should be a paper of Mathematics.. I have seen so many ACCAs who are dumb in mathematics and can't even solve simplest of algebra and simplification.

Besides that there should a compulsary economics paper too.

registoni said...

i found these online courses with videopodcasts. Could someone give a hint if they are of any relevance and use for P4 exam?
YALE UNI: ECON 252: Financial Markets
STERN, NYU: Corporate Finance - Spring 2009
STERN, NYU: Valuation - Spring 2009

Anonymous said...

i agree to make P4 compulsory . and one more is tl make all papers compulsory . No choices given . Just like last time .

Professor Bob Ryan said...

The Yale and Stern links are excellent. Damodaran is excellent on valuation and real options and his link is well worth a view. His book 'Valuation' is also excellent and well worth a buy if anyone is getting into that field. I will be putting up a paper on Student Accountant and on this blog on how to tie all the valuation material together into a single understandable framework so keep an eye out for that. I do draw questions in P4 from real cases (eg Q2 this time) so tune into the blog from time to time if you are preparing for the exam.

PS: I know Scott well, he has an oversight role on all of the FM papers, but I think the last thing he would want is to go back to examining. They used to call him the 'butcher' in 3.7 and P4 has been set at a higher standard than that by the ACCA (i.e., they took all the easy stuff out and put it into P4).

registoni said...

thanks for your comments, prof Bob.
I am now building up my library of supporting books and sources of info to prepare for p4.
I'd appreciate it if you could give your comments on the book of Frank Fabozzi - Global Money Markets?
And is there any way to get(buy) your book on Valuation in electronic format (pdf) maybe with some discount for ACCA students?

lilian said...

sorry...some may misunderstood my earlier posting. Ok i am saying don't blame bob. He thought we are aware of the technique for q3 and don't tuition centre. No their fault. There could be a information gap. but like my earlier posting i suggest bob to consider highlighting the various techniques students need to be aware of at teacher conference. Sorry if my posting earlier give raise to any misunderstanding. Thanks

Anonymous said...

hi Bob , keep up the good work .(Nothing come easy my fellow frens)

and i agree with one comment that is to make this paper a COMPULSORY paper .

Thnak you .

Lilian said... is by right a compulsory paper initially. By putting it as an optional paper is deemed to be like a downgrade.

More and More paper avoids this paper but this paper is a core paper initially which means that they will lack this knowledge but some employers will assume that accountant to have learnt this in ACCA esp if the boss is an ACCA graduate who has learnt 3.7 in the past

Anonymous said...

hope acca will bring it back as a compulsory in their new revamp structure . ( should be every 5 years once if i am not wrong)

kabir said...

To all and to Prof. Bob,

Many of you have very well said about that one should have an in-depth knowledge of the subject while attempting for it.
Good, fair enough but Lilian did you come to this level of ACCA straight without attempting any of the previous papers, I guess you would have got exemptions for the previous papers for your advanced knowledge, if that's the case, very good.
I have appeared in 12 papers till this day and if would have thought in the beginning to become a formula one champion before attempting for the papers then that is not the right way of passing any qualification, neither the ACCA expects us to do that; Yeah Prof. Bob expectations are much appreciated every where else.
Any examiner in this world if not equals to Prof. Bob's Knowledge ALTITUDE then at-least must certainly be able to design a outrageous paper if not a total disaster. But they don't do that. Tell me in how many papers which you previously have attempted, even in the core or option module you have gone absolute blank despite preparing all good. So does that mean that the examiners who are setting those papers are just cracking jokes.
Everyone else is wrong, BPP Kaplan student accountant 1000's of professors teaching P4 globally EXCEPT the one, the Almighty, Professor Bob Ryan.

Lilian you are accusing yourself for not preparing for the subject properly, may you pass your exam this time otherwise try it again till the time you will become a finance minister in some country. Even then if you can't pass it then you can at-least declare that something is wrong around you.

I have opted for this paper coz I like it, I found it interesting but does that mean that I have made some mistake while going for it, and on that when my fully grown mind says that I have studied enough for this paper and i can now expect passing this paper and then i find somethings totally unimaginable at an even higher than an average level. Like i said everything else is wrong.

Prof. Bob your superiority is justified that's why you are sitting their but this is the case of some one's career. knowledge grows further with time after becoming an ACCA and clearing the P4 paper.

Anonymous said...

Kabir, agree with you!

Lilian said...

I did have a few exemptions in the level 1.

Because I took ATTS Diploma in Taxation, I had Exemption for P1.1, 1.3 and 2.3.

I did practice hard and studied hard. Like I mentioned in my much earlier posting. All of us studied hard for P4, in fact much harder than any other papers. In fact I agree that P4 is one of the most difficult papers I attempted. Along the way in ACCA, like many others I fall as in fail some papers esp P2.5 (pass in 2nd attempt), F8 (pass in 3rd Attempt), P4 ( this is my 2nd sitting for p4).

All of us tried our best, but this paper is not something that you will pass by just practicing i realised. We need to have some flexibility as well which is something i may lack in.

Nevertheless, we all tried our very best.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

An anonymous comment has been deleted (for improper comment or language).

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Kabir: if it was just people's careers that concerned me then I would set sub-F9 papers and pass everyone who handed in an answer book. However, I am hired by the ACCA to set an exam against their syllabus and to the standard they set irrespective of whether I think that standard is reasonably attainable in the time you have available. I can set a paper at any level ACCA wants but unlike a university, its students are not my client, the ACCA is. The fact that their is a particular pass/fail rate is not, and cannot be, my concern, that is the ACCA's concern when setting the standard.

I think it is really tough to get to an advanced level equivalent to UK masters degree standard in the limited time available. But do remember P4 is an option, it is advanced (relative to F9), it is set at skill level 3 throughout and it does require a masters level of ability. Why not try one of the other options is this one is so aweful? The choice is yours and it may be that the type of learning required for those other papers is more to your taste.

Lilian said...

Kabir, I agree that the questions are beyond your imagination. For me, I felt the same why during my first sitting. Serious last dec i went blank on q1 and i only did the theory part for question 1. that is worth 8 marks and i fail in my first p4 sitting at the grade of 44 marks. I dun find it shameful to let you know my grade. This round I tried even harder cos i really hope to graduate with this paper.

kabir said...

Never mind Professor, you'll soon become one bad habit.

kabir said...

Lilian you seems like you are covering Professor Bob for his each and every move here in this blog and just acting like his associate. One must show his/ her perception once but not repeatedly, that's a decent way of giving your thoughts without forcing them on others. Get some work.

Lilian said...

I am not.

I just wanna let you know if there is a problem, it could have been the information gap.

I also wanna pass P4 and graduate. This is my last paper. Why would i wanna cover for Professor. Personally I respect him for his wits in the questions he set. It's like art of war.

Please be fair to all of us. We all tried our best. So lets just wait for the results. Maybe it is my second attempt so i am not so heat up

Anonymous said...

Trust me after reading all this i am definately going to choose p4 as the option which i am going to attempt in the coming session. as i am left with 2 papers so regardless of the result i will be sitting for the paper in december 2009.. Prof, lets see how u challange us now :)
am all fired up ..!

Anonymous said...

Lilian and Kabir could u guys stop fighting!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kabir's perspective is quite realistic!

Anonymous said...

Rumours are that Bob is standing down as examiner of P4 in 2010. Is he going freely or has he been pushed?

We all know ACCA is hog-tied by the big tutor firms plus its numerous accreditation agreements. But is it getting ready to slash the standard of the P4 paper?

Like him or hate him, Bob has set the pace with the toughest most relevant paper of the lot. No doubt ACCA will sink back to its preferred position as vendor of the cheapest, least demanding accounting qualification - look at the standard of the other professional papers.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

My contract as examiner terminates in 2010 and I have made no secret of the fact that I only wanted to serve one term. ACCA has been rethinking the paper amongst others and I am sure will take the opportunity to make limited changes.

In my view they need to rethink the standard, or trim the syllabus. They have repeatedly reaffirmed that the paper should not be made easier so if they want to give more candidates a fighting chance of passing first time then they need to trim the material.

The first examination from the new examiner will be December 2010.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

ps: I will make sure ACCA see any of you views on how P4 should be developed.

Furqan said...

I would like to see Portfolio Theory added back to the syllabus and some cost of capital stuff is trimmed as alot of that has been covered in F9 as well.

Plus a bit of more investments is added. Right now P4 is too much cost of capital.

That's my point of view. Hopefully if we can see a bit of econometrics too, it can be a great idea. I think the whole of ACCA lacks some mathematics which other accountancy qualifications don't.

Anonymous said...

My thinking is cost of capital is very important, as one of the main responsibility of a treasury function is to supply the finance team with an appropriate cost of capital to evaluate projects. THus there's no need to change the syllabus, it should stay the same. it's practical, complex and good enough.
The only thing needs to change is the way P4 is tested. If any unfamiliar is coming up that not covered by the syllabus, the examiner should have written an article in advance. By this way hard working students can be rewarded. And it does not mean that P4 is easier and becoming cheaper as one comment suggests. The problem is just to reward prepared candidates more fairly, not concerned with quality of the paper.
Moreover, I hope to see more of up-to-date financial techniques introduced in articles in student magazine
It is this way that P4 can be the pride of ACCA and remains the most up to date, applicable and useful paper of all

Lilian said...

Cost of capital should remain the focus because in any project or business or even M&A we must first know the cost of capital so that we understand the risk and return of the project i.e the cost vs benefits.

M&A is relatively important to us as well because we will need to have the knowledge in other to assist the CEO.

Hedging is fundamental since as an accountant this is expected of us as an expertise in financial.It should be more technical inclined and more linkage with the methods used in practice. For example, Lock in rate. In practice, we normally do not know the rate on the settlement date and we will compute a lock-in rate in deciding whether to recommend if the company should enter into a forward contract.

I agree that for any unconventional approach, an article should be used to brief the students.

P1 knowlege should only be tested relatively to the ethical implication linkage with the finanical stategy and triple bottom line.

registoni said...

if you look at the syllabus of every paper you will read "Wider and regular reading of articles in the Student Accountant and finance journals is encouraged."
This examiner has pointed that he expect us to visit and read articles from and, as well as read the additional recommended books, not just limiting your reading to BPP/Kaplan's books + Student magazine.
I think it is fair enough.

Furqan said...

I never asserted that COC shouldn't be there. Ofcourse it should be and it is indeed a very important topic in financial management and in an FM course.

@ registoni

we will see how well you do and how well can can help you when you are asked to a solve a question that involves something like equilibrium asset pricing, optimal portfolio choice or stuff that you haven't studied.

Finance is a big topic and and wider reading isn't gonna be of help much unless you know what you wanna study.

registoni said...

well FT and CFO is only good for widening your knowledge of new things in finance, emerging issues. One question in June exam was said to be taken from real case (I bet there should be articles about it at those sites)
The rest of the stuff which is not in BPP/Kaplan books is in other books and online free course Optimal portfolio choice, tangent portfolio ideas is covered in YALE course in FIN MARKETS. Download mp3 and transcripts of lectures and listen and read them. Very usefull.

Furqan said...

Yes, definitely very useful. But are they in the syllabus?

If they are in the syllabus, and 'prescribed' text books (BPP and Kaplan) don't mention them, then I guess its about time ACCA takes them off the panel and employ someone who's better for the job. May be schweser for a change?

Sheena said...

2 Furquan:
Come on, is this the right place to be debating? Would b wiser u go to ur own blog now i think.
Blimey, we had our exams like 3 weeks ago..Guess we shud stop whining about it.
Let us no however how u did,who nos, u might b one of those who will b pleasantly surprised.

Ps: Im saying plesantly surprised coz i did dec's exam 08, and that shocked me. i didnt attend lessons, bt managed to get 44, i initially thought i would even hit the 20 marks coz i struggled a lot. this time, i agree it was a tough paper, bt u never no where u cud pick easy marks!

Furqan said...

@ Sheena

I actually like Professor's blog and visit here quite often and hence end up debating on some issue.

Never actually had any place to talk about stuff related to ACCA while I was still a student. Here I can let the professor know what I think and may be professor could let the right people know what students think and it all can work in better for all of us.

Lilian said...

okie... no more debating. Guys and Gals lets discuss further when we get the results (:P)

registoni said...

Any comments on the value of this book to the paper P4: Chandrashekar Krishnamurti, S R Vishwanath, "Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring" ?

Professor Bob Ryan said...

I have seen this book and it's a nice straightforward work through the main issues. Its coverage of small firm acquisitions and highly leveraged acquisitions is a little weak but overall this is a good book.

Omer said...

Dear Bob !!

Not truely amazed to see all these comments on your recent exam paper p4, because i was part of it when i attempted in dec 2008 session and failed it sadly..

Sir , after failing your paper, i got on to spot my weak areas , the reasons i failed and main causes. it was maily because of lack of understanding the key concepts , the issues ( current ) and further more , the financial TERMS used. As mentioned above , some students are like WOW on VANILLA PRODUCTS , as it is the most common term used in USA !!..

As far as your paper was concerned, one thing i would say that it was not wholy syllabus focused , but still this can be comepensated because its a PROFESSIONAL LEVEL EXAM , and anything can be TESTED !!..

Question 1 was ok , but a bit lenghty , Question 2 was really a perfect question set at this stage or in slang , the most TASTY question in whole exam, rest optionals were upto the mark.

In the last i would like to stress to all students that read as much as u can , focus on the what terms the examiner is using, because financial managment is a VAST ARENA, one term as 100 other names , study as much as u can , and NEVER LOSE HOPE !!

* Remember *

"A professional was also once a beginner"

Omer Saeed

rohit mansukhani said...

Dear Mr. RYAN ,

i think most of the ppl. here do not know how to write or address a write up to their senior as i see every one writing "bob" as if you are of their own age .

Any ways i passed P 4 as well as ACCA exams in dec 2007 sitting . I enjoyed the paper . F M paper/exam should be challenging .
Else one loses the fun of playing with it .

I passed P 2 last yr to meet the CPD requirement and this yr i am one again aming at P4 .

Can you recommend some book other than that of yours as your book do not contain much "practicle problems"

You have not examined "duration " in exmas yet and text book s do not cover "modified duration" , "convexity" concepts
you should examine these too .



Anonymous said...

Yes Mr. Ryan should examine all the different stuff, if they are in the syllabus. :-)

rohit mansukhani said...


duration and modified duration highly co related . Infact modified duration gives the correct answer .

You should go thru the pilot paper u will find duration over there.

Furqan said...

So I was wondering I pass the passed papers again and I can satisfy CPD requirements?

rohit mansukhani said...

yes one can do so .

i passed paper 3.6 (reporting) in june 2007 n I QUALIFIED in dec 2007 n then in dedc 2008 i apperaed for P7 N P 2 (REPORTING)

its possible . contact ACCA

Furqan said...

I know that is possible. I qualified in dec 2007. And appeared for P4 in june 09.

But i was asking about CPD (continuing professional development)

rohit mansukhani said...

YES it is possible . ACCA is only concerned abt. money .

so one can take any paper but if u take the already passed paper the marks which u scored as a student wont change i.e nu marks wont count in ur orignal score .

ACCAs qualification is NOT recg. any where its a 3rd class qualifiction .

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say third class qualification since the curriculum looks alright.

But about the recognition, dude I would agree with you. The reciprocal agreements are totally crap.

Anywhere an ACCA goes he has to study all over again for the local accountancy qualification of that country,.

rohit mansukhani said...

ACCA exams r repetative in nature u can check it .

Papers r only made for "show" but i didnt find anything "tough" abt it .

rather the papers were easy .

but the way they are prepared particularly the "language and the lenghth" of the question can scare anybody .

but at the end its easy .

its a 3rd class qualification which is no where recg . even a person with 1 yr MSC earns more than n an ACCA .

with ACCA one can only land "low level accounting job " be it uk or any where else

forget abt finance job.

ACCA = complete watage of time .

Sheena said...

TO:Rohit Mansukhani...
From ur comments, i strongly feel ur ignorance...
U said it was easy, i am eager to no ur marks u achieved in the papers, in particulat level 3 papers...
why did u choose ACCA if u feel its nt a recognised and reputable qualification? Have u done a first degree, a masters? r u studying for anything else?? CFA?? Have u instead thought about moving to the ACA Qualification?
I would be very much delighted to no about ur current situation n yes plz shed some light on ur marks . Thnx

Omer said...

Where is Mr. Bob Rayan ??? I guess must be busy in Marking process.. Sir please be polite with all of us...

rohit said...

to sheena

my score was 64% , fm = 69,

I was "fooled" by ACCA s claim of being an "international qualification" fact is wen ACCA says its qualification is "internatinal " then its a "internationaly recg. joke"

Job mkt do not recg ACCA the only int. makt where ACCA is recg is "dubai" and there also u can land only "low ;level accounting job" and same is the case in uk.

U can see the kind of "white ppl" pursuing ACCA in uk they are not even graduates .

If one is born in uk n then he is pursuing ACCA then in my opinion either he must be a fool or "duffer" .

ACCA/CIMA fool ppl. "internationaly" thats y u will see mostly these qualifications are pursued by "outsiders" .


i wasted my time by pursuing ACCA i should have gone for MBA

now m planning to pursue MBA .

ALL uk qualifications r piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

Rohit! please find somewhere else to air ur silly opinions cos'here we are only concerned about the difficult paper we wrote under your so called easy ACCA.

i wish u the best in finding ur internationally recognized qualification.

Anonymous said...

let me add in . some qualification like icsa and aia also share the same fate . only outsiders doing it . in UK i was told only one college running aia .

all choosing easy route vis degree or mba i guess

ROHIT said...


U R RITE these insti like ACCA/CIMA r foooling ppl. if these qualification r so much bloody famous then y the "avergage /graduate White MAN " is not pursuing it .

ACCA/CIMA juz fool "outsiders" by writing "flashy articals" n decribing "good for nothing qualification " as "international one"

he is an eg of INDIA

its the link to "no. 1 job portal of india"

u can c there r only 6 jobs avaliable for ACCA . n these jobs r actually not for them if u read the job description ther require CA .

its the senario every where .

on the basis of ACCA u can land "low level accounting job " n nothing else

one should better pursue MBA rather than ACCA

even a low life MBA/MSC from UK earn more than an ACCA /CIMA .

MohammadAli said...

To Professor Bob Ryan, I have the exam this sitting, I did not feel satisfied, but i got news. I am gonna get this paper.Its just an exam after all, and people do pass it, and if they can so can I.
Professor, to make the odd even, tell me the names of a few books. Besides the text, for my knowledge.
Personally i think the solution when they come out will be common sense.
I am going to go all out this time.
I am all geared up. Wont leave any thing. Bring it on.

Sheena said...

Mohammed Ali: LMAO...

Muhumuza said...

i passed -50% and it hasn't yet sank in.There is a God.

Furqan said...

I passed too, 52%. Sure there's a God.

Lilian said...

Dear Prof Bo

You asked for me to inform you of my results. I manage to get 50 marks.. Though it is not very high grade but I am please to announce I graduated...


Lilian said...

I mean prof Bob,

I cleared. Hmmm time to look at cpa i guess :)

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Well done to all you have passed and commiserations to those who have failed. To those who passed follow up with a CFA perhaps or a first class MBA programme. ACCA is just the start.

For those who failed P4 try again but this time get some good supporting reading and if possible find a good teacher. And of course, keep reading the blog!

Lilian said...

Dear Bob,

So which are the MBAs which you would recommend to us?

Anonymous said...

I have passed P4.....delighted. I firmly believe, if you put the work in you will be rewarded.

To Prof. Bob
P4 is the toughest exam in ACCA by some distance. Thank you for setting the bar high, it makes achievement much more rewarding. Also, thanks for responding to comments on this blog and being positive. I will be there in December 09 as i will sit this exam until I get mid 80s as a result, I want to be the master in this subject.

To other students.
Be aware P4 is the toughest, if you attempt it (and i recommend you do) please don't bother with Kaplan or BPP, see Prof Bob's comments on books to read and be prepared for a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I too passed, but that does not mean all of the sudden think I the paper was fair!

Like the ACCA review Board I feel the paper was poor in terms of P4 sylabus coverage

Anonymous said...

Who is the review board? A bunch of individuals from the colleges and tutor firms who want an easy ride for their students. They all want lower standards. I too passed. It was a hard paper but if you knew F9 and had worked the P4 syllabus it was all there. I haven't worked so hard for 3 hours - ever! Its jsut prof bob doesn't set the questions we expect. For the first time we got something from ACCA that's worth passing. So what do we do? Complain.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Thanks Bob I got through with 56. Fantastic. I now worry about the crap standard of the other papers - P1's a joke. Its obvious with P4 what the standard should be if we want the ACCA to mean anything.

Anonymous said...

me too. A MAZING!!! Prof Bob rocks!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Strange all the papers were found to be fair by ERB except for the paper P4.

ERB's meeting minutes can be found at

Anonymous said...

having passed, it is easy to say the paper was good, but should the pass rate be so different from all the others at this level?

I do agree that P1 is a joke though, the pass rate tends to be far too high, and you can learn the syallbus in a month with relative ease.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Still the old arguments rage on. June P4 has done its job sorting out those who should pass and those who shouldn't. For those who have failed do read my various (oficial) output from the ACCA and in particular the interview I gave Also read this blog from time to time and follow up on my recommendations with respect to studying this paper especially with respect to wider reading.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, only P4 and P2 are worthy courses at the professional level....P1 and P3 are so straightforward, easy passes...I also studied P7 and found the course easy and not much of a step up from the foundation level. We ACCA students are used to the easy passes, therefore we kick up a fuss when we attempt the difficult papers P4 and P2. Personally, I'd argue the easier courses should be made more challenging, rather than reducing the standard of P4. However, at the end of the day, the key question the exams and courses produce higher quality accountants? With certainty I am a better accountant after tackling P4 and I believe it should be tackled by all students.

Omer said...

Hi Prof Bob Ryan..

Well, right now i am a bit proud of my self by passing P4 on SELF STUDY ( though 2nd attempt ) and scoring 66 marks :)...

I used more than 50 books , almost all written by american authors , and ya for sure they provided me with good concepts and more vast knowledge..

Proud to pass your paper :)


Anonymous said...

I am wondering on one thing , everyone passed here , then how come the overall result is just 30 % !!

Danish said...

Dear professor Bob Ryan

i am really happy today, ive passed my final ACCA papers n now i am an Affiliate,

i was really scared about P4 , however now that ive passed it (though at the border line ie 50 marks) but i feel really proud because P4 is one paper to be proud of .. the level of knowledge and the quality of exam truely reflects that its one of the final optional papers.

Sir i just want to say that i dont have any grievances now and i am really happy ... i think now i got it what you said on this blog earlier that "Just wait for the result and watch" :)

may God bless you sir :)
take care

Professor Bob Ryan said...

The 30% pass rate (if that is what it is - I don't get to see such data) is more indicative of the belief out there that you can pass P4 with just one semester of study on from F9 - or even worse by doing a 2 - 3 month intensive course with a tutor college. There is nothing wrong with intensive courses providing they are backed up by a solid 6 -9 months of prior study of about 10 - 12 hours per week distributed across the papers. If a student is weak in a particular subject then they will need more, not less.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Very well done Omer - 66 is a great score by any standards. NOw on to great things in finance - if you can do that, you can do anything! (possibly not the 100m in 9.4secs but nearly anything).

Omer said...

Lolz .. 100 meters in 9.4 seconds is quite possible for me now after passing P4 on self study basis.. No matter what I will surely go for it. lolz..

Thanks a lot professor for such encouraging comments on my performance; they are the real return of my hard-work & will surely motivate me in further studies ( as I can do anything ! )

p.s "A professional was once a beginner "

Anonymous said...

How can i be certain that the person replying as Bob Ryan is indeed Bob Ryan himself!