Selection of the RAP subject organisation is more precarious task for most of the students than choosing the RAP topic. Below are the main factors to consider when you decide about the most suitable company.
Access to information
This is usually the most important factor. Gathering internal and external information will take considerable amount of your time during RAP preparation and likely to influence final mark. The simplest way to check the availability of information about the company is to Google the name. If you find few articles about the company, it is perhaps not the best choice for your research project.
Understanding the business, products and markets
Your RAP will focus on accounting and / or business issues within an organisation. It is very important to remember that the reported financial performance of an organisation – whether in the private or public sector – is the outcome of the organisation’s business activities. A private sector company usually competes against other companies to sell its goods and services and its success in doing so is reflected in the company’s financial statements and financial performance indicators. Therefore, in order to explain why a company’s financial performance has changed, you must look into the business environment and identify those actions taken by the company, its competitors, government, etc., which have led to changes in the business performance.
Your current employer
You do not have to work for an organisation in order to choose it for your RAP. If there are substantial external information sources, then you may not need to contact individuals within the selected company.
In case of writing about your employer, you are likely to have access to great amount of sensitive information that is not in the public domain. But do not forget about confidentiality and other ethical principles. It is perhaps not a good idea to use employer organisation for ‘accounting’ topic, taking into consideration that there are lots of publicly available accounting and business information about other well-known companies. For other topics, like ‘motivation’, that require completion of questionnaires or interviews, using your employer is the best possible solution. Writing about budgeting system would also be difficult from outside of the RAP subject organisation.
Business organisation vs. not-for profit
You can write a project where the subject organisation is a charity, government department or public authority. But the success will depend on the topic. Not-for-profit organisations are not well suited to topic 8 or some others, where business and financial performance is central to the RAP. On the other hand they could be very appropriate for such topics as 1 (dealing with budgetary control), 6 (motivation), 9 (implementation of an information system), etc.