Strategic Business Management (SBM)

Module aim

To enable candidates to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative skills, in order to make realistic business recommendations in complex scenarios. Business awareness will need to be demonstrated at strategic, operating and transactional levels.

To achieve this aim, candidates will be required to use technical knowledge and professional judgement to apply appropriate models and to analyse data from multiple sources, including corporate reports, in order to evaluate alternatives and determine appropriate solutions.


On completion of this module, in a national or global context, and for a range of different business structures and industry scenarios, candidates will be able to:

  • Analyse and identify the external environment and internal strategic capability of an entity; evaluate the consequences of strategic choices; recommend strategies to achieve stakeholder objectives, recommend appropriate methods of implementing strategies and monitoring strategic performance; manage business risks; and advise on corporate governance.
  • Identify and advise upon appropriate finance requirements; evaluate financial risks facing a business and advise upon appropriate methods of managing those risks; provide valuations for businesses and securities; and advise upon investment and distribution decisions.
  • Identify and explain ethical issues. Where ethical dilemmas arise, candidates will be able to recommend and justify and determine appropriate actions and ethical safeguards to mitigate threats.
  • Interpret and apply corporate reporting information in evaluating business and financial performance; recognise and explain the corporate reporting consequences of business and financial decisions; apply corporate reporting information in appropriate models to determine asset, equity and entity valuations, demonstrating an understanding of the usefulness and limitations of accounting information in this context.
  • Appraise and explain the role of assurance in raising new equity and debt funding and in the subsequent monitoring of such funding arrangements; understand, explain and evaluate the role of assurance in selecting and implementing key business decisions including acquisitions and strategic alliances; understand and explain the role of assurance in financial and business risk management.


Method of assessment

The Strategic Business Management module will be examined using a paper-based assessment of 3.5 hours. Each exam will contain questions requiring integration of knowledge and skills, including ethics. Candidates will be allowed to take any written or printed material into the exam hall subject to practical space restriction.

The exam will consist of two questions, and ethical issues and problems could appear in either question.

The pass mark for this module is 50%.


Links to other ACA papers

This module assumes and develops the knowledge and skills acquired in the Financial Accounting and Reporting module, the Business Strategy module and the Financial Management module.

Background knowledge based upon the strategic elements of the Business Planning: Taxation and the Audit and Assurance module will also be required in evaluating the business and financial risks of reporting entities.