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Syllabus Launch South Africa

Technology. Finance. Learning. We’re a profession that’s grappling with change. On the one hand, finance professionals need to tackle today’s business challenges; on the other, they need to position themselves and their business for a big leap into the digital age. The finance function needs people who can help them see their digital transformation through – someone like you.

To ensure that what you’re learning today, will help you meet tomorrow’s challenges, we’ve updated the CIMA® Professional Qualification based on the findings of our extensive and rigorous Future of Finance research. We consulted with over 5,500 finance professionals from over 2,000 private and public organisations in 150 countries over 18 months to better understand the management accounting community’s needs in a digital world and prepare the profession for the future.

The launch of the updated CIMA® Professional Qualification was held on 4 February at GIBS Business School in Johannesburg and featured presentations by Dr Noel Tagoe, EVP – Management Accounting, Research and Curricula and Shane Balzan, Senior Director, Curriculum Development — Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the unified voice of CIMA® and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). 

During his presentation, Dr Tagoe explored the drivers of change, such as artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, which are fuelling the rapid pace at which the finance function is evolving and require finance professionals to develop new skills and competencies to remain employable and become value creators in the digital business world.


From left: Dr Sara Bux, Dr Noel Tagoe and Shane Balzan

New age skills

We spoke to Dr Tagoe, Mr Balzan, and CIMA® Africa Acting RVP Dr Sara Bux, who explained how the updated CIMA® Professional Qualification will equip students with the skills and competencies that they need to succeed now and in the future.

Referring to the updated CGMA® Competency Framework, Dr Tagoe said:

“Finance people will still need to be able to perform day-to-day accounting tasks,” he said. “They will still require a core technical skillset and must be able to use it efficiently in a business context. But they  will also be required to sharpen their people skills and leadership skills. And perhaps most importantly, they will need to master what we call ‘digital skills’ because we now live in a rapidly digital world.”

Digital disruption is the new norm, and finance professionals must master new skills such as data analytics, cyber risk management and business models, and adopt a growth mindset if they want to succeed in an ever-changing finance function. 

Implications for Africa

Finance is changing all over the world, and Africa is no exception. “These phenomena are definitely impacting Africa,” Dr Bux said. “When it comes to new skills and a growth mindset, I think Africa is probably a late adopter. Nevertheless, Africa has the potential to learn and evolve quickly.”    

How will we help students and members meet this challenge?

“The Association wants to ensure that its most important assets, the CIMA® Professional Qualification and CPD resources, remain relevant today and in the future,” said Shane Balzan. “We need to continuously update them to ensure our students and members remain ahead of the curve, and we can only do that with relevant research.” 

Updated learning resources

With this goal in mind and using our research findings, our experts have updated the professional qualification, the CGMA® Competency Framework, and launched a free Digital Mindset professional development course for paid up members to enhance digital competencies and skills. 

“Our goal is to give members and students the tools and resources they need to thrive in this digital age,” said Dr Tagoe. 

  • The updated CIMA® Professional Qualification focuses extensively on digital finance to deliver finance professionals who can harness the full power of technology and data to create and add organisational value while supporting businesses to mitigate new risks, including cybersecurity threats. 
  • The updated CGMA® Competency Framework adds and incorporates the new area of digital skills to the four core existing knowledge areas of technical, business, leadership and people skills. 
  • The Digital Mindset professional development course enhances competencies and skills through a free CPD Bundle based on automation, blockchain, cybersecurity, data analytics, and ethics. 

CIMA® 2019 Professional Qualification transition tool

If you’re a current student, you can start planning a seamless transition and get personalized advice through our online transition tool

Find a wealth of knowledge at the CGMA®Store

The CGMA®Store is packed with courses, webcasts and e-resources, including our new Digital Mindset Pack (2019), to equip you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to go beyond boundaries!