1. Strategic Business Reporting (SBR)
  2. Strategic Business Leader (SBL)
  3. Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
  4. Advanced Performance Management (APM)
  5. Advanced Taxation (ATX)
  6. Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)

The syllabus explores the role and responsibility of a senior executive or advisor in meeting competing needs of stakeholders within the business environment of multinationals. The syllabus then re-examines investment and financing decisions, with the emphasis moving towards the strategic consequences of making such decisions in a domestic, as well as international, context. Candidates are then expected to develop further advisory skills in planning strategic acquisitions and mergers and corporate re-organisations.

The syllabus builds on the basic knowledge of core taxes from the earlier taxation exam and introduces candidates to stamp taxes. As this is an optional exam, aimed at those requiring/desiring more than basic tax knowledge for their future professional lives, the syllabus also extends the knowledge of income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax to encompass further overseas aspects of taxation, the taxation of trusts and additional exemptions and reliefs.

The syllabus introduces candidates to the strategic role of management accounting as a discipline for planning and controlling performance so that strategic objectives can be set, monitored and controlled. It recognises the impact of external factors on strategic management issues, such as macro-economic, fiscal, market and environmental impacts on performance and covers the risks these factors present and how they can be measured and managed. 

From appreciating the strategic context of performance management and the impact of wider factors, the syllabus examines the issues relating to performance management information ystems and their design. It also addresses the impact which developments in technology will have on the performance management and measurement systems used by organisations.

The syllabus covers the legal and regulatory environment including money laundering, and professional and ethical considerations, including the Code of Ethics and professional liability. This then leads into procedures in practice management, including quality control and the acceptance and retention of professional engagements.

The syllabus then covers the audit of financial statements, including planning and evidence gathering. It then covers the completion, evidence evaluation and review and reporting on an audit of historical financial information. The next section moves onto other assignments including prospective financial information, due diligence and forensic audit as well as the reporting of these assignments.

The Strategic Business Leader syllabus is covered in nine main sections with leadership, professionalism and ethics and corporate governance used as the initial focus for the rest of the syllabus. Excellent leadership involves having a team of capable and responsible directors, setting an appropriate ‘tone from the top’ and embedding appropriate corporate and cultural values within the organisation. This is supported by a sound governance structure and effective management structures.

The syllabus includes financial aspects of managing an organisation, including evaluating available sources of finance and key financial and management accounting techniques to analyse performance and to support decisionmaking. Candidates need to be aware of legal issues and of the financial reporting and taxation implications of strategic and investment decisions.

The syllabus requires students to examine corporate reporting from a number of perspectives, not only from the point of view of the preparer of corporate reports, but also from the perspective of a variety of different stakeholders such as finance providers.

The syllabus further requires the assessment and evaluation of the reporting decisions made by management and their implications for a range of stakeholders and entities. It also explores the professional and ethical responsibilities of the accountant to these stakeholders.