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ACCA SBL – Strategic Business Leader

By Muhammad Adeel
SBL mirrors the workplace and provides you with real world challenges allowing you to demonstrate a blend of technical, practical and professional skills. 


The Strategic Business Leader (SBL) is a phenomenal combination of knowledge about governance, ethics, risk management, audit and control environment, strategy, and leadership. The syllabus for SBL is extensive and provides a vital foundation for students to demonstrate their abilities as accountants, strategic advisors and business leaders.

ACCA has assigned eighty (80) marks to application of syllabus knowledge (to specific business scenarios). Syllabus knowledge can be developed through reading recommended study resources and listening your tutor. Practicing past exam case studies helps to build knowledge application abilities

ACCA expects its SBL students to develop certain skill set to pass this exam and is clear that a student cannot pass this exam without demonstrating competencies in all those areas: technical knowledge, professional and exam success skills. This has made ACCA SBL more challenging for students.


  • Comprehensive course coverage
  • Lecture explanation through daily life examples
  • Weekly study plans
  • Detailed preparatory notes and study material
  • Engaging lectures recorded and updated on Learning Glass Board
  • Past papers practice and paper presentation methods
  • Sufficient no. of MCQs on each topic (with explanation of correct option)
  • 3 full-length mock tests



Muhammad Adeel

Muhammad Adeel

Muhammad Adeel is from Chartered Accountancy background, with professional certification in “Strategy for Competitive Advantage” from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. He has worked with Deloitte and other firms and is frequently been involved in Business Process Re-engineering assignments.

He won a Gold Medal in a presentation skills competition held by a multinational organization in Pakistan.

At TSB, he leverages his diverse expertise to teach Strategic Business Leader (SBL) of ACCA, Business Management and Strategy (CFAP-3) of ICAP and Strategic Management (SM-6) of ICMAP.



A1. Qualities of Leadership

A1a. Leadership role and traits to formulate and implement strategy

A1a. Leadership traits and style to implement change

A1b. Concept of entrepreneur and intrapreneur to exploit opportunities and innovate

A1c. Leadership and corporate governance (ethical & professional values)

A1c. Leadership qualities affecting governance


A2. Leadership and organizational culture

A2a. Leadership in shaping and managing culture

A2b. Leadership styles

A2c. Cultural web and organizational change

A2d. Effect of culture on organizational strategy


3. Professionalism, ethical codes, and the public interest

A3a. Tucker approach to evaluate firm decisions

A3b. Accountant’s responsibility in public interest

A3c. Management behavior against ethics

A3d. Reasons for conflict of interest and How to resolve conflict of interest

A3e. Ethical threats

A3f. Practices to reduce bribery, fraud & corruption


1. Governance

B1. Agency

B1a. Nature of principle-agent relationship

B1b. Separation of ownership and control over organization activity


B2. Stockholder analysis and social responsibility

B2a. Mandelow model and application model to strategy and governance

B2b. Stakeholders’ roles, claims & interest, and conflict of interest

B2c. CSR in context of governance


B3. Governance scope and approaches

B3a. Role and influence of institutional investors in governance systems and structures

B3b. Rule vs principles-based approaches to governance

B3c. Different models of organizational ownership

B3d. Influences of models in governance and how these models work in practice


B4. Reporting to stakeholders

B4a. Factors determining reporting to stakeholders

B4b. Role of integrated reporting

B4b. Value of integrated reporting

B4b. Issues concerning accounting for sustainability

B4c. Guiding principles for integrated reporting

B4c. Usefulness of integrated reporting for stakeholders

B4d. Social and environmental impacts of economic activity

B4e. Features of internal management system for environment and sustainability reporting

B4f. Integrated reporting audit & assurance to stakeholders


B5. The board of directors

B5a. duties, functions of BODs

B5a. Composition and balance of board

B5a. Relevance and reliability of reporting

B5a. Directors remuneration and rewards

B5a. Responsibility of board for risk management

B5a. CSR and ethics

B5b. Unitary and two-tier board structures

B5c. Roles, responsibilities of NEDs

B5d. Professional developments of BODs

B5e. Diversity and issues for BODs

B5f. Importance, roles, accountabilities of committees in BODs

B5g. Principles to remunerate directors

B5g. How to align directors’ behavior with stakeholders’ interest

B5h. Regulatory, strategic & labor market issues associated with directors’ remuneration


B6. Public sector governance

B6a. Compare public, private, NGO, charitable organizations

B6a. Accordingly governance requirements

B6a. Stakeholders’ interest

B6a. Performance criteria

B6b. Strategic objectives of public sector organizations

B6b. Leadership & governance arrangements for public sector organizations

B6c. Democratic control, political influence, and policy implementations

B6d. Obligation of public organizations to meet 3Es


1. Environmental Analysis

C2. Environmental Issues

C1a. Strategy and strategic decisions within firms

C1b. JS&W model on strategic planning

C2a. PESTLE Analysis

C2b. Implications of Strategic Drift

C2c. Macro factors affecting industry structure

C2d. Porter’s Diamond Model

C2e. Scenario Planning

C2e. Opportunities & Threats (Risks)


C3. Competitive Forces

C3a. Sources of competition

C3b. Analyze customers

C3b. Analyze markets

C3b. Analyze market segmentation

C3c. Value chain analysis to gain competitive advantage

C3d. Role of value networks

C3d. Influence of value networks

C3e. Opportunities & Threats (Risks)


C4. Internal Analysis

C4a. VCA for resources and competencies assessment

C4a. Strategy capability

C4b. Capabilities required to gain competitive advantage

C4c. Contribution of organizational knowledge

C4d. Identify and evaluate Strengths and Weakness


C5. Strategic Choices

C5a. Assess SFA of a strategic choice

C5b. Competitive strategies

C5c. Competitive strategies and 7Ps of marketing

C5d. BCG Matrix

C5e. Public Sector Portfolio Models

C5f. Growth strategies (Ansoff’s Matrix)


1. Risk

D1. Identification, Assessment and Measurement of Risk

D1a. Relationship between organization strategy and risk management strategy

D1b. Framework for risk management and Risk management system

D1c. Identify and evaluate risk and their impacts on organizations

D1d. Differentiate strategic and operational risks

D1e. Attitude towards risk

D1e. Risk appetite and how this affect risk strategy

D1f. Dynamic nature of risk

D1f. How risk varies relative to size, nature, structure of firm

D1h. Models to assess risk impact and probability


D1j. Related and correlated risk factors


D2. Managing, monitoring and risk mitigation

D2a. Role of risk manager

D2b. Risk register and risk heat map

D2c. Embedding risks in organizational culture

D2d. Suitability of risk diversification

D2e. TARA (read with diversification strategy)


1. Technology and data analytics

E1. Cloud and mobile technology

E1a. Opportunity to adopt cloud and mobile technology

E1b. Risks and benefits of cloud and mobile tech

E1c. Assess cloud as an alternate of owned hardware

E1c. Assess cloud as an alternate of owned software


E2. Big data and data analytics

E2a. Use of IT and data analytics to implement strategy

E2b. Big data, associated opportunities and risks

E2c. Data analysis for product development, marketing, and pricing


E3. e-business: value chain

E3a. Market models for e-business

E3b. Application of IT for e-business

E3c. Media characteristics for e-marketing

E3d. Online branding vs. traditional branding

E3e. Acquiring suppliers and customers through e-business


E4. IT system security and control

E4a. Need for IS control from strategic perspectives

E4b. Adequacy of IT and system controls

E4c. Evaluate & recommend promoting cyber security

E4d. Evaluate controls over organizational assets


1. Control and Audit

F1. Management and internal control system

F1a. Key features of internal control system

F1b. Need for adequate information flows for risk and control management

F1c. Effectiveness and weaknesses of IC system

F1d. Importance of sound internal control system

F1d. Compliance with regulatory requirements

F1d. After effects of poor internal control systems

F1e. Improvements or changes in IC to prevent fraud, error


F2. Audit and compliance

F2a. Need for internal audit function

F2a. Regulatory and organizational requirements for internal audit function

F2b. Importance of auditor independence

F2b. Role of internal audit in compliance

F2c. Response to internal and external auditors

F2d. Importance of internal audit committee

F2e. Appropriate response to auditor’s recommendations


F3. Internal control and management reporting

F3a. Need for internal controls report to shareholders

F3b. Typical contents of internal control reports

F3c. How IC system underpins reliable financial reporting system


1. Financial Planning and decision making

G1. Finance function

G1a. Relationship between business strategy and financial objectives

G1b. Effects of IT advancements of finance function

G1b. Role of finance professionals

G1c. Alternative structures of finance functions


G2. Financial analysis and decision-making techniques

G2a. Overall investment requirements of firm

G2b. SFA of alternative sources of finances

G2c. Investment appraisal techniques (IAT)

G2c. Use IAT to select and reject investment decisions

G2c. Review and justify these decisions

G2d. Strategic and operational decisions after considering risk and uncertainty

G2e. Financial reporting and tax implications on alternative investment decisions

G2f. Performance assessment using KPIs and Ratios


G3. Cost and management accounting

G3a. Importance of cost management and cost controlling from strategic perspective

G3b. Support for strategic planning and decision making

G3b. Forecasting

G3b. budgeting

G3b. Standard costing

G3b. Variance analysis


1. Innovation & change management

H1. Enabling success: organizing

H1a. Reorganization of structure and internal relationships to deliver strategy

H1b. Implications of collaborative working and partnering


H2. Enabling success: disruptive technology

H2a. Impact of disruptive technologies

H2b. product, process, service development roles to support strategy


H3. Enabling success: talent management

H3a. Contribution of talent management to support organization’s strategy

H3b. Value of POPIT to implement organizational change


H4. Enabling success: performance

H4a. Baldrige model to achieve business performance excellence

H4b. How an organization can be empowered


H5. Managing strategic change

H5a. Different types of strategic change and their implications

H5b. Culture analysis using Balogun and Hope Hailey’s contextual features

H5c. Lewin’s three stage model


H6. Managing innovation and change management

H6a. Effectiveness of current organizational process

H6b. Harmon’s Process Strategy

H6c. Possible redesign options

H6d. Feasibility of possible redesign options

H6e. Recommend process redesigning methodology


H7. Leading and managing projects

H7a. Features of projects

H7b. Implications of triple constraints of scope, time, and cost

H7c. Business case documents and project initiation document

H7d. costs and benefits of project investments

H7e. Roles, responsibilities of project manager and project sponsor

H7f. Importance of project plan and its key elements

H7g. responses to project risks, slippage, and change

H7h. benefits of post implementation and post project review

1- Duration of the course
The SBL course will be covered in 2 months to prepare TSB students for every attempt.

2- Till what date do I get access to the course when I subscribe?
You can access the course till your exam date, which means that access will expire on the date of your exam.

3- Are these downloadable lectures? Do we need internet connection?
Video lectures cannot be downloaded; in fact it is strictly prohibited to download them. You can access video lectures online anywhere, anytime from our Learning Management System (LMS). Internet connection is also required to access the course.

4- Would I receive books along with this course?
Your course fee includes hard copy companion books that will be delivered to your address provided without any hassle. All e-books will also be available with your course and you can download/ use them with these lectures.

5- Can I order only books without subscription to the course?
Yes, of course you can. Our books are popular among students all over Pakistan. However, please note that these books primarily serve as companion material to the course and they are at best effective with the lectures and faculty guidance.

6- How would I be able to connect with the faculty till our exams?
You always stay connected with us via a very effective WhatsApp group and live webinars. You will also be able to benefit from Faculty Support Specialist.

7- Can we share our user ID and password to our friends or if I download content for later reference or sharing to my friends? Is that allowed?
It’s a very good and important question. Sharing of User ID, Passwords, downloading of lectures, screen recording is very strictly prohibited. All our courses are copyrighted protected under Copyright Laws. Sharing / downloading of content would result in legal repercussions. For more details see our privacy policy

8- Should SBL be taken before or after other strategic professional exam options?
The technical content of Strategic Business Leader develops all the technical content of applied knowledge and skills while options exams develop specific knowledge and skills. Therefore it makes technical sense to do SBL immediately after doing the Applied Skills examinations before choosing to develop your own specific skills further in the options.

9- Should the exam tasks be managed in numerical order?
It all depends on individual circumstances, but it is strongly advisable to answer in order. As the case study is usually an evolving story with events happening in a logical order this would be advantageous, particularly where the role changes or there is a time change or where tasks build on what has happened previously.

If a part of a task cannot be answered, general exam rules will apply – move on and come back at the end so time is not wasted in trying something that is proving hard to do.

10- The exam requirements have specific directed requirements which don’t reflect real world, why?
ACCA recognizes that students are often not actually at the level of the role they are asked to take and hence the requirements have been tailored to reflect this and provide a little more direction. Also this is a reflection of the fact that there is no pre-seen information and often in the real world managers do (or should) give some guidance or context to employees when instructing them to carry out tasks.

11- Why is SBL a four hours exam when P1 and P3 were 3 hours exams?
Extra time is allowed in the Strategic Business Leader exam for deeper reading and planning, to develop professional skills in the answer.

12- Is there a maximum limit of marks assigned for each professional skill tested in a requirement?
The marks assigned to each professional skill are 2, 3 or 4. So, a minimum 2 and maximum 4 per requirement can be considered

13- Should student be advised to write answer plans in answer sheet?
Planning answers is important in all exams, and especially in Strategic Business Leader, so you should encourage your students to do so. You should advise them to write these plans in the answer booklet, so that they are visible to the markers. Just as in other exams, there is the chance that additional marks could be gained if a plan clearly covered a point that a student had not had time to incorporate into their final answer.

14- I am financially constraint and need some financial assistance from TSB Education, how can I be facilitated?
TSB Education is known to stand by its students and facilitate them in whatever way it can. We are a principled organization committed to the cause of education. if you need our support, please fill out this simple Financial Assistance form and our representative will reach out to you to take the process forward.

15- Why TSB Education is offering courses in USD to students who are located outside Pakistan/abroad?
Our courses of ACCA and CA are taken by students all over the world i.e. more than 25 countries and 40 cities. Our prices are set keeping in view international prices. However, you will find them below our accounting international competitors but as we are a Pakistani organization, so for students residing in Pakistan our prices are at specially reduced rates. You may notice that our prices are not reduced for India and Bangladesh or any other comparable country but only for students residing in Pakistan as we understand paying in US Dollars is expensive for them. Moreover, it is much less than the classroom cost and they save logistics cost too. As for local price comparison, it is suggested to compare our prices with the value you receive. Our courses are of premium quality (you may visit our fb page, YouTube channel, take trial to experience our platform or better ask your friends) and maintaining it to international professional standards take heavy costs at our end.