Business analysis Report supervision


  • Contact details
  • Learning objectives
  • Supervisor role
  • Timeline
  • Resources
  • Some tips
  • Q&A

Contact details

Dr Siwen Liu

Lecturer in Accounting


Project requirement outline

 The study will comprise a comparative appraisal of the financial position, performance, cash flows, and valuation of two companies in the same sector. The appraisal includes a SWOT analysis for each of the two companies. The principal sources used will be the published Annual Reports of the two companies and will include horizontal and vertical analysis, trend analysis and ratio analysis, with reference also to market forecasts and corporate valuation.

 As part of your report, you will critically survey the literature and online resources, and employ this knowledge to guide you in drawing conclusions regarding the financial position, performance, cash flows, and valuation of comparable firms and their respective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Learning objectives

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of business analysis and critically appraise and evaluate research problems in the field.
  • Critically survey and analyse relevant theories, models and evidence and examine their explanatory contribution with respect to the cases under investigation.
  • Select appropriate financial and business data, and generate a robust financial statement analysis of competing firms in order to account for market values and/or market forecasts.
  • Effectively plan, organise and self-manage the research project.

Learning objectives

  • The work must go beyond description to provide critical analysis, synthesis, interpretation, and application.

Supervisor role

  • Primary role of the supervisor is to guide and support students with research methods, not the research itself.
  • The supervisor is not expected to teach any new content.
  • Supervisors need to be available for at least one face to face meeting (at a time that is convenient, not on demand), and throughout the summer via email.

Supervisor role

  • All research is expected to use secondary data. As such, formal school level ethical reviews are not required (just need to finish the checklist).
  • Supervisors are expected to review draft chapters / sections, but only once. Students should not expect feedback on the same section over and over again.
  • Submission of a complete final draft for review is discouraged, any feedback given on complete work should be focussed on structure, not content.




First group meeting via Zoom
By Friday,


Submit your draft (work in progress, at least 70% completed) for feedback.


One to one meeting via Zoom to provide feedback on your draft.
07/09/2021 Due date. Submit your project to Canvas.


  • 874N1 Canvas site (Lecture slides, FAQ file, sample projects)
  • Make sure you read through all the materials and follow the instructions!
  • Materials from relevant modules
  • Sussex Library website (journal articles, textbooks)
  • Google scholar
  • Databases on the library website (Business, Management, and

Economic database)


The project should be presented with a clear aim and objectives. It must have a logical sequence of chapters. Your project will normally have the following format:

 Title page

 Contents list (with chapter headings and page numbers)

 Introduction

 Current knowledge and views on relevant aspects of financial performance,

SWOT or accounting theories (literature review)

 Company and sector overview

 Presentation and analysis of data and results

 Discussion and Evaluation

 Summary and conclusions

 References (in alphabetical order of author using the Harvard Referencing System)

 Appendices (for example: extracts of financial statements and your ratio calculations)


  • (a) Avoid story-telling.
  • (b) Your project aim and objectives are key statements of what your project is trying to do. You need to keep reminding yourself of them to ensure you maintain your focus on what is relevant.
  • (c) Keep reviewing your work-in-progress. You may need to re-write sections and you may need to re-word your aims and objectives (or research questions) in light of your research and findings.
  • (d) Use charts and diagrams to present data in a useful way. Diagrams make your project more interesting for the reader but avoid too many diagrams especially if the diagram or chart conveys very little information.
  • (e) The purpose of your analysis is to produce the evidence upon which you are able to draw your conclusions with regard to the project aim and objectives. Beware opinions and conclusions unsupported by clear evidence.
  • (f) Keep all your notes and other evidence (electronic files/folders). Make sure you keep a note of your sources/references as you go along (it is much more difficult to find these weeks or months later).
  • (g) Plagiarism is the theft of other people’s words. It is an offence of which examiners always take a severe view, as they are bound to do by University rules and conventions.
  • (h) Check the typescript. You are responsible for the accuracy of the final text. Leave plenty of time for careful checking. Don’t leave the checking until the last minute.
  • (i) Always keep a spare copy of your project and a spare hard copy. You should regularly back up all work done in multiple ways e.g. ndrive, USB stick, e-mail attachment.
  • (j) Keep working to your plan on the topic in a regular manner. You will find that the time passes very quickly. Manage your time by setting your own timeline and targets, reviewing this periodically to ensure a successful completion of your project.


•Question? 