Assignment 3

This is it! The last assignment for ACCT11059. I cannot believe how far I’ve come this first semester. I’m using words I never used before but more importantly I understand more about the accounting world than I did 4 months ago.

Below are the links to both my word doc and excel spreadsheet. I haven’t quite completed the assignment yet. I will be making the final changes over the next couple of days. Here’s the bulk of what I will be submitting Monday morning.

Aliza Suluvale ASS#3 – Annual Report Spreadsheet

Aliza Suluvale S0259774 – ASS #3

What a journey! I hope you all enjoyed this journey as much as I did.

Aliza 🙂

Assignment 2

Ok, so it’s 11:30pm and I am exhausted! It’s been such a difficult last 2 and a half weeks for me. I’ve just gotten over a very nasty flu from 2 weeks ago and my laptop died on me again!

I’m going to keep this short because all I want to do is go to bed. Excuses aside, I haven’t had the luxury of spending as much time on this assignment as I would have liked to. However, I have completed my assignment 2! 😀 Finally!! More info in assignment 2 word doc. Until next time fellow bloggers….

Aliza Suluvale S0259774 – ASS #2

Aliza Suluvale ASS#2 – Annual Report Spreadsheet

My top 3 blogs

Omg, there’s so many great blogs out there, I found it really difficult to choose 3! To be honest, it took me way too long to choose 3.

So here’s my top 3 blogs which have been chosen for more specific reasons, see below, but mainly because they are easy to navigate, the information provided is in depth but not lengthy and there is evidence available showing they are active on other students’ blogs, commenting and providing helping.

 

Jill of all trades (Leah Fuller’s Blog)

Leah’s blog is very easy to navigate and looks great. Her posts are well written and I like that I can relate to some of Leah’s situations. A highlight for me is that Leah’s post aren’t “boring”. I hate reading and get distracted very easily. Leah writes with excitement keeping me engaged and the puns she’s added is an extra bonus for me. It’s great that Leah hasn’t smothered her blog with too much information about her firm. The information that she has provided isn’t lengthy, is in depth and allows me to understand her firm.

 

brittsmail (Britt Smail’s Blog)

Britt’s blog is light, not too full on and straight to the point. I like that her blog posts are not to lengthy/ wordy. Like Leah’s blog posts, Britt’s posts are not too lengthy, they are in depth and provide me enough information to keep me interested and wanting to know more. I’m intrigued by the company Britt has been assigned which is partially why Britt’s blog is in my top 3. I would like to know how this company performs over the next 12months, see what opportunities arise and what the firm takes on.

 

everydaymoola (Kym Chisolm’s Blog)

This blog is probably one of the most exciting and funniest blog’s I’ve come across. I’m a big movie/ TV show fan and the way Kym uses quotes and movie pictures is what caught my eye at first. More importantly, Kym’s blog and posts are, like the above 2, easy to navigate, well written, not lengthy and in depth. She’s also very active on many other blogs, commenting and providing feedback, helping out where possible which is great! She addressed a few of my questions I couldn’t answer which arose whilst reading my firm’s financial statements.

Assignment 1 Draft

Hi everyone.. This is probably my favourite post so far because I have a draft for assignment 1 ready!!

It’s almost complete! Sort of hahaha.. Well ok, not really. There’s quite a lot in there at the moment. I haven’t completed the parts where I need to comment on blogs and provide feedback but the main parts of it is complete. I also haven’t finished my spreadsheet yet so it’s not attached.

I’d really like to get some feedback on the content, grammar, punctuation… everything actually! and whether you think I’m on the right track. Fingers crossed I am, I’ll probably cry if not… not really but just saying 😛 but please let me know how I’m tracking 😀

ACCT11059 ASS 1

 

Step 2: KCQs

Wow, so this was the first time I had to 1) read a financial statement and 2) note the KCQs that occurred to me. I actually found this difficult to complete. You’d think I’d be able to voice, or in this case write, my opinions etc but I really had trouble completing this.

Please bare with me… I hope you don’t fall asleep reading it! Have a read and comment… I’d like to know what you all think and whether I’m on the right track with noting KCQs.

 

KCQ’s:

  • The mining and infrastructure industry is such a competitive one, how is Downer going to improve on previous years?
    • I believe the below information found is a big step in the right direction in order to improve the company’s performance. Targeting specific opportunities in the market and driving the company’s performance is a great start.

 

  • What I love about Downer is that they focus on selling and providing solutions not just products. They work with their customers to ensure satisfaction all while ensuring they provide sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions and safe work places for employees. Downers seems like a company who care not only about the ‘bottom line’ but about the customers and employees.
    • In marketing, customer service is a key factor in a successful business. Downer addresses this an article describing the company’s re-branding (see article: Makeover and re-branding).

 

  • How will Downer improve in each service division?
    • Transport
      • Prospect – potential for outsourcing as, government seek efficiency and smarter solutions
      • Downer response – Joint venture with Mouchel (see article: DownerMouchel) opening opportunities up in other states other than WA.
      • Provide an integrated roads business with an end-to-end service

 

  • An interesting article written on the re-branding of the company also mentioned the decline in the infrastructure industry for Downer. A way that the company plans on addressing this, is by expansion though transportation (see article: Makeover and rebranding).
  • Keolis Downer, a joint venture between Keolis and Downer EDI, have acquired ATE further increasing expansion and paving the way into other modes of transport e.g. bus transport (see article: Keolis Downer acquires ATE).

 

My thoughts and suggestions on transport:

This is great, I believe that there will always be opportunities in the transport industry particularly with the growth in population. In addition to road services, delving into bus transport can also bring in revenue. With one of the company’s pillars being ‘no-harm’ to environment and the increase in global warming, a great opportunity to address this is through public transport. Providing a solution and end-to-end service can decrease CO2 emissions from the use of numerous cars while providing customers with an efficient, cost-effective public transport service.

 

  • Technology and Communications
    • Prospect – Customers developing new performance-based contracting models. This is generating longer term construction, operations and maintenance opportunities
    • Downer response – recently awarded a contract with NBN to continue rolling out the network.
    • Also entered an agreement with NZ telecoms network operator to continue the roll-out of their ultra-fast broadband

My thoughts and suggestions on Tech and Comms:

Obtaining the network rollout in both Aust. And NZ, although contracted for certain period, was great. These networks are only a fairly new concept and therefore will increase in use over the coming years. With Downer being awarded these contracts, there’s now possibilities of future opportunities and expansions with the Networks. With the growing demand in broadband services, particularly NBN, I feel that this puts Downer in a good position.

 

  • Utilities
    • Prospect – Power, gas, water offer long-term operations and maintenance contract opportunities – potential growth in outsourcing
    • New legislation in renewable energy targets = increased potential for new projects
    • Downer response – With acquisition of Tenix Holdings, Downer hold a strong position in this division
    • Recently awarded a contract on wind farm in VIC, pursuing several renewable energy opportunities

My thoughts and suggestions on Utilities:

I believe with the current contracts and acquisitions Downer has aligned themselves well with the company’s pillars. I feel that by doing so, they’ve placed themselves in a good position to increase, at the most maintain, their current financial position in this division.

 

  • EC&M
    • Prospect – Work in oil and gas sector
    • Opportunities in developing across different stages of investment/ asset life cycle
    • Downer response –building on its leading, multi-discipline capability, working with customers to provide the best project management delivery mode, and developing its asset management capabilities to become a strategic solutions provider across the complete asset lifecycle
    • Also focused on optimising its performance on existing LNG projects

My thoughts and suggestions on EC&M:

I don’t know enough about this division to comment. However, as mentioned previously, the focus on solution selling and customer service is a major factor in increasing success, therefore revenue and long-term contracts.

 

  • Mining
    • Prospect – Depressed commodity prices have led to reduced volumes and lower levels of investment, increasing the industry’s focus on cost reduction. However, opportunities exist for mining contractors that can work collaboratively with customers to help drive productivity improvements and reduce production costs.
    • Downer response – continues to perform strongly by focusing on cost reduction, increased efficiencies and close collaboration with customers. During the year, it was awarded an expanded contract at Christmas Creek and contract extensions on other sites

My thoughts and suggestions on EC&M:

Like EC&M not much to comment here. I am hopeful that Downers approach will work in their favour. It seems as though it may and I guess with an awarded expanded contract, this will hopefully increase performance in this division.

 

  • Rail
    • Prospect – Governments are seeking value through: – the procurement of large orders of passenger rolling stock and long-term maintenance contracts; – the franchising of operations and maintenance of heavy rail, light rail and bus transport networks; and – the development of multi-modal transport infrastructure solutions.
    • Freight customers are seeking continual improvements to fleet performance and reliability, with a strong focus on technology and innovation
    • Downer response – Downer’s rail asset management model has a strong focus on “return on investment” – i.e. increasing fleet availability and reliability.
    • Downer maintains strong strategic partnerships with leading global transport solutions providers and, through this model, is pursuing opportunities in rolling stock manufacture and maintenance and transport network operations and maintenance

My thoughts and suggestions on EC&M:

Like transport division, I believe that Downer’s response to opportunities/ prospects in the rail division will maintain, if not increase, the company’s performance on last year.

 

What I don’t quite understand (After researching further, I have answered these questions where I can):

 

  • 2015 Annual report stated: Cash and cash equivalents decreased by $59.6 million or 13.8% to $372.2 million, reflecting debt repayments and the on-market share buy-back. I understand that debt had to be paid but what is ‘on-market share buy-back?
    • Buy-back share is when the company will ‘repurchase’ outstanding shares, for reasons such as investment into the company, reducing amount of shares on the market or simply reduce the risk of shareholders who might be looking to a controllable stake

 

  • What is depreciation and amortisation?
    • Both are reductions on net income. Unfortunately, this description didn’t help me understand what it is.

 

  • Trade debtor days?
    • How many days it takes for a company to get paid for its products/ services sold

 

  • What does non-current assets mean?
    • The definition of a non-current asset is an asset that’s not to be converted to cash within the 12months. I haven’t been able to find where the asset gets converted in the following year. I think there may be more to it than just a simple transfer from asset to the cash section of the report but I can only assume.

 

  • What’s an intangible asset?
    • Intangible asset is an asset that’s not physical in nature. Copyrights, patents, brand recognition etc. are multiple form of intangible assets.
  • If intangible assets are not physical, is this why they’re in the non-current asset section of the reports? Is it because there is nothing ‘physical’ to sell it can’t be added to cash? I’d like to understand a little bit more about this.

 

  • I don’t understand the entire remuneration section of the reports. What I do know is that remuneration is money paid out. I assume it’s the money paid to the executives but I’m not sure. at this stage given my level of knowledge.
    • Obviously this understanding will come as my learning journey continues through the subject.

 

  • What I’d really like to understand is the notes sections of the financial statement and how it is used to understand the annual report.

My assigned company

Downer group

Downer EDI (Downer) is the leading providers of services in the infrastructure and mining industry; marketing primarily in Australia and New Zealand (see site: Downer).

The company was established in 1863 by John Walker & Co, over the years it had multiple names and in 1933 became Downer & Co. From 1933 onwards, the company merged with and acquired multiple companies, becoming a listed company on the ASX in 1998. Since then Downer have acquired another 6 companies its latest, Tenix, in 2014.

Downer employ approximately 20,000 people and recently launched a National Veterans Employment Initiative aiding wounded Australian Defence Force Veterans gain full-time employment (see article: Veteran Initiative).

To be more specific about what Downer provides, they offer services in 6 divisions (Transport, Utilities, Technology and Communication, Engineering Construction and Maintenance, Rail, Mining) and pride themselves in their new business approach; building relationships with customers to build success. This approach is built on the company’s foundation/ 4 pillars; Safety, Delivery, Relationships, Leadership. The new direction was only recently adopted when the company was re-branded to adapt the changing and competitive industry (see article: Downer makeover).

What I love about Downer is that they focus on selling and providing solutions not just products. They work with their customers to ensure satisfaction all while ensuring they provide sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions and safe work places for employees. Downer seems like a company who cares not only about the ‘bottom line’ but about the customers and employees.

I currently work in retail, obviously a completely different industry. We pride ourselves in providing solutions, not just selling a customer a product. One of our 3 pillars is great customer service. It’s great seeing similar approaches to customer service applied in other fields.

After reading into the company, I have to say, their approach to customer service and their ‘no-harm’ policy is what’s won me over. I’m interested to see what else I can learn about this company.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Downer’s board of directors discussing the re-brand which really brought it home for me (see video: A new brand for Downer).

I’m hoping that you’ve learnt a little about my assigned company from the information I’ve posted above. Coming up, my Assignment 1 Draft and Company Spreadsheets and my very long list of ‘what I didn’t understand when reading the annual reports’.

Stay tuned for more!!!

 

Peerwise

peerwise

Peerwise!…. Just like blogging, using peerwise is also a first for me. I have to admit, I really like it. For those who haven’t had a chance to get started on it, do it. It’s worth it! Not to mention it’s worth 5% of your final mark.

I think if this method of learning was introduced while I was studying my first degree, I would’ve enjoyed some subjects a little more and maybe retained a lot more information. It’s really not about rote-learning, it’s about understanding. It’s such a great way to learn and revise the information from the weekly Chapters.The way students have worded some questions really makes you think about the answer. I found myself second guessing and having to check the readings before confirming some answers. I believe that I’ve retained more information over the last 2 days than what I would’ve if Peerwise was not available in this subject.

I totally agree with Tahlia (ACCT11059 student) in that it is addictive! I’ve just spent the last 2 days (no not all day, maybe a few hours each day) answering all the non-chapter 2 questions to increase my score. It’s so easy getting caught up in the process. I feel like it’s a game and I need to get the highest score or answer the most questions. At one point this afternoon, I found myself wanting to neglect my other subjects and move onto chapters 2 and 3 so that I can jump back onto Peerwise. Although this won’t be the case, and I probably won’t be on until Sunday or early next week, I can say that I look forward to jumping back on.

I have to reiterate, if you haven’t been on yet I suggest getting started as soon as possible, I feel like it’s a great way to learn.

If you’ve tried it, or once you have tried it let me know what you think. I’d like to know if others feel that same way. If you don’t, comment below and let us know what you don’t like about it. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Happy answering and let the games begin! 😛

Hello and Welcome

index

Hi everyone, Aliza here and welcome to my blog 🙂

I think the ‘keep calm’ section of the picture I’ve added applies more to me than anyone else. I’m finding this experience a little nerve-racking to be honest but as you read on you will understand.

Just a little bit about myself, studying isn’t new to me but this field is. I have a degree in Sports exercise science, I work full time and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Accounting/ Bachelor of Business via distance education. I guess you could say I’m a little clueless when it comes to the business and accounting world. My promotion at work sparked an interest in this field and well…here I am.

When I enrolled in ACCT11059 I had no idea that I’d have to start a blog so this is also a first for me. So here’s to being out of my comfort zone, learning and new experiences.

Feel free to read, comment, ask questions etc.

Good luck to all you ACCT11059 students! Bring on 2016!

~ It's not just about numbers ~