acca strategic business leader

ACCA STRATEGIC BUSINESS LEADER

Overview

The Strategic Business Leader exam is designed to mirror the workplace and requires you to demonstrate a blend of technical, ethical and professional skills. It will help manage, motivate, and influence others to work towards that same spirit, to make inspire to change or create structure in business. 

Strategic Business Leader is ACCA’s case study exam at the Strategic Professional Level. ACCA introduced the Strategic Business Leader to help you develop different skills. It is especially about having strategic, technical and professional abilities to manage the business in the right direction, from the top-level down. Moreover, it gives you the skills you’ll need if you aspire to grow through the rank of business. 

This is absolutely a new examination with a leadership focus, designed based on extensive industry research. SBL builds upon the knowledge that you obtained at the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills levels. But, it does also have its own distinct syllabus content. This provides you insight into expert skills that you can apply in your exam and in your workplace. SBL looks into the following key topics: Corporate governance, Leadership, Strategy implementation, Risk management, Organisational control, Technology, and data analysis, Finance in planning and decision making,  Innovation, performance excellence, and change management. 

Being a strategic professional exam, ACCA Strategic Business leader is one of the tough exams in the ACCA portfolio. But, passing ACCA business leaders isn’t impossible at all. The exam will focus on one main organization, and all of the question requirements will relate to this organization. You may have to take on a variety of roles, which may require you to adopt an internal or external perspective when answering questions. You will also be required to respond to a variety of people within the organization. 

Exam Format

The examination consisted of a 4-hour exam with a single section that must attend compulsorily. It includes reading, planning, and reviewing time which can be used flexibly within the examinations. The marking scheme included 80 technical marks and 20 professional skills and competencies marks. To stand the best chance of passing the SBL exam, you need to have a good understanding of the entire syllabus. It conveys to students a clear idea of the course content and the knowledge they will obtain throughout the course. 

This study will be an in-depth business situation that you might be expected to meet in your job as an accountant. Also, you’ll be given between 12 and 18 pages of mixed information in general introduction to business scenario. It includes: 

  • Media
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Tables
  • Pictures
  • Diagrams
  • Graphs
  • Survey results
  • Interview transcripts
  • E-mails
  • Memos
  • Briefing notes

Use these elements to perform tasks you would do in the workplace. You earn marks after completing these tasks. You might have to take on various leadership/ manager or consultant roles in relation to these tasks. So, if you were an external auditor in some reputable companies, you might have to prepare a presentation. When you get these materials in the exam, you’ve no pre-preparation time. The concept is that you spend time learning and understanding the material once you understand what the requirements are, then plan and prepare your approach before writing your answers. 

Exam Techniques

Professional Marks

Different from other SBL exams, 20% of total marks in the Strategic Business level are from professional exams. Professional marks test whether you have the professional and behavioral skills that you need as an expert leader and qualified accountant. They are not totally related to the syllabus content. It just shows that you have the skills to operate in the workplace as an expert strategic business leader. Knowing the fact that how these professional marks apply is crucial, you will have more chances to write your answers in the best possible way to get these extra marks in the exam. It usually falls under five main areas, which test leadership capabilities each: 

Communication, Commercial acumen, Analysis, Scepticism, and Evaluation 

In short, it is easy to gain technical marks because you could know the syllabus inside-out, but if you don’t express yourself in the proper way, you may lose your professional marks.  

Technical Marks

Whereas, Technical marks comprise 80% of the exam giving those who correctly apply syllabus content. But unfortunately, the Exam technique is a huge reason students fail the ACCA exam, and it also happens to those who understand the course syllabus well. Here are some principles of good exam technique for ACCA strategic business leaders, which you can apply during the exams. Good Time Management, Effective reading, Not just reading-proper analyzation, Pre-Planning, Good writing skills. 

All questions will be referred to the same case materials in the Strategic Business leader’s technical exam, so make sure you understand all the topics provided to you by 40 minutes of reading and planning. Once you understand all the context, it will be easy for you to answer the questions. 

Completing these tasks successfully is how you earn good marks during the exams, you might have:-

  • Analysis of the external environment and interpret data.
  • Assess the status and performance of an organization
  • Identify strategic problems and resolve the issue 
  • Manage risks
  • Make better strategic choices
  • Evaluate strategic choices using forecasting techniques
  • Decide on possible solutions using updated technologies
  • Implement change and innovate responsibly.

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