This course prepares candidates to sit the BCS examination for the Certificate in Commercial Awareness.
This certificate is concerned with the commercial and organisational knowledge required for business analysis work.
The syllabus is structured around the two key areas of Business Finance and Organisational Behaviour, and uses definitions, techniques and principles from the books specified in the
recommended reading list.
Who should attend:
This course is aimed at Business Analysts who wish to gain the BCS Certificate in Commercial Awareness. Systems analysts and business users will also benefit from attending the course.
There are no specific pre-requisites for entry to the examination, however candidates should be suitably prepared and possess the appropriate skills and knowledge to fulfil the objectives.
What you will learn:
Holders of the BCS Certificate in Commercial Awareness should be able to:
- Understand three techniques used to evaluate a financial case.
- Understand costing and pricing.
- Understand cash flow forecasting and budgeting.
- Describe the contents of financial accounting documents.
- Interpret financial accounts.
- Explain specified business performance ratios.
- Define the elements and usage of Porter's Five Forces Framework and Value Chain.
- Define the elements and usage of the Boston Consulting Group's matrix.
- Define the performance measures and usage of the Balanced Business Scorecard.
- Define the elements of specified cultural analysis approaches.
- Explain the different management structures and their characteristics.
- Define the different architectures that may be adopted by organisations.
What you will cover:
Part 1: Business Finance
- Evaluating a Financial Case
- Purpose of Building a Financial Case
- Techniques used for evaluating a Financial Case
Discounted Cash Flow / Net Present Value
- Payback and Risk
- Limitations of Payback
Internal Rate of Return
- The NPV Decision Rule
Budgeting, Costing and Pricing
- How to derive IRR
- How IRR is used
- The IRR Decision Rule
- Budgets and Departmentalised Businesses
Cash Flow and Cash Management
- The purpose of budgets
- Reasons for departmentalisation
- Cost centres and profit centres
Costing and Pricing
- Cash flow forecasting
- Use of cash flow in decision making
- Cash Flow and Profit
Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Fixed and Variable costs
- Direct and Indirect costs
- Break even and Contribution Analysis
- Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet)
Income and Expenditure (Income Statement, Profit and Loss Account)
- Purpose and Structure
- The nature, purpose and types of Capital
- Current and non-current liabilities
- Current and non-current assets
Statement of Cash Flows (Cash Flow Statement)
Ratios (formulae and interpretation)
- The importance of Operating Profit
- Revenue (turnover)
- Cost of Sales
- Administrative Expenses
- Profit after Tax
- Profitability Ratios: Operating Margin and Return on Capital Employed ratios
- Liquidity (Cash Management) Ratios : Current and Acid Test ratios
- Gearing (Leverage) Ratio: Debt/Equity Ratio
Part 2: Organisational Behaviour
Market analysis and competitive advantage
Organisational behaviour and culture
- Analysing the business domain - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
- Analysing the portfolio - Boston Box
- Delivering value - Porter's Value Chain
- What is organisational behaviour?
- Organisational effectiveness and the Balanced Scorecard
- Understanding and analysing culture
- Organisational Cultural Types (Deal and Kennedy; Handy)
- International Cultures (Hofstede)
- The Cultural Web
- Groups and group dynamics
- Formal and informal groups
Principles of organisational structure
- Groups and group tasks
- Characteristics of formal groups
- Homan's theory of group formation
- Tuckman and Jensen's theory of group development
- Characteristics of informal groups
- Social networks
- Organisation structuring
Types of jobs
- Elements of organisation structure
- The six Structure Levels
- The Leavitt Diamond
Line, staff and functional relationships
Formalisation of rules and procedures
Centralisation v decentralisation
- Work specialisation
- Flat and tall hierarchies
- Span of control
- Organisation structures and their characteristics
- Divisional - product or service/ geography/ customer
- Team-based - cross functional/ project
- Boundaryless organisations
- Hollow organisation structures
- Modular organisation structures
- Virtual organisations
- Collaborations and strategic alliances
How you will learn:
The course comprises short and focused lecture sessions with exercises to practise appropriate techniques. Discussion of the problems and issues experienced by attendees will be encouraged.
The format for the examination is a closed book one hour multiple-choice examination. The examination contains 40 questions and candidates must answer at least 65% (26/40) of thequestions correctly in order to be awarded a pass.
Candidates who are awarded a pass for the examination are awarded the BCS Certificate in Commercial Awareness.