Why should I choose the CIMA qualification?

Because CIMA means business. CIMA is the only international professional qualification with a sole focus on accounting for business.

We educate, train and qualify first-class professionals. Because CIMA’s training is designed to be fit-for-purpose throughout industry, commerce, not-for-profit and public sector organisations, it produces people who not only have financial expertise but who understand the intricacies of management. The skills acquired by CIMA members enable them to position themselves at the heart of an organisation.

CIMA people go way beyond accountancy – by using finance skills to focus on future success rather than past performance, they are helping to drive the world’s most successful organisations.

What qualifications will I need?

If you are new to business or accounting studies, you’ll first work towards gaining the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. Once you’ve achieved the certificate or if you possess a qualification that makes you eligible for direct entry (see below), you can start studying for the CIMA professional qualification. You will, however, need to have reached a good standard in mathematics and English language before you start.

To gain direct entry to the CIMA professional qualification you will need to have a relevant qualification such as:

  • A CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.
  • A degree that specialises in accounting or business.
  • The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Technician level/Diploma pathway.
  • The Open University (OU) Certificate in Accounting.

CIMA’s formal accreditation process, in partnership with higher education institutions, recognises highly relevant qualifications. If your qualification has been accredited by CIMA, you may have covered some subject areas in sufficient depth to gain one or more exemptions from the managerial level of the professional qualification.

What does getting CIMA-qualified involve?

CIMA’s real value is that it’s a practical qualification. Besides the examinations, students have to gain working experience in three main areas. At least 18 months of this should be in the core area, relating to management accounting roles (such as preparing management accounts, project management, budgeting and forecasting).

Another 18 months should be spent in the basic and supplementary areas. The basic area includes reporting and preparing accounts. The supplementary area includes business and financial strategy, corporate finance and business evaluation. Ideally, you should gain this practical experience while studying for CIMA, though you can include relevant previous experience (including work placements and summer jobs).

When training for CIMA, you will have to plan your studies around your own personal circumstances. A key advantage of studying for CIMA is the variety of study methods available. You have the option of attending full-time, part-time or evening tuition classes or you may prefer to take advantage of weekend courses, distance learning or self-study programmes.

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