About the qualification
Most accounting qualifications train people for private practice, working on external audit and tax issues. The CIMA qualification prepares people for a career in business. It teaches skills for strategic advice, managing risk and making key decisions.
Our syllabus is designed to deliver a strong understanding of all aspects of business so our students can contribute in many areas of an organisation. The syllabus focuses on business, giving you more than just accounting knowledge. You will not only be financially qualified but also professionally trained in business management, capable of advising on business strategy and risk management.
When you qualify as a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), you will join the world's largest and leading international professional body of management accountants with more than 218,000 members and students operating in 177 countries. You will become a Chartered Management Accountant and be able to use the letters ACMA (Associate of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) after your name. You will also be able to register as a Chartered Global Management Accountant, which is a joint venture between CIMA and the AICPA of the USA. (For more information about the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, visit their website at www.cimaglobal.com.)
Management accounting combines accounting, finance and management with the leading edge techniques needed to drive successful businesses.
Chartered management accountants:
- Advise managers about the financial implications of projects.
- Explain the financial consequences of business decisions.
- Formulate business strategy.
- Monitor spending and financial control.
- Conduct internal business audits.
- Explain the impact of the competitive landscape.
- Bring a high level of professionalism and integrity to business.
Management Accounting is not about recording the past, in the way that financial accounting does. Instead, management accountants focus on the future; influencing and shaping strategies to develop their business' potential. They are often involved in forecasting and budgeting, cost control, risk assessment and project management. They do not compile or audit accounts, but focus on assessing the unique business environment. It's not about number crunching.
In addition to strong accounting fundamentals, CIMA teaches strategic business and management skills:
- Analysis – they analyse information and using it to make business decisions.
- Strategy – they formulate business strategy to create wealth and shareholder value.
- Risk – they identify and manage risk.
- Planning – they apply accounting techniques to plan and budget.
- Communication – they determine what information management needs and explain the numbers to non-financial managers.
How to become a Charted Management Accountant
Stellenbosch University offers the following route to become a Chartered Management Accountant:
- BCom (Management Accounting) (3 years)
- BCom Honours (Management Accounting) (1 year)
- Qualifying examinations through CIMA
- Three years' relevant work experience at any organisation worldwide
Students studying through Stellenbosch University are exempted from some of the CIMA qualifying examinations.
Students can also enrol in the BCom Honours (Management Accounting) after studying BCom (Financial Accounting) or BAccounting, but CIMA may potentially grant fewer exemptions.
BCom (Management Accounting): Undergraduate programme
The BCom (Management Accounting) degree programme is primarily aimed at the instruction of students who intend to qualify as chartered management accountants. Exemption from certain examinations of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), with head office in London, is currently obtained by individuals who are in possession of a BCom (Management Accounting) degree from this university. (Exemptions are always at the discretion of CIMA.)
The broad objectives of the BCom (Management Accounting) degree are:
- To address the basic content of the curriculum of the chartered management accountant career, as determined by CIMA.
- To present the study material in such a way that independent, constructive and critical thinking is encouraged amongst students.
- To impress the virtues of ethics, integrity, a sense of responsibility and a positive attitude, which are necessary for a professional career upon students from the first year of study.
The formal admission requirements are available in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences yearbook (available on the website of the university).
Students who do not qualify to register for the BCom (Management Accounting) programme in terms of the formal admission requirements are allowed to change over to the programme at the end of their first year on condition that they comply with the following:
- They must be registered for a BCom course in their first year.
- All the subjects for the first year must be passed.
Students who wish to follow the above route to gain admission to the BCom (Management Accounting) program are advised to register for subjects Statistics 186 and Information Systems 188 (instead of Information Systems 112) and Information Systems 152 in their first year (if possible).
BCom Honours (Management Accounting): Postgraduate programme
The aim of the postgraduate programme is to prepare students further for a career as management accountant. The programme places a strong emphasis on skills required of top management, e.g. strategic thinking and risk management. The programme prepares students for the final examinations of CIMA.
Student in possession of a BCom (Management Accounting) or BCom (Financial Accounting) degree from Stellenbosch University can follow the BCom Honours (Management Accounting) programme if they achieved performance marks of at least 60% in Management Accounting 388 and 60% in Financial Accounting 389.
Student in possession of a BAccounting degree from Stellenbosch University can follow the BCom Honours (Management Accounting) programme if they achieved performance marks of at least 60% in Management Accounting 378 and 55% in Financial Accounting 379.
Students from other universities may also be eligible to enrol for the BCom Honours (Management Accounting) programme. Programmes that may be considered have to include at least three years Financial Accounting and minimum two years Management Accounting (which includes Strategy, Financial Management and Cost Accounting). The selection criteria of 60% for both Financial Accounting and Management Accounting would be applied. Students can contact the faculty secretary, Miss Daniels (NDaniels@sun.ac.za) to obtain an application form.
The above marks must be obtained within the two years preceding the intended year of study.
The admission requirements were set by the School of Accountancy after proper consideration of recent results achieved by students in the postgraduate programme. Consequently students are required to inter alia already show the necessary devotion in their undergraduate studies in order to become eligible for admission to the honours program.
The closing date for applications for the honours course is 31 October of the preceding year.
The abovementioned admission requirements are applied consistently. This programme is a selection programme and a limited number of students may possibly be admitted.
Information about fees for International Students
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Please refer to this document for answers to questions you may still have: Please click here for FAQs
Any further questions in relation to the BCom (Management Accounting) or BCom Honours (Management Accounting) programmes may be directed to the course rogramme leader, Mr Roelof Baard.
Tel: +27 (0)21 808 3470
Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602
Van der Sterr building, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch,