Assessing Project Objectives and Overall Research Approach Essay

From the 20 approved undertaking subject recommended by Oxford Brookes University, I have selected subject 8 “ An rating of the concern and fiscal public presentation of an administration over a three twelvemonth period ” for my Research and Analysis undertaking ( RAP ). The administration selected as the focal point of my research work is McDonald ‘s ( International ) Corporation.

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Started in 1954 as a little Burger eating house in California by a adult male named Ray Kroc, McDonald ‘s has become one of the universe ‘s prima nutrient service retail merchants. It has in surplus of 32,000 eating houses functioning more than 60 million people in more than 100 states every twenty-four hours ( McDonald ‘s, 2010 ). McDonald ‘s is celebrated for its beefburgers such as Big Mac and Quarter Pounder and its resistless Gallic Fries. McDonald ‘s besides offers milk shakes and savory sweets. Admiting the turning concern sing fleshiness tendencies and the good health of its merchandise, McDonald ‘s include salads, wraps and fruits which contain healthier nutrition to its bill of fare.

Reasons for taking undertaking subject

Covered in ACCA course of study

This subject is being examined in the ACCA course of study. Having completed paper P3 Business Analysis late, this research gives an chance for me to heighten and widen the cognition and accomplishments that I had gained. Furthermore, I am acute to set my theoretical cognition into pattern.

Sharpen analytical and measuring accomplishments

Embarking on this subject will enable me to better my analytical and measuring accomplishments. This set of accomplishments has proven to be indispensable in finishing my ACCA surveies and besides for my hereafter callings as a successful professional comptroller. The ability to measure and analyze information is a really of import alumnus property.

Fostering the ability in analyzing and measuring concern public presentation

It has ever been an involvement of mine to get down my ain concern someday. This subject can assist me to foster my ability in analyzing and measuring concern public presentation.

Reasons for taking the administration

Well established company

McDonald ‘s has been in being for 56 old ages and spread outing. It is a planetary reputable company. Its market capitalisation, trading volume and importance in an industry that is critical to the U.S. economic system have resulted in McDonald ‘s inclusion in the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJIA ) since 1985 ( Annual study, 2009 ). McDonald ‘s extremely attentive, attractive and advanced merchandise besides its fast services have rendered its success compared to other fast nutrient ironss.

Readily available information

Bing a extremely publicise corporation, the needed information for this research sing the company such as its one-year study, diary and articles is readily available and easy accessible. The preciseness of McDonald ‘s official web sites besides contributed to ease of information assemblage. Information could be gathered expeditiously and efficaciously redemptive clip and costs.

Personal penchant towards administration

Personally, turning up with McDonald ‘s every bit good as still being one of its loyal clients, thrusts my penchant towards the company. This research gives me the chance to analyze its fiscal and concern public presentation and better understand the factors that contribute to its enormous success over clip.

Undertaking aims and research inquiries

To analyze the fiscal public presentation of McDonald ‘s on a 3 twelvemonth period by using fiscal ratios.

How has the company performed financially over the past 3 old ages, that is, from 2007 to 2009?

Has at that place been any fluctuation in the cardinal fiscal ratios over during the 3 twelvemonth period?

How good has the company performed compared to its rival?

To measure the concern public presentation of McDonald ‘s

Are the clients satisfied with McDonald ‘s merchandise and services?

How efficient is McDonald ‘s in its operations?

Are the employees satisfied with the working environment at McDonald ‘s?

Have there been any new merchandises introduced and how successful had McDonald ‘s been in its invention in the market?

To heighten my analytical and IT skills for future professional development and employment function every bit good as to widen my overall communicating and interpersonal accomplishments

Overall research attack

The overall research attack I developed to run into the undertaking aims are foremost to understand the demand of the subject chosen. As the subject requires an analysis and rating of the concern and fiscal public presentation of the company selected, I hence refreshed my cognition on the methods and theoretical accounts of fiscal and concern analysis learned during my ACCA surveies particularly from my Paper P3 Business Analysis text edition.

Second, I spent eternal attempt and clip piecing information on the background of McDonald ‘s, its merchandise, services, its activities and the industry in which it operates. It is of import for me to hold an equal apprehension of the company foremost earlier doing an analysis of its public presentation. I so selected McDonald ‘s close rival Burger King ( BK ), which operates in the same industry for benchmarking exercising.

Third, I did extended perusal of McDonald ‘s one-year study which provides full inside informations of public presentation of the company. Extraction of information from the fiscal statement included in the one-year study is so conducted for the fiscal analysis. For the non-financial facets of McDonald ‘s, information is gathered from the one-year study, corporate duty study and besides from related articles and analysed utilizing the non-financial position of a balance scorecard.

Last, as this is my first research conducted, I did thorough reading on mentioning and citing harmonizing to Harvard Referencing System. This is to guarantee I understand absolutely its demand and that my RAP has been cited decently with right citing format.

Part 2 – Information assemblage and accounting/business techniques

Beginnings of information

Primary beginnings

Primary beginnings of information are original stuffs that provide first-hand histories of an event, conditions or phenomenon, which has non been interpreted by anyone other than its Godhead ( University of Georgia Libraries, 2004 ).

In another word, primary beginnings are paperss that come straight from the first individual who recorded the event at the clip it happened or occurred. Examples of primary beginnings are feedback obtained from an interview, records of an observation and consequences from market study conducted.

The disadvantages of utilizing primary information are the procedure involved in aggregation of required information can be really clip consuming and dearly-won.

For my RAP, primary beginnings of information will non be used. This is because due to the nature of the subject, I was able to finish my research by utilizing merely secondary beginnings of information.

Secondary beginnings

Secondary beginnings of information are created subsequently by person who did non see the event, conditions or phenomenon first-handed ( Village, 2006 ).

Secondary beginnings analyse, interpret, and discourse information about the primary beginning (, 2010 ).

Secondary information is readily available and accessible at a low or sometimes no cost with lesser clip needed to seek for secondary beginnings.

Secondary beginnings that I used in this research are:

Annual studies – Included in the one-year study are information in inside informations of the company such as its Statement of comprehensive income, Statement of fiscal place, Statement of hard currency flows and other utile information. Such information helps in the computation of ratios to analyze and construe the tendencies in the fiscal statements.

Textbooks – They are used to better understand the definitions of the ratios and the accounting or concern techniques required to be used in this research. Textbooks besides provide way on using the ratio and counsel on the reading on the result of the ratios calculated.

Articles – Articles are really good as it could farther heighten my cognition about the company. It brought to my attending of any recent or past issues and cardinal high spots associating to the company that could back up in analyzing the company concern and fiscal public presentation.

Methods used to roll up information

Annual studies

McDonald ‘s one-year study is straight downloadable from its official web site at hypertext transfer protocol: // where its one-year studies up to twelvemonth 2009 from twelvemonth 1996 are available. I besides visited McDonald ‘s rivals ‘ official web site to download and analyze their one-year studies which can supply a clearer image of McDonald ‘s public presentation compared to its rivals.


As a pupil of Sunway University College, its library installation, Tun Hussein Onn Library ( THOL ) is used to ease in seeking for appropriate text editions and other resources that can be used as mention. The searching of information is comparatively easy with THOL hunt engine. The aid received from THOL bibliothecs made the whole procedure really convenient as they are ever available to reply my questions.


I had used hunt engines such as Google and AltaVista to pull out relevant publication associating to McDonald ‘s. Although a mass of information can be found, exhaustively reading and careful choice is required as some information provided on cyberspace may non be accurate.

Restrictions of information assemblage


Information gathered can be subjected to biasness of the information suppliers. For illustration, when seeking for stuffs sing McDonald ‘s, the individual responsible for the digest of the information may hold grounds to supply an excess optimistic or more pessimistic consequences of McDonald ‘s which does non mirror the true image of McDonald ‘s.


The genuineness and truthfulness of information gathered utilizing secondary beginnings are unknown. It is besides hard to find the quality of some of the informations in inquiry. To verify the overall quality of secondary information, it may be necessary to cognize how the informations were collected, what the sampling program was, and what informations aggregation method was used ( Wrenn et al., 2007 ).


Some of the information from text edition is really old and out-dated. This is because there are newer editions of the book published which brings fresh thoughts to the older versions. In garnering for information, I attempt to seek information from the recent editions. Up-to-date information is necessary to mirror an accurate analysis.

Incomplete information

Annual study did non province McDonald ‘s gross net income. Thus gross net income border can non be calculated and the impact of its cost of gross revenues was unable to be determined. Other than that, McDonald ‘s Corporate Responsibility Report ( CRR ) for twelvemonth 2010 was non published yet. As such, I had to do usage of information available on McDonald ‘s CRR for twelvemonth 2009 which excludes the information relating to twelvemonth 2009 itself.

Ethical issues that arose during information assemblage


Integrity is one of the ACCA cardinal rules. Integrity indicates that a member should ever be straightforward and honest in all professional and concern relationships ( ACCA Rulebook, 2010 ). In the class of fixing my RAP particularly in the procedure of information assemblage, plagiarism is a serious issue that is frequently associated with unity.

Plagiarism is showing or subjecting person else ‘s work, Hagiographas, or thoughts

deliberately or accidentally, as your ain ( Oxford Brookes University, 2010 ). Plagiarism is one of a figure of patterns deemed by universities to represent cheating, or in university-speak: ‘a deficiency of academic unity ‘ ( Neville, 2010 ).

The Harvard Referencing System is used to decide plagiarism issues to admit the work of others by mentioning all beginnings and show the full inside informations of information undertaken in the list of mentions.


Objectivity issue is besides a affair of concern. Objectivity means members should non let prejudice, struggles of involvement or undue influence of others to overrule professional or concern opinions ( ACCA Rulebook, 2010 ).

I was able to decide this issue by non trusting entirely on one beginning of information in garnering the information for my analysis. I made certain I gathered plenty information on the same subject or countries so as to verify the truth and consistence of the information provided.

Accounting and concern techniques used and their restrictions

Balanced scorecard ( BSC )

BSC is a strategic planning and direction system that is used in concern worldwide to aline concern activities to the vision and scheme of the organisation, to better internal and external communications, and monitor organisation public presentation against strategic ends ( Balanced Scorecard Institute, 2010 ).

The scorecard uses assorted positions to give a balanced image of the current public presentation and the drivers of future public presentation ( Carnall, 2007 ).

The four position of a BSC are:



Internal concern procedure

Learning and growing

Diagram 2.1: The Balanced Scorecard

Beginning: ( Matthews, 2008 )

However, BSC besides has its restrictions. Some of its restrictions are:

Ill defined prosodies

Prosodies need to be relevant and clear. Customer satisfactions for illustration, are hard to place and quantify. Company may choose non-financial prosodies that are simple and readily available, such as length of client service calls or clip to reply. These steps nevertheless, promote employees to cut calls short which lead to defeated clients ( Smith, 2010 ).

Lacks of a chiseled scheme

BSC depends on a chiseled scheme and an apprehension of the linkages between strategic aims and the prosodies. Without this foundation, the execution of BSC tends to be unsuccessful ( NetMBA, 2010 ).

Most prosodies are dawdling

Majority of steps on BSC are steps that describe past public presentation. Almost all fiscal steps are dawdling indexs. Leading steps are besides needed to be after for the future public presentation ( Brown, 2007 ).

See merely the four steps

Underscoring on this four steps do non paint the overall image for the company. BSC does non take into consideration other several of import involvement groups such as the providers and rivals ( Levine, 2010 ).

Fiscal ratios

Ratio analysis are most of import technique of fiscal analysis where measures are converted into ratios for meaningful comparings, with past ratios and ratios of other company in the same or different industries which determine tendencies and exposes the strength and failings of a company ( Business, 2010 ).

Ratio analysis may supply the initial warning indicants that allow direction to take action to work out the concern jobs before concern is destroyed by them ( ZeroMillion, 2009 ).

Ratio analysis that I used in analyzing McDonald ‘s public presentation can be categorized into 4 classs:

Profitability ratios

Shows how successful a company is in footings of bring forthing returns or net incomes on the investing that it has made in the concern (, 2009 ).

Liquidity ratios

These ratios are of import in mensurating the ability of a company to run into its short term duties (, 2009 ).

Gearing ratios

It measures the fiscal hazard of a company ‘s capital construction. Capital construction refers to the how an administration is financed ( BPP, 2009 ). The higher this ratio, the more hazardous the company is during economic downswing.

Investor ratios

These are normally used by investors to measure the public presentation of a concern as an investing ( tutor2u, n.d. ).

Although ratios are simple to cipher and easy to understand, there are serious restrictions to see. Some of the of import restrictions are:

Retrospective scrutinies

Ratios are calculated based on figures which have been recorded in the fiscal statements. Therefore, the ratios calculated provides past tendencies but non the hereafter tendencies which are non really utile for future determination devising ( Financial Modelling Guide, 2010 ).


Firms of the similar concern may widely differ in their size and accounting policies used to value certain points. Therefore, makes comparing between ratios to be hard and deceptive ( eHow, 2010 ).


Fluctuations in monetary values, costs or plus value at terminal of describing period will do the ratios inaccurate in its appraisal ( eHow, 2010 ). Therefore, company are encouraged to utilize mean values when such value are available.

Limited usage of individual ratios

A individual ratio is unable to do an accurate analysis. To do a better reading, a figure of ratios have to be calculated and combined which can confound the analyst than assist them in determination devising ( NetMBA, 2010 ).


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