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Unit of Assessment 1: Individual Assignment
This is an individual piece of work and represent 20 per cent of the grading for this course. Students are required to write a short memo of no more
than 750 words, which includes all titles, headings, footnotes, references, and so forth, to your superior John Doe, the Chief Financial Officer at
Square-It Corporation, Inc. The purpose of the memo is make the case why you want to use the net present value (NPV) decision criterion for evaluating
the project you are working on. . You have taken a course in corporate finance and realise that IRR, while an acceptable measure of merit, is perhaps
not the best one. Make the case for using the NPV method in your memo to John Doe.
What you are asked to do
The purpose of this exercise is to get you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the two most common methods of evaluating a project (NPV and
IRR) and to make a case (an argument) as to why you should employ one or the other.
The assignment is couched in terms of a memo to a superior. This is deliberate. Once you graduate, your ability to summarise succinctly material in an
effective manner will be a valuable tool you will be using on a regular basis. Hence, insofar as it is possible, this is a “world-facing” exercise aimed
at preparing you for the world of work.
Why is this exercise useful?
1. It provides you with the opportunity to reflect on two of the most commonly used methods for evaluating projects and the advantages and disadvantages
of the two (linked) approaches. This will greatly enhance your understanding of the issues involved in capital budgeting evaluation and be useful for
the second, group-based, unit of assessment on this course.
2. It also provides you with early feedback on your learning on this course since the submission date is the end of Week 3 of the course and written
feedback will be provided within the fifteen-day turnaround for coursework.
3. The ability to communicate pithily and effectively to others is a key business skill and of huge importance in the way individuals in organisations
are able to project themselves. The opportunity to practice this important business skill (written communication) is to be valued. The feedback on this
aspect of the exercise will help you develop this very necessary skill.
How the Assignment Relates to the Course’s Learning Outcomes (LOs)
LO1 states: “Describe and discuss the key aspects of corporate finance theory.”
LO2: states: “Discuss critically the contribution of finance theory to financial practice.”
LO3 states: “Understand and apply some of the key analysis tools used within corporate finance.”
The exercise requires you to engage heavily with LO1 by describing and discussing key aspects of corporate finance theory. In this case, the different
figures of merit used in capital budgeting (i.e. covers the investment principle, which addresses how firms should—and do—allocate their resources to
most effect). LO2 is also covered in that there has been considerable discussion in the academic literature (now also covered in standard textbooks on
corporate finance) about the relative merits of the two measures. LO3 requires you to engage in some depth with the advantages and disadvantages of the
Word Length and Other Things
The ABSOLUTE maximum word length is 750 words, which MUST include all titles, footnotes, references (yes, they should be included), your ID, and
anything else that is necessary to communicate your memorandum to the reader and make your submission. Marks will be deducted for breaking the maximum
word limit. You must give your word count on the cover sheet (i.e. self-certification of word length).
Note that since submissions are made into TurnItIn, there is an automatic check on the word count of the submission. So be accurate in your own count.
You must cite any sources you use. This will reduce the words you have available to write the memo. You will therefore need to use careful crafting to
get a balance between sources, evidence and argument, and to ensure that the document has the feel and structure of an office memo.
When putting your assignment together, think of what such a short note must contain and imagine its imhe reader:
And so on…
A Business Memorandum (Memo)
This is a list of the matters to include in a properly formatted and present memo:
1. Type “MEMORANDUM” at the top of the page. …
2. Address the recipient appropriately. …
3. Add additional recipients in the CC line. …
4. Write your name (i.e. exam number) in the “From” line. …
5. Include the date. …
6. Choose a specific phrase for the subject line. …
7. Format the heading properly.
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