CMA Syllabus

Topic 6: Promotion: Push Strategy and Human Resource Management

Here the principal ways of communicating with the market, referred to collectively as the “promotional mix” are overviewed. The objective of this mix is to make a sale, either by “pulling” customers towards the product (using advertising) or by “pushing” the product to the customer (using personal selling). It is shown that the management accountant has a significant role “push strategy”, especially in the human resource management areas of controlling field sales operations and evaluating sales force performance.

Topic 7: Promotion: Pull Strategy and Integrated Marketing Communication

This topic continues with the discussion on promotion, and specifically looks at “pull strategy” and integrated marketing communication (IMC) with its heavy reliance on advertising; especially via digital marketing platforms. It is demonstrated that the management accountant has a significant role in formulating advertising budgets, especially using specific budget models, and in the difficult areas of controlling advertising outlays and evaluating advertising effectiveness.

Topic 8: Supply Chain Management and the Place-Distribution Decision

This topic considers the last “P” of the 4-P’s of marketing; i.e. place (or physical distribution). It is shown that the control of the supply-chain distribution function involves a “trade-off” between maximizing customer service and minimizing distribution costs, and that the management accountant has a significant role to play in achieving this balance. The tools and techniques of distribution cost analysis and control that are used in providing customers value and maintaining efficient cost management in the digital world are highlighted in this topic.

Topic 9: Performance Valuation and Strategic Financial Structures

This topic introduces Business Performance Measures and provides a link as to how these measures are interrelated with the capital structure of the firm. The impact of financial structure on planning performance evaluation is considered, specifically the relative measures (ratios) used in financial statement analysis. Investment and Financing issues are separated; and capital structure and its role in obtaining an appropriate discount rate for capital projects is particularly considered. The topic also covers the more recent approaches to project and corporate funding such as venture capital and crowdfunding.

Topic 10: Strategic Value Analysis

This topic overview the different approaches to ‘value investing’; and introduces the concept of Strategic Value Analysis. The topic compares this concept to the more traditional concept of net present value; and demonstrates the impact of ‘free-cash flows’ on operational value, business value, and shareholder value. It is demonstrated that the concepts of ‘value’ and ‘strategic value’ can be quantified for planning purposes, and in valuing companies.

Topic 11: Risk Management – Corporate Radar and Early Warning Systems

Here the concept of risk; and the approaches to risk management using short-term (weekly) and long-term (annual) corporate radar systems are considered, in order to determine the health of a business organization. Popular bankruptcy prediction models (such as Z-scores) and their reliability and relevance in the 2000s are specifically considered.

Topic 12: Strategic Scorecards

This topic focuses on corporate success, and the role of non-financial indicators in measuring and controlling this success. The importance of monitoring both the internal and external environment is highlighted, especially in terms of a firm’s ‘critical success factors’. The strategic consequences of having intangible assets such as Brands and Human Capital on strategic scorecards is also considered. Finally, a strategic scorecard that recognizes the seven underlying principles of ‘sustainable value creation’ in the design and marketing of products and services is highlighted.