How to start
The first thing you need to do after you graduate is not to compare yourself to others. For example, if you are a graduate in the Arabic section of Faculty of Commerce, never compare yourself to a colleague from the English section, nor assume that they have better opportunities.
You must plan for your future properly and identify your preferences that you would like to work in. Also, be aware that you have to work hard and strive, as this is considered as an investment in yourself. You must be sure that God will never let you down.
In addition to the professional certificate that you will study, enhance your skills that the job market needs, because just obtaining the certificate will not guarantee you a job. You should have some skills, such as:
The first step that any graduate student should take, whether in Arabic or English section, is to strengthen their English language.
You might evaluate yourself as a fluent speaker through speaking English with your colleagues. However, you won’t be able to use it in your career, because you will deal with clients, managers and external people from other companies. Hence, you need both written and spoken excellent English skills.
So, try to take English courses, as early as you can, and through reputable institutions. If you cannot do so, you can develop yourself by watching videos on YouTube, such as Zamerican English Channel, which is a very good one that will allow you to start from scratch.
One of the very important skills that you need to work on, is presentation skill. You may be very strong in using English, but you don’t know how to speak professionally, and this will lead you to lose great opportunities.
We advise you to practice more, search for a part-time job, and going to events, so you can develop your skills to use them properly in any interview.
It is very important to be able to use Excel, because you will collect data and control it in a certain way that benefits your company. You will also use PowerPoint in financial reports.
This course consists of 24 sub-courses that discuss accounting and financial statements, how to evaluate a company, build evaluation forms from scratch and how to analyze the financial statements for the last 3 years, for example, and how to forecast for the upcoming5 years and compare it to other companies and the industry. You should deliver these ideas professionally.You can register for this course through the CFI Institute, which gives you an accredited certification of the FMVA (Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst). It costs $500, and you can ask for a financial aid to get a $200 discount.
- The first thing you need is not to mislead yourself by looking at many resources. Focus on one resource.
To practice, you can rely on many resources to be familiar with the information.
- The most two popular resources to study CMA are Hock and Gleim.
- Gleim: depends on the student having previous accounting information and requires good English skills. The book focuses on the content only and the curriculum summary.
- Hock: depends on the student being a beginner in accounting. It explains more extensively than Gleim and its English style is easy.
- Regarding the questions, Gleim is considered almost like the exam questions, but Hock has weaker questions, in addition to a book calledRetired, which is provided by the institute after paying your membership and exam fees. It is considered a strong sourcebecause it has questions from the previous exams.
- Hence, before the exam, you must be sure that you have read both Gleim’s book and Retired very well to be able to pass the exam easily.
Best ways to study
The first thing you need to have is the material to study from, a video that explains the materials and an application to translate the difficult terms that you may encounter, such as U Dictionary. Also, you must have a notebook to write down your own summary to keep an easy reference with you.
As for the language, the exam will not test your language
Most importantly, you need to be able to read and understand very well. As for the terms that you may encounter, don’t panic. You will be able to become familiar with the terms as long as you keep practicing.
The institute provides a book for glossary. It contains all the terms you may encounter, and we also provide it to you here:
Make your own timeline to study, which is not a difficult matter. Do yourself a plan for studying. However, the most difficult thing is to abide to it until the exam.
In order to make your timeline, the first thing is to know your skills, and the quantity that you will be able to study in a specific period of time.
The certification requires approximately5 months, and this depends on your understanding and your commitment.
Intend to learn more, but if your goal is to just obtain the certificate, you will find the whole idea as a bit of a burden for you
Prepare a suitable place and allocate it to study. It should be quiet and help you focus and try to switch off your mobile.
Start and watch explanation videos. Get back to the book or do your research when needed. The more you search for the information, the more you will improve your skills.
After studying the whole units, solve the questions at the end of each unit from Gleim’s book, solve the online questions in Gleim or Hock, and solve the Retired questions of previous CMA exams which is provided by the Institute. These questions are available once you pay the membership and subscription fees.
If you encountered a new idea or information, write it in your own notes.
If you answered incorrectly, it is totally fine. However, you should identify your mistakes and learn from them.
At the end of each week, write down what you accomplished during the week and mark it as done. This will motivate you to get more achievements.
While studying, always remember that God will not let you down, and that no matter how hard it is always believe that you can do it, just as others have done it before.
Revise frequently to keep the information fresh in your mind.
If you are tired of studying, it’s okay. We all have our ups and downs. However, you should pass this and get back on track. The certificate is worth it.
If you are in this stage, take a break from 2 to3 days, according to your needs, and do some activities such as sports or travelling.
And after that, get back on track step by step, and don’t pressure yourself. The important thing is that you are in control your overthinking, and do not let anything controls you and your decisions.
Don’t register for the exam, unless you finish a great part of the curriculum.
The certificate consists of two parts:
Financial reporting, planning, performance and analytics
It consists of 6 sections :
Section 1: includes external financial reports and lists, which is about 15% of the exam
It contains :
- Financial statements, evaluation and disclosure
- Balance sheet, statement of income and comprehensive income, change in equity and cash flow statement
- Comprehensive reports
- Assetsand liabilities assessment
- Equity related transactions
- Revenue recognition
- The differences betweenIFRS and GAAP
Section 2: includes planning, budgets and forecasts, and represents about 20% of the exam
It contains :
- Strategic planning and analysis related to external and internal factors that affectlong-term strategies, tasks and goals
- Aligning plans and goals
- Techniques of analysis and strategic planning
- Characteristics of a successful strategic planning process
- Budget-related concepts such as operations and its stages, and the characteristics of asuccessful budget preparation
- Prediction methods and analysis associated to regression, learning curve and expected values
- Different types of budgets, such as the main budget, projectbudget, objective budget depending on activity, zero budget, continuous and variable budget, and flexible budget
- Planning for the annual profit, which includes preparing the operational budget, the financial budget and the capital budget
- Planningand analysis by senior management
- Initial incomeand cash flow projections
Section 3: includes Performance Management that represents 20% of the exam
It contains :
- Measurement and cost difference
- Comparing actual and planned results
- Use flexible budgets to analyze performance
- How to use standard cost systems
- Standard cost pickling
- Responsibility centersand departmental reports
- Types of liability centers
- conversion cost
- The reports resulting from thedepartment performance measurement
- Performance measures and profitability analysis of business products
- Customer profitability analysis
- Return on investment
- Residual income
- Key Performance Indicators
- Balanced Scorecard
Section 4: includes Cost Management, which represents 15% of the exam
It contains :
- Cost item behavior
- Actual, regular, standard and charged costs
- Cost systems
- Variable costs and common costs
- Production ordercosts system
- Operations related to the production order costs system
- Cost system according to activities
- Fixed and variable expenses
- Industrialcost allocation base
- Distribution of costs for the services section
- Enterprise resource management and planning methods
- Analysis and management of different types of energies
- The concept ofadded value
- Activity-based cost management
- Quality costs and analyzes
Section 5: includes internal control tools, which represents 15% of the exam
It contains :
Governance and risk
This topic includes:
- Monitor risks and policies related to internal protection
- External audit
- Internal control environment
- Corporate governance
- Internal control structure and policies
- Internal controlrisks
- Control systems and safety procedures
- General control related to the accounting system
- Control over operations inside the company
- Business continuous planning
Section 6: includes Technology and Analytics, that represents 15% of the exam
It contains :
- Technology and its role in different accounting analyzes
- Accounting information technologysystems
- ERP systems
- Enterprise performance management systems
- Data governance
- Data-related procedures and policies
- The stages in which data passes(data life cycle)
- Control and protection from security holes and breaches
- The stages that the systems development process goes through
- Automated operations
- Modern applications for control and analysis within the company
- Data analysis and artificial intelligence
- Data exploration and analysis tools
- Graphic data (visual display of data)
Management Strategic Financial
It consists of 6 sections
Section 1: includes financial statement analysis, which represents 20% of the exam
It contains :
- How to perform analyzes related to various financial statements
- Various topics on financial ratios such as liquidity, activities, profitability and marketing
- Profitability-related analyzes, such as analyzes of income, revenue, cost of sales and expenses
- The effect of external operations, price changes, inflation, the extent of the effect of the resultant changes in accounting treatmentand the relationship between economic and accounting concepts of value and income
- The concept of market value, book value, fair value
Section 2: includes Corporate Finance, and it represents 20% of the exam
It contains :
- The relationship between the return and the risks arising from the activities of the organization and thetypes of risks that the organization may be exposed to
- Long-term financial management
- The interest rate structure
- Capital related costs
- Financial toolsand their role in risks
- Capital increase methods such as increase in financial institutions, leasing, shares, and profits
- Financial markets, market efficiency, and financial institutions
- Profit and repurchase policies
- Finance lease
- Working capital management and some terms related to it
- Managing various accounts such as managing cash, marketablesecurities, stocks and accounts receivable, such as debtors
- Types and management of short-term credit
- Various forms of corporate restructuring
- Mergers and acquisitions that occur between companies
- Fixed, flexible and floating exchange rates
- International trade finance
Section 3: includes analysis related to decision-making, which represents 25% of the exam
- Analyzes related to costs, profits, and draw size
- The relationship betweencost, size and profit
- Profit performance and alternative operating levels
- Analyzes related to multiple product organizations
- Overwhelmed costs, opportunity costs, and related matters
- Pricingand special production orders
- The trade-offs between manufacturing and purchasing
- Production capacityconsiderations
- Pricing, target cost , elasticity of demand, product life cycle
- Market structure
Section 4: includes Risk Management, which represents %10 of the exam
- The types of risks to which the organization is exposed
- Identifying and evaluating risks and ways to deal with them
- Risk reductionstrategies
- Risk management methods
Section 5: includes Investment decisions, which represents 10% of the exam
It contains :
- Capital budgeting processes
- Stages of preparing the capital budget
- Increased cash flows
- The concept of income tax
- Analyzing capital investment methods
- Net present value of capital
- The internal rate of return on capital
- Investment analysis methods
Section 6: includes Professional Ethics, and it represents 15% of the exam
- Business Ethics and Business Ethics
- Making ethical decisions
- Ethical considerations related to financial management and management accounting practitioners
- IMA Institute statementabout professional and ethical practices
- Accounting Fraud Triangle
- Assessing corporate ethical issues
- Organizational factors andmoral culture
- IMA Institute statement about the values and ethics ofmanagement accounting from start to practice
- Ethical leadership
- Legal compliance and responsibilityfor ethical behavior