Future of Advanced Performance Management (APM)

June 6, 2024

The ACCA Advanced Performance Management (APM) test is an important part of your ACCA education. It delves deeply into advanced performance management concepts, emphasizing the value of strategic management accounting in the company landscape. 

This exam involves a thorough understanding of performance evaluation methods, strategic planning and control procedures, the integration of financial and non-financial performance indicators, and the importance of information systems in supporting corporate strategy. 

The exam is designed to provide critical skills and insights needed for advanced performance management methods, with the goal of improving organizational performance and strategic decision-making capabilities.

Aim of APM test

The APM course, part of the ACCA strategic professional papers, is designed to support students in their ACCA exams by focusing on improving business performance strategies. It expands on concepts covered in MA and PM courses and provides a more thorough examination of these subjects.

In this syllabus, students will:

  • Apply strategic planning and control models
  • Assess the impact of risk and uncertainty
  • Identify and evaluate features of performance management systems
  • Implement strategic performance measurement techniques
  • Advise clients on assessing strategic business performance

For individuals pursuing their ACCA qualification, it’s important to note that the APM course is one of four optional papers at the Strategic Professional level; students can select two out of these four options.

What Will You Learn in APM?

The program teaches applicants about the critical role of management accounting in strategic planning and performance management. It highlights the importance of establishing, monitoring, and controlling strategic objectives while taking into account external factors influencing strategic management difficulties. The course also includes ways for assessing and controlling the risks posed by these external sources.

It delves deeper into performance management information systems, their architecture, and the impact of technological advances on organizational performance measurement systems. 

The syllabus then dives into high-level performance measuring approaches used in a variety of situations, including not-for-profit organizations and multinational companies.

After discussing the strategic elements of performance management and operational systems for evaluating and regulating performance within various organizational settings, students are expected to integrate this knowledge into advising senior management or independent clients on assessing and managing entity performance. 

The professional skills component of the syllabus connects all other topics by providing a set of professional skills that candidates must demonstrate during the test. Demonstrating these professional skills will increase individuals’ employability and prospects for career growth if they are already employed.

The syllabus ends with objectives related to showcasing proficient digital and employability skills while getting ready for and sitting the APM test. This involves the ability to retrieve and open materials, guidelines, and response choices from various outlets as well as effectively using appropriate tools and technology to prepare and deliver responses in a professional style. These competencies are honed through practicing for the APM exam, making use of computer-based exam learning support available via the practice platform and ACCA website, which will be required during the actual exam.

Learning Outcome

On successful completion of this examination, candidates should be able to:

  • Apply strategic planning and control models for the purpose of planning and overseeing organizational performance.
  • Recognize and assess the characteristics of effective performance management information and monitoring systems while understanding the influence of technological advancements on performance measurement and management systems.
  • Utilize appropriate strategic performance measurement methods to assess and enhance organizational performance.
  • Provide advice to clients and senior management regarding strategic business performance assessment.
  • Demonstrate a variety of professional skills in meeting requirements within the Advanced Performance Management exam, as well as in preparing for or supporting current work experience.
  • Employment prospects along with technical abilities.

Future of Advanced Performance Management

In Tech

HR and business leaders are completely aligned on the importance of technology. 95% believe that technology will be crucial for effective performance management in the future.

One HR executive highlighted the significance of technological toolkits not only for establishing performance management systems, but also for creating accurate and informative data. 

This is especially important given that less than 60% (59%) of current HR directors do not use data to inform performance talks.

An Equitable System

By having a clear view of the workforce, companies will be in a better position to make decisions regarding promotions, compensation, succession planning, learning and development, and addressing skills gaps.

An astounding 89% of HR leaders stated that improved and increased data will shape future performance management practices.

Over 80% believe that goals will become more equitable universally and compensation will be provided more promptly – for instance, upon project completion rather than at the end of the year.

Presently, just 26% of HR leaders report employing a consistent company-wide approach.

Aligning Company Goals

86% of HR executives anticipate a shift in emphasis from hours worked to business output, and 84% expect targets to be more tightly related to DEI. 

Furthermore, more than 70% believe the standard nine-box grid for performance assessment will become obsolete as firms become more flexible in their approach to performance management. 

Looking ahead, 83% of firms intend to align their goals with personal and professional development.


The future of performance management is a hybrid of APM methodologies that use technology, data analytics, and continuous feedback. 

Organizations that embrace APM may maximize the potential of their staff, drive innovation, and stay competitive in today’s fast-changing business world. 

With its promise of agility, transparency, and enhanced performance, APM is poised to revolutionize how businesses manage, develop, and maximize the potential of their people resources.