Level 4 Business Insight

Self Study

Unit DurationDuration: 60-80 Hours

Unit LevelLevel: 4

Number of ExamsExams: 1

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Go beyond bookkeeping and offer your clients extra value.

In this course, you will learn how to offer the insights and analysis that can power your client’s growth.

Continuous business success is powered by careful analysis of data to:

  • spot trends
  • identify opportunities
  • and help avoid pitfalls

The Level 4 Certificate in Business Insight is made up of seven topics:

  1. Cost behaviour and analysis
  2. Forecasting and budgeting
  3. Performance measurement
  4. Managing the cash operating cycle
  5. Short-term financing decisions
  6. Short-term decision making
  7. Medium-term capital investment decision making

On completion of learning, the candidate will be able to demonstrate competence in the following tasks:

Topic 1 – Cost behaviour and analysis

Learning Outcomes:
1.1. Explain how costs will behave at different levels of activity; distinguishing between fixed, variable, stepped and semi-variable costs and the principle of ‘contribution’.
1.2. Compare and contrast value-adding and non-value-adding activities and their associated costs.

Topic 2 – Forecasting and budgeting

Learning Outcomes:
2.1. Explain factors to consider when preparing forecasts of activity levels; factors including:

  • Competion
  • Pricing
  • Economic influences
  • Market trends

2.2. Explain the purposes of preparing budgets.

  • Planning
  • Utilisation of scarce resources
  • Allocating responsibilities
  • Target-setting and performance management

2.3. Prepare an operational budget based on forecasts for sales and resource availability.
2.4. Prepare flexible budgets to demonstrate possible out-turns for best-case and worstcase scenarios.

Topic 3 – Setting targets to monitor performance

Learning Outcomes:
3.1 Using flexed budgets, identify possible reasons for total budget variances. Note that a break-down of budget variances into component parts (such as price and usage variances) will not be tested; nor will reconciliation of budget to actual profit be.
3.2 Compare and contrast the use of financial and non-financial measures for performance measurement.
NOTE that Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard will not be examined, although it may be a useful learning tool to explore the benefits of incorporating non-financial performance measures.

Topic 4 – The operating cycle

Learning Outcomes:
4.1 Calculate and explain the operating cycle using

  • Stock days (raw materials, W.I.P and finished goods as appropriate)
  • Debtor days
  • Creditor days

4.2 Evaluate proposals to manage the operating cycle by reducing investment in stock.
4.3 Evaluate proposals to manage the operating cycle by reducing the investment in debtors using either early settlement discounts or debt collection services (factoring).

Topic 5 – Short-term financing decisions

Learning Outcomes:
5.1. Compare and contrast the use of short-term and long-term finance to fund the working capital cycle with specific attention to:

  • Costs
  • Flexibility
  • Risk

5.2. Identify the relative advantages of funding working capital financing requirements using either an:

  • Aggressive approach (relying mainly on short-term financing), or
  • Conservative approach (raising long-term financing)

Topic 6 – Short-term decision making

Learning Outcomes:
6.1 Identify relevant costs for short-term decision making, including the concept of sunk costs, avoidable costs and opportunity costs.
6.2 Appraise short-term decision scenarios.

Topic 7 – Capital investment decision making

Learning Outcomes:
7.1 Identify relevant cash flows for a capital investment decision.
7.2 Explain the principle of the time value of money.
7.3 Evaluate project cash flows using

  • Simple (not discounted) payback period, or
  • Net present value (NPV)

Further details on the learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grading, and more can be found by accessing the ICB’s Level 4 Certificate in Business Insight

If you want to sit the exam, then you will need to be an ICB and hold a current, valid ICB Level 3 qualification.

Basic numerical skills and a good understanding of the English language would also be helpful.

Training Link focuses on only three subjects: Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Payroll.

This keeps us focused on delivering the best student experience. And that’s why over the last 27 years we’ve won over 20 awards – from AAT’S Best New Training Provider in 2018 to ICB’s Large Training Provider of the Year for ten years in a row.

Training Link has written and created all of the study material for our ICB courses.

And because we control this material, we can improve it based on student feedback and results. This is what helps Training Link students achieve outstanding pass rates.

The course fee includes:

  • Printed workbook containing lessons, examples, tasks and assignments
  • 24/7 access to our online portal
  • Materials available online
  • Online course assessments
  • Online mock exam
  • Free postage and packaging within the UK

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers was established in 1996. They promote the bookkeeping profession, learning and education, and offer qualifications.

The ICB is the largest bookkeeping membership organisation in the world. There are over 150,000 students and members in over 100 countries.

ICB’s certification is based on exams and only the finest professionals are eligible for membership. Members need to maintain their status via Continuous Professional Development.

ICB’s rigorous standards give businesses the confidence that an ICB-certified Bookkeeper will have the highest standards. And that’s why it is a perfect pathway for anyone who wants to become a self-employed bookkeeper.

If you choose to sit the exam at the end of this unit, you would be required to be registered with the ICB first. You would also need to be qualified to Level 3. You would then contact the ICB to book your exam.

You can take the exam from home or work, and comprises one 24-hour exam. You will have 2 weeks to access your exam. Once activated you will have 24 hours to complete it.

Tutor support is often overlooked, and whilst it might not be needed at all times, isn’t it good to know that if push comes to shove, you have access to tutor support – Even on a self-study option?

Purchase tutor support when you need it – For one month…or longer, the choice is entirely yours!

You don’t need to decide now. See how you get on, and if you decide that a little support is needed, simply come back here and click the following link…

Self-study book