Cost Management and Analysis

Your group is a team of Woolworths’ management accountants. You are to perform the required
financial analysis for the initiative in Appendix One of this document. You are to prepare the analysis
for the Finance Director (i.e., your CMA Lecturer).
Your group must submit and present your financial analysis in three formats:
A. Excel – financial modelling
B. Word – written report
C. PowerPoint – for presentation in‐class (5 minutes per group).
Extracts from the Excel financial modelling are to be included in your Word report and PowerPoint
The Finance Director (i.e., your Lecturer) will review your financial modelling. The Finance Director
will need to be very comfortable with your technical execution. Like many senior managers, the
Finance Director is extremely time poor and needs to be communicated to very concisely. The
Finance Director needs to quickly understand the design of your models, as well as assumptions and
You will email your Excel file to your lecturer for review. Here is what the Finance Director will
expect to see:
 The model is clearly structured, with supporting tables in separate tabs that build‐up from a
detailed breakdown.
 Input and output tables are clear and separate.
 Tables logically present key components (e.g., costs, benefits, EBIT, assumptions and
 The model is materially complete and comprehensive.
 The model is technically correct, e.g., cash flows are on an after‐tax basis and treatments are
 Excel extracts used in the written report or PowerPoint presentation should be appropriately
formatted, e.g., present figures in $M (e.g., $0.18M for $180,000).
Remember, the Finance Director is your audience, so focus on the numbers. It should be very clear
what the document is about, what the analysis implies, and what recommendations you are making
(if any) for future progression of the initiative.
You will lose marks if you include superfluous information. The Finance Director is highly
knowledgeable about the business and will be irritated by time wasted reading an unfocussed
report. Your report must present only pertinent information and key aspects of the financial
This is a business style report for a non‐academic ‘insider’. It must provide concise and easily
readable information to aid decision‐making. It must include explanation of major conceptual points
with simple definitions and explanation of relevant terminology (especially operational matters) and
complexities). The Finance Director is often unfamiliar with operational issues.
You MUST INCLUDE an Executive Summary. Assume that your report will be sent to the CEO so it
must be comprehensive and describe the ‘big picture’ and the main ‘numbers’ (e.g., EBIT, Capex,
NPV, IRR). The structure should also include Introduction, Discussion of Key Findings, and
Conclusion. The Cover Page should not include the Executive Summary.
The Finance Director will expect your report to:
 analyse and discuss the information, and evaluate it critically.
 identify problems and suggest solutions.
 speculate about future trends and impacts.
The writing style must be a non‐academic report ‐ see the Guide to writing assignments issued by the
UTS Business School:
An appropriate report format will include headings, sub‐headings, bullet‐points, tables and figures. It
must be easy for the Finance Director to understand the structure, and be able to selectively read
sections of the whole report rather than the whole thing from start to finish. Although the report is
to be in a non‐academic style, you must reference appropriately and you absolutely must not
Remember, the Finance Director is your audience, and his main interest is in the numbers!!! Your
presentation must include Excel extracts, headline statements and all critical information including:
 Financial information; EBIT, Capex, NPV and IRR.
 Contribution towards corporate sustainability and energy efficiency.
You will present the PowerPoint slides in‐class. High quality PowerPoint slides have clear messages,
are uncluttered and contain essential information only. Here are the main criteria:
 Introduction ‐ purpose explained; concise and to the point.
 Explanation and illustration of major conceptual points. Definition and explanation of relevant
 Organisation and development of material ‐ continuity in the flow of ideas.
 Audience interest. Were the main issues explained in an easy to understand manner.
 Presentation to time – too short; too long.
 Concluding remarks ‐ effectiveness of summary comments.
The Excel and PowerPoint files have no size restrictions.
The written report must be formatted as follows (including insertion of Excel extract tables):
 Margins of 2.5cm (all four margins)
 Adequate spacing between lines and paragraphs
 Font size of 11
 Maximum page length = 5 + Peer Review Sheet + Cover Page + Reference List
Pages beyond the maximum length will NOT be read or marked – remember that the Finance
Director is extremely time‐poor! The Cover Page should not include the Executive Summary.
You may not need a reference list if you use footnotes instead. Remember this is not an academic
style report (it is a business style report) and so you should limit referencing to the bare minimum.
Submission time and date for all formats is by 9am Tuesday May 30th.
Late submissions will not be marked.
1. Soft copies
a. TurnItIn: You must submit the Word report to TurnItIn (a system that checks for
plagiarism and cheating), found on UTS Online in the Assessments folder.
b. USB: You must bring your PowerPoint for the in‐class presentation on a USB stick.
c. Excel: You must email to your lecturer a single Excel workbook that contains all your
financial modelling (see the Announcement on UTS Online).
2. Hard copies: the following must be handed‐in to the assignment hand‐in box ‘Accounting #3’
on Level 5 of Building 8:
a. Word: 1 hard copy.
b. PowerPoint: 1 hard copy.
A completed PEER REVIEW SHEET (as found at the end of this group assignment document and also
separately on UTS Online) MUST be attached to the bundle of hard copies that you hand‐in.
Assignments without this will not be marked.
Your group’s in‐class presentation time‐slot will be 5 minutes. You may wish to also present some of
your financial model in that time. 5 minutes is a very short amount of time; usually only enough for 1
or 2 group members to present. It looks best if all group members stand by the presenter(s) during
the presentation.
You must bring to class a USB stick with your PowerPoint file.
Your presentation should be professional, in terms of content and delivery. We expect you to do
some research to learn about making a high quality presentation, e.g.:
Students must organise themselves into groups of 3 or 4 students from the same class – no other
size is permissible. If you are unable to join such a group you must contact your lecturer.
The expectations are that you will function collaboratively in each part of the assignment. This does
not mean that you break up the parts and do them individually. Each part should be done as a group.
When you hand‐in your assignment you must include the PEER REVIEW SHEET attached to the end
of this document.
We suggest you set up a Dropbox for file sharing with your group members (
The main learning objective is for you, within a group, to gain practice in producing business cases.
There are three components:
The business case has an Energy Efficiency theme (see Appendix one for more information about
this). This is in keeping with the UTS commitment to equip graduates with skills to positively
contribute to sustainable development.
Your work will be assessed with the following equally weighted criteria:
Excel modelling:
1 Identification and operation of main cost and revenue drivers.
2 Configured to flexibly and reliably perform sensitivity analyses.
3 Clarity and organization of model structure.
4 Reference to appropriate publicly available information.
5 Effective use of value chain analysis to structure the model.
6 Effective use of fixed and variable costs framework.
7 Effective use of relevant and irrelevant costs framework.
8 Effective use of sales volume as a cost driver for variable costs.
9 Clear and appropriate breakdown of capital expenditure.
10 Inclusion of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency themes.
11 Technical correctness of discounted cash flows.
12 Appropriate summary tables provided.
Word document – written report:
13 Executive Summary and overall ‘business style’ presentation.
14 Effective explanation of your financial analysis method (e.g., model structure, cost
driver analyses).
15 Quality of information to aid decision‐making.
16 Appropriateness of Excel tables and discussion of them.
Presentation & Powerpoint:
17 Clarity of explanation of the main issues and main ‘numbers’.
18 Effective explanation of your financial analysis method (e.g., model structure, cost
driver analyses).
19 Smoothness of in‐class presentation delivery.
20 Presenters’ level of familiarity with important details.
As a final point: high quality work contains concise communication and professional presentation,
typically requiring numerous drafts – don’t leave your assignment to the last minute. It will be very
obvious if your work was rushed rather than carefully re‐worked and reiteratively refined!
a) for (1) the Woolworths Annual Report 2016 and (2)
the Woolworths CSR 2016 report.
b)‐tools/faq (for information about Scope 1, 2 and 3
a) Cooremans, C., 2011, Make it Strategic! Financial investment logic is not enough. Energy
Efficiency (download as PDF from UTS Library online)
t) ‐ FT (e.g. Special Reports – Energy)

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