CIMA Levels

Certificate in Business Accounting (2017)

The Certificate level is the open entry route to the CIMA qualification. It is comprised of 4 papers and usually takes 9 to 12 months to complete if you need to sit all four exams. You may be entitled to exemptions from some or all of the papers.

CIMA Certificate provides you with a good grounding in management accountancy and an insight into how the different areas of accounting relate to the business world. It also gives you a foundation to a career in business and finance, a knowledge refresher course and a bridge to the CIMA Professional Qualification.

Programmes start every month and you can sit your exam whenever you choose. Each paper is tested by a two-hour computer-based assessment (CBA) and you can sit the papers in any order.

BA1 - Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • Macroeconomic and institutional context of business
  • Microeconomic and organisational context of business
  • Informational context of business
  • Financial context of business
BA2 - Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • The context of management accounting
  • Costing
  • Planning and control
  • Decision making
BA3 - Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  •  Accounting principles, concepts and regulations
  • Recording accounting transactions
  • Preparation of accounts for single entities
  • Analysis of financial statements
BA4 - Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law
  •  Business ethics and ethical conflict
  • Corporate governance, controls and corporate social responsibility
  • General principles of the legal system, contract and employment law
  • Company administration

Operational

This is the first Professional level of the CIMA qualification, and consists of three Objective Test exams, and an Operational Case Study exam. To move on to Management level you must be exempt from or pass all these, and on successful completion you will be awarded the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting. You must already have completed Certificate Level (or have exemptions) to be eligible to sit Operational Level exams.

E1 Organisational Management

Focused on the structure and principles underpinning an organisation, this covers how its operational functions, efficient management and effective interaction enable it to achieve strategic goals. It lays the foundation for further insight into both the immediate operating environment and long-term strategy, covered in E2 and E3.

P1 Management Accounting

Looking at how important costs are in production, analysis and use of information for decision-making, this paper focuses on the short-term. It covers budgeting as a means of short-term planning in strategy execution, shows you how to analyse information on costs, volumes and prices to take decisions on products and services and looks at the impact of risk to these decisions. P1 provides the foundation for cost management and long-term decisions covered in P2.

F1 Financial Reporting and Taxation

This covers the regulation and preparation of financial statements and how to use the information in them. It shows how to produce financial statements for both individuals and groups to appropriate international financial reporting standards, and gives an insight into how to source and manage cash and working capital – essential for an organisation's survival and success. The final part looks at the basic principles and application of business taxation. The competencies gained through F1 form the basis for producing and analysing complex group accounts (covered in F2) and formulating and implementing financial strategy (F3).

Operational Case Study

In order to complete each level you will need to sit the relevant Case Study. The Case Study exams combine the knowledge and learning across the three pillars and are set within a simulated business context to reflect real-life work situations and therefore develop the skills that employers are looking for in the work place. The Case Study will include pre-seen material and unseen material, made available during the assessments and the focus is on: application, analysis and evaluation. With our programmes you can learn how to deal effectively with the real pre-seen in exam conditions via our Case Study exam environment that replicates the real exam. The computerised Case Study exams are three hours long and are available four times per year. The pass mark is 60%, human marked with results available within 4-5 weeks.

* The live debrief is delivered via the Online Classroom Live

Management

Sitting between the Operational and Strategic levels of the CIMA qualification, this focuses on the medium-term and how to implement strategy decided at higher levels by translating it for lower levels. It covers the monitoring and reporting of the implementation, and the corrective action that can be taken when required. You must have already completed Operational Level (or hold relevant exemptions), and will be awarded the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting on completion.

Sitting between the Operational and Strategic levels of the CIMA qualification, this focuses on the medium-term and how to implement strategy decided at higher levels by translating it for lower levels. It covers the monitoring and reporting of the implementation, and the corrective action that can be taken when required. You must have already completed Operational Level (or hold relevant exemptions), and will be awarded the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting on completion.

E2 Project and Relationship Management

Taking a holistic, integrated approach to managing organisations, E2 builds on the understanding of organisational structuring from E1 and looks at how strategy can be implemented through people, projects, processes and relationships. It provides a basis for formulating and implementing organisational strategy, covered in E3.

P2 Advanced Management Accounting

With a long-term focus, this paper builds on P1's insight into costs and their drivers to enable the analysis, planning and management of costs to support the organisation's strategy implementation. It shows how to manage and control the performance of various business units in line with short-term budgets and long-term strategy, and covers investment decision-making and the associated risks. It gives a basis for P3, which covers understanding the various risks affecting an organisation's strategy and operation.

F2 Advanced Financial Reporting

Building on the competencies gained from F1, this deals with how to source the long-term finance to fund operations, particularly capital investment. It also takes a deeper look at financial reporting and the more complex aspects of group accounting, analysing the recognition and measurement of elements in financial statements and how they can provide insights about the financial performance and position of the organisation over time and compared with others.

Management Case Study

In order to complete each level you will need to sit the relevant Case Study. The Case Study exams combine the knowledge and learning across the three pillars and are set within a simulated business context to reflect real-life work situations and therefore develop the skills that employers are looking for in the work place. The Case Study will include pre-seen material and unseen material, made available during the assessments and the focus is on: application, analysis and evaluation. With our programmes you can learn how to deal effectively with the real pre-seen in exam conditions via our Case Study exam environment that replicates the real exam. The computerised Case Study exams are three hours long and are available four times per year. The pass mark is 60%, human marked with results available within 4-5 weeks.

* The live debrief is delivered via the Online Classroom Live

Strategic

With a long-term focus, the Strategic level is all about making strategic decisions and providing the context for which they will be implemented. You must have completed Management Level (or hold relevant exemptions), and is the final level of the CIMA Professional Qualification.

E3 Strategic Management

Using E1 and E2's insights into implementing strategies by aligning structures, people, process, projects and relationships, E3 develops strategic leaders' skills so they can create a vision and direction for their organisation's long-term sustainable success. It involves successfully managing and leading change within the process of strategy formulation and implementation.

P3 Risk Management

P3 is concerned with identifying, evaluating and managing risks that could affect successful strategy implementation, providing the skills to analyse, evaluate and apply the necessary techniques, processes and internal control systems. This insight can be used to manage risks in the vital areas of cash flow and capital investment decisions.

F3 Financial Strategy

Focused on how the financial strategy supports an organisation's overall strategy, it uses insights from F1 and F2 to enable the evaluation of financing requirements and the relative merits of alternative sources of finance. It also provides the competencies to value investment opportunities, including the valuation of corporate entities for mergers, acquisitions and divestments.

Strategic Case Study

In order to complete each level you will need to sit the relevant Case Study. The Case Study exams combine the knowledge and learning across the three pillars and are set within a simulated business context to reflect real-life work situations and therefore develop the skills that employers are looking for in the work place. The Case Study will include pre-seen material and unseen material, made available during the assessments and the focus is on: application, analysis and evaluation. With our programmes you can learn how to deal effectively with the real pre-seen in exam conditions via our Case Study exam environment that replicates the real exam. The computerised Case Study exams are three hours long and are available four times per year. The pass mark is 60% which is human marked with results available within 4-5 weeks.

* The live debrief is delivered via the Online Classroom Live

° Based on BPP students sitting E2 Objective Tests from 2 Jan - 30 Jun