Assessing Financial Performance MBU504

Coursework Assessment Brief
Assessment Details
Unit Title: Accounting for Decision Makers
Unit Code: MBU504
Unit Leader:
Level: 5
Assessment Title: Assessing Financial Performance
There are several key financial performance measures that decision makers can use to assess the financial health of a business. Some common measures include:
Net income: This is the difference between a company’s total revenue and total expenses. It is a measure of the company’s profitability.
Return on investment (ROI): This is a measure of the efficiency of an investment. It is calculated by dividing the net income by the total amount invested.
Return on equity (ROE): This is a measure of the profitability of a company in relation to the equity invested in the business. It is calculated by dividing the net income by the total equity of the company.
Earnings per share (EPS): This is a measure of the profitability of a company in relation to the number of shares outstanding. It is calculated by dividing the net income by the number of shares outstanding.
Debt-to-equity ratio: This is a measure of the financial leverage of a company. It is calculated by dividing the total debt of the company by the total equity of the company.
By analyzing these and other financial performance measures, decision makers can gain a better understanding of the financial health of a business and make informed decisions about its future direction.

– Sample Assessment Assignment:
Assessment Number: AE2
Assessment Type: Poster
Restrictions on Time/Word Count: A3 paper size
Consequence of not meeting
time/word count limit:
It is essential that assignments keep within the
time/word count limit stated above. Any work beyond
the maximum time/word length permitted will be
disregarded and not accounted for in the final grade.
Individual/Group: Individual
Assessment Weighting: 50%
Issue Date: Week commencing 06-Dec-21
Hand In Date: 10-Jan-22
Planned Feedback Date: within 20 working days of the submission date
(this does not apply to work submitted late)
Mode of Submission: Online via turnitin
Number of copies to be submitted: 1
Anonymous Marking This assessment will be exempt from anonymous
marking as it falls within an exempt category under the
University’s Anonymous Marking Policy.
Assessment Task
You are to produce a landscape-oriented poster that illustrates and explains the financial
performance of a listed shipping company. It should employ financial ratios, cover the past
five years and benchmark the chosen company against four of its closest competitors. It
should be visually appealing while ensuring that the figures or ratios you choose to display
are relevant and meaningful.
Such 2-page advertisements appear in the financial papers as advertisement for the
purposes of attracting investors and you can use them as a reference.
To proceed with this coursework, you must be able to access a shipping company’s financial
• You are not allowed to use the two benchmark companies we will use during our
• Companies listed in most major stock exchanges are required to publish their annual
reports online.
• Make sure that at least 50% your company’s revenue is generated from shippingrelated activities.
• If you have difficulties obtaining the annual report of a company, please try a
different company before asking for guidance. It’s your responsibility to choose
companies whose data is available.
Academic Services
June 2015
Content-wise, make sure you include ratios allowing you to apprehend the company from
all five perspectives covered in class. Do not forget comparison with four major competitors.
Note that 5 ratios for 5 companies over 5 years are really hard to parse in their raw data
form so you will have to use appropriate charting techniques to visually summarize all that
Please note that the assessment criteria (see below) do not include theory or academic
referencing, so you do not need to (and indeed must NOT) include definitions for each ratio
(it will be considered off-topic). The limited space of a poster means that you should not
indulge in stale repetition of theory.
Instead you are expected to use the limited space available to provide succinct explanations
concerning each ratio: begin by underlining the most important figures and then attempt to
explain your company’s financial performance by linking it to market conditions, specific
events or company decisions. Make every word count!
To help with the marking of the ratios used, you are to also submit a copy of the financial
data used and, eventually, of your calculations (if a ratio is already calculated in the
company’s annual report then please provide the respective page instead).
Presentation-wise, begin by making sure your poster is legible; what cannot be read cannot
be marked. Since you are meant to focus on an individual company, it is expected that your
poster will feature prominently the company’s name, logo and eventual photos relating to
their activities. Additional marks will be allocated if the poster is visually appealing and has
internal logic and coherence.
Finally, you will record and upload a short video, no more than two minutes long,
highlighting the key takeaway points of your poster. Your objective should be to convince a
venture capitalist (your examiner) to invest in your chosen company (what we call an
“elevator pitch”). Remember: your examiner is already familiar with your poster so focus
on what’s REALLY essential lest you run out of time.
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June 2015
Criteria A1 – A2 A3 – A4 B1 – B3 C1 – C3 D1 – D3 F1 F2 – N
Coverage of
the past five
Rivals the
coverage of an
that goes
beyond what
was covered
in class
All headings
covered in
class are
Most of the
ratios and/or
covered in class
are included.
Any omission is
not considered
critical to the
Some of the ratios
and/or headings
covered in class
are included. Any
omission is
considered to be
critical to the
The scale of
omission means
that there is no
real analysis OR
the objectivity of
the analysis is
compromised by
following the
corporate report
too close.
Failure to
Layout and
An eyecatching and
flows well
and the
layout is
An attractive
or creative
flows well
and is easy to
Use of diagrams
and words and
is easy to
understand. A
weakness may
be too few or
too many words
or charts or
Graphics or font
is too large or
too small.
Either too
crowded or too
combination make
some sections
Unappealing or
conflicting colour
Either difficult to
understand or
follow due to a
layout that does
not flow/is not
logical/is outright
Illegible; or large
sections have
been “cut and
pasted” into the
No attempt to
create an
centrefold, as
Elevator pitch
an excellent
grasp of the
strengths and
an investor’s
pitch while
the time
Presentation I
is catchy and
to the point.
correct but not
exceeded the
time limit.
Flawed delivery
and/or factually
incoherent with
the poster figures;
over the time
Minimal effort to
prepare the pitch
and/or respect
the time limit.
No effort to
prepare the
pitch; failure
to address
issues; no
respect for
the time
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June 2015
Learning Outcomes
This assessment will enable students to demonstrate in full or in part the learning outcomes
identified in the unit descriptors.
Knowledge and Understanding
K1 Explain how financial information is produced and used by managers.
Cognitive Skills
C1 Use financial information to investigate business situations, processes or
Practical and Professional Skills
P1 Use a range of financial skills and tools, including spreadsheets, to evaluate
and support management decisions.
Transferable and Key Skills
T1 Effectively communicate qualitative and quantitative financial information
and findings.
Late Submissions
Students are reminded that:
i. If this assessment is submitted late i.e. within 5 working days of the submission
deadline, the mark will be capped at 40% if a pass mark is achieved;
ii. If this assessment is submitted later than 5 working days after the submission deadline,
the work will be regarded as a non-submission and will be awarded a zero;
iii. If this assessment is being submitted as a referred piece of work then it must be
submitted by the deadline date; any Refer assessment submitted late will be regarded
as a non-submission and will be awarded a zero.
Extenuating Circumstances
The University’s Extenuating Circumstances procedure is in place if there are genuine
circumstances that may prevent a student submitting an assessment. If students are not ‘fit
to study’, they can either request an extension to the submission deadline of 5 working days
or they can request to submit the assessment at the next opportunity (Defer). In both
instances students must submit an EC application with relevant evidence. If accepted by
the EC Panel there will be no academic penalty for late submission or non-submission
dependent on what is requested. Students are reminded that EC covers only short term
issues (20 working days) and that if they experience longer term matters that impact on
learning then they must contact the Student Hub for advice.
A summary of guidance notes for students is given below:
Academic Services
June 2015
Academic Misconduct
Any submission must be students’ own work and, where facts or ideas have been used from
other sources, these sources must be appropriately referenced. The University’s Academic
Handbook includes the definitions of all practices that will be deemed to constitute
academic misconduct. Students should check this link before submitting their work.
Procedures relating to student academic misconduct are given below:
Ethics Policy
The work being carried out by students must be in compliance with the Ethics Policy. Where
there is an ethical issue, as specified within the Ethics Policy, then students will need an
ethics release or an ethical approval prior to the start of the project.
The Ethics Policy is contained within Section 2S of the Academic Handbook:
Grade marking
The University uses a letter grade scale for the marking of assessments. Unless students
have been specifically informed otherwise their marked assignment will be awarded a letter
grade. More detailed information on grade marking and the grade scale can be found on the
portal and in the Student Handbook.
Guidance for online submission through Solent Online Learning (SOL)

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