New CIMA syllabus on the way

New CIMA syllabus on the way Share

We’re always telling our students that the industry is ever-evolving, particularly given the pace of new technology and its effects on how accountants work.

Now CIMA has updated its syllabus to reflect these changes, with more real-world learning for the finance function, focusing on areas that are more relevant to the current business environment.

This update will come into effect for those sitting exams from November 2019 – but what does this mean for current CIMA students?  We’ve put together a handy overview of everything you need to know, whichever level of your studies you’re currently at.

Certificate in Business Accounting

There are no changes to the Certificate in Business Accounting syllabus. However, there are significant changes in the Operational Level, so do look over these to better plan your next steps.

If you are currently sitting your first or second Objective Test and don’t plan to start the Operational Level until later in 2019, you don’t need to worry about the syllabus changes, as you will sit all of the Professional Level under the 2019 syllabus.

If you are sitting your final Certificate Objective Tests and are preparing to move on to the Operational level straight away, your best bet is to sit F1 before the syllabus change, and P1, E1 and Case Study under the new syllabus. E1 has the most changes to it, so if you do E1 and Case Study after November 2019, you won’t have a significant knowledge gap.

Professional Operational

E1: Managing Finance in a Digital World (formerly Organisational Management)

Around 60% of the E1 syllabus is changing, with the main focus on all things digital. The new syllabus areas will be:

  • Role of the finance function
  • NEW Technology in a digital world
  • NEW Data and information in a digital world
  • NEW Shape and structure of the finance functions
  • Finance interacting with the organisation

P1: Management Accounting

There aren’t any major changes in the P1 syllabus, but there will be more focus on digital issues in costing. The full syllabus still includes:

  • Cost accounting for decision and control
  • Budget and budgetary control
  • Short term commercial decision making
  • Dealing with risk and uncertainty in the short term

F1: Financial Reporting (formerly Financial Reporting and Taxation)

Few changes here – relevant accounting standards will still be examined, and the syllabus includes:

  • Regulatory environment of financial reporting
  • Financial statements*
  • Principles of taxation
  • Managing cash and working capital

*Group accounts have been removed from the previous syllabus and placed in F2.

Professional Management

E2: Managing Performance (formerly Project and Relationship Management)

Around 30% of the E2 syllabus is new, introducing business models for the first time. There is now much less on traditional strategy management and more on ecosystems and value management. Syllabus areas include:

  • NEW Business models
  • Managing people performance
  • Managing projects

P2: Advanced Management Accounting

There are few changes within the detail of this module, with a shift in focus towards digital technologies and digital transformation being the main one. Learning curves are no longer included. The syllabus covers:

  • Managing the costs of creating value
  • Capital investment decision making
  • Managing and controlling the performance of organisational units
  • Risk and control

F2: Advanced Financial Reporting

There are two additions to the F2 syllabus, with the introduction of integrated reporting and group accounts (previously part of F1). The new F2 also gives more focus on digital issues in financing capital projects and in analysing financial statements. Altogether, it includes:

  • Financing capital projects
  • Financial reporting standards
  • NEWGroup accounts
  • NEWIntegrated reporting
  • Analysing financial statements

Professional Strategic

E3: Strategic Management

Around 30% of the syllabus is new, with a focus on digital strategy to enable transformation of an organisation. The revised syllabus areas are now:

  • NEWStrategy process
  • Analysing the organisational ecosystem
  • Generating strategic options
  • Making strategic choices
  • Strategic control
  • NEWDigital strategy

P3: Risk Management

Around 40-50% of the syllabus is new, introducing cyber security and more on strategic risk. Financial risk management moves to F3, with management control systems being removed from the syllabus, so P3 now comprises:

  • Enterprise risk
  • Strategic risk
  • Internal controls
  • NEWCyber risks

F3: Financial strategy

Around 25% of this syllabus is new, including cash flow and capital investment decision risks (which has been moved from P3). Additional focus is being placed on valuation of intangibles under business valuation, whilst hedge accounting is no longer included. Therefore, the new look P3 contains:

  • Financial policy decisions
  • Sources of long-term funds
  • NEWFinancial risks
  • Business valuations

Case studies

If you’ve just sat a Case Study paper, then you could potentially complete Management Level before the syllabus change in November. If you need to resit this Case Study, you’ll be able to do so under the 2015 syllabus in either November 2019 or February 2020.

If you sit a Case Study in November 2019, it will be on the 2015 syllabus – and if you need to resit, you can, on the 2015 syllabus, in February 2020 only. Otherwise, all Case Study papers after this point will reflect the new syllabus.

General advice

Although the changes to your study programme may be disquieting, CIMA want to make the transition as pain-free as possible. Therefore, it’s best if you complete your current level before the syllabus changes, and we’ll then be able to guide you through your next steps.

Objective Tests will switch over to the new syllabus from 4th November 2019, with no option to resit under the old syllabus if you previously took an exam and failed. So make sure you book a revision course with us before then to give yourself the best possible chance of passing first time!

Exam entry closes towards the end of October 2019, depending on which Case Study exam you’re sitting, and you need to have taken and passed all of your Objective Tests at least 72 hours before the deadline to book your Case Study exam.

Reminder of exam entry deadlines and exam dates

15th April deadline –                       Exam dates – 7th – 11th May
15th July deadline –                         Exam dates – 6th – 10th August
14th October deadline –            Exam dates – 5th – 9th November

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