Honing those vital skillsets

At CIMA, we have been dedicated to understanding the needs of employers and the desires of students and members. We know the modern finance professional needs to have a unique combination of skills that allows them to tackle the challenges brought about by digitisation and the impact of new technologies on business models.

The digitisation of business will only continue and so will the disruption, which means finance professionals entering the workplace now need to possess an agile mindset and everevolving digital skills.

To this end, the CIMA Professional Qualification has been updated to enable students around the world to acquire the skills competencies and mindsets employers tell us are critical to sustainable value creation and their longterm business success. In the face of increasing digitisation the skills we’re told are most valued in the world of work are now in the areas of digital competency, problem-solving, leadership and influence.

So we’ve worked hard to incorporate essential skills such as digital costing and digital strategy and subjects like cybersecurity into our syllabus, while maintaining the areas that help to develop other soft skills such as leadership. We have also been sure to update areas like integrated reporting, which is becoming much more significant to the business community as a way to meet social responsibilities.

As well as focusing on skills and employability, we have also made sure to develop a professional qualification that can be gained while balancing studies with a busy work or personal life. We offer on-demand exams and a flexible structure that means you can work at a pace that suits you. This means if you need to study over a longer period you could complete a level every year or, you could work at a much faster rate. In addition, when it comes to booking your exams, we partner with Pearson VUE to offer the ultimate flexibility of sitting your exams in any one of their 5,000 test centres in 178 countries.

We also have some insight to offer when it comes to approaching your learning and sitting exams. To make the most of the syllabus we suggest students start with the Enterprise Pillar subject, then on to the Performance Pillar and finish with the Financial Pillar subject. This is because the Enterprise Pillar has a lot of foundational content and puts the Performance and Finance Pillars into context. The Performance Pillar focuses on the role and work of management accountants in their business and the Finance Pillar looks at reporting and its place in business.

Working through our 2019 syllabus in the suggested order, taking your objective tests in good time after completing each subject and being sure to book your case study exams without too much delay after completing each level, will help you succeed and meet your employability goals. This will give you the perfect foundation to develop in the workplace and hone the skills and competencies you’ve acquired through continuous professional development (CPD) and on the job experience.

Now that you’ve chosen to become a finance professional you have the chance to build a dynamic and far reaching career in business. If you have chosen to study with CIMA, which is backed by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants – ‘the unified voice of CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)’ – you’re already on your way to achieving the passport to your career and becoming a world recognised Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

As part of our commitment to power trust and opportunity, we will support you through your development as your career progresses with CPD tools and a range of free resources accessible from around the world.

To learn more about how you can keep your skills up-to-date once you’ve finished your studies visit www.cimaglobal.com/Members/

• Stephen Flatman, Vice President, Examinations, Management Accounting, The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants