'What you learn from the… New CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting'

In March 2011 CIMA launched its new Certificate in Business Accounting. This is in line with CIMA’s policy and practice of regularly reviewing and updating its qualifications to meet the needs of its key stakeholders. The certificate comprises five papers:

  • Paper C01: Fundamentals of management accounting
  • Paper C02: Fundamentals of financial accounting
  • Paper C03: Fundamentals of business mathematics
  • Paper C04: Fundamentals of business economics
  • Paper C05: Fundamentals of ethics, corporate governance and business law

The syllabus can be downloaded from: www.cimaglobal.com/Students/Entry-level-certificate-in-business-accounting.

What the syllabus aims to achieve
The syllabus was designed to be relevant to employer needs, coherent, support the CIMA professional qualification and enhance the student learning experience.

New topics that reflect significant emerging issues facing the business and financial communities, such as the causes and effects of the current banking and global financial crises, were introduced to ensure that the qualification remains relevant.

The coherence of the qualification is illustrated in Figure 1. Organisations work in the wider business environment and need to understand the social and legal context, as well as the economic context.

This is achieved with papers C05 and C04 respectively. Paper C02 enables students to acquire the skills to communicate the organisation’s financial results to key external stakeholders.

The skills needed to support the short and long-term decision-making organisations are found in Paper C01. Finally, most of other papers require numeracy skills. These are provided in Paper C04.

Changes to the syllabus
The main changes are:

  • C01: Fundamentals of management accounting
    A new section – the context of management accounting – has been introduced.

This deals with the definition and purpose of management accounting and the role of management accountants.

The previous topics have been rearranged under headings that have more relevant titles and in a more logical sequence.

  • C02: Fundamentals of financial accounting
    The terminology has been updated to align with international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) and some learning outcomes have been rewritten to improve precision. Finally, the order of the components has been changed to make the learning process more logical.
  • C03: Fundamentals of business mathematics
    Very few changes were made to this paper. Some learning outcomes have been rewritten more precisely. The review provided assurances that each topic in this paper was linked to key topics in the professional qualification and that the numeracy skills required by the papers in the professional qualification are covered in this paper.
  • C04: Fundamentals of business economics
    The content of the previous syllabus was broadly retained. Emerging topics that are increasingly relevant to the business community were added. These include globalisation, the circulation of funds and uses of liquidity, the global financial crisis, structural debt and international action to resolve the liquidity and debt crisis. The order of the components was also changed to reflect a more logical sequence.
    C05: Fundamentals of ethics, corporate governance and business law

Very few changes were made to this paper. These comprised mainly of the redrafting of learning outcomes to make them clearer.

Assessment
Each paper will be assessed by computer-based assessment lasting two hours. The pass mark will be 50 per cent. The first assessment for the new certificate will be in early October.

This will run alongside the assessment for the old syllabus until June 2012 when CIMA will cease examining under the old syllabus.

Transitional arrangements for students
Registered students who have passed examinations (or been awarded exemptions from examinations) before 1 July 2012 based on the 2006 syllabus will be given credit for like subjects within the 2011 syllabus.

Visit www.cimamastercourses.com for more details about this and all CIMA Mastercourses.

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