Study guide: Third edition

Global Strategy and Leadership is the capstone subject for the CPA Program. This subject consolidates and builds on the learnings candidates have gained in the other three compulsory subjects: Ethics and Governance, Financial Reporting and Strategic Management Accounting. In the increasingly complex business environment in which organisations operate, characterised by change, uncertainty and escalating competition, the disciplines of strategy and leadership have become critical to successful organisational performance.

The aim of this subject is to link the knowledge expected of the future finance professional to the concepts of strategy and leadership. The future finance professional is expected to use a range of technical information to make decisions for the future of the business within an ethical framework of operation. This subject demonstrates that accounting information, ethics, strategy and leadership are applicable to finance professionals, in a global context and in diverse organisational settings. The subject materials address the needs of candidates operating in different international markets in varying roles, including content on current and emerging technologies and emerging business models.

This subject builds upon knowledge gained in the other three compulsory subjects of the CPA Program. The concepts of professional ethics and good governance underpin the subject. Candidates who have previously undertaken the Advanced Audit and Assurance or Strategic Management Accounting subjects will be familiar with the use and application of Porter’s five forces model. Those candidates who have studied Strategic Management Accounting will note a number of other concepts that are expanded upon in this subject, including strategic analysis, performance measurement and the value chain. The international focus of this subject acknowledges the importance of the reporting requirements under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).

Exam structure

The Global Strategy and Leadership exam comprises a combination of multiple choice and extended response questions.   

General objectives

On completion of this subject, you should be able to:

  • understand the role of the accountant in the development and implementation of strategy
  • use analytical tools and models to analyse the industry and the market in which an organisation operates   
  • use analytical tools and models to understand and measure the performance of the organisation 
  • use business information for decision-making from an organisational perspective
  • identify and explain the key challenges faced in the implementation of strategy and the role of the accountant in the implementation and leadership functions
  • consolidate the understanding of strategy and leadership concepts through the use of real-world examples integrated throughout the material, and apply these concepts to business case scenarios through the use of a case studies
  • apply skills in thinking strategically and formulating broad strategies for consideration and application in their organisational environment.

Subject content

The subject is divided into seven modules. 

The "weighting" column in the following table provides an indication of the emphasis placed on each module in the exam, while the "proportion of study time" column is a guide for you to allocate your study time for each module and analysis of the pre-seen exam case studies. 

Module Recommended proportion of study time % Weighting % 
1. An introduction to strategy and leadership  10              10
2. Understanding the external environment 15 15
3. Understanding the internal environment 15 15
4. Product and market development 15 15
5. Developing the strategic plan 15 15
6. Strategy implementation 15 15
7. Leading the strategy 15 15
  100 100 

For further information, see the subject outline (PDF).