ACCA SBL – Strategic Business Leader (Regular/March 2021)
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 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.
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
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)
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. 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?
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.