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What is a CIMA Qualification?

The CIMA qualification combines business skills and techniques needed to add real value to any organisation with accounting, finance, and management.

CIMA qualifications are internationally respected and provide a unique blend of skills so people and businesses can succeed.

Learn more about CIMA qualifications.

Why study a CIMA Course?

For anyone looking to embark on a finance career as a Management Accountant, CIMA courses lead to the must-have qualifications in this industry. As a CIMA graduate, you would have studied the most relevant qualification for a career in finance and business.

You will be able to demonstrate to current and future employers that you've gained the knowledge and skills required to drive business success. You will also develop the skills and knowledge employers are seeking and be able to work in any business around the world both irrespective of status.

Explore a day in the life of an Accountant.

What are CIMA qualifications equivalent to?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offers two certifications:

CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (Cert BA) - Equivalent of an associate degree in Accounting and is designed to help individuals who want to pursue a career in accounting that goes beyond entry level.

CIMA Professional Qualification (CGMA) – Equivalent of a master’s degree in Accounting, and highly regarded around the world and recognised as the most relevant global finance qualification for business. Through the CIMA Professional Qualification, you will develop finance and business skills to help drive business success in your organisation.

If you gain both your Certificate I Business Accounting and Professional Qualification, you are eligible to apply for the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) certification, which is CIMA's highest designation, and it is recognised globally.

Read our interview with a CIMA Graduate to see if this is a potential career path for you.

The different CIMA qualifications

There are four main CIMA qualifications that you can take, including:

CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting

The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting has been developed for students without official training or experience, as it covers fundamental business and finance skills. While a qualification, this certificate is a formal entry point onto the CIMA Professional Qualification.

Throughout this CIMA Certificate training course you will cover four topic areas:

  •    Fundamentals of Business Economics (BA1)
  •    Fundamentals of Management Accounting (BA2)
  •    Fundamentals of Financial Accounting (BA3)
  •    Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law (BA4)

CIMA Professional Qualification Operational Level (E1, P1, F1)

The CIMA Operation Level is the first part of your CIMA Professional Qualification. You will gain invaluable business and finance skills to drive business success, learn how to make short-term decisions, and work with others within your organisation to use technology and data to convert medium-term decisions into short-term, actionable plans.

Throughout your CIMA Professional Operational Level training course, you will cover three essential subject areas:

  •    Managing Finance in a digital world (E1)
  •    Management Accounting (P1)
  •    Finance Reporting (F1)

CIMA Professional Qualification Management Level (E2, P2, F2)

The CIMA Management Level is the second part of your CIMA Professional Qualification. You will learn how to translate long-term decisions into medium-term plans, use data and technology to manage individual and organisational performance, and allocate resources to implement decisions.

Throughout your CIMA Professional Management Level training course, you will cover three essential subject areas:

  •    Managing Performance (E2)
  •    Advanced Management Accounting (P2)
  •    Advanced Financial Reporting (F2)

CIMA Professional Qualification Strategic Level (E3, P3, F3)

The CIMA Strategic Level is the final part of the CIMA Professional Qualification. You will learn how to make long-term strategic decisions, support organisational leaders in crafting a strategy, and manage and evaluate risks.

Throughout your CIMA Professional Strategic Level training course, you will cover three essential subject areas:

  •    Strategic Management (E3)
  •    Risk Management (P3)
  •    Financial Strategy (F3)

All three CIMA Professional Qualifications can be studied together through our CIMA Professional Qualification Package.

CIMA vs ACCA

If you’re looking for a training course to open the doors to a professional career in Accounting, both CIMA and ACCA will offer you the chance of a great earning potential and excellent career prospects.

When looking at CIMA vs ACCA, the right qualification for you depends on your career goals. To help make your decision easier, we’ll explore both options below.

CIMA

CIMA is a specialised management accounting qualification, which would suit individuals looking to work as a Management Accountant and manage a team.

When you become a qualified CIMA candidate you can use the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), giving you an industry-recognised qualification.

Typically, holders of a CIMA qualification become:

  •    Business Managers – £42,500
  •    Financial Analysts – £44,600
  •    Financial Directors – £72,600

Source:Payscale

As CIMA focuses on management accounts within a business, you would likely work for a larger corporation.

ACCA

ACCA is much broader, allowing you to choose the specific areas you’d like to specialise in. This qualification is ideal for individuals who are keen to work in finance but who are unsure of the industry they want to work in.

ACCA is accepted in over 100 countries and when you are qualified you will be entitled to use the designatory letters ACCA after your name.

Typically, holders of an ACCA qualification become:

  •    Auditors – £29,00
  •    Tax Advisors – £32,600
  •    Financial Accountants – £35,900

Source:Payscale

ACCA will allow you to work across different sectors as you’re prepared to either become a self-employed Accountant or work within a charted industry, where you’ll work with clients.   

Are you ready to get your Accounting career started? Contact us to find out which qualification is right for you by calling us on +44 (0) 20 3198 7700 or fill out our contact form and one of our Course Consultants will talk you through your options.

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