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CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR  Interacting with the Competitive Environment

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR  Interacting with the Competitive Environment 

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.[1] CIMA is also a member of the International Federation of Accountants.

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

CIMA’s Profession qualification is made up of the following levels and subjects:

  • Operational level (E1 Enterprise Operations, P1 Performance Operations, F1 Financial Operations)
  • Management level (E2 Enterprise Management, P2 Performance Management, F2 Financial Management)
  • Strategic level (E3 Enterprise Strategy,P3 Performance Strategy, F3 Financial Strategy)
  • The Test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting (T4 parts A and B)

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

The qualification consists of three learning pillars.

  • Enterprise pillar (E1, E2 and E3)
  • Performance pillar (P1, P2 and P3)
  • Financial pillar (F1, F2 and F3)

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Each of the learning pillars contains a subject from each of the three progressive levels – Operational, Management and Strategic.

Subjects within each learning pillar are designed to be sequential from Operational to Strategic, encouraging the progressive development of knowledge, techniques and skills.

The prefix for each subject name indicates which learning pillar the subject is from (E, P or F) and the level of the subject (1, 2 or 3). Therefore E3 is from the Enterprise pillar and is an Strategic level subject.

You must pass all six operational and management papers before attempting the Strategic level. All three Strategic level papers must be passed before you can attempt the T4 part B case study exam.

This guide focuses on E3 Enterprise Strategy which forms part of the Strategic level.

This paper 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. Understanding how an organisation’s external environment and stakeholders affect strategy development is important.

This paper requires application of tools to assist in the evaluation of the performance implications of a given strategy.

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Section A – The syllabus structure and learning outcomes

The E3 syllabus is split into 4 topic areas:

A: Interacting with the Competitive Environment (20%)

B. Change Management (20%)

C: Evaluation of Strategic Options (30%)

D: Implementation of Strategic Options (30%)

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Section B – Pre-requisites for studying E3 Enterprise Strategy

Before you can take any Strategic level exam you must have either passed, or been exempt from, all of the six Operational and Management papers.

If you have accepted exemptions from any of the Operational or Management subjects, or you have been offered exemptions, you should take a look at the syllabus for the exempt subject and make sure that you are confident that you have a thorough knowledge and understanding of all syllabus areas before accepting the exemption. If you feel that you have any knowledge gaps then you should make sure that you spend some time refreshing your knowledge in these areas.

Please note that the knowledge and understanding acquired at the lower levels of CIMA’s qualification is assumed knowledge at the higher levels and the exams at the higher levels require a good understanding of the preceding knowledge, so that you are able to apply it in the context of the higher level learning.

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Section C – Study routes for E3 Enterprise Strategy

All three strategic level subjects must be studied at the same time and students must sit all three exams (E3, P3 and F3) together at the first sitting. Following this, any re-sits can be taken in any combination (for example one at a time).

Advice for E3 students:

Unlike E1 and E2 which are pure written papers, it is common for the Examiner to introduce a calculation in E3, usually in question 1. Therefore it is important for students to revise some key calculations from paper P2. The calculation is usually quite straight forward. The challenge is to attempt it under tight time condition and to find all the relevant information/ data in the scenario case. Students are advised to make good use of the 20 minutes reading time and highlight key information while reading the case.

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Section D – Studying for E3 Enterprise Strategy

We recommend that, wherever possible, you attend a course taught by an approved CIMA Learning Quality Partner. Visit our college list at to find details of colleges local to you that teach E3.

The official CIMA study texts have full syllabus coverage for each Professional qualification subject.

Each subject has a ‘Study Resources’ area on From here you will find past exam papers and answers, post exam guides, reading lists and useful articles. Question practice is an essential part of preparing for the exams – so make sure you use all of the resources which are available to you.

CIMAsphere, our online community, provides a resource for students to share information and find expertise and support among peers, as well as gain advice from CIMA members and alumni. See the Strategic level discussion board. And look out for regular blogs on E3 and other studying and exam related topics.

Useful articles are published regularly in Financial Management magazine and in Velocity.

Planning your learning, engaging with other students and accessing all of the useful resources on the CIMA website will help you keep focussed and motivated.

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Section E – Assessment strategy and assessment information

Each of the Professional qualification exams is 3 hours along, with a further 20 minutes of pre-exam reading time. The E3 exam paper will have the following sections;

  • Section A (50 marks) – a maximum of four compulsory questions, totalling 50 marks all relating to a pre-seen case study and new unseen case material provided in the exam.
  • Section B (50 marks) – two questions from a choice of three, each worth 25 marks. Short scenarios will be given, to which some or all questions relate.

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

Recommended read 

CIMA ENTERPRISE PILLAR Interacting with the Competitive Environment

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