CIMA vs CIPM – Which is a Better Career Alternative?

CIMA vs CIPM – Which is Better? Choosing between CIMA and CIPM should not be very difficult. CIMA is all about learning best practices in Management Accountancy. However, CIPM certification provides in-depth knowledge of portfolio performance measurement. In this article, we explore the parameters on the basis of which you may choose either of the two.

The article is organized as per below –

  1. CIMA vs CIPM Infographics
  2. What is CIMA?
  3. What is CIPM?
  4. CIMA vs CIPM Entry Requirements
  5. Why pursue CIMA?
  6. Why pursue CIPM?

CIMA vs CIPM Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

Lets understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this CIMA vs CIPM Infographics.

CIMA vs CIPM infographics

What is CIMA?

This designation is awarded by UK-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a global body dedicated to promoting industry best practices in management accountancy. CIMA certification is a 4-tier program which helps acquire in-depth knowledge of management accountancy and focuses on business management skills like few other accountancy credentials. This widens the scope of knowledge and skills acquired through this accreditation and makes it possible for professionals to opt for management a oriented roles as well.

What is CIPM?

Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) is offered by CFA Institute to help professionals acquire an in-depth understabding of investment performance evaluation related concepts and functionalities. The credential also introduces participants to global ethics and professional standards in the field to be able to meet Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) requirements. After earning this credential, a number of global work opportunities can be explored in varied finance domains.

CIPM vs CIMA Entry Requirements

There are no special entry requirements for CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. It is a foundations level certification which doesn’t require good knowledge of accounting as a perquisite. However, one should be good in English and have a keen interest in mathematics to be able to earn this certification.


CIMA professional-level qualifications are divided into operational, management and strategic level studies. To pursue CIMA Operational Level studies, professionals need basic level of proficiency in accounting or business studies. This requirement can be met if the candidate holds any one of these qualifications:

  • CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting
  • Masters in Accounting or MBA
  • Membership of ICWAI, ICMAP or ICMAB
  • Membership of an IFAC body


Any relevant qualification to get exemption from the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting

To pursue Management Level studies, one should have successfully completed CIMA Operational Level studies as well as Operational Case Study.

To pursue Strategic Level studies, one should have completed both operational and management level studies successfully along with their respective case studies.


There are no prerequisites for CIPM exam except for abiding by the CIPM Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Participants are required to sign a Candidate Professional Conduct Statement as part of the exam registration to ensure that they meet the ethics requirements and uphold the integrity of the certification program to the best of their abilities.

Why Pursue CIMA?

This certification program offers greater breadth of exposure to concepts of management accountancy and prepares students and professionals for diverse roles and responsibilities in the field. CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is an entry-level credential which introduces students to basics of management accounting and related areas. The next three levels of CIMA are meant for beginner, middle and expert level professionals to help enhance their skills and capabilities along with adding greater credibility to their profile in the eyes of prospective employers. A growing number of leading employers trust accredited professionals more as compared to their non-accredited counterparts.

Why Pursue CIPM?

This credential is intended to impart knowledge of investment performance measurement concepts and to prepare professionals present relevant data in easy-to-understand terms to investors. It covers some complex knowledge areas including performance attribution and appraisal as well along with helping participants develop an understanding of industry-approved ethics and professional standards. This would be necessary for professionals to efficiently meet GIPS requirements while operating in the industry. It naturally builds greater trust in the eyes of prospective employers as well and opens up global opportunities in the field.


As a globally acknowledged accreditation, CIMA offers the opportunity to develop management skills from an accounting perspective which sets it apart from other certifications. Those who are willing to explore the broader field of management accountancy and prepare for roles requiring advanced accounting capabilities with an incisive business insight can look to complete the highest tier of CIMA.

On the other hand, CIPM is meant for finance professionals looking to explore the complex area of investment performance evaluation and presenting it in a way which accurately and conveniently conveys this information to investors. This is a highly specialized area which can be suitable for professionals willing to work in a role related to GIPS verification practices, conducting performance evaluation for institutional investors and firms.

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