Everything you need to know about CIMA certificate!

21.09.2015 08:29

Considering career in accounting and looking for the opportunity to improve your qualifications? Let’s check if the CIMA certificate meets your expectations!



General overview of the certificate

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is one of the largest global bodies of chartered accountants, with over 220.000 members and students in 177 countries. Similarly as ACCA organisation, CIMA offers prestigious professional qualifications in management accountancy. The CIMA diploma certifies not only the expertise in management accountancy, but also gives the qualifications in the areas of risk management, finance and business management. It is widely accepted and honored by the international corporations meaning that its holders enjoy better job prospects. Getting certified is, however, not that easy. In order to prepare carefully we need to spend a lot of time studying and exercising. Below we have gathered basic informations referring to CIMA qualifications that you may find interesting.

Two kinds of certificates

CIMA offers two different types of diplomas: CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and CIMA Professional Qualification.


The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting

This exam is CIMA’s entry level accounting qualification for students with little or no accounting background. The only requirements for studying this qualification are good understanding of maths and business English. The certificate consists of five exams that provide solid understanding of accounting, accounting management and business principles, as well as the fundamental skills in preparing financial reports, forecasting performance and data analysis. All exams are computer-based, with no paper-based version. The student can attend to exam in the order and combination that he choose, at any time of the year in the computer based assessed (CBA) centre.

After passing all exams student obtains the Certificate in Business Accounting and can proceed to CIMA Professional Qualification. More detailed information concerning CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and the up-to-date syllabus can be easily found on their website.

The CIMA Professional Qualification

This certificate is recognised worldwide as the most relevant global finance qualification for business. Before student can get started with the syllabus, he needs to have The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting or relevant certificate in business or accounting studies. However, there is no necessity of having former experience in accounting or finance.

This qualification consists of:

  • 9 Objective Tests
  • 3 integrated Case Studies
  • Test of Professional Competence

The syllabus of the certificate is divided into three pillars and four levels. The pillars respond to three areas of knowledge: Enterprise, Finance and Performance. Enterprise pillar covers the knowledge of formulating and effectively implementing strategies in the company, emphasising the importance of management in these areas. Performance pillar concerns how finance and risk management helps in formulating and effectively implementing strategy. Financial pillar consists of preparing and interpreting financial statements to make decisions, giving the student broad knowledge also in taxing and financial strategy. The levels certify the level of achievement as well as encourage a linear development of knowledge and skills. Each level consists of three exams – one from each pillar, and one integrated case study. CIMA allows exemptions from particular exams if the candidate has graduated or completed a relevant qualification that is related to syllabus of the certificate. The candidate progresses from Operational level; then moves to Management level and finally, to Strategic level.

Operational level covers the skills of preparing financial statements, providing management accounting information and use of appropriate tools for decision making. Completing the level is awarded the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting

Management level includes preparing group accounts, making pricing and product decision based on a robust analysis, managing projects and relationships. Finishing the level is awarded CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting.

Strategic level comprises formulating financial strategy and managing strategic relationships while managing risks as well as practical use of competencies gained at operational and management level

Below you can watch a video explaining why it is worth to choose CIMA program.


Exam sessions

The exam sessions for the CIMA Professional Qualification take place twice a year, in March and in November. Before each session, the student decides how many and which exams he would attend to, with no possibility to change the decision later. It is possible to combine exams from Operational and Management level. Before attending to the Strategic level, student needs to complete all the papers from the precedent levels, it is also obligatory to pass all the exams from that level in one session.

Similarly as ACCA, CIMA presents detailed information concerning particular exams. Past papers are available, as well as the guidance for students, feedback from examiners, articles explaining the rules of issuing certificates and including tips for examinees and so on. Organisation advises candidates to create the study plan and even recommend the order of exams.


And we advise you to get started with your preparation using our professional and free materials and CIMA online course!