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Студенты профессиональной квалификации CIMA

Natalia Boutieva, BAT Russia

Natalia has worked in a variety of finance roles throughout her career. Her current role, Process Improvement Manager at BAT Russia, involves global processes standardisation, budget planning and forecasting, and day-to-day project management.

Are there any challenges you have faced in your particular company or sector that CIMA has helped you with?

When I joined BAT Russia we started to implement the shared service model for finance activities. We were using completely new processes for the company and for Russia as a country, and the knowledge I gained from studying CIMA helped me to cope with the client service department restructuring project.

Why does your employer prefer that you study CIMA?

CIMA is a preferred qualification at BAT Russia because it not only focuses on accounting, tax and audit, but delivers a strong understanding of all aspects of business, teaches skills to provide strategic advice, manage risk and make key decisions. BAT encourages its finance employees to study CIMA in order to standardise the company’s finance knowledge.

How do you think getting your CIMA qualification will make you feel?

The most important thing is that I am now a competent member of our finance team and I feel confident in my knowledge and skills. CIMA enables the development of students’ core competences in order to make them genuine finance professionals. CIMA’s syllabus stretched my abilities and will allow me to have an exciting and rewarding career in finance.

Natalia achieved marks in the top three in Russia for: E3 paper in May 2011, F2 paper in November 2010, E2 and F1 papers in May 2010. She scored the highest mark in Russia for the T4 Part B case study exam across the November 2011 and May 2012 diets.

How did you find studying for the CIMA exams?

Leading up to each exam diet, I spent 5-6 days revising with a group of students from different companies. We listened to our tutor, discussed different topics, and shared our experiences. We also made sure that we balanced our studying with our work and family commitments.

Would you recommend the CIMA qualification to others?

I would like to encourage current and future students to absorb as much information as you can from CIMA. Take your chance to get an internationally recognised qualification. Always have an appetite for new knowledge, be patient and never give up! Believe me, it’s really worth it.

Ekaterina Kopteva, Eldorado LLC

Ekaterina KoptevaEkaterina joined Eldorado in 2008 as the Sales and CAPEX Financial Controller and has since been promoted twice. Now the Chief Commercial Controller, her role includes functional cost reporting and budget control, commercial sales and margin analysis and promo control, and supplier compensations accruals and cash control.

Prior to this, Ekaterina worked as the controlling manager at FM Logistic. She gained a degree in Foreign Economics and Enterprise Management at Moscow Aircraft Institute (State Technical University).

How have you helped add value to Eldorado over the years?

  • Redesigned reporting methodology for the required analytical depth and easy comprehension.
  • Improved internal FP&A processes, which resulted in 80% data processing time saving.
  • Optimised PL chart of accounts, causing a 40% reduction.
  • Developed revenue forecasting model for business at a store level.
  • Standardised investment proposal model.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

The biggest reward is to see my team motivated and satisfied because they are an essential part of the business, and to know that my support is helping the business to manage its activities in a better way.

What aspects of CIMA have been most relevant to your job?

95% of the CIMA syllabus has been relevant to my work. The most useful parts have been strategy development, M&A and change management, and IFRS principles.

Why does your employer prefer you to study CIMA?

My employer supported me in studying CIMA due to the understanding of benefits to the company, as well as my own strong motivation to develop. This was supported by the fact that both the CFO and FP&A Head are CIMA members.

Do you think CIMA skills are useful in the Russian market?

Russia is a great country with talented people, but there are limitations here in terms of rigid educational and business environments, and a lack of professional management accountants. This creates high demand for CIMA-qualified individuals. Having a well-known qualification recognised by the best employers and recruiters is the cherry on the cake!

Anna Vlasova, Gaztechleasing LLC

For over 5 years, Anna has worked for Gaztechleasing LLC, one of Russia’s leading leasing services companies. She joined as deputy head of the finance division and has since been promoted twice. Now head of the finance department, she reports directly to the CFO and manages divisions and over 30 employees.

Anna received the highest mark in Russia for the November 2011 and May 2012 exam diets in paper P3.

Career

How have you have helped add value to your company?

I successfully managed a project to purchase and lease two aircrafts (transactions amount $US 120 m) using the trust structure and escrow mechanism. I also currently manage a long-run, capital-intensive project to build and lease five oil-carriers (transactions amount $US 200 m).

Are there any challenges you have faced in your particular company or sector that CIMA has helped you with?

While studying CIMA, I have learned different project appraisal techniques, and principles and standards of project management (e.g. PMBOK). As a result, I was able to take on the role of project manager for long-run, capital-intensive projects and supervise cross-functional teams.

Studying CIMA

How did you find studying for the CIMA exams?

The first exam diet was the toughest because I sat both P1 and E1 without having any experience in costing techniques, a major part of P1. F1 and F2 were the easiest for me because of my professional knowledge.

Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another?

In my opinion, CIMA provides a thorough understanding of fundamental financial principles and also includes a variety of topics (for example, project management, business strategy, risk and control strategy, and corporate governance), which are not covered by other qualifications.

Why does your employer prefer you to study CIMA?

As soon as my senior management understood the content of the CIMA qualification, my employer agreed to finance my studies. Several managers in our company are now studying the CIMA qualification.

Dmitry Karpov, OTP Bank

Dmitry began his banking career in 1996. Over the years he has worked in a variety of roles, including Deputy Chief Accountant for Impexbank, and Financial Consultant at ICICI Bank Eurasia. Since 2006 he has worked at OTP Bank, the largest Hungarian bank and one of the largest financial groups in Eastern Europe, firstly as Chief Accountant and now Deputy CFO.

Dmitry joined CIMA via the master's gateway route, having gained an MBA following his BSc in Economics.

Are there any challenges you have faced in your sector that CIMA has helped you with?

Declining profitability in the banking business and the fact that banks compete very aggressively on fees and price dictate the need for continuous improvement. Because of this, I must ensure that my knowledge remains current and CIMA has helped me a lot with developing strategic thinking and improving skills and competencies relevant to business.

Please list a few ways you have helped add value to your company over the years. 

  • I headed a loan provisioning methodology project, which ensured further enhancement of the quality of planning, forecasting, reporting and advanced analytics delivery.
  • Several years ago the bank started an overall efficiency improvement project and I was appointed the Project Manager. The project’s goal was to streamline business functions. Through external benchmarking, organisational and cost structure reviews, as well as extensive staffing model reviews and improvement, the project ensured €9 million annual savings.

How did you find studying for the CIMA exams?

Studying CIMA is a big challenge and it is even tougher to balance this alongside work and family, but of course you do not want to put your career goals on hold! My rule is, ‘A day without a text book is a day wasted’ and this rule helped me achieve a prizewinning score of 76 in my Gateway Assessment Exam.

Would you recommend the qualification to others?

I would recommend CIMA to anyone who wants to excel in business, finance or management accounting. The profound knowledge and experience you gain through studying CIMA provide you with an excellent basis that can be built upon for years to come.

Alevtina Shevchenko, Dirol Cadbury LLC

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

My job allows me to facilitate strategic decision making which is extremely important for the company. This is all about looking to the future. For example, I was able to advise that a marketing strategy would be the most profitable approach for the business.

Please list a few accomplishments/ways you have helped add value to your company over the years.

  • I built a process for constant financial pre and post launch evaluation of the trade marketing department initiatives. This created better visibility of spends for the board and enabled them to make more informed decisions.
  • I implemented a process of margin management to understand key drivers and levers to improve overall gross margin which resulted in improvement of 440 bps.

Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another, e.g. ACCA, ICAEW and how did you hear about it?

I was not inspired by ACCA because I did not want to work in audit or be deeply involved in taxation. My colleague described CIMA to me and emphasised management as the key word. After looking through CIMA’s website, I understood that I would gain an internationally renowned qualification that enables finance people to facilitate decision making in business. In the end CIMA has created new career opportunities for me and given me a more attractive position in the job market.

How do you think getting your CIMA qualification will make you feel?

Completing the managerial and strategic levels were a great achievement for me. When I finish the full qualification it will make me feel like a true professional, as studying CIMA has enabled me to gain respect within the company. CIMA also helps me to enter a global finance professional network.

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

The main skill I have developed is gaining a better understanding of the business implications of finance calculations, and the ways in which figures support management decisions. CIMA helps to understand the motivation of business managers, how to make a stronger contribution to management meetings, ask the right questions, challenge business decisions, and optimise time and efforts of me and my team.

Студенты программы "Управление эффективностью бизнеса"

Дмитрий Славников, глава отдела аналитики и сохранения доходов в Мобильных ТелеСистемах (Белоруссия)

Дмитрий работает в МТС, крупнейшем операторе мобильной связи в Белоруссии, с 2008 года. С момента прихода в компанию он получил Диплом CIMA «Управление эффективностью бизнеса» на русском языке и сейчас проходит обучение по программе Профессиональная квалификация CIMA на английском языке.

Почему Вы решили продолжить обучение по программе CIMA получения диплом CIMA «Управление эффективностью бизнеса» на русском языке?

Я решил продолжить обучение, потому что Профессиональная Квалификация CIMA признается не только в России и странах СНГ, но и во всем мире.

Какие навыки вы приобрели или развили во время обучения по программе CIMA?

Я стал более целенаправленным и могу лучше принимать решения в неопределенных ситуациях, предлагая идеи и проводя прогнозирование. Я также углубил и систематизировал свои знания в области финансового менеджмента и управления затратами, бюджетировании и принятии решений.

Поздравляем с недавней сдачей экзаменов F1 и E1 на английском языке! Что Вы почувствовали после получения Диплома CIMA по управленческому учёту?

Я был действительно горд и повесил оба CIMA сертификата в своем офисе! Они помогают мне чувствовать уверенность в своих знаниях и демонстрировать определенный уровень профессионализма. Фактически, после своего недавнего достижения меня быстро повысили до должности главы отдела аналитики и сохранения доходов, а также для меня открылись и другие перспективные возможности.

Чувствовали ли Вы трудность при обучении по программе CIMA на английском, не будучи носителем языка?

Да, это было достаточно трудно, но я знаю, что не смогу достичь своей цели стать финансовым директором без хорошего владения английским языком. Поэтому я обучаюсь по программе CIMA не только чтобы улучшить свои знания и навыки в сфере управленческого учета и финансирования, но и чтобы практиковать и совершенствовать свой английский.

Что Вы предприняли для улучшения знания английского языка?

Я занимался с репетитором и сейчас посещаю групповые занятия на курсах бизнес английского. Мне также помогло то, что сначала я сдавал экзамен F1, основную часть которого составляют вычисления. Мой совет российским студентам – использовать учебные пособия CIMA как основу для улучшения знания бизнес английского.

Следует зайти на форум Dzmitry для общения со студентами программы CIMA…

…В связи с тем, что я абсолютно доволен выбором квалификации CIMA, я хочу, чтобы и другие люди узнали о ней, поэтому я основал forum.cima.ru. Он пользуется большой популярностью как среди русскоговорящих студентов программы CIMA, так и среди других специалистов в сфере управленческого учета.

Члены ассоциации

Alexey Minakov, Baltika Breweries (Carlsberg Group)

Alexey has worked as the director for controlling at Baltika Breweries (part of the Carlsberg Group) since 2012. Prior to this, he worked at Unilever in a number of finance business partner/management accountant roles.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your current job?

There are many great parts: contributing and driving real business decisions; being valued as a business expert, not just a number cruncher; and, as I move up the career ladder, I enjoy leading and developing a motivated and energetic team.

What initially attracted you to management accountancy?

I wanted to develop as a business person with a deep understanding of how finance functions and delivers value, rather than as a financial accountant.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and accountancy in general?

Some people think finance is dull and something that happens in the back office, which is far from reality. Finance and management accounting in particular are at the heart of business. Most business is driven by the sales and marketing functions but when coupled with solid finance support, this creates a killer combination to drive business decisions. In addition to this, basic accountancy and risk management must be in place to ensure the business survives at all.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

I felt very proud to achieve a globally recognised professional qualification in a foreign language. I have hung my membership certificate on the wall in my office! From a work perspective, being equipped with the knowledge gained from studying CIMA enables me to be more than a bean-counter but rather a finance professional, partnering and navigating the business forward.

What advice would you give to CIMA students?

Apply what you learn as soon as possible in your work as CIMA concepts are rarely limited to theory, they are very much hands-on and practical. In terms of your studying, do not get discouraged if you do not pass a paper on your first sitting. When you finally pass that tricky paper, it feels great, and at the end of the process when you become a CIMA member, this difficult time will be a distant memory.

Marcin Piotrowski ACMA, CGMA

Marcin began his career as a financial analyst at Kraft Foods in Poland. During his time there he was promoted several times, working in roles such as plant controller and project manager. He has since moved to PepsiCo and worked across Poland, the Baltics, and Russia. He is now CFO of PepsiCo’s subsidiary, Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, one of Europe's biggest dairy products companies.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

One rewarding aspect is the people I work with and seeing their professional growth, but that is a benefit for any manager. The beauty of being a management accountant specifically is the satisfaction that comes from seeing your advice lead to the success and growth of your company.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Managing a large IT project that involved the standardisation of business processes and conversion of ERP systems to one standard platform in six markets simultaneously - all within one year! I was completely out of my comfort zone but I soon realised that I could coordinate everything and achieve the required result, which felt great.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and accountancy in general?

Yes. In Russia where I currently work, people believe that a CFO is simply a cost controller rather than a business partner and someone who drives business decisions.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

Apart from my people skills, CIMA membership is the single biggest asset that I have to enable me to progress in my career. I am now convinced that there is no problem I will face at work that I could not tackle.

How do you see CPD as being of value to you in keeping your qualification relevant to the constantly changing business environment?

Continuing professional development (CPD) gives us that little edge which is needed in the world of management accounting where, if you stand still you effectively go backwards as everyone else moves ahead.

Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another?

My decision was between CIMA and ACCA. I wrote off ACCA because it seemed to be too focused on audit and I wanted to work more in mainstream business. This is why I chose CIMA.

Stas Svamin ACMA, CGMA

Stas started his career working in several different departments at Ernst & Young in Moscow. He has since relocated to Australia where he works as a business analyst for EMC Corporation, a global IT organisation.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

Becoming a CIMA member ensured that my professional skills were recognised not only in Russia and Europe, but worldwide. I am proud to be a Chartered Management Accountant and can now enjoy the benefits of a more senior and independent role.

What skills did you gain or develop through studying CIMA?

My education is primarily in applied mathematics, so studying CIMA allowed me to add a practical layer to my analytical skills. I also improved my decision making and problem solving abilities. Stas scored the highest mark in the world for one paper during the November 2007 exam diet.

How did you achieve such a high mark?

I was honoured to become a CIMA world exam prize winner and I believe it was a combination of dedicating enough time to my studies and having the ambition to excel. I was passionate about my work, read all the materials, and used all of the resources available.

Have your family and friends benefited from you having a CIMA qualification?

My family benefited from my CIMA qualification directly as it opened the door for us to relocate to Australia. It has also allowed me to advise my entrepreneurial friends and contribute to their business successes!

How has your reciprocal membership with CPA Australia helped you in your career?

CIMA is recognised in Australia, but in some corporations the CPA designation is better-known. I migrated to Australia with no job secured and no local contacts, so my reciprocal CPA membership was important in helping me to get my first role here.

How do you see CPD as being of value to you in keeping your qualification relevant to the constantly changing business environment?

I am always passionately looking for opportunities to keep up-to-date with modern trends and management accounting practices. CIMA CPD (continuing professional development) events and CIMA’s website itself are a good way to achieve this.

Vladimir Nesterov ACMA, CGMA

For three years Vladimir has worked as head of the financial controlling department at the Alshaya Group, a retail franchise operator. His role involves supervising the preparation of financial reporting and budgeting, as well as managing projects to increase the efficiency of these processes.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping the company to perform more efficiently. Management reporting is not just number crunching – it is about interpreting the figures, seeking ways to improve the way we work, and helping colleagues to understand where the bottlenecks are so that we can support the growth of the company.

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

The most important thing that CIMA teaches you is to focus your mind on what is strategically important for the business. You’ll also learn how to be more organised, goal-oriented and become more confident.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

CIMA membership is a sign of excellence. The knowledge gained through studying CIMA is relevant to all finance professionals, no matter what stage of your career you are at. It helps you to think the way that a finance professional should think by ensuring that you focus on what is strategically important for the business. When I joined the Alshaya Group, I was new to the retail industry, but I was able to understand the business and establish sound reporting and budgeting processes because of what I had learned from CIMA.

Why did you choose CIMA as your professional qualification instead of another?

CIMA first attracted me because of its strategic focus; the syllabus not only covers how to measure a company’s performance but what the strategic effectiveness of the company’s performance is. CIMA is the best qualification for ambitious finance professionals who want to progress in their careers.

Do you see CPD as being of value in keeping your qualification relevant to the constantly changing business environment?

The business environment is constantly changing and my company is growing, which makes the business more and more complicated. CPD is a great tool to ensure that you stay ahead of the changes and you can deal with the increasing complexity of the business.

Andrey Kornilov ACMA, CGMA

Andrey has worked at British American Tobacco for eight years. He joined as a management trainee, and has since worked in internal audit, regional marketing finance (providing finance support to revenue and excise management in over 80 countries), and finally operation finance, with responsibility for finance activities at three Russian factories.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

I felt glad to finish studying and very privileged to be a qualified member of CIMA. It was a big achievement in my professional career and the start of a long and fruitful co-operation with CIMA. Working in a global British company, CIMA is significantly valued and is a benchmark for finance professionals so I was glad to join this club.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

CIMA gave me a solid foundation which ensured that my finance skills were of an international standard. I joined BAT Russia as a management trainee and my CIMA achievements were highly regarded by the management and aided my successful graduation from the management trainee programme. CIMA also helped me to structure my thoughts and writing when I worked in the internal audit department. As well as that, I was able to use examples from my practical work in my exams which helped me to study. Nowadays I am a CIMA co-ordinator at BAT Russia, supporting the development of our current CIMA students.

Do you actively support your staff to study the CIMA Professional Qualification?

We strongly encourage our finance employees to obtain the CIMA qualification. All CIMA fees are covered by the company and we reward our best performing employees. BAT Russia is also a CIMA Quality Partner, which demonstrates the standard of our training and development. At the moment we have about 30 CIMA students and more than ten qualified members at BAT Russia.

How do CIMA members add value to your business?

CIMA ensures the quality of finance professionals. CIMA members are able to look at business challenges and solutions from a broader perspective, rather than just the purely financial aspects of them.

Petr Sak ACMA, CGMA

Prior to his current role, Petr worked in a variety of business and finance roles for Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd., including fixed assets accounting team leader and SAP business analyst.

Petr began studying CIMA with the support of his employer, who provided him with financial support in terms of exams, study texts, tuition and membership.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

My current job is to support the drilling department of the technical directorate with cost estimation and budgets preparation, to ensure proper cost control, and also to promote and coordinate business improvements within the directorate. The most rewarding aspects of my job are seeing the successful drilling performance within budget, and participating in board meetings where multi-million dollar business decisions are being made and contributing into these decisions.

What aspects of the CIMA learning have been most relevant and useful to your job?

For me the strategic and management level papers were very useful, as they can be applied everywhere and really helped me to develop as a manager. It is also very important that I can now speak the same language as other employees and managers in our company, or when participating in various business workshops and meetings. I am now familiar with common business terminology and tools, such as Porter’s 5 forces, PESTLE analysis, stakeholder analysis and many others. Also, the understanding of financial statements is very useful to me. Management Accounting tools helped me to develop a structured way to approach tasks, as I am often involved in various calculations.

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

CIMA helped me to develop my time management and organisation skills. While studying CIMA and sitting exams you have to properly manage your time, and it is very difficult to obtain the qualification without strong organisation skills.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

I started CIMA in 2006 and qualified in 2009. These were three years of intensive study and limited social life. So, after getting the CIMA qualification the first thing I felt was relief. At the same time, I was proud of myself for this accomplishment, as the CIMA qualification is very difficult to achieve, it has a strong reputation worldwide and is recognised in many countries. Now that I am CIMA qualified, I have many more opportunities.

Tatiana Kolodchenko ACMA, CGMA

Tatiana joined Johnson & Johnson five years ago on a graduate recruitment programme and became the Financial Controller. In 2011, she was promoted to Finance Director, and has joined the management board for the fastest growing J&J business in EMEA, with full responsibility over finance, supply chain and regulatory functions across the largest territory of Russia and CIS, as well as providing finance support to the J&J cardiology business in Eastern Europe.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

I am happy to see our efforts and investments resulting in substantial business growth. This business growth means that more people in my country are getting access to modern technological medical help.

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

I did not apply for exemptions and passed the 16 exams in four years. This approach enhances diligence, as well as efficiency with numbers and time management. These qualities are the competitive advantage for CIMA students in the working environment.

Do you actively support your staff to study the CIMA Professional Qualification?

Yes. I have initiated a company policy supporting employees to study CIMA .The company supports students with materials, study leave, exams, and preparation classes. Currently, four of my staff are studying CIMA.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

Getting the CIMA qualification was a great achievement and a significant milestone in my professional life. I was one of first students to qualify with CIMA in Russia. It represented an investment of my time and efforts that was repaid with solid knowledge as well as membership with a world class professional qualification body.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

CIMA has given me a knowledge base that I have utilised at all stages of my career. Now that CIMA has opened an office in Moscow, my membership gives me great opportunities to network with other CIMA professionals and look for potential talent among CIMA students locally.

How have your family and friends benefited from you having a CIMA qualification?

The flexibility of the CIMA distance learning method allows you to balance studying and spending time with friends and family. Upon completion of exams, the competitive advantage of having the qualification made my family proud and confident for the future.

Julia Shitkova ACMA, CGMA

Currently, Julia works for PwC Academy on various financial management training projects, including the CIMA Diploma in Performance Management in Russian. Prior to this, she worked in financial and management accounting functions at multinational FMCG companies, such as Unilever, Rothmans, and BAT.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of your roles?

It has been rewarding to work for some of the best multinational companies in the world, as CIMA and its qualifications are recognised and appreciated by them.

Please list a few ways you have helped add value to companies over the years.

• I established the management accounting function and implemented the SAP R3 at Rothmans-Nevo (later renamed in BAT-SPB). • I was responsible for implementing FI/CO modules and integrating them with material management and logistics modules.
• Controls based on SAP helped to achieve waste reductions in production materials and improved overall cost management due to better budget monitoring tools.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

The CIMA qualification opens doors to the international, professional management accounting community. It reassures you that you are carrying out management and financial activities in line with international standards. It increases your self-esteem and gives you the feeling of being one of the privileged professionals.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

As a CIMA member, I now have access to resources of professional information that enable me to update my knowledge.

Do you actively support your staff to study the CIMA Professional Qualification?

At BAT, CIMA was the most desirable qualification for employees in the finance function. I was always happy to inspire and support our employees in their CIMA studies. At PwC Academy, any employee can study the CIMA Diploma in Performance Management in Russian.

In one sentence, please describe how CIMA members add value to your business.

CIMA members set a good example for successful management and profound business expertise.

Svitlana Zasukhina, ACMA

Svitlana Zasukhina has been teaching the CIMA Diploma in Performance Management in Russian since August 2011. Prior to this, she had a variety of roles, including: head of financial and investment analysis division at a professional consulting and brokerage firm, and a specialist in accounting and analysis for a company that designed and produced computers.

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

The most important thing for me is that I became more confident when solving problems in my work, even in a completely new situation. From studying CIMA, I have obtained a solid knowledge base for decision making and problem solving, so I will not be afraid of any innovation or changes within the company.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my current job is communicating with my students. After each CIMA session I track the number of successful results amongst my students and I feel a strong correlation between my contribution and their results.

Do you think your family and friends have benefited from you having a CIMA qualification?

My parents and friends are proud that I achieved my CIMA membership. Whilst studying CIMA, I also met new friends in my own country, and also other countries, whom I met via CIMASphere. I discovered that CIMA is not only a professional qualification, but it is also a community of interesting people. I can say with confidence that CIMA brings together people with high professional ambitions, not ordinary people.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

The most apparent benefit is that, thanks to my CIMA membership, I now have the job that I wanted for a long time. I also know that my current employer appreciates and respects my CIMA membership.

Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another?

The first time I heard about CIMA was at a presentation at a business institute in Kyiv. I liked the structure and content of CIMA syllabus. At that time I was planning to change my job and move from management consulting to work within a production company, so I was looking for a professional qualification that would complement that. ACCA was not suitable for me as I decided that it was more useful for financial roles (auditors, consultants, etc.).

Yuri Gliantsev, ACMA

For the past eight years, Yuri has worked for Heineken Russia in various roles within the finance department, including financial shared service centre integration manager, investment projects controller, and financial analyst. In March 2010, he became the manager of finance operations.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

There is a great deal of trust placed in me from the top of the organisation, and I get a sense of empowerment from the projects and activities that I am responsible for. I enjoy the strong leadership culture, working with a great team, and the wide range of career opportunities in my company.

Please list a few ways you have helped add value to your company.

 

  • I set the new centralised credit control function in Heineken Russia.
  • I developed the Russian financial shared service centre.
  • I implemented a new ERP system (SAP) at all Heineken breweries in Russia.

 

How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?

I feel very proud of this achievement; it has helped me to develop a ‘helicopter view’ on business processes and improve my leadership skills.

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

I now have a deeper understanding of finance and accounting, as well as the link between the company’s activities and its finance implications, and how to manage a business from a finance prospective. I am much more skilled in making decisions that will support the operations of the business.

Do you think your family and friends have benefited from you having a CIMA qualification?

My family was very proud of me when I completed the CIMA qualification and my career prospects are of great benefit to them. Since completing CIMA, I can also spend more time with my family and friends, which is nice!

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

It has given me a lot of confidence and increased my business understanding. The knowledge and skills I have developed whilst studying CIMA allow me to successfully manage my current work and projects, as well as any new task set for me.

Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another, e.g. ACCA, ICAEW?

The CFO at Heineken Russia (who is an FCMA) suggested CIMA to me as the most professional and relevant qualification for the business finance.

Stanislav Amyaga

Early career

After graduating from Russian Plekhanov Academy of Economics in 2003, I began a management trainee programme with a large multinational FMCG company: British American Tobacco Russia. It attracted me for two reasons: firstly, there were opportunities to achieve fast-track development progression in the form of sound practical financial experience. Secondly, they offered to provide full support for studying the CIMA qualification, which I realised would be beneficial because it would enhance my career prospects as a professional able to work internationally.

What are your experiences of studying for CIMA?

It was a real challenge for me to work and study at the same time; twice a year for several months I had to significantly adapt my lifestyle so that I could allocate enough time for thorough exam preparation. The level of study support provided by BAT Russia was extremely helpful; the study package included books, courses, mock exams and study leave, which allowed me to progress smoothly through the qualification papers. As I progressed, BAT moved me into the areas of business or onto projects that were relevant to the papers I was doing at that time. This allowed me to mix real life experiences with the theory I was learning through CIMA.

How has the CIMA qualification helped you?

It is fair to say that the CIMA qualification is as rewarding an experience as it is challenging. Immediately after passing my foundation level papers I started to realise the practical applicability of the techniques, analyses and theories. After studying my managerial level papers, the world of numbers and financial strategies started to fall into place. The balance of management theories and practical cases in the strategic level of CIMA helped because it allowed me to speak the same language as the members of BAT Russia’s top financial team.

Once I started applying my theoretical knowledge to my day-to-day work, my efforts were recognised by my colleagues and my employer. In the meantime, my career with BAT has progressed; on top of my regular duties, I am now becoming more responsible for the professional development of others. I would highly encourage those considering a professional accountancy qualification to choose CIMA as the best way to gain the finest financial and managerial expertise and become recognised as an expert in business.

Alexander Balandin, ACMA

Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another, e.g. ACCA, ICAEW and how did you hear about it?

I had no doubts about CIMA as I was in the role of finance director and was specialising in management accounting. As CIMA has a deep focus on management accounting , it was clearly the best choice for me.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

It has enabled me to think strategically. In fact, I was offered my current job thanks to skills acquired through studying CIMA , in particular, development of comprehensive business forecasts.

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

CIMA allows its students to learn theoretical techniques and then apply them in practice. For example, since studying CIMA , I have been able to use ABC, zero-based budgeting, Porter’s 5-forces model, and project management . Other important skills I have developed are: prioritisation, problem solving skills, systematisation of professional knowledge and recovery of gaps. I have also improved on my efficiency in managing information, and presentation skills. How do CIMA members add value to your business? CIMA members provide the competitive advantage to an organisation . They are high calibre specialists focused on increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.

Please list a few accomplishments/ways you have helped add value to your company over the years.

  • In my current workplace I developed a business plan that helped a company to negotiate sound conditions in a franchising agreement , which equalled more than 20% discount to actual prices.
  • When i worked at Dyatkovo, a furniture producer, I directed a reorganisation of the management team, which resulted in reducing overheads by 30% from previous year.
  • During 2007-2008 I played a key role in the acquisition of sports retail chains. I carried out business valuation, conducted negotiations with shareholders of the target company and reduced the purchase price by 10%.

Valery E, ACMA

Please provide a quick CV of job roles you have held and companies you have worked for over the years.

From 1998-2005 I worked as an Accounts Payable Coordinator for Exxon Neftegas Limited. I was responsible for making on-time payments, rate verification of invoices and SAP implementation. In 2005 I joined the NRG Group Ltd as a Deputy Financial Director; I prepared financial reports, and was responsible for treasury maintenance and control, as well as fixed assets maintenance. In 2007 I became Financial Director, and my job role now involves financial reporting to the Board of Directors, participation in Board of Directors meetings, communications with banks and implementing the ERP system (MS Axapta).

What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?

Preparing financial reports, including consolidation of accounts; ratio analysis; variance analysis; project management; project evaluation; managerial skills (organisational structure, hiring people, communication skills); and presenting reports to the Board of Directors.

Please list a few ways you have helped add value to your company over the years.

 

  • There are three accomplishments which I am particularly proud of:
  • I suggested a list of ratios that would be useful in analysing financial reports. Now we calculate and discuss only these few key ratios.
  • I set up and implemented a budgeting process (forecast balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, ratios).
  • I developed separate financial reports for each business segment in a format close to IFRS. Before this there were no separate reports. 

 


In one sentence, please describe how CIMA members add value to your business.

They create and implement correct fundamental principles of doing and evaluating business, which enables shareholders’ capital to increase over the years.

How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?

It has allowed me to accomplish many different tasks and projects. It was because of my CIMA qualification that the shareholders offered me the position of Financial Director. Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification instead of another? I was choosing between studying CIMA or a Russian MBA. A colleague at Exxon told me that CIMA is recognised worldwide as a global standard, whereas a Russian MBA is known in Russia only.

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