Category Archives: CIMA May 2021 Case Studies

CIMA MCS May 2021: Trayyner

The CIMA MCS May 2021 case study is based around a scenario called Trayyner and in this blog post I will be focusing on the news articles feautred in the pre seen materials.

You can find the official MCS May 2021 pre seen materials from CIMA here.

Trayyner is a company that offers executive training courses but before I get stuck into the news articles, it’s worth paying attention to the opening statement on the pre-seen materials in regards to COVID.

COVID-19 Statement
This pre-seen and the case study in general (while aiming to reflect real life), are set in a context
where the COVID-19 pandemic has not had an impact.

taken from the Trayyner pre seen materials opening page

What this tells me is that students have been referring to COVID directly in previous sittings of the case study exams. Perhaps using COVID as a reason why a companies profits have fallen, or extra health and safety measures that need to be considered in light of COVID.

While it’s important to make yourself feel part of the case study scenario, you need to stick to the facts you are presented with in the materials.

It’s tricky, as students are encouraged to refer to real life industry examples to give context, however, it’s clear that students have using the real life situation of COVID to explain and base their recommendations in the case study exams.

Pre Seen Materials: New Articles

The news articles at the end can be loaded with information and some pointers on what you could see on exam day. I’ve examined the first three in detail and shared my thoughts below.

In my opinion, it makes sense to look at the Southland Gazette and Northland Business Daily articles together. The first article in the Northland Business Daily is centered around Parastatals and how their roles are changing.

A parastatal is a company that is owned by the government, but is run by a board of directors – the article points out;

While they may be expected to operate at a profit, they are also expected to operate in the national interest. That could mean that they must cap prices in order to ensure that the needs of domestic and commercial customers are met.

The roles of parastatals are changing in many countries, with a greater emphasis on creating profit and maximising wealth.

taken from the pre seen materials page 22

Before I draw any conclusions, let’s have a look at the Southland Gazette article. Here we can find a direct criticism from the government for The Telecommunications Corporation of Southland (TeCoS) attending a training course in a luxury hotel.

The Minister for Telecommunications has criticised the Board of The Telecommunications Corporation of Southland (TeCoS), the parastatal responsible for the provision of telecommunications across Southland, for attending a training session in a luxury hotel in Hopeland.

She queried the cost of this training and asked for a justification of its value

taken from the pre seen materials page 23

I believe there are positives and negatives hidden in both of these stories.

Let’s start with the positive.

Training Courses Opportunities

We understand that the role of parastatals are changing with a emphasis on creating profit and maximizing wealth. Looking at the courses offered by Trayyner, they only offer two courses for Parastatals; (Board Duties and Internal Audit). So there is an opportunity to either create new courses around creating value, business partnering or stakeholder management for the new skillsets the board of directors at parastatals will need.

Alternatively, there might be existing Trayyner courses that can be marketed to these companies to meet their needs of an evolving skillset.

And now for the glaringly obvious risk.

Luxury Venues Criticised

The second article doesn’t look good.

Despite the fact that TeCoS have defended the training course they have attended, they will be under pressure when thinking about future courses. Think of the MP expenses scandal in the UK, where Government ministers were making excessive claims for their own benefit, while this is not in the same league it’s a similar theme.

The public won’t like the fact these government controlled companies are being wined and dined at luxury hotels for training courses.

This negative press could impact Trayyner and they could see lost business from parastatals.

That said, Trayyner could already be actively thinkin about how to mitigate that risk. Do they offer in-house training to these clients, or perhaps think of a more low key venue for these types of events?

The next news article paints a positive picture for the executive training course industry and Trayyner – a happy story after the muddy waters of the previous one.

The article tells us;

Northland’s Navy has announced that it plans to incorporate budgets and financial planning into the training programmes for all of its senior officers.

“Our officers will still be able to navigate ships and operate their systems, but we have identified a growing need for training in various aspects of management alongside technical specialisms. Ships’ captains frequently have to manage complicated budgets.”

taken from the pre seen materials page 24

This can only be good news and more business for Trayyner, in theory, it should be low hanging fruit for Trayyner to take advantage of this news.

Given the specialist nature of the courses and trainers at the disposal of Trayyner, they should be in a position to react quickly to this news and start their sales pitch with the Northland Navy on courses that would meet their requirements.

It’s also really welcome news considering what we are told in the pre-seen materials ‘Marketing Activities’ on page 6.

Trayyner has an extensive client base that is drawn mainly from regions that had developing, economies until relatively recently, but that have transitioned to maturity. Countries in those regions frequently have large numbers of professional people who occupy senior roles within indigenous and parastatal (government-owned) organisations.

It seems that the market that Trayyner operates in is reaching maturity, so another market segment to aim at like the Navy or Armed Forces, whose personnel also need a more rounded skillset that includes financial courses could prove to be very lucrative for Trayyner and their competitors.

CIMA MCS: Astranti Case Study Course

The full Astranti MCS case study course has recently been revamped and contains more resources than ever to help your pass the MCS exam first time.

  • Pre seen materials pack (analysis, top 10 issues, industry examples & 30 questions)
  • 5 x mock exams with feedback
  • Syllabus theory revision series
  • Exam technique series
  • Ethics and questions packs
  • Tutor feedback
  • Pass guarantee & money back guarantee

Good Luck with your studies.

CIMA OCS MAY 2021: ACELLERATE

It’s arguably one of my favourite times of the year, the CIMA pre seen materials have been released for the upcoming OCS exam in May 2021.

This set of materials will be valid for the May and August exams this year, so I will be covering them a few times over the next couple of months.

You can find the official pre seen materials from CIMA here.

It can be tempting to jump straight into the pre seen analysis and learn it word for word, however, I believe one of the best approaches to tackling the pre seen at any level is to read the materials ONCE.

  • Take a break
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Walk the dog
  • or have a nap.

Then I would start to read the pre seen materials AGAIN with the idea to start drawing up your own SWOT analysis on the information you have been presented with.

I’ve done just that (well, I didn’t walk the dog but you get the picture).

Here are my thoughts and SWOT analysis on the May 2021 OCS pre-seen materials “Acellerate”

The CIMA Student: SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS: Digital Technologies and The Board of Directors

I’ve picked two strengths here but the over-riding strength, in my opinion, is the digital technologies that Acellerate have employed so successfully. It’s a common theme that runs through the business and starts at the very top.

The managing director, finance director and IT director are all strong advocates of digital technologies as you can tell by reading the directors profiles.

Joseph is keen to continue to expand the business through the exploitation of digital technologies.


She is interested in exploring the use of digital technology to make the finance processes more efficient.


He has been pivotal in the development of the company’s fleet management system which is seen as ground breaking in its use of digital technology.

page 6 of the pre seen materials

The background and profiles of the board members also make for positive reading and make you feel bullish about the company, their profiles are perfectly in line with the company’s strategy

“The main objective is to continue to improve margins by utilising digital technologies”

It’s clear the board are delivering on their main strategic aim that is using digital technologies to gain an competitive advantage, this is backed up by the IT paragraph on page 12 of the pre seen materials.

“The company makes extensive use of digital technology both to manage its fleet of rental cars and to improve the service offered to its customers…….


………… It plans to continue deploying new technology systems to support management decisions and to enable it to tailor products, services and price offerings to meet customers’ needs and react quickly to shifting market conditions. “

page 12 of the pre seen materials

Not only that, but the board of directors have seemingly navigated Acellerate through the toughest part of the recession in Everland and their 2021 numbers are looking positive, unlike some competitors who have folded during the recession (see the end of page 3 of the pre seen materials).

WEAKNESSES: Maintenance and Accident Repairs

It might be a slight “under the radar” point made in the pre-seen about how the accident repairs are handled, but it peaked my interest and I consider it a weakness.

The ending bullet point on page 10 “Maintenance” states;

“Accident repairs are carried out by third-party suppliers. When the suppliers complete the body repairs, each car is inspected by an Acellerate mechanic before payment is made.”

page 10 of the pre seen materials

To me it seems inefficient that the accident repairs are carried out by a third party, then one of Acellerates own mechanics inspects the car before payment is made – it all seems counterproductive.

They lose time, money and control of the repair process which goes against the opening paragraph;

“The quality of the maintenance process is considered to be of vital importance as it is fundamental to customer safety and customer satisfaction. Quick and proper repairs are also critical to ensure fleet utilisation rates are kept as high as possible”

page 10 of the pre seen materials

OPPORTUNITES: Connected Technologies

Continuing with the theme of technologies, it’s clear there is a big opportunity with “Connected Technologies”.

It seems to be the next logical step for Acellerate who are clearly driven by the use of technology. The tail end of the industry analysis on page 15 tells us that over the next few years the industry itself will be focusing on Connected Technologies and Cars-as-a-Service.

What’s more, the news article on page 30 (always a good indicator of subjects that could come up on exam day), paints a positive picture of the use of connected technologies.

“Car connectivity presents the greatest challenges but also opportunities for the car industry.”
“The benefits for car rental and fleet management companies are immense. Car connectivity provides a new competitive advantage to run a smarter fleet and increase efficiency and reduce costs”

page 30 of the pre seen materials

THREATS: Recession

Despite the positive picture painted on the company background section, there is still a real risk and threat that the current global economic recession that is being experience by Everland could hit Accellerate harder than their early 2021 numbers suggest.

Taken from the Industry Analysis on page 14;

The industry, in common with other industries, has suffered a severe setback as a result of the recent global economic recession. Prior to 2020, market experts were predicting an average growth in sales revenue of around 7.5% over the next 5 years, however it is now predicted that the industry will not return to 2019 levels until 2025 and that some car rental companies will not survive.

page 14 of the pre seen materials

SWOT ANALYSIS SUMMARY AND CONSIDERATIONS

Hopefully this has inspired you somewhat to think a bit deeper about the scenario rather than memorising facts and figures from the pre seen materials.

I’d also like to comment that the financial statements don’t tell us too much we don’t already know. I wouldn’t spend huge amounts of time here, performing analysis of ratios etc.

The very opening paragraph tells us “In the financial year to 31 December 2020 the company reported sales revenue of E$206.3 million, a decrease of 25% from the previous year”

And this 25% decrease is consistent and reflected in the P&L and Balance Sheet figures given in the pre seen materials. The revenue and fleet operating costs fell by exactly 25%, while the personnel and “admin costs” fell by 15%.

All of the current assets on the balance sheet also fell by 25% from 2019 to 2020. By all means, calculate it yourself but don’t focus your full attention here.

If anything, give more attention to the Costing Information on page 25 of the pre seen materials as costing can be a highly examinable area of the OCS (see the P1 syllabus around costing).

CIMA OCS: Astranti Case Study Course

OCS May 2021

The full Astranti OCS case study course has recently been revamped and contains more resources than ever to help your pass the OCS exam first time.

  • Pre seen materials pack (analysis, top 10 issues, industry examples & 30 questions)
  • 5 x mock exams with feedback
  • Syllabus theory revision series
  • Exam technique series
  • Ethics and questions packs
  • Tutor feedback
  • Pass guarantee & money back guarantee

Good Luck!