CIMA is a global professional institute of management accountants for both public and private sectors.

There are 17 subjects across the Certificate and Professional qualifications, each assessed by a computer-based exam.

Operational Level

E1 Organisational Management

E1 focuses on the structuring of organisations. It covers the structure and principles of underpinning the operational functions of the organisation, their efficient management and effective interaction in enabling the organisation to achieve its strategic objective. It lays the foundation for gaining further insight in both the immediate operating environment and long-term strategic future of organisations which are covered in E2 and E3.

Syllabus topic
Introduction to organisations
Managing the finance function
Managing technology and information
Operations management
Marketing
Managing human resources
Weight
25%
15%
15%
15%
15%
15%

P1 Management Accounting

P1 stresses the importance of costs and drivers of costs in the production, analysis and use of information for decision making in organisations. The time focus of P1 is the short term. It covers budgeting as a means of short-term planning to execute the strategy of organisations. In addition it provides competencies on how to analyse information on costs, volumes and prices to take short-term decisions on products and services and to develop an understanding on the impact of risk to these decisions. P1 provides the foundation for cost management and the long-term decisions covered in P2.

Syllabus topic
Cost accounting systems
Budgeting
Short-term decision making
Dealing with risk and uncertainty
Weight
30%
25%
30%
15%

F1 Financial Reporting and Taxation

F1 covers the regulations and preparation of financial statements and how the information contained in them can be used. It provides the competencies required to produce financial statements for both individual entities and groups using appropriate international financial reporting standards. It also gives insight into how to effectively source and manage cash and working capital, which are essential for both the survival and success of organisations. The final part focuses on the basic principles and application of business taxation. The competencies gained from F1 form the basis for developing further insights into producing and analysing complex group accounts (covered in F2) and formulating and implementing financial strategy (covered in F3).

Syllabus topic
Regulatory environment for financial and corporate governance
Financial accounting and reporting
Management of working capital, cash and sources of short-term finance
Fundamentals of business taxation
Weight 
10%
45%
20%
25%
Management Level

E2 Project and Relationship Management

E2 emphasizes a holistic, integrated approach to managing organisations, from external and internal perspectives. It builds on the understanding of organisational structuring gained from E1 and is centred on the concept of strategy and how organisational strategy can be implemented though people, projects, processes and relationships. It provides the basis for developing further insights into how to formulate and implement organisational strategy, which is covered in E3.

Syllabus topic
Introduction to strategic management and assessing
the global environment
The human aspects of organisation
Managing relationships
Managing change through projects
Weight

30%
20%
20%
30%

P2 Advanced Management Accounting

Focusing primarily on the long term, P2 builds on the insights about costs and their drivers (from P1) to provide the competences needed to analyse, plan and manage costs to support the implementation of the organisation’s strategy. It shows how to manage and control the performance of various units of the organisation in line with both short-term budgets and long-term strategy. Finally P2 covers investment decision making and the risks associated with such decisions. It provides the basis for developing deeper understanding of various types of risks affecting the strategy and operations of organisations (covered in P3).

Syllabus topic
Cost planning and analysis for competitive advantage
Control and performance management of responsibility
centres
Long-term decision making
Management control and risk
Weight
25%

30%
15%
30%

F2 Advanced Financial Reporting

F2 builds on the competencies gained from F1. It covers how to effectively source the long-term finance required to fund the operations of organisations, particularly their capital investments. It also deepens the coverage of financial reporting to more complex aspects of group accounting and analyses the rules governing the recognition and measurement of various elements of the financial statements. Finally it shows how to analyse financial statements to provide insights about the financial performance and position of the organisation over time and in comparison with others.

Syllabus topic
Cost planning and analysis for competitive advantage
Control and performance management of responsibility
centres
Long-term decision making
Management control and risk
Weight
25%

30%
15%
30%

Strategic Level exams

E3 Strategic Management

E3 builds on the insights gained from E1 and E2 about how organisations effectively implement their strategies by aligning their structures, people, process, projects and relationships. E3 aims to develop the skills and abilities of the strategic leaders of organisations, enabling them to create the vision and direction for the growth and long-term sustainable success of the organisation. This involves successfully managing and leading change within the process of strategy formulation and implementation.

Syllabus topic
Interacting with the organisation’s environment
Evaluating strategic position and strategic options
Leading change
Implementing strategy
The role of information systems in organisational strategy
Weight
20%
30%
20%
15%
15%

P3 Risk Management

P3 shows how to identify, evaluate and manage various risks that could adversely affect the implementation of the organisation’s strategy. It provides the competencies required to analyse, evaluate and apply the techniques, processes and internal control systems required to manage risk. The insight is then used to manage the risk associated with cash flows and capital investment decisions – two important areas of organisational life for which the finance function is responsible.

Syllabus topic
Identification, classification and evaluation of risk
Responses to strategic risk
Internal controls to manage risk
Managing risks associated with cash flows
Managing risks associated with capital investment decisions
Weight
20%
20%
20%
20%
20%

F3 Financial Strategy

F3 focuses on the formulation and implementation of financial strategy to support the overall strategy of the organisation. Using insights gained from F1 and F2, it provides the competencies to evaluate the financial requirements of organisations and the relative merits of alternative sources of finance to meet these requirements. Finally the valuation of corporate entities for mergers, acquisitions and divestments.

Syllabus topic
Formulation of financial strategy
Financing and dividend decisions
Corporate finance
Weight
25%
35%
40%