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The ACCA exam results are out today. If you’ve been successful then maybe head to the vending machine.

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It’s ACCA exam results day today and congratulations to those of you that have passed. All your hard work has paid off and it’s now time to celebrate.

I’ve often wondered whether the results day should be a Friday so you can celebrate on Friday night and Saturday night or whether it’s a good excuse to annoy everyone else in the office on the Monday with your shouts of happiness all day.

If by any chance you’re in Pennsylvania in America and want to have a little drink to celebrate your success then there is now a novel way of doing so.

We blogged last year about the use of vending machines in Germany for selling local fruit and vegetables but in Pennsylvania they are now piloting a new type of “outbound logistics” (using Porter’s Value Chain Analysis terminology).

You can now buy bottles of wine from vending machines. In order to buy the wine customers have to firstly prove they are old enough by swiping their ID and a credit card. They then have to prove they are sober enough to buy the wine by using a breathalyzer.

Wine aficionados may well be aghast at the thought of buying wine from a vending machine but if you’re the type of person that just doesn’t want to stand in a queue and talk to the shop assistant when you’re buying the wine then this could be for you.

Then again, if you’re buying it to celebrate passing your exams I would recommend that you buy it from the shop assistant so that you can tell them and the rest of the people in the queue the reason you’re buying it.

Allegations about two of the Big 4 and “espionage”? Make sure you don’t do this in your exam…

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So the June ACCA exams are finally starting today. After all the hard work students all over the world are facing that unique mixture of excitement, fear and anticipation as they turn over their actual exam papers for the first time.

One thing that really goes without saying though is that when you’re sat in the exam hall you shouldn’t be looking at the person next to you and trying to see what they are writing.

Although exams aren’t being sat in these two particular buildings occupied by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young in London, there have been various allegations recently that the buildings are a little too close for comfort.

Three years ago PwC moved into an office next door to EY. At their closest point the buildings are approximately 10 metres apart. This has led to concerns that the rival companies could spy on each other.

PwC have apparently made the first move to reduce the threat of “espionage”. In order to prevent EY employees spying on them through the windows they have installed automatic blinds that close as soon as audio-visual equipment is turned on. The offices have also been designed so as to prevent any computer screens from being visible through the windows.

EY were reported to be evaluating their options in response.

Whatever the outcome of this is, all of us here at ExP would like to wish you the very best in your exams and sincerely hope that you don’t feel the need to try to spy on your neighbour in the exam! GOOD LUCK.

The “little black dress” is a fashion icon but when you’re sitting your exams don’t forget to…

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The “little black dress” is an evening dress that is simple, classic and fashionable. Its origins date back to the 1920s with fashion historians claiming that the first design of the little black dress was made by the designer Coco Chanel back in the 1920s.

The design has been worn by numerous women over the years. The most famous “little black dress” was arguably the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

This is all very interesting but what has it got to do with a blog for finance students and in particular what has it got to do with the ACCA exams that are taking place next month?

Well, if I’m honest it actually has very little to do with the exams as I can’t imagine there will be a lot of people wearing little black dresses to the exams! What should be happening though is that everyone should be attending the exams with a “little black pen”.

The June 2010 ACCA exams will for the first time see all the papers marked using scanning technology. The scripts will be completed as normal by students but instead of the scripts then being physically sent to the markers they will instead be scanned and then marked by markers “on screen”.

It is important therefore that you use a black ballpoint pen in your exams. If you use other colour pens, pencils, fountain pens or highlighter pens then these are unlikely to be picked up by the scanning technology and as a result the marker may not be able to see your answer.

Put simply, it doesn’t matter how good your answer is but if it is not picked up by the scanning technology then you may well find that you miss out on passing the exam.

In summary, forget about wearing a “little black dress” to the exam but don’t forget your “little black pen”.

The Superbrand results are out and it was a close run thing between ACCA and CIMA

The 2010 results of the UK Superbrands research were recently announced.

The annual Superbrands programme recognizes the UK’s strongest business to business brands.

For the last 15 years Superbrands has commissioned independent research to identify what are considered to be the UK’s strongest brands. The annual results are in the words of Superbrand “based on the opinions of marketing experts, business professionals and thousands of British consumers.”

It was a close run thing between ACCA and CIMA with ACCA being identified as being number 304 and CIMA being one ahead at 303. It was virtually a tie between the two institutes so it’s nice to know that they are both considered to be top brands in the UK.

In case you’re interested the top brand in the UK according to the 2010 Superbrands research was Microsoft.

It’s ACCA exam results time so there will be…

It’s ACCA exam results time so there will be some nervous people waiting for an email or the post to arrive. Best of luck to all of you that are waiting for the results.

I’m probably showing my age but when I qualified a fair few years ago the results of the exams were published in the Times newspaper on the Saturday morning when the results were due to arrive by post. The early editions of the newspapers would be available the night before in London so if you lived in London you could get your results on the Friday night before the results were in the paper on the Saturday.

At that time I wasn’t living in London but the Big 4 company I worked for organized some people to pick up some papers in the evening and staff a phone help line where students could call to see if their name was in the paper. After calling and finding out that I had passed I couldn’t resist the temptation to call 10 minutes later to double check!

Before you laugh at me for calling twice, for those of you that will be getting good news in an email then I’m sure that you’ll check the email more than once!

If you’re keen on getting started on your next papers then head over to our ExPand pages and download a copy of our ExPress notes to get you started. We’re releasing some great new free learning resources on our ExPand site next month so keep watching for some really exciting developments.