MN1010 Business Finance and Reporting – Tesla Financial Analysis Report

Tesco plc is a British multinational retailer; the third largest in the world based on gross revenue. Its operations span from food to banking and mobile phone services. In 2019, the business celebrated 100 years since Jack Cohen, the founder, first set up his East London market stall.
Morrisons is the fourth largest UK supermarket chain. Founded in 1899, it began as a market stall in Bradford and grew into a supermarket chain which then took over Safeway in 2004. As of 2021, it serves approximately 11 million customers per week.
The companies’ financial positions and performance for the years 2019 and 2020 are shown in their annual reports and accounts available on their websites (as well as on Blackboard).
 
Please choose ONE of the following questions to answer:
 

  1. Describe one instance of corporate governance failure in the last five years and suggest how such cases might be prevented in the future.

 
 

  1. What does an examination of the financial statements of Tesco and Morrisons tell us about the performance and direction of these companies?

 

  1. Companies are held accountable to a range of stakeholders. In its latest annual report, Morrisons also reports non-financial information, some of which is very relevant to a British company which is a potential supplier of pre-prepared frozen meals to the supermarket chain.

 
Critically discuss the usefulness of such information. In your answer, refer to Morrisons in particular and discuss the relevance of the information from the perspective of a potential supplier of pre-prepared frozen meals.
 
 

  1. Critically discuss the usefulness of financial reporting for decision-making, especially to potential investors. Use examples from Tesco where appropriate.

 
Assignment weighting: This assignment weighting is 60% of the mark for the module.
The total word limit for the assignment is 1,500 words (+/- 10%), excluding the reference list and appendix.
Date/time for submission: Friday 30 April 2020, at 3pm.
 
Submission Instructions:
Please visit the Assessment section of Blackboard for further information and guidance on submitting your assignment electronically.
Only one file in the specified format can be submitted.

  • Please provide your ID number in the name of the file. For example, ‘MN1010 Coursework ID xxxxxxxxx’.
  • On the front cover of your assignment, you should state the word count (excluding references and appendices) and your student number. Please do not put your name in any part of the assignment.
  • Please add the assignment question in your submission (excluded from word count).
  • Retain your electronic submission receipt.

 
If you have questions about the submission of your work please contact the Student Office of the School of Business (ulsb.ugstudy@le.ac.uk) for assistance, before the deadline date.  
 
Advice and Guidance (READ CAREFULLY):
Download the 2019/20 annual reports of Tesco and Morrisons from the companies’ websites (see also Blackboard).

  • The Tesco website also enables you to download the financials in excel. You can use this option if you wish, however please note that workings in excel do not show when copied and pasted into a word document. You are not allowed to submit multiple files.

 

  • Any ratios used must be calculated and not extracted from external databases.

 

  • All such calculations of ratios, as well as the formulae used, and other financial data must clearly be shown and presented in one Appendix (which is excluded from the word count, and placed at the end of the document, after the References section).

 

  • When discussing the usefulness of financial reporting, critically consider its relevance but also its limitations.

 

  • Use appropriate case material (e.g. annual reports, the company’s website and various online sources) and appropriate academic material. For example, the annual report provides information about the companies’ relevant employees, environmental policies and other non-financial details. Where appropriate, consider this information in formulating your answer.

 

  • Aspects to be critically discussed in Question 4 should include, but not be limited to: the need for non-financial disclosure and its shortfalls, the possibility of regulation, a critical analysis of the quantity and quality of non-financial information disclosed by the company. Answers should be made relevant to potential investors.

 

  • It is essential that you provide a reference list at the end of your submission, including all websites cited. Note that academic journal articles provide the strongest support for academic arguments. Please use Harvard Referencing Style.

 
Getting Started!
We expect you to refer to a range of literature in your assignment. We have provided you with the following list to get you started. This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources and those who wish to achieve high grades should include literature and resources beyond those listed here. This literature is selected to stimulate your thinking and to give you an overview of the breadth of the debate you are engaging with.
 
Bebbington, J., Kirk, E.A. and Larrinaga, C. (2012). The production of normativity: A comparison of reporting regimes in Spain and the UK. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 37, 78-94.
Gowthorpe, C. and Amat, O. (2005), Creative Accounting: Some Ethical Issues of Macro- and Micro-Manipulation. Journal of Business Ethics, 57(1), 55-64.
Hildebrandt, H. W. and Snyder, R. D. (1981). The pollyanna hypothesis in business writing: Initial results, suggestions for research. The Journal of Business Communication, 18(1), 5-15.
Hodges and Mellett (2005). Accounting for the U.K.’s Private Finance Initiative: An interview- based investigation. Abacus, 41(2), 159-180.
Luque-Vílchez, M. and Larrinaga, C. (2016). Reporting Models do not Translate Well: Failing to Regulate CSR Reporting in Spain. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 36(1), 56-75.
Williams, S.J, and Adams, C.A. (2013). Moral accounting? Employee disclosures from a stakeholder accountability perspective. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, (26/3), 449-495.
Marking criteria
The assignment will be assessed according to the generic grading criteria and also according to the following specific criteria:

  • Correct calculation of ratios and effort in going beyond minimum requirements.
  • Evidence of critical understanding of financial and non-financial reporting.
  • Evidence of critical judgement in selecting, ordering and analysing content in order to present a sound argument.
  • The demonstration of insight and originality in responding to the questions.
  • Depth and breadth of discussions. Answers should be as complete as possible and discuss in depth relevant aspects.
  • The extent and level of analysis and research undertaken and the degree to which this research is appropriately referenced.

You should also refer to the Undergraduate Grade descriptor guidelines for the marking and moderation of assessments.
Grading criteria

Mark Undergraduate Grade Descriptor
85-100% Scholarship: Excellent application of a rigorous and extensive knowledge of subject matter; perceptive; demonstrates a critical appreciation of subject and extensive and detailed critical analysis of the key issues; displays independence of thought and/ or a novel and relevant approach to the subject; reveals both breadth and depth of understanding, showing insight and appreciation of argument.
Independent learning: Work draws on a wide range of relevant literature and is not confined to reading lists, textbooks or lecture notes; arguments are well supported by a variety of means.
Writing skills: Writing skills are excellent; writing is clear and precise; arguments are logical, wellstructured and sustained, and demonstrate thorough understanding; conclusions are reasoned and justified by evidence.
Analysis: Work demonstrates a robust approach to analysis that is evident of a deep understanding of relevant concepts, theories, principles and techniques. For quantitative modules analysis is complete and entirely relevant to the problem.
70-84% Scholarship: Very good application of a rigorous and extensive knowledge of subject matter; demonstrates a critical appreciation of subject; displays detailed thought and consideration of the subject; reveals very good breadth and depth of understanding.
Independent learning: Work draws on a range of relevant literature and is not confined to reading lists, textbooks or lecture notes.
Writing skills: Writing skills are well-developed; writing is clear and precise; arguments are logical, well-

 

Mark Undergraduate Grade Descriptor
  structured and demonstrate thorough understanding; conclusions are justified by evidence.
Analysis: Analytical steps carried out carefully and correctly demonstrating that it is based on a sound understanding. Analysis is relevant to the problem and is complete and is placed in a clear context.
60-69% Scholarship: Good, broad-based understanding of subject manner; makes effective use of understanding to provide an informative, balanced argument that is focussed on the topic; reveals some attempt at creative, independent thinking; main points well covered, displaying breadth or depth but not necessarily both; broadly complete and relevant argument;
Independent learning: Sources range beyond textbooks and lecture material and are used effectively to illustrate points and justify arguments.
Writing skills: Arguments are presented logically and coherently within a clear structure and are justified with appropriate supporting evidence; capably written with good use of English throughout; free from major errors; complex ideas are expressed clearly and fluently using specialist technical terminology where appropriate.
Analysis: Some minor slips in the steps of the analysis and some minor gaps in understanding of underlying principles. Analysis is relevant to the problem and mostly complete. A good interpretation which conveys most of its meaning.
50-59% Scholarship: Some but limited engagement with, and understanding of, relevant material but may lack focus, organisation, breadth, and/or depth; relatively straightforward ideas are expressed clearly and fluently though there may be little or no attempt to synthesise or evaluate more complex ideas; exhibits limited independent creative thought; adequate analysis but some key points only mentioned in passing; arguments satisfactory but some errors and perhaps lacking completeness and relevance in parts.
Independent learning: Sources may range beyond lecture material and textbooks though effective engagement with and use of the wider literature is limited.
Writing skills: The question is addressed in a reasonably clear, coherent and structured manner but some sections may be poorly written making the essay difficult to follow, obscuring key points or leading to overgeneralisation; competently written with a good use of English throughout (few, if any, errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation). Answers that have upper second-class qualities may fall into this category if they are too short, unfinished or badly organised.
Analysis: Minor slips and occasional basic errors in analysis. Underlying principles are mostly understood, but clear gaps are apparent. Analysis falls short of completeness and is a little irrelevant in place but a reasonable interpretation which goes some way to convey its meaning

 

Mark Undergraduate Grade Descriptor
45-49% Scholarship: Minimum acceptable level of understanding; extremely basic and partial understanding of key issues and concepts; some material may be used inappropriately; uninspired and unoriginal; relies on limited knowledge; analysis poor or obscure, superficial or inconsistent in places; arguments incomplete, partly irrelevant or naive.
Independent learning: Sources restricted to core lecture material with no evidence of wider reading.
Writing skills: Though errors may be few and generally insignificant, answer may be poorly focussed on the question, lack rigour and/or consist of a series of repetitive, poorly organised points or unsubstantiated assertions that do not relate well to one another or to the question, although some structure discernible; borderline or poor competence in English (some problems of spelling, punctuation and grammar that occasionally obscures comprehension).
Analysis: Some knowledge of the analysis to be followed, but frequent errors. Some attention paid to underlying principles, but lacking in understanding and frequently irrelevant. Some interpretation is given, but it does not place the analysis in any real context
40-44% Scholarship: Minimum acceptable level of understanding; extremely basic and partial understanding of key issues and concepts; some material may be used inappropriately.
Independent learning: Sources restricted to core lecture material with no evidence of wider reading.
Writing skills: Though errors may be few and generally insignificant, answer may be poorly focused on the question, lack rigor and/or consist of a series of repetitious, poorly organised points or unsubstantiated assertions that do not relate well to one another or to the question; borderline competence in English
(some problems of spelling, punctuation and grammar that occasionally obscures comprehension).
30-39% Minimum requirements have not been met.
Scholarship: Inadequate knowledge of relevant material; omission of key ideas/material; significant parts may be irrelevant, superficial or factually incorrect; inappropriate use of some material; mere paraphrasing of course texts or lecture notes; key points barely mentioned; very weak grasp or complete misunderstanding of the issues; inclusion of irrelevant material; does not address the topic or question.
Independent learning: Restricted to a basic awareness or no awareness of course material and textbooks; very meagre use of supporting material or unsupported assertions; use of irrelevant or unconvincing material.
Writing skills: Unacceptable use of English (i.e. comprehension obscured by significant and intrusive errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar); poor and unclear, or totally incoherent, structure. Answers that ‘run out of time’ or miss the point of the question may fall into this (or a lower) class.
Analysis: Erroneous analysis with mistakes. Very little attention paid to the underlying principles of the analysis. Far from complete with little relevance to the problem. Limited interpretation that reveals little, if anything, about the meaning
Mark Undergraduate Grade Descriptor
20-29% Scholarship: Displays a superficial appreciation of the demands and broad context of the question but is largely irrelevant, fundamentally flawed, or factually incorrect; inappropriate use of material; mere paraphrasing of course texts or lecture notes; key points barely mentioned; complete misunderstanding of the issues; inclusion of irrelevant material.
Independent learning: Restricted to a limited awareness of basic course material; unsupported assertions; use of irrelevant or unconvincing material.
Writing skills: Minimal structure, though may only list key themes or ideas with limited comment or explanation.
Analysis: Analysis has very significant omissions demonstrating little understanding of problem or underlying principles. Analysis may be ill suited to problem. Very little interpretation of meaning of the analysis.
0-19% Scholarship: No recognition of the demands or scope of the question and no serious attempt to answer it. Complete misunderstanding of the issues; inclusion of irrelevant material. May have simply failed to address the question/topic set.
Independent learning: No evidence that the most basic course material has been understood; unsupported assertions; use of irrelevant or unconvincing material.
Writing skills: Without structure; comprehension may be completely obscured by poor grammar, spelling, punctuation.
Analysis: Virtually complete failure to carry out analysis. No evidence of understanding of underlying principles and bears no relevance to the problem. No attempt to interpret or explain the meaning of the analysis.

 
 
 
 

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