CIMA SCS May 2019: Denby Healthcare

Denby

The CIMA SCS pre-seen materials were released last week for the May SCS exam, it’s based around a healthcare company called “Denby Healthcare” – you can find the official pre-seen materials from CIMA here.

SCS Astranti May 2019 Course

The full SCS course from Astranti is really packed full of resources.

Complete pre-seen pack (pre-seen, strategic, industry analysis and top 10 issues)

  • 3 x Full tuition videos
  • 2 x Study texts
  • 2 x Live Masterclasses (the keys to passing and revision masterclass)
  • 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Nov 18 scenario)
  • Detailed marking and feedback
  • Ethics Pack
  • Pass Guarantee

Here is an hours preview video of the Astranti pre-seen analysis to whet your appetite.

Pre-Seen Analysis: Denby Healthcare

Insight

I’ve gone through the pre-seen analysis a couple of times and found a few interesting areas that caught my eye;

Overseas Revenue

overseas

There wasn’t a huge amount of significance in the P&L and Balance Sheet of Denby or their competitors but the analysis of the Overseas revenue did catch my eye.

It dropped from 145m to 103m in 2018 and this is a concern, given that equates to a 30% drop in revenue in that segment.

There is also a link or indicator as to how to combat this decline in revenue.

The Keeland Daily News article mentions a football player who flew to Cornopia to have specialist care that was not available.

“The club’s doctor had recommended the hospital because it could offer specialist care that was not available in Keeland.”

Denby should start looking towards specialist care that is not available in other areas to increase their own overseas revenue. Identifying other regions weaknesses when it comes to private medical care could prove a lucrative avenue of income.

Staffing

It’s mentioned a few times in the pre-seen analysis, staffing is a Critical Success Factor for Denby Healthcare and need to ensure they keep their best staff and attract the best in the medical profession.

“Staffing is most important element of patient care”

And this isn’t just restricted to the head doctors or surgeons but the pre-seen emphasizes the importance of staff at levels. Which makes sense for a private hospital. The competition is fierce so any added extra value that can be given to the patient will have an impact on the reputation of the hospital.

However, there is some reassurance that this recognized and actions are in place to help mitigate those risks.

2019-04-12 14_06_04-Start

There is also an opportunity here for Denby to take advantage of the increase in applications for Nurisng Degree’s mentioned in the news article at the end of the pre-seen.

Denby should be thinking of working alongside the tuition providers to provide a stream of qualified nurses straight into Denby before a competitor private hospital does.

Share Price Plummet

shareprice

The share price drop in the last six months will be a major concern to shareholders and will need to be addressed.

The share price in November 2018 was around K$4 but now it’s closer to K$2 – what has caused the share price to drop so dramatically?

The geared and ungeared beta’s are both below 1.0 so the market sees a below average risk with Denby Healthcare, so what has caused the markets to react the way they have?

Furthermore, there will be increased scrutiny from the shareholders as there is a widespread shareholding that will need to be re-assured the company is heading the right direction and plans are afoot to increase the share price in the coming months and years.

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How I passed the CIMA F3 exam!

F3

Well, it was a welcome surprise to read the magic PASS word on the piece of paper handed to me by the Pearson Vue member of staff. There is always that awkward sense of nervousness when hitting FINISH button on the CIMA objective test.

A deep breathe and then greeted with a piece of folded paper.

PASS. F3 CIMA Financial Strategy.

Phew.

Well, it’s been almost a week and I’ve had time to reflect and these are my thoughts on the 103 score that greeted me when logging into myCIMA in the following 48 hours.

Objective Test Strategy

I’ve said it time and time again, you need a time management strategy to pass these CIMA objective tests. Here is mine (and many others);

  • Tackle the “easier” shorter questions first, use around 10-15 minutes to answer the shorter obvious questions to build confidence.
  • Now you will have some momentum to answer the longer questions.
  • READ THE REQUIREMENT FIRST – don’t waste time reading the long scenario to only arrive at the question/requirement to then have to re-read through the whole thing again. Once you know what is being asked you can focus your attention when reading the scenario for the first time not the second time.
  • Flag the horrible questions you’re not sure on. Come back to them at the end.
  • Don’t spend longer than 3 minutes on a tough one.
  • Don’t overthink.
  • Relax.

Don’t memorise the formulas

When preparing for the F3 exam, I did find myself getting caught up in memorizing the formulas. THERE IS NO NEED!!! 90% of all of the formulas are given to you in the exam.

Instead, spend your time practicing long form questions and thinking about the theory behind the numbers.

Practice by answering questions that require you to the use the formulas in different situations.

It’ll help you pass the exam and give you a more rounded base of knowledge. F-papers are not purely numbers based at all, you need to know what the ratios mean and the conclusions they generate.

You’ll never feel ready

I’ll admit, I felt completely NOT READY for the F3 exam due to the month break I had in my study. I didn’t even look at my books for a month, even more.

So when I picked them up again my confidence felt really low.

But I continued with my study and practice questions.

Anyhow, pre-exam nerves will always kick in. It’s rare for anyone to walk into a CIMA exam brimming with confidence. It’s just not natural.

But if you’ve put the hours in beforehand and covered the materials and mock exams. You’ll be in the best possible shape.

Test Yourself (at every step/chapter)

It’s easy to fall into the trap of reading study materials, making notes and nodding to yourself that you understand what the syllabus.

But you really need to test yourself with questions. Short ones, long ones, multiple choice ones and “any you can lay your hands on” ones.

Don’t be dispirited by getting them wrong or poor scores, it’s best to get that in your preparation rather than the real thing.

Identify your weaknesses

In the week before you exam, you should really be working on your weak areas.

Don’t take the easy path and re-read notes you are comfortable with. It’ll pay off to tackle the hard areas.

CIMA MCS May 2019: Jord Homes

MCSMay

CIMA released the pre-seen materials for the May 2019 MCS exam last week, you can find the official document from CIMA here.

CIMA MCS May 2019: Jord Homes Astranti Course

The May 2019 MCS Course from Astranti comes with a PASS GUARANTEE.

I used Astranti to pass my MCS exam first time last year, you can read about how I passed the MCS Norton exam here.

Here is what you can expect from Astranti with the Jord Homes MCS Course;

  • Complete pre-seen pack of videos
  • 3 x Full tuition videos
  • 2 x Study texts
  • 2 x Live Masterclasses
  • 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Jord Homes case study)
  • Detailed marking and feedback
  • Ethics Pack
  • Pass Guarantee

To give you an insight into the pre-seen videos pack, here is over an hour on the pre-seen materials analysis on Jord Homes.

Insight

Pre-Seen Materials Analysis

I’ve had a run through the pre-seen materials for the May 2019 MCS Jord Homes scenario and have identified the following key information and focus areas for your exam next month;

Room for Growth

The below quote from the pre-seen materials is a clear indication there is room to expand operations into Asia and Latin America.

Developing countries within Asia and Latin America have large and growing population bases and rising disposable income, presenting a huge opportunity for the global prefabricated housing industry.

Shareholder Pressure

Jord Homes is 40% owned by instituational shareholders, while this investment is welcome it also comes with extra demands. The pre-seen tells us that they are questioning the current strategy of Jord Homes.

The Larsson family has a policy of maintaining the current production levels to continue to position Jord houses as rare and exclusive products. However, in the last year, this policy has been questioned by some institutional shareholders, who have suggested it is time to grow the business.

Local Trends

This also ties in with the above point, the shareholders are questioning Jord Homes strategy of being a high end, bespoke luxury company. It has served them well in the their current market but trends in Corvola are changing and it’s not only the customers demands that pose a threat but also the introduction of rival competitors.

However, in the last 5 years, due to demographic changes, Corvola has experienced a shortage in affordable housing, particularly in its main cities. During this time, several new prefabricated house building businesses have been set up in Corvola to address this need.

Financials – no big indicators?

I’ve run through the P&L  and SOFP and there isn’t much there to get your teeth into. No big outliers, the margins have remained constant over the last 12 months as you can see from this P&L analysis below.

Fin.png

The Statement of Financial Position is much the same, nothing screams at you. Although there are a couple of subtle indicators here;

  • Cash in the bank has gone up 10,000 (17,010 to 26,480)
  • There is no long term debt on the balance sheet

This suggests, to me, that there is plenty of money or sources of finance available to invest in the business.

I hope this has given you a few pointers with your MCS exam preparation.

Also, there is a 35 minute Q&A session with a CIMA qualified tutor on the upcoming MCS exam.

Good Luck!

CIMA OCS May 2019: VitaMine

VitaMine

The pre-seen materials for the May 2019 OCS were released some days ago, you can find the official document from CIMA here.

*please note this blog post has been updated 3rd April to include a 33 minute video of a Q&A session on this case study! Can be found at the bottom of this post.

May 2019 OCS: VitaMine Astranti Course

I’ve used Astranti to great effect when passing the OCS and MCS CIMA exams, below is a an idea of the pre-seen videos for the VitaMine case study.

The full Astranti OCS course comes with a pass guarantee too!

  • Complete pre-seen pack (pre-seen, strategic, industry analysis and top 10 issues)
  • 3 x Full tuition videos
  • 2 x Study text
  • 2 x Live Masterclasses (the keys to passing and revision masterclass)
  • 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Nov 18 scenario)
  • Detailed marking and feedback
  • Ethics Pack
  • Pass Guarantee

SWOT Analysis – VitaMine

I’m aware the blog posts for the case studies need a fresh idea, so I’ve decided to run through the pre-seen materials in more detail and draw up my own SWOT analysis.

As the OCS will be your first taste of a CIMA case study, you may be wondering where and how to start your work?

Well, a SWOT analysis of VitaMine should be your first task.

Insight

STRENGTHS

Strong Reputation of Excellent Quality

Right from the outset, the pre-seen materials tell us that VitaMine have a strong reputation in the industry, which is a key reason why they have grown rapidly over the last three years – revenue has doubled from 16,662 to 31,884 in that period.

VitaMine’s reputation will not only serve them well when generating sales, but it will also benefit them in the hunt for the best talent when looking to increase the workforce.

Board of Directors

All four of the board of directors hold an equal share in VitaMine and all have an excellent profile for a growing company in a thriving industry. They will all be pulling in the same direction and have a good mixture of experience and skills.

WEAKNESSES

HR and Staffing

It is mentioned various times in the pre-seen materials that VitaMine are facing challenges with their staff and putting in place their infrastructure. Although this is a not a criticism of how the company is managed and led but more a consequence of the rapid growth

“It has been recognised that there is a need to build new processes for human resource management to ensure the well-being of both existing and new staff”

I’d imagine there would be a question on HR management in the exam given what we know in the pre-seen materials – of course this is just my opinion!

Finance

The Finance department appears to be well run but I’d imagine there is a need for a freshen up with staff and modernizing how the department is run. The pre-seen materials tell us the finance department has barely changed since 2002.

I’d also question whether annual incremental budgeting is the right approach for the business – at least VitaMine should be using forecast data on a monthly/quarterly basis – and I’d suggest given functional managers some responsibility in the finances of their department rather than leaving the onus on the directors for the annual budgets.

OPPORTUNITIES

Digital Marketing

You might be exhausted by the time you reach page 22 of the 23 pre-seen materials, but there is a nugget of pure gold on the press article from “Your Health Monthly”

“A recent study revealed that growth in health related product sales is often driven by internet orders. We should add though that our favourite search engines might not point us to the best products, just those companies most willing to spend on digital marketing.”

Meanwhile, the pre-seen materials (future outlook) also point to the fact internet sales have experienced significant growth over the last decade.

If I was sitting this exam in May I would definitely be reading up on how digital marketing can apply to VitaMine and the benefits it will bring.

Tighter Regulations

I was tempted to put this under threats, but after careful consideration I believe it can be better used as an opportunity. Eastland government is expected to tighten regulations around manufacturing and product safety.

But if VitaMine can react quickly to this and work with the local government and ensure they are the market leaders when it comes to using the right vitamins and ensuring the packaging is clear and compliant with any new legislation then it can only enhance VitaMine’s reputation and bottom line.

THREATS

The Real Benefits of Vitamins?

The press article at the end of the pre-seen from “Health Food Weekly” is a kick in the teeth to VitaMine. Hock Tan from the National Health Institute is quoted as saying;

“Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided”

Such negative press on the industry will have an impact on consumer confidence. How does VitaMine combat this?

They will need to turn on the PR taps and prove their products are well the customers hard earned money.

Rival Companies

The vitamin, mineral and supplements industry has a wide range of manufactures according to page 12 of the pre-seen materials.

“The leading manufacturer maintains only 7 per cent market share of total sales value to end-consumers. The top five branded manufacturers together hold less than 25 per cent market share”

And with that consumers seem to have a lack of loyalty to any one brand. This means that VitaMine will need to work extra hard to keep their current customers happy and reach new ones.

Hopefully my SWOT analysis above has given you a kick start in the right direction for your preparation for the May OCS exam. Meanwhile, the Astranti video below on the pre-seen analysis should really add some more depth to your notes.

Good Luck with your OCS Studies!

May OCS 2019 Astranti Tutor Q&A

Below is a bonus video I found from Astranti, 33 minutes of Q&A session between students taking the VitaMine case study and a Astranti tutor.

Well worth a watch!

CIMA Strategic Level: A few thoughts…

Insight

It’s been a quiet few weeks for me on the blog.

This was due to a killer workload during December and year end. Those that follow me on twitter would have seen a few accounting situations that I found myself in!

It seems the busy time at work is over, well, for now, so I have decided to focus again on my CIMA studies and the F3 Financial Strategy paper.

I’ve been studying for at least 90 minutes everyday for last few weeks and will attempt the F3 exam early March, but it feels right to reflect a little bit and share my own observations and experiences with the CIMA strategic level so far.

Motivation

I definitely have more motivation to study CIMA these days, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel with just 3 exams left to pass.

I just want to get F3, E3 and the SCS done and dusted.

I felt I was drifting a bit with the F2 and P2 papers on management level, so a word of advice for students still on Management level, keep going! You’re almost at that final level and believe me it’s not as hard as you think (for reasons I will explain).

Confidence

I feel more comfortable now on Strategic level, I know the syllabus, the exam format and the base I have given myself with the CIMA Operational and Management level fills me with confidence that I can complete the strategic level sooner rather than later.

I used to doubt myself when faced with tough areas i.e. the F2 exam preparation was horrible when I look back, I felt areas like WACC were going to be beyond me. But I passed the exam (eventually)… so I know I can get through it if I apply myself and put the hours of work in.

I have confidence in the exams too.

We all know the CIMA objective tests now like the back of our hand, I have strategies for the exams and I’m ready to hit the ground running.

Overlap

So far in my F3 studies I haven’t felt too much connection with the F1 and F2 papers, in fact the CIMA P3 paper has felt closer in terms of the syllabus.

Which is a good thing for strategic level students – having passed P3 a couple of months back – it’s helped with approaching the CIMA F3 subjects of equity financing and beta factors, for example.

There has been a definite overlap between the P3 and F3 papers, which can only be a good thing!

Real Life Situations

Another bonus I have found while studying for P3 and F3 exams is the fact I can relate to it more, there are more examples of the syllabus content playing out in front of us.

Whether it’s from Corporate Governance situations (see the Patisserie Valerie accounting scandal) or share issues and understanding why Royal Mail shares have dropped 11%.

It feels more tangible than applying the Learning Curve from P2 or other areas of costing that seem to be obsolete unless you work in a manufacturing environment!

So don’t let the strategic level seem like a insurmountable challenge, you might find it “easier” than tackling the management level.

All in all, I might look back at his blog post in a few months time when I attempting my 5th resit of the F3 paper and laugh. And think what the hell was I on about..

But at the moment, I can feel the momentum is building towards a big strategic level finish for myself.

Here’s hoping I can crack the F3 paper at the first attempt. If not, I will bring my sleeping bag and camp outside the Pearson VUE centre until it’s passed!

Good Luck to all CIMA students out there in 2019!

CIMA Case Study: Pre-Seen Analysis

Insight

The pre-seen analysis is the starting point of your exam preparation for the February case studies, you’ve had a month or so since they were released by CIMA but I’m sure the Christmas and New Year put your studies on hold somewhat.

Here are my tips on how to approach the pre-seen materials;

Read Through Pre-Seen and Make Notes

The obvious starting point is to read through the official pre-seen document from CIMA page by page and annotate the document. Making brief notes and highlighting the key information, doesn’t matter if it looks messy, it should be a brainstorming session.

Make a SWOT Analysis

Now you have an idea on the company and background of the case study, a SWOT analysis will help you understand the strengths, weaknesses and identify the possible examinable areas.

  • Are there low barriers to entry to the market?
  • Is there sufficient marketing?
  • Are the board of directors operating effectively?
  • Is there a potential audit or compliance risk?

Read Through Your Notes Again!

You should read the pre-seen materials and dozen or so times, each time you will either pickup new information or cement your knowledge of the materials.

Use your time wisely, read your notes on the train to work, in the doctors waiting room… there is no excuse for not finding the time to study!

Use a Mix of Resources and Videos

Watch the pre-seen materials and videos available online, visit CIMA student forums or with your tuition provider. Gauge the opinion of others on the pre-seen materials, use your colleagues as a sounding board.

Don’t just confine yourself to the 16 page document from CIMA – there is a wealth of information and informed opinion out there that could help you – find it!

Make Final Summary Notes

Use just one sheet of A4 paper and use both sides.

Summarise the key points from the pre-seen materials on both sides, make notes on the key financial numbers you will refer to in the exam. 

The idea of this A4 paper is your final revision notes on the pre-seen before you tackle the mock exams.

CIMA Feb 2019 OCS: Trigg Adventure

If you are struggling for motivation of feel your pre-seen analysis has been aimless so far, then watch the Astranti video below on Trigg Adventure, over an hours discussion on the pre-seen – invaluable!

You can find the full videos on the February OCS exam here.

CIMA Feb MCS 2019: Crowncare

The upcoming CIMA MCS exam is based around a company called Crowncare, likewise if MCS students are finding the pre-seen materials a minefield to work through and want some reassurance they are on the right path, then this video below from Astranti will go someway into making sure you’re exam ready.

You can find the full videos on the February MCS exam here.

CIMA Feb SCS 2019: Vita

Astranti have also covered their pre-seen analysis of the February SCS exam – Vita. 53 minutes packed full of useful information which should complement your notes already made on the Vita case study pre-seen.

You can find the full videos on the February SCS exam here.

CIMA Official Pre-Seen Materials: Feb 2019

You can find the official pre-seen materials for the upcoming case study exams below;

Good Luck and Happy Studying!

CIMA SCS Feb 2019: Vita

SCS Feb19

Picking up the Easy Marks

Sitting a strategic case study exam must be a daunting prospect as it’s the final exam inn your CIMA journey. And I’d imagine there is a tendency to focus on the technical knowledge and pre-seen materials with all your efforts.

Nevertheless, you mustn’t neglect the basics in the SCS exam and pick up the easy marks and tick the boxes the examiner is looking for.

Below is a reminder of the fundamentals of scoring a good mark in a CIMA case study exam:

  • Write in 4-5 line paragraphs.
  • Use headings in your answers.
  • Use the correct formats in your answers i.e. Email replies, report writing.
  • Don’t forget to give a balanced answer – link the pre-seen, unseen, ethics and draw conclusions.

Here is a guide on writing a business email in the CIMA case study exam that was featured in the CIMA Velocity magazine.

SCS Masterclasses

Now we’ve thought about the basics in the SCS exam, let’s consider the real content you’ll be facing on exam day in February 2019.

The Astranti SCS Masterclasses are split into two, the first class is 6-7 hours and will cover the keys to passing the exam, answer planning, key pre-seen analysis and theory to be applied.

While the second class is held the weekend before the February 2019 exam and is a full revision on the Feb 2019 case study scenario.

The perfect way to consolidate your knowledge and gain tutor support before the exam.

PER: CIMA Practical Experience Requirements

2018-04-24 10_54_55-Updated-PER-guidance16pp.pdf

A reminder that students facing the SCS exam should already be on their way to fulfilling and completing the PER requirements.

If you’re not familiar with the process then I suggest to read this from the official CIMA site.

I also wrote a blog article on here on the CIMA PER.

SCS Astranti Feb 2019 Course

SCSFeb19 NOW

The full SCS course from Astranti is really packed full of resources.

  • Complete pre-seen pack (pre-seen, strategic, industry analysis and top 10 issues)
  • 3 x Full tuition videos
  • 2 x Study texts
  • 2 x Live Masterclasses (the keys to passing and revision masterclass)
  • 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Nov 18 scenario)
  • Detailed marking and feedback
  • Ethics Pack
  • Pass Guarantee

SCS Feb 2019 Pre-Seen Materials

VITA1.png

The pre-seen materials for the February 2019 SCS have landed, like Santa dropping his presents down your chimney early, CIMA have released the pre-seen for the Vita case study in December – you can find the official pre-seen materials from CIMA here.

SCS Important Dates

SCS Feb 2019