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CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level


CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level

CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level: Details on Operational Level

Operational Case Study

The focus of Operational level is on the short term. In the Operational Case Study exam, your role will be that of a Finance Officer.

The Case Study exam is essentially a virtual business role play. Therefore, students need to understand their role within the case study exam in order to produce a good answer, demonstrating knowledge and applying skills from across the syllabus.

The table below provides an overview of the role students are expected to take on at Operational Study exam, who they will be seeking to influence and examples of the syllabus area they may be tested upon.

Who are you?At Operational level, your role will be that of a Finance Officer.

Equivalent job titles in a real organisation might be:

  • Junior/Trainee accountant
  • Credit Controller
  • Assistant accountant
  • Cost accountant
What is the main focus of your role? Overall focus
Short termYou may be involved in

  • Costing
  • Preparing budgets
  • Advising on product mix or performance
  • Variance analysis
  • Working capital or cash management
  • Producing reports of performance against budget
  • Risk assessment in short term decision making.

You will need to understand

  • The role of finance within the wider organisation
  • Who the stakeholders are
  • The regulatory environment
  • How to communicate with non-financial staff.
Who is your audience/who are you seeking to influence?Your manager (Finance Manager/Finance Director), peers within the finance department and possibly in other departments; you may need to gather information from or present budget information to non-financial colleagues.
Examples of topic areas and tasks you may be asked to look at in the exam (based on Variant 1 of the Nov 2015 Management Case Study exam) Your roleYou are a newly appointed Finance Officer in a family run horticulture company. Your predecessor has begun to set up some budgets and costings but the finance and administrative processes in the company are unsophisticated and there is little automation.

The emphasis in the Operational Case Study exam is the Performance pillar and Technical skills but all subjects will be tested. During the exam you will need to demonstrate:

Technical skills
Planning and monitoring cash flows and the use of rolling budgets (F1 C3 and P1 B4)
Interpreting variances (P1 A1)
Treatment of R&D costs in financial statements (F1 B2)

Business skills
Show understanding of how the finance function benefits the business (E1 B2)

People skills
Explain why collaborative supply chains are useful to the business (E1 D1)

Leadership skills
Leadership skills only account for 6% at this level and no one will fail due to a lack of leadership skills in the OCS. However they are tested eg in the variance analysis task above, discussing how planning and operational variances benefit the business would have attracted leadership marks.

Competency weightings for your examCompetency Weighting is the basis of distribution of marks from various sections in the exam. You will have to obtain minimum threshold marks (approximately 1/3) for each competency (except for Leadership skills) along with a scaled score of 80 to pass the exam.

Technical skills – 64%
Business skills – 16%
People skills – 14%
Leadership skills – 6%

CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level

CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level: The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a UK based professional body offering training and qualification in management accountancy and related subjects. It is focused on accountants working in industry, and provides ongoing support and training for members.

CIMA is one of the professional associations for accountants in the UK and Ireland. Its particular emphasis is on developing the management accounting profession. CIMA is the largest management accounting body in the world with more than 227,000 members and students in 179 countries. CIMA is also a member of the International Federation of Accountants.

CIMA operates a standard scheme of qualifying examinations for prospective members. It promotes local education, training and management development operations, and new techniques through its research foundation and the dissemination of management accounting practices through publications and other media related activities. CIMA has been active in recent educational and vocational initiatives in former Eastern bloc countries. It publishes a monthly journal, supplied free to members and registered students, called ‘Financial Management’.

CIMA is recognised as a professional accounting body for various statutory purposes by UK and various overseas governments. The institute regulates the activities of its members by a code of practice, a discipline committee and (a recent innovation) a continuing education scheme. Its governing body is its council, comprising members elected from regional branches. Each of the branches has a committee and is responsible for much of the ‘grass roots’ activity. Activity such as qualification development is undertaken from the London head office.

The CIMA Global Business Challenge, an annual international business and strategic management competition for undergraduates around the world, is designed to bring out the best in the young business leaders of tomorrow.

In July 2009, CIMA added an online community – CIMAsphere – to its website. The community consisted of a range of blogs, discussion boards, groups, community answers, expert Q&A sessions and some social networking features for members, students and the general public. This has since been shut down. Members are instead encouraged to join the CIMA LinkedIn group, and students are directed to CIMAconnect, an online study support portal.

In 2011, CIMA entered into a joint venture with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to launch a global management accounting designation called the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).In the Americas outside the U.S., non-U.S. CPAs can obtain the new designation as an AICPA International Associate, after a rigorous assessment process. In the rest of the world, new designation holders are able to become members of CIMA after the same assessment process.

CIMA is proactive to tie up with American CPA because of the current convergence trend between US-GAAP and IFRS, reinforced following the merger of the iconic New York Stock Exchange with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG. “It remains to be seen whether companies listed in a combined exchange would be required to report under IFRS, US GAAP or both, but as the US appears to be moving towards IFRS adoption it is more likely the international standards would be the accounting rules of choice”.

CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level

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CIMA Case Study exam week for Management level

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