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CIMA Management level preparation tips

CIMA Management level preparation tips

CIMA Management level preparation tips

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 Management level preparation tips

Here are some tips that will help you to pass the case study papers comfortably.

1. Analyse the pre-seen materials:

CIMA issues the pre-seen materials 9 weeks before the respective CIMA exam window through CIMAconnect. Carefully read, understand and analyse the pre-seen material and do not leave out any section. This will be the foundation of questions that will be asked in the examinations, and the better you know it, the higher will be your chances of passing the exams.

2. Develop the necessary skills:

CIMA tests a variety of skills of the candidates through the case study exams, and these go beyond the basic domain knowledge. The candidates are tested for their analytical, presentation and communication abilities and CIMA can also test any other skills that it deems to be fit.

You will need to acquire and develop these skills so that you are able to answer the case studies carefully.

3. Read the question carefully

As per the examiners’ reports, the commonest mistake many candidates make is to rush through the process of reading the question paper. This mistake proves to be very costly since the candidates end up answering the questions in the wrong way. You need to spend adequate time in reading the questions so that you do not end up giving a wrong answer.

4. Give complete answers

Another mistake that you need to avoid is giving incomplete answers to the questions. While reading the questions, understand and note down what the examiner wants. Then provide the complete answer to the question in the right way to score the maximum marks.

5. Answers should be to the point

Another thing that you need to remember is to give relevant answers, instead of writing simply whatever you know. Many students simply do not understand what the examiner whats, and they end up writing whatever they know. This is not going to help at all, and you will end up scoring negative marks.

CIMA Management level preparation tips

  1. You may consider paying for tuition, exams and annual subscription. I would advise to pay only for tuition and for maximum of 4 exams per year.
  2. You may suggest that the qualification be completed in 3 years time (this is what big 4 does)
  3. You may suggest the maximum number of failures; say each exam could be failed only once and minimum failed mark; say 45% (the pass rate is 50%), so if failed below 45 you may consider to stop the support.
  4. You may also offer paid study leave period, usually 1 week before the exams.

CIMA Management level preparation tips

  • Familiarise yourself with the syllabus: Since accounting and finance is an unknown area for you, familiarise yourself with the syllabus thoroughly to ensure that you do not miss out on anything important.
  • Plan: Create a study plan with definite completion deadlines, that you will need to follow diligently. It will ensure that you stay on track.
  • Choose your study materials: While you must study from the official study materials of CIMA, you may also enrol for an online preparation course. This course will help immensely in preparing and will be very useful in preparing for the exams. Check out this online course to get an idea of how useful these can be.
  • Study thoroughly: Read and understand the study materials well, so that you are able to retain the concepts you have learnt. Since the subjects will be unknown to you, spend a lot of time in this, and do not rush.
  • Practice tests: After the studies are over, get hold of a question bank and practice the tests well. Answering these mock tests and past question papers will help you to understand the pattern and style of the question papers well.
  • Increase your speed: The key to finishing the paper on time is to increase the speed at which you are able to solve the paper. So while you answer the practice tests, time yourself. This will help you to increase your speed gradually, which will be invaluable for finishing the entire test on time.

CIMA Management level preparation tips

Recommended read 

CIMA Management level preparation tips

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