Course: project economics and evaluation
Course code: C11PV
Coursework title: Project Appraisal
Student Number: H00152083
Lecturer: Dr. Esinath Ndiweni
The work is centred on the importance of project appraisal therefore emphasising on the financial and non-financial techniques of appraisal. The object and, therefore, the importance of a project appraisal is making an analysis to see whether the project is viable. It is vital to know whether a project is technically feasible and whether it is going to be an economic liability or not. A project appraisal is an important part of any project and should be taken seriously because a lot rests on it. The effects of a project appraisal are long reaching and have very definite long term effects because of the capital investment that is always required in any project. Once a decision has been made to go ahead with a project, it is irreversible. Even if, through some catastrophic event, the project has to come to an unpredicted halt, the investment has been made so all could be lost. These high expenditures can be critical, not just for that particular project but for the health and survival of the entire business. As such, this paper combines the importance of both methods in order to help in assessment of project performance.
2. Literature review
Recent literature has been emphasising on the need to consider the use of both financial and non-financial methods when dealing with project decisions. It is fundamental for a project to consider these techniques in order to measure a success of a project. This part of the paper is focused on critically analysing and evaluating these techniques and justifying why both are important. Some of these methods are very simple (e.g. payback period) while others are particularly sophisticated and complex (e.g. Net Present Value, Real Options Reasoning). Simpler methods do not take into account the time value of the money and do not include the risk dimension. All these methods are well documented and explained in the literature. However, there is little empirical evidence on the factors that explain the use of the different techniques by firms. Thus, this paper is focused on the use of capital investment appraisal methods (CIAM) in practice. Particularly, it analyses whether there are specific contingencies that explain why firms use and do not use specific capital investment appraisal methods.
3. Financial method of appraisal
The decision making in projects are not difficult when we only use financial knowledge. Financial techniques use NPV, IRR, Payback Period techniques in appraising a project as well as making investment decisions. Through this technique, a firm can also analyse a project’s tendency to risk by using sensitivity analysis and risk analysis. Project managers often concentrate on establishing the financial visibility of their projects through reasonable economics. Traditionally, the Net Present Value, the Internal Rate of Return and Payback Period techniques have formed a major component of the financial techniques of investment. They are often based on the time value of money methods to forecast the expected monetary returns of a given project. The reliability of these techniques however depends on the accuracy of the given cash flows and the time frame as planned by the organisation. A major drawback to the financial method of appraisal is the fact that it cannot be practically assumed with a high degree of certainty. The value of all the factors is affected by numerous risks and unforeseen events which are often difficult to tell. Based on an article by S. Mohammed under project certainty (2001) he argued that the financial factors like the net present value, internal rate of return and payback period do not allow for non-financial aspects to be considered in assessing investment option. Non-financial methods such as political, legal and social factors are believed to be essential...
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