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CIMA Professional Qualification

If you have your head screwed on and you are keen on the world of Business, it is definitely worth taking a look at the CIMA Professional Qualification. Now this is management accounting, not straight accounting. This is a qualification that allows graduates to work as the cogs that keep a business turning. This professional qualification is designed to create business leaders, as it is a well-known fact some of the worlds best and most successful CEO’s are from some sort of accounting background.

The CIMA professional qualification is open to all regardless of your education background, all you need is a strong analytical brain, decent amount of maths knowledge and ability and a can-do attitude.

There is no time limit on a CIMA qualification (unless you are an international student) and you can do it completely at your own pace, whilst working, travelling or even as part of an internship. However, as most are keen after school to get out there and strt making some money, you can finish it full time in just under 2 years.

Once you are qualified you will have a skill set that can take you anywhere in the world. The CIMA qualification is more highly regarded than most university degrees, and allows you access to a community of over 172,000 members. Becoming a CIMA student is easy and for more information please feel free to contact us directly.

Papers Covered

(Click on the name for more information)

CERTIFICATE IN MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING

C1: Fundamentals of Management Accounting

This paper deals with the basic techniques for the identification and control of costs and cost management. It introduces the context of management accounting in commercial and public sector bodies and its wider role in society. It identifies the position of the management accountant within organisations and the role of CIMA.

Classification of costs and cost behaviour provides a basis for understanding the various tools available for planning, control and decision making. Budgetary control requires the setting of targets and standards while the analysis of variances demonstrates the levels of performance within organisations. Accounting control mechanisms are identified and applied to provide information to managers to achieve operational efficiency. Investment appraisal, break-even analysis and profit maximising are used to aid both long and short-term decision making.

C2: Fundamentals of Financial Accounting

The main objective of this paper is the preparation of financial statements for single entities. These statements are constructed within a conceptual and regulatory framework requiring an understanding of the various valuation alternatives, the role of legislation and of accounting standards. Being able to apply accounting techniques and systems enables the preparation of accounts for different types of operations and for specific transactions. There is an introduction to measuring financial performance with the calculation of basic ratios. The need to understand and apply necessary controls for accounting systems, looking at internal control and the nature of errors and fraud, is also covered.

C3: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics

This paper primarily deals with the tools and techniques to understand the mathematics associated with managing business operations. Probability and risk play an important role in developing business strategy. Preparing forecasts and establishing the relationships between variables are an integral part of budgeting and planning.

Financial mathematics provides an introduction to interest rates and annuities and to investment appraisal for projects. Preparing graphs and tables in summarised formats and using spreadsheets are important in both the calculation of data and the presentation of information to users.

C4: Fundamentals of Business Economics

This paper primarily deals with the economic context of business and how competition, the behaviour of financial markets, and government economic policy can influence an organisation. It also provides the key microeconomic techniques underlying price determination and profit maximisation decisions.

The focus of this syllabus is on providing candidates with an understanding of the areas of economic activity relevant to an organisation’s decisions.

C5: Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law

The learning outcomes in this paper reflect the legal framework for business and provide the underpinning for commercial activity. It includes the areas of contract law, employment law, financing, administration and management of companies. The globalisation of business is recognised by the inclusion of alternative legal systems, as well as the English legal system. Judicial precedent is included in relation to professional negligence.

Wherever business is conducted, the highest professional standards must be demonstrated for the benefit of all stakeholders. With this in mind, the place of ethics and ethical conflict is considered, as well as the role of corporate governance and its increasing impact in the management of organisations.

OPERATIONAL LEVEL

E1: Enterprise Operations

This paper addresses several functional areas of business, as well as introducing candidates to the economic, social and political context of international business. For each of the sections dealing with information systems, operations, marketing and managing human capital, the learning requirements alert students to major developments in the field as well as tools and techniques important to each functional area.

P1: Performance Operations

This paper primarily deals with the tools and techniques that generate information needed to evaluate and control present and projected performance. Thus, forecasting key variables, recognising uncertainties attached to future events, is a basis for budget construction; the budget is then used with costing systems to evaluate actual performance. Project appraisal relies similarly on future financial projections to provide the information on which managers can evaluate expected performance and actual outcomes. Both budgeting and project appraisal emphasise the critical importance of optimising cash flow and the final section of the paper continues this theme from the perspective of managing working capital.

F1: Financial Operations

The core objectives of Paper F1 are the preparation of the full financial statements for a single company and the principal consolidated financial statements for a simple group. Coverage of a wide range of international standards is implicit in these objectives, as specified in the paper’s content.

Similarly, understanding the regulatory and ethical context of financial reporting, covered in the paper, is vital to ensuring that financial statements meet users’ needs. Principles of taxation are included, not only to support accounting for taxes in financial statements, but also as a basis for examining the role of tax in financial analysis and decision-making within subsequent papers (Paper F2 Financial Management and Paper F3 Financial Strategy).

MANAGEMENT LEVEL

E2: Enterprise Management

Paper E2 moves away from the emphasis on functional knowledge within Paper E1 Enterprise Operations, towards an holistic, integrated view of management across the organisation. Building on important concepts in strategic management, this paper develops tools and techniques for identifying the key types of competitive environment. The skills and tools of project management are also addressed. Finally, the paper introduces the skills and tools needed to work with, manage and develop teams. This includes both the legal aspects of managing individuals, as well as the softer elements of negotiation and leadership skills.

P2: Performance Management

While Paper P2 continues the analytic theme of Paper P1 Performance Operations (for example in terms of identifying relevant costs), its main focus is on the application of information in the management processes of decision-making and control, so as to optimise performance. The first two sections deal respectively with the key contributors to operational performance – revenue (decisions of what to produce, at what price) and costs (how to manage them to maximise profitability). The role of control in monitoring and improving performance then comes to the fore in the final two sections, dealing with principles and practices in the use of responsibility centres and budgeting.

F2: Financial Management

Paper F2 extends the scope of Paper F1 Financial Operations to more advanced topics in financial accounting (preparation of full consolidated financial statements and issues of principle in accounting standards dealing with more complex areas) and to developments in external reporting. With the advanced level of financial accounting and reporting achieved in this paper, the analysis and interpretation of accounts becomes more meaningful and this constitutes a substantial element.

STRATEGIC LEVEL

E3: Enterprise Strategy

Paper E3 continues the integration of skills across functions, but concentrates on developing the knowledge and skills used in designing and implementing strategy. Strategy is developed in a context, and understanding how the organisation’s external environment and stakeholders affect strategy development is important. Context and the internal capabilities of the organisation shape the generation and evaluation of strategic options. Implementing strategy involves tools and techniques associated with change management. Finally, the paper requires the application of tools to assist in the evaluation of the performance implications of a given strategy.

P3: Performance Strategy

Two key issues underpin Paper P3 – what risks does the organisation face and how can those risks be managed and controlled? The scope of the paper includes both financial and non-financial risks. The management strategies covered extend to the use of financial instruments, and more general strategies of risk identification and management, involving establishing and monitoring appropriate systems of internal control. With the growing importance of ‘new’ sources of risk, the paper pays particular attention to risks arising from governance, ethical and social/environmental issues.

F3: Financial Strategy

Paper F3 deals with the key elements in designing and managing the organisation’s financial strategy, in the context of contributing to achieving the organisation’s objectives and within its external constraints, such as the general regulatory and investment environment. The features and implications of the full range of major financing instruments are covered. A broad range of types of investment decision is also covered and it is recognised throughout that such decisions need to take account of broader strategic issues as well the financial analysis.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age, 18 years old
  • Full secondary education. NQF 3
  • Minimum of 2 A levels (no less than grade D) or equivalent (contact for more info) for UK applicants
  • English proficiency: PTE 51 (minimum: Listening 51, Reading 51, Speaking 51, Writing 51) or equivalent, IELTS 5.5 (minimum: Listening 5.5, Reading 5.5, Speaking 5.5, Writing 5.5) or equivalent, TOEFL 87 (minimum: Reading 22, Writing 21, Listening 21, Speaking 23) or equivalent
  • Mature students (over 21) are accepted, subject to professional references

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