Difference Between CIMA and CPWA
CIMA is the short form used for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and this course can be cleared by qualifying all the three levels (operational level, management level and strategic level) whereas CPWA stands for Certified Private Wealth Advisor and this course is a one-level certification exam.
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. Don’t worry! Through this article, let me guide you on whether it should be CIMA or CPWA.
In this article, we will discuss the following –
What is CIMA?
CIMA stands for Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a UK-based premier body dedicated to the 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 the skills and capabilities of professionals with varying levels of expertise. It is a 4-tier certification program including:
- CIMA Certification in Business Accounting
- CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting
- CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting
- 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 Infographics
There are no special entry requirements for the 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 interest in accounting to qualify for this certification.
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The professional-level qualifications offered by CIMA are divided into operational, management, and strategic level studies. To pursue CIMA Operational Level studies, professionals need a 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 an 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.
- 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 the financial services sector or of serving high-net-worth clients
- A professional record of ethical conduct, as cross-checked by IMCA’s Admissions Committee
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.
CIMA vs. CPWA Comparative Table
|Certification Organised By||CIMA Certification Program is offered by CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)||CPWA Certification Program is offered by IMCA (Investment Management Consultants Association) in conjunction with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.|
|Number of Levels||CIMA Certificate Level exams include five computer-based on-demand objective assessment tests with duration of 2 hours |
CIMA professional level exams include three 90-minute computer-based on-demand objective tests at each of the operational, management and strategic levels. At each of these levels, a 3-hour long case study has to be undertaken in order to qualify for the next level.
CIMA Certificate Level exam
Paper C01: 50 Compulsory Questions
Paper C02: 50 Compulsory Questions
Paper C03: 45 Compulsory Questions
Paper C04: 75 Compulsory Questions
Paper C05: 75 Compulsory Questions
CIMA Operational Level exams
CIMA Management Level exams
CIMA Strategic Level exams
CPWA is a single-level certification exam
|Exam Window||There are four windows a year when you can sit the case study exams (February, May, August and November). |
Operational Level Exam Date:- 7th - 11th February 2017
Management Level Exam Date:- 14th - 18th February 2017
Strategic Level Exam Date:- 21st - 25th February 2017
Operational Level Exam Date:- 9th - 13th May 2017
Management Level Exam Date:- 16th - 20th May 2017
Strategic Level Exam Date:- 23rd - 27th May 2017
Operational Level Exam Date:- 8th - 12th August 2017
Management Level Exam Date:- 15th - 219h August 2017
Strategic Level Exam Date:- 22nd - 26th August 2017
Chicago Booth:- Pre-Study -January 2017–June 2017, In-class2- June 4-9,2017, Enrollment Deadline1- Enrollment Closed
Chicago Booth:- Pre-Study- March 2017–September2017,In-class2- September 24-29 2017, Enrollment Deadline1- Enrollment Closed
IMCA-Sponsored3:- Pre-Study- June 2017—December 2017, In-class2- December 3-8 2017, Enrollment Deadline1- May 19,2017
Chicago Booth:- Pre-Study- September 2017—March 2018, In-class2- March 18-23, 2018, Enrollment Deadline1- September 4,2017
|Subjects||CIMA Certificate Level|
Fundamentals of Management Accounting
Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
Fundamentals of Business Mathematics
Fundamentals of Business Economics
Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law
CIMA Operational Level
Organisational Management (E1)
Management Accounting (P1)
Financial Reporting and Taxation (F1)
Operational Case Study Exam
CIMA Management Level
Project and Relationship Management (E2)
Advanced Management Accounting (P2)
Advanced Financial Reporting (F2)
Management Case Study Exam
CIMA Strategic Level
Strategic Management (E3)
Risk Management (P3)
Financial Strategy (F3)
Strategic Case Study Exam
|Part I: Human Dynamics
Section 1: Ethics
Section 2: Applied Behavioral Finance
Section 3: Family Dynamics
Part II: Wealth Management Strategies
Section 4: Tax Strategies and Planning
Section 5: Portfolio Management
Section 6: Risk Management and Asset Protection
Part III: Client Specialization
Section 7: Client Focus - Executives
Section 8: Client Focus - Closely Held Business Owners
Section 9: Client Focus - Retirement
Part IV: Legacy Planning
Section 10: Charitable Giving
Section 11: Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer
|Pass percentage||CIMA November 2016 case study results: |
|Most Recent Quarter Pass Rate:- First-Time Testers - 63%, Re-Testers - 48%
10/1/2016 - 12/31/2016
Past 2-Year Pass Rate:- First-Time Testers - 67%, Re-Testers - 55%
|Fees||The examination fee varies as per their tire pricing structure |
Divided into 3 Tire 1, Tire 2 and Tire 3.
The link below can help you with the required information on fee structure as per your tire area.
IMCA Members: US$6,725
Non-Members: US$7,120 (US$6,725 for certification program and US$395 for annual membership)
IMCA Members: US$7,475
Non-Members: US$7,870 (US$7475 for certification program and US$395 for annual membership)
|Job opportunities/job titles||CIMA: |
After completing CIMA certification program, professionals can opt for management-oriented roles in diverse industry verticals, some of the job roles include:
Internal Audit Manager
|CPWA deals with more specialized field of wealth management for high net worth clients and can look for openings in the area of private wealth asset management including:
Private Wealth Advisor
Private Wealth Manager
- CIMA is organized and offered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Institute. CPWA is organized and offered by the IMCA or Investment Management Consultants Association.
- There are three levels of exams that an individual must appear and qualify in order to attain a CIMA degree. These levels are strategic level, management level, and operational level. In the case of a CPWA degree, an aspirant will only need to qualify one round of exam since the course is a single-level exam.
- The subjects that are focused on a CIMA course are management accounting, organizational management, project and relationship management, advanced management accounting, management accounting, and financial reporting and taxation. The subjects that are focused on a CPWA course are wealth management strategies, legacy planning, client specialization, and human dynamics.
- The job titles that an applicant with a CIMA degree can apply for are management accountant, internal audit manager, financial analyst, and finance manager. The job titles that an applicant with a CPWA degree can apply for are private wealth managers and private wealth advisors.
- Individuals that are interested in making a career in finance can choose to pursue the CIMA certification course, while individuals that are interested in making a career in wealth management can go for the CPWA certificate course.
- An applicant must have at least basic knowledge in accountancy as well as business studies to apply for the CIMA certification program. The applicant must hold a qualification in any one of the degrees like membership of ICMAP/ ICWAI /ICMAB, Masters in Business Administration or MBA, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants certificate in BA (business accounting), and such other relevant qualification.
An applicant willing to pursue the CPWA course must necessarily have a bachelors’ degree (graduation degree) from a reputed university, a minimum of 5 years of professional experience in serving clients with a high net worth, at least one license in CIMA/CIMC/CFA/ChFC/ or CIPA.
Why Pursue CIMA?
For those studying management accountancy or professionally engaged in the field can benefit a great deal from the 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.
The 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 the 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 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.
This has been a guide to CIMA vs. CPWA. Here we discuss the differences between CIMA and CPWA along with infographics and a comparative table. You may also have a look at the following articles –