CIMA vs CPWA – Which Title is Worth?

 CIMA vs CPWA – Which Title is Worth? . So are you tired, searching for certifications which you think goes well with your personality. Wish to know if either CIMA qualification or CPWA exam could help? I must tell you that you are not the only one. Dont worry! Through this article let me guide you on whether it should be CIMA or CPWA.

In this article, we will discuss about the following –

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

CIMA vs CPWA Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

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

CIMA vs CPWA infographics


What is CIMA?

CIMA stands for Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a UK-based premier body dedicated to promotion of industry-wide best practices and knowledge dissemination in the field of management accountancy. The institute offers a comprehensive CIMA certification program aimed at validating skills and capabilities of professionals with varying levels of expertise. It is a 4-tier certification program including:

  1. CIMA Certification in Business Accounting
  2. CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting
  3. CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting
  4. Member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Starting with an entry-level certification and culminating with an expert-level accreditation, this certification program is designed to accommodate the diverse learning needs of students as well as professionals working in the field of management accountancy.

What is CPWA?

Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) Certification is specifically meant for wealth managers working with high-net-worth individuals, keeping in mind their specialized needs. This certification program is intended to help financial planning professionals learn how to identify the unique challenges faced by these high-net-worth individuals and develop strategies aimed at efficient tax management, maximizing growth and discovering suitable avenues for investment. Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) offers this certification program to introduce relevant topics like behavioral finance, portfolio management and risk management to financial planning professionals dealing with high-net-worth individuals.

CIMA vs CPWA Entry Requirements:


There are no special entry requirements for CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. It is an entry-level certification for which little to no knowledge of accounting is required. Instead, only a good grasp of mathematics and English are needed along with an interest in accounting to qualify for this certification.

The professional-level qualifications offered by CIMA 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
  • Master’s 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.


Professional prerequisites:

  • A candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university or hold one of the following designations or licenses:
  • CIMA, CFA, CIMC, CFP, ChFC or CPA License
  • Must have five years of professional work experience in financial services sector or of serving high-net worth clients
  • A professional record of ethical conduct, as cross-checked by IMCA’s Admissions Committee

Educational prerequisites:

The candidates must complete a six-month pre-study education program culminating with 5-day in-class learning at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Why Pursue CIMA?

For those studying management accountancy or professionally engaged in the field can benefit a great deal from CIMA certification program. Students can opt for CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, a foundation-level accreditation aimed at helping them become acquainted with the basics of management accounting and related areas. This would help them gain a foothold in the industry and bring greater credibility in the eyes of prospective employers. Next 3 levels of accreditation are meant for professionals at beginner, middle and advanced stage of their learning curve and are designed to not only let them test their capabilities and work on improvement areas but also earn more respect and credibility in the eyes of prospective employers. An increasing number of employers are on the lookout for accredited professionals and are more comfortable entrusting them with positions of responsibilities.

Why Pursue CPWA?

CPWA offers specialized knowledge of wealth management for professionals serving high-net-worth clients. Earning this credential can help them acquire necessary knowledge and skills for the purpose as high-net worth individuals deal with quite a different set of problems as compared with any average investor. Another big reason is added credibility, as an increasing number of employers as well as clients tend to go with professionals who have higher credentials and work experience. This credential can make a value addition to the profile of a wealth manager who is looking to optimize his or her skills in terms of serving high-net-worth clients.

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