CMA vs CIMA – What Should be Your Choice?

CMA vs CIMA – What Should be Your Choice? CMA exam and CIMA certification hold such lucrative opportunities for management professionals abroad that often it leaves many confused what to pursue. We help you understand the differences because we understand how difficult it is to build a career as a management professional.  Just read on…

Below is the flow of the article –

  1. CMA vs CIMA Infographics
  2. What is Certified Management Accountant (CMA)?
  3. What is Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)?
  4. CMA vs CIMA Educational Requirements
  5. Why pursue CMA?
  6. Why pursue CIMA?

CMA vs CIMA Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

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

CMA vs CIMA infographics

What is Certified Management Accountant (CMA)?

The CMA or Certified Management Accountant is a globally recognized certified program offered by the U.S based Institute of Management Accountants. This certificate is a great attribution for management professionals who are looking to advance their knowledge and skills in the financial management fields. The course equips a professional with skills in the area of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. A CMA-certified professional can avail the opportunity of working in different sectors in the management capacity. They can work in industries and organizations which include manufacturing and services, public and private enterprises, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, government entities and multinational corporations.

What is Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a UK based body offers this certified course to help management professionals to develop their knowledge and expertise in the area of management accountancy. The course provides training and qualification to allow accountants to attain a mastery over the subjects related to this field. It provides a good grounding and insight into how the different areas of accounting relate to the business world. This accounting qualification is most relevant to the current times and trends of the industry, helping individuals to unleash their talent and accelerate their career in the business field.  The course is a knowledge refresher and a bridge to the CIMA Professional Qualification. CIMA-trained people work in commerce industry, management consultancies, banks and not for profit and public sector organizations.

CMA vs CIMA Educational Requirements

A candidate is required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university to qualify for the exam. The CIMA course is open to everyone as the course is a rigorous program in itself. A high school diploma is the minimum requisite required to become eligible for the exam. However, exemptions to the exams are provided on the basis of the qualification of each individual.
The CMA is a two part exam, each exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions. The CIMA course comprises of 15 papers and each paper is tested by a two-hour computer-based assessment.

Why pursue CMA?

  • CMA enjoys a strong global presence and is much more recognized and accepted by employers across the nations.
  • It finds a favor with students and professionals alike, due to its fast paced completion.
  • CMA is a two part exam and can be successfully finished by a candidate within a year.
  • However, one needs to keep in mind that the minimum qualification requisite remains a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • CMA entitles an individual with an advantage in the job market as the course develops your decision making capability allowing you to produce results in a critical situation for your company.
  • Also the CMA certificate brings more visibility to a candidate’s resume and allows an employer to evaluate the professional’s ability to be suitable for higher positions in the company.
  • CMA is a course that specifically targets to improve your skill set and thus is a much more applicable educational experience.
  • The CMA course study is very relevant to the modern day situations and it does not limit its scope for financial professionals. The very obvious reason is CMA designation holders are paid 30% more than there non certified colleagues and it is a must to do course if you want to build your career in corporate accounting.

Why pursue CIMA?

  • Traditionally it is a known fact that CIMA enjoys a better global presence than CMA due to its tie up with Common Wealth countries. Thus employers understand the experience, knowledge, skills and professional commitment that a CIMA will bring to the table.
  • Moreover, the course is designed to impart not only financial education to the candidates but also equip them with the skills in in business management, capable of advising on business strategy and risk management.
  • CIMA definitely gives a boost to your earning potential while preparing you for roles in the business and finance sectors. Also CIMA is not rigid in its idea of pre-requisites required to be eligible for the exam, thus a wide range of professionals are open to give the exam, creating wider job opportunities.

You can also view other comparisons, to be be absolutely sure;


There is neither an easy qualification nor a better one, what makes it easy and better is your dedication and determination to achieve it. Thus make your decision wisely keeping your long terms in mind before choosing a program for yourself.


    • By Dheeraj Vaidya on

      Yes ofcourse. My take is any graduation would do. However, please do check with the CFA Institute first on this. You may contact them here


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