The CIMA February 2021 OCS exam is based around a company called “Amazzzing Beds” and given the fact the pre-seen materials were released some time ago, students who are planning on the taking the exam in February 2021 can already start their preparation.
You can find the official pre-seen from CIMA here.
OCS Focus Areas
26 pages of pre-seen materials can be overwhelming but you need to be smart with your pre exam studies. It’s important to remember your role in the exam is that of a “Finance Officer” – or assissant.
“You are principally involved in the preparation of management accounting information and providing information to managers to assist with decision making.
At times you are also expected to assist with the preparation of the financial statements and answer queriesCIMA Pre-Seen Materials guidance on your role in the OCS exam
regarding financial reporting and other financial matters.”
So don’t think too much outside of these boundaries, you won’t be asked questions on strategy, people management or complex accounting standards at this stage.
The focus of the OCS exam really comes from the P1 Management Accounting paper, for a reminder of the hot topics on the OCS exam I wrote a blog post in conjunction with CSSC Tuition here.
Amazzzing Beds Manufacturing
Having read the pre-seen materials a couple of times and thought it in context of what’s expected in your role as Finance Officer, the below extract caught my eye as a potential trigger for a question on exam day.
Here we find out that the company manufactures beds for inventory and not for customer orders, if this was my company I would be concerned that we are not holding unnecessary while we wait for the orders to come in. It would be costly to hold these units for any longer than needed, think of all of the associated costs with storing them and are we making the best use of our productions facilities?
Back to the Operational Level syllabus;
- Inventory EOQ
- Total Quality Management
The above areas immediately came to my mind after reading the “Manufacturing” paragraph in the pre seen materials, so you could be faced with a scenario in the exam where amazzzing beds are considering changing to a Just-In-Time manufacturing process and the finance manager has asked if you can explain the advantages and disadvantages on this process.
Likewise, they could ask a similar question on Total Quality Management (TQM), all of these subjects will be familiar from your P1 studies so make sure you know the theory behind them and can relate them to the Amazzzing Beds scenario.
The Finance Department
Being accountants, the finance department section of the pre-seen materials will make for interesting reading but more importantly will give you context on the processes, resources and culture of the department. Usually this section is short and concise but it’s packed full of useful information.
You can also begin to paint a picture of the whole company and how it operates.
The green paragraph I have highlighted above tells us that the company uses an integrated ERP system (which is great if the company does want to move to a JIT manufacturing method) but perhaps more importantly from an OCS exam perspective, it tells us the company operates a standard absorption costing system.
Again, we should be well aware of the different types of costing system (variable, absorption, activity based and digital costing) from our P1 studies, so we should be able to explain the differences, advantages and disadvantages of all of these methods and apply it to the Amazzzing Beds scenario.
Given that Amazzzing Beds are focused on sustainable and ethical methods of production and sourcing their materials there might also be questions around Environmental Costing.
Budgeting also crops up in this section. Very much similar the costing information we have been presented we should be able to explain the different methods of budgeting and the associated advantages and disadvantages of them.
News Articles – Sleep Science!
The final pages of pre seen materials can often be seen as the most valuable, so try not to tie yourself up in knots with the financial and production you have been provided.
The article “Lifestyle Today” at the end of the Amazzzing Beds pre-seen materials paints us a picture of technology and the fact one of our competitors “Gordons Beds” have opened a commercial sleep clinic. I would suggest not to neglect this information and to do some research and think how can CIMA question me on this?
For example, you might be presented with some information in the exam that Amazzing Beds are considering opening a commercial sleep clinic, but to do so they are considering the associated risks. i.e questions on sensitivity and what if analysis? or perhaps decision tress?
CIMA OCS Case Study Course
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