The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) will introduce a new syllabus for the academic year 2015. Prachi Rege speaks to CIMA`s executive director, education, Noel Tagoe, who believes that job-ready management accountants are the need-of-the-hour.
Today, companies are looking for competent management accountants who will apply their knowledge into formulating a comprehensive financial strategy. Keeping this in mind, every four years we revise our syllabus based on the feedback from over 300 companies worldwide. The newly designed and amended syllabus will be rolled out in the academic year starting 2015. In the finance world one needs to have a combination of conceptual as well as practical knowledge. Our aim is to now create professionals who apply their acquired knowledge on the job.
I believe that a syllabus is a `statement of intent`, hence, it must contain competence developing factors. As syllabus designers, an important question that we ask ourselves is "What kind of a person are we going to create for the job?" We have made integrity and ethics the foundation of our course module. The industry doesn`t view management accountants as passive number crunchers but, proactive personnel of an organisation. Hence, subjects that train in leadership and people skills have been included in the curriculum.
With large amount of data that needs to be managed by finance accoutants, Big data is an essential skill. Hence, this subject will be included in the new CIMA module. Management accountants work on three time dimensions—Past, Present and Future. As the global business dynamic changes constantly these professionals have to use their hindsight, insight and foresight to help a company develop a strong financial strategy.
Management or cost accountants job is a high risk one just like that of a doctor or a pilot. As a result, risk management will be given emphasis in the new module. Aspirants must understand that volatile market conditions need financial strategy that is risk proof, and will survive in the long run.
Our new assessment process will filter the competent candidates from the non-competent ones. Two types of examinations will be conducted in order to be certified as a CIMA professional. Nine objective tests for each of the nine subjects and three integrated case studies will be held at the end of the course. Case studies will test a candidate`s ability to synthesise knowledge to solve problems and develop a comprehensive financial framework. I advise aspirants to learn and understand concepts thoroughly. An ideal management or cost accountant is the one who has a `flexible and global approach towards his work`.