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.
Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI) 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 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 a basic level of proficiency in accounting or business studies. This requirement can be met if the candidate holds any one of these qualifications:
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- 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
|Organizing Body||The course is offered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK.||The course is offered by the Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI) in partnership with the Yale School of Management and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.|
|Pattern||The course is divided into Certificate in Business Accounting and Professional qualification, which includes 3 levels
||This is a single level course that concentrates on 4 domain knowledge
|Duration of course||The candidates take around 1 year to complete each level. Hence, the entire course takes around 3 to 4 years.||The candidates are able to complete the course in a span of 6 to 9 months.
|Syllabus||The syllabus primarily includes
|The syllabus primarily includes
|Exam Fees||The cost of the course lies in the range of £2,500 to £3,000, which includes the exam fees as well as the cost of study materials.||The cost of the course varies based on membership status. The cost for non-members, new members, and existing IWI members are $7,995, $7,390, and $6,995 respectively.|
|Jobs||Some of the common profiles include
||Some of the common profiles include
|Difficulty||The difficulty level of the exams is moderate. During May 2020, the pass rates for Operational, Management, and Strategic levels were 57%, 67%, and 69% respectively
|The high pass rate in the recent past suggests that the difficulty level of the exam is fairly reasonable. During Jun-Sep 2020 quarter, the pass rates for the first-time testers and re-testers were 87% and 86% respectively. Please note that the historical pass rates are not so high|
|Exam Date||The schedule for the upcoming exams during the year 2021
||The candidates can appear for the certification exam once they complete the required education according to the program selected either by the Yale School of Management and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.|
- CIMA is organized and offered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Institute. CPWA is organized and offered by the Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI).
- 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 for one round of exams 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?
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 the beginner, middle and advanced stages 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 responsibility.
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 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.
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 –