The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the world's largest professional body of management accountants. Its members and students work at the heart of business.
The CIMA Professional Qualification is the most relevant financial qualification for business today and recognised around the world.
CIMA students and members are first choice for employers who want to recruit financially trained business leaders. On successful completion of the qualification you will become a Chartered Management Accountant and carry the accreditation ACMA.
What is management accounting?
Management accountants interpret financial information to make business decisions. Top CEOs, CFOs and management consultants are chartered management accountants.
CIMA is different
Most accounting qualifications train people for private practice, working on external audit and tax issues.
The CIMA qualification prepares people for a career in business. It teaches skills for strategic advice, managing risk and making key decisions.
The syllabus is designed to deliver a strong understanding of all aspects of business, including more management accounting, more business strategy and more financial strategy than other qualifications.
CIMA-trained people work in industry, commerce, management consultancies, banks and not for profit and public sector organisations. With CIMA you can work all around the world and will have the key skills required to accelerate to senior positions.
CIMA is committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards, and to maintaining a public confidence in management accounting.
CIMA and SAICA
CIMA members are recognised by SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. CIMA with a CTA is equivalent to CA(SA) Financial Management or the TOPP route. CIMA members (ACMA/FCMA) have a NQF level of 7, the same as CA(SA). The TOPP Financial Management part 2 exam by SAICA, was based on CIMA papers as FCMA's initially set the exams.
After being a CIMA member for 5 years, you can become a member of ICAEW (ACA) with two ACA's sponsoring you. The ICAEW and SAICA have a reciprocal membership agreement whereby members can obtain the other qualification without having to write exams. But CAs(SA) wishing to audit in the UK need to write the aptitude test and apply for a practicing certificate with ICAEW. Therefore, if you take ICAEW as a benchmark, a CA(SA) and ACMA/FCMA not wishing to audit are in the exact same position.
CA(SA) TIPP (Audit) is at a disadvantage when it comes to business content and Financial Management. The CA(SA) TOPP (Fin Management) is also at a disadvantage as this qualification was based on CIMA and is very young and not well established outside of SA.
From CIMA to CA(SA) and vice versa
From CA(SA) to CIMA
CAs(SA) who wish to obtain the CIMA qualification must complete the final level examinations of CIMA.
The final level consists of the following papers:
- Enterprise Strategy
- Financial Strategy
- Performance Strategy
- TOPCIMA - Case Study
In addition, the CIMA Board have agreed that CAs(SA) who have qualified via the Training Outside Public Practice (TOPP) route and who wish to obtain the CIMA qualification, will be exempt from the Financial Strategy paper.
From CIMA to CA(SA)
The SAICA Board has approved the following for CIMA members wishing to obtain the CA(SA) designation in order to become members of SAICA:
- A CTA or equivalent and writing Part 1 of the Qualifying Examination; and
- Application for recognition of previous service (experience) of which a maximum of 12 months will be granted as remission towards the three-year training contract in a TOPP organisation
(applicants will in other words still need to complete two years of a training contract with an ATO)
CIMA members would thus be exempt from the financial management specialism course and Part 2 of the Qualifying Examination.