Assignment 2: Business Simulation – General Instructions
Instructions for Assignment 2 (Business Simulation)
This assignment is comprised of a 6‐part Business Simulation. The assignment will closely follow the course of the subject, with the various parts of the assignment closely linked to the various topics that we will cover in the subject.
You will be given data relating to a fictitious business. Each student will receive data relating to a different business for their assignment. You will prepare financial information and make decisions and recommendations relating to the establishment and ongoing management of this business. You will be acting as a consultant to the fictitious business, rather than the actual business owner. You will receive information from the business and you will be expected to provide reports, make recommendations and provide advice to the business.
A general description of the requirements for the assignment will be made available in Week 3, but the data you need to complete each part, and the specific instructions, for each will be made available 24 hours after the deadline for the previous part. This means that, if you wish, you can plan ahead in terms of how you will acquire the skills necessary to tackle each part, but you will need to wait until the data and specific instructions are made available for each part before you can analyse the data, carry out the necessary calculations, prepare reports, make recommendations and provide advice. There will be a “window” of 1, 2 or 3 weeks between the release of the data and the submission deadline for each part.
You will submit the first 5 of the 6 parts of the assignment on a regular basis (every 1, 2 or 3 weeks as the case may be) throughout the semester. You will be marked on these submissions and you will be given the solution 24 hours after the deadline for each part. These 5 parts are to be included (along with Part 6) in your final submission, and you can make changes to those first 5 parts, based on the solutions provided, for inclusion in your final submission. You are not expected to modify the parts to match the specific decisions that the client has subsequently made. The final report should contain all of your recommendations and explain why you have made those recommendations, notwithstanding anything the client has subsequently decided to do.
Take careful note of this. Do not just submit Part 6 on its own at the end of the Semester. You will submit Part 6 and resubmit Parts 1 to 5 as a complete package which will comprise all of your advice to the client on one 6-part report. You will be able to revise your previously submitted work for Parts 1 to 5, as part of your final submission, based on the feedback you have received throughout the semester.
Note that you are acting as a consultant, not as the business owner. The client may or may not accept your advice. Each week, when you get the data for the next part of the Assignment, you may find that the client has done things differently from what you have recommended. This is what life is like as a consultant. You will have to accept the client’s decisions and make the best recommendations and provide the best advice you can for the next part of the Assignment.
SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENT PARTS
The following diagram shows the parts of the Assignment, the date on which the relevant data will be made available, the deadlines for submission and the dates by which you will receive feedback on the first 5 parts.
ALLOCATION OF MARKS
The assignment is worth 70% of your overall mark. Each of Parts 1 – 6 is worth 10%, and the final submission, comprising all of your advice provided to the client in Parts 1 to 6, is worth an additional 10%.
A more detailed marking guide will be provided along with the data and the specific instructions for each part on the dates indicated above.
FORMAT OF DATA PROVIDED
The data for each part of the Assignment will be provided via an Excel file. You will need to be able to download and view this Excel file. Some students may find that the Excel file does not display properly on an Apple device. If this is the case, it may be that you will need to view the data on a PC, such as one in the library, in order to view the data to complete each part of the assignment. Please email the subject coordinator if this happens so that hopefully the problem can be minimised.
Your answers to each part of your submission will be submitted via the Excel spreadsheet provided.
The final submission, comprising all of your advice to the client, should be in the form of a business report. There is no word limit, but a business report should be concise. It should provide all necessary information without being unnecessarily wordy.
You are strongly encouraged to prepare tables of data (e.g. financial statements) in a spreadsheet, and to use the functionality of the spreadsheet to perform calculations; e.g. to add up totals and subtotals, calculate tax, etc. – don’t just type in numbers you have calculated using a calculator. This will save time and greatly reduce the chance of error.
Your final submission can be in the form of a Word or PDF file. A business report would not normally be presented via Excel. If you use a word processor other than Word for the main body of the report, you must convert it to a PDF file to ensure that the person marking your Assignment can open it. The best presentation is usually achieved by preparing financial tables in Excel and then copying and pasting them into the main body of the report (or into appendices) in Word.
Your submissions must be made via drop boxes which will be provided on the LMS – emailed submissions will not be accepted. Feedback will be provided via the same dropboxes.
Be very careful about plagiarism. Everything you should submit should be your own work, in your own words. If you quote word-for-word, or paraphrase, from another source, provide a reference to that source. If you are quoting word-for-word, the quote must be in quotation marks. There is no particular referencing style required – just give credit if you are using someone else’s words. If you quote word-for-word from someone else, including another student, without attribution (that means, without specifying where the quote has come from) you will be reported for Academic Misconduct, which can result in severe penalties, such as zero for the work or failing the subject.
DESCRIPTION OF TASKS FOR EACH PART OF THE ASSIGNMENT
Part 1 – Financing the Business
Part 2 – Preparing the Financial Statements
Part 3 – Financial Statement Analysis
Part 4 – Cost of Capital
Part 5 – Project Evaluation
Part 6 – Budgeting and Production Decisions