Updated on March 28, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between CIMA and CIPM

Choosing between CIMA and CIPM must not be complex. CIMA is about learning best practices in Management Accountancy. However, CIPM certification provides an in-depth knowledge of portfolio performance measurement. This article explores the parameters based on which candidates may choose either.


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What is CIMA?

The CIMA certification is awarded by the UK-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), a global body dedicated to promoting industry best practices in management accountancy.

This course is a 4-tier program that helps acquire in-depth knowledge of management accountancy and focuses on business management skills like the other accountancy credentials.

This certification widens the scope of knowledge and skills gained through this accreditation and makes it possible for professionals to opt for management-oriented roles.

What is CIPM?

The CFA Institute offers a Certificate In Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM)  to help professionals understand investment performance evaluation-related concepts and functionalities.

This credential also introduces participants to global ethics and professional standards in the field to meet Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) requirements.

After acquiring this credential, the candidates can explore international work opportunities in varied finance domains.

CIMA vs. CIPM Infographics

Reading time: 90 seconds


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CIMA vs. CIPM Summary

Section CIMA   CIPM
Organizing Body UK-based, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) manages the CIMA exams.   The CFA Institute, USA, manages the CIPM exams.
Pattern Over and above the basic level of certificate in Business Accounting, it has the professional qualification, divided into three levels – Operational level, Management level, and Strategic level.   The course is divided into Level I and Level II, previously known as Principles level and Expert level. Moreover, the CFA charter holders are exempted from the Level I exam.
Duration of the Course The candidates take approximately 3-4 years, combining the basic and professional qualifications.   Most candidates take around 1.5 years to complete the course.
Syllabus The course focuses on the following topics: –
  • Management Accounting
  • Finance Management
  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • Information Management
  • Business Accounting
  The course focuses on the following topics: –
  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Manager Selection
  • Performance Attribution
  • Performance Measurement
  • Performance Presentation
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Global Investment Performance Standards
Exam Fees The total expenditure of the CIMA course varies between £2,500 and £3,000, including the exam fees and the cost of study materials.   The total expense of the CIPM course ranges between $950 to $1,350. It has only exam fees that fluctuates based on the time of registration.
Jobs Some common profiles include
  • Project Manager
  • Finance Controller
  • Business Analyst
  • Management Accountant
  • Forensic Analyst
  Some common profiles include
  • Risk Analyst
  • Investment Analyst
  • Financial Adviser
  • Compliance Officer Investment Consultant
  • Portfolio Manager
Difficulty The exams may be moderately difficult. For example, the pass rates for the operational, management, and strategic level exams conducted in May 2021 were 46%, 69%, and 68%, respectively. [Source: CIMA Global]   The exams are difficult as only 25% of the candidates who opt for the course can pass both levels. The pass rates for the Level I and Level II exams conducted in September 2019 were 48% and 51%, respectively. [Source: CFA Institute]
Exam Date The schedule for the upcoming exams for the year 2022 is as follows: –
  • February 09 – February 25
  • May 11 – May 27
  • August 10 – August 26
  • November 09 – November 25
  The schedule for the upcoming exams for the year 2022 for both levels is as follows: –
  • March 16 – March 31
  • September 16 – September 30

Entry Requirements

There are no specific requirements for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. It is a foundation-level certification that does not require good accounting knowledge as a prerequisite. However, the candidates must be fluent in English and have a keen interest in mathematics to earn this certification.


The CIMA professional-level qualifications are operational, management, and strategic level studies. To pursue CIMA Operational Level studies, professionals need a basic level of proficiency in accounting or business studies. The candidates can meet this requirement if they hold any one of these qualifications:

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

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

The candidates must have completed CIMA Operational Level studies and Operational case studies to pursue Management Level studies.

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


There are no prerequisites for the 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 a greater breadth of exposure to concepts of management accountancy and prepares students and professionals for diverse roles and responsibilities in the field.

The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is an entry-level credential that introduces students to the 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 and add greater credibility to their profile in the eyes of prospective employers. A growing number of leading employers trust accredited professionals more than their non-accredited counterparts.

Why Pursue CIPM?

This credential intends to impart knowledge of investment performance measurement concepts and prepare professionals to present relevant data in easy-to-understand terms to investors.

It covers some complex knowledge areas, including performance attribution and appraisal, along with helping participants develop an understanding of industry-approved ethics and professional standards.

That would be necessary for professionals to meet GIPS requirements while operating in the industry efficiently.

It naturally builds trust in the view of prospective employers and opens up global opportunities in the field.


As a globally acknowledged accreditation, CIMA offers the chance to develop management skills from an accounting perspective, which sets it apart from other certifications. Those candidates 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.

Whereas CIPM is for finance professionals seeking to explore the complex area of investment performance evaluation and present accurately and conveniently convey this information to investors.

That is a highly specialized area suitable for professionals willing to work in a role related to GIPS verification practices, conducting performance evaluations for institutional investors and firms.

This article has been a guide to CIMA vs. CIPM. Here, we discussed the differences between CIMA and CIPM infographics and a comparative table. You may also have a look at the following articles: –

Reader Interactions


  1. Colby Coron says

    Thanks for sharing. I think you must be having great knowledge related to both these fields. This was really very useful. Great work. So I also wanted to ask one question. Is work experience required for students to earn membership of CIMA?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks for your kind words. Students must provide at least 3 years relevant professional work experience after completion of 3 levels to earn membership of CIMA

  2. Clayton Tullio says

    Good to see such informative article. Thanks for giving brief explanation about both these certifications. Could you please share me the CIPM Exam details if you have them?

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