Difference Between CIMA and FIC
If you are confused between these two sets of qualifications, then this article will surely help you fast track your right decision. These two certifications are quite opposite in terms of skillsets. One one side CIMA is all about Management accounting, FIC is a certification that covers fixed income securities in details.
What is CIMA?
The CIMA course is offered by the UK based body, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, to help management professionals to develop their knowledge and expertise in the area of management accountancy. The course has an excellent syllabus prepared by the industry professionals which aids in providing the best training and qualification to accountants and ensure they attain mastery over the subjects related to this field.
The course structure ensures the rudimentary basics are cleared and the topics allow the students to have a good grounding and insight into the different areas of accounting and their relation to the business world. The CIMA body takes utmost care to ensure that the course designed and qualification offered is most relevant to the current times and trends of the industry. This is indeed necessary to ensure that every individual’s core talent is unleashed helping them to prosper in the right direction by accelerating 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 the commerce industry, management consultancies, banks, and not for profit and public sector organizations.
What is FIC?
The Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) – a certificate program offered by the ICMA (International Capital Market Association) is an intricate qualification that can hone the practical skills of marketing professionals. The institute has been offering this extremely challenging qualification to market professionals for the last forty years. The aim of the institute is to create professionals who can adapt to any market conditions and turn the tables around with its extensive knowledge of practical skills in trading, investment, and risk management.
The FIC program is rigorous and demands a candidate’s focus and hard work. While the syllabus of the program definitely covers a professional’s existing knowledge about the fixed income markets, it also expands its scope and horizon beyond the superficial level giving in-depth knowledge with the proper technical skills to allow the candidate to compete in the global marketplace.
The course is difficult with its vast range of topics about the fixed income instruments and markets. However, the institute constantly assesses every candidate’s knowledge, examining scenarios to ensure each and every participant of the course is thoroughly prepared with adequate knowledge and practical skills to execute day-to-day business activity with great efficiency in their respective jobs.
CIMA vs FIC Infographics
Let’s understand the difference between CIMA vs FIC with infographics.
CIMA vs FIC Summary
|Certification Organised By||CIMA is being organized by one of the most reputed management accounting institutes in the world, i.e. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom.||FIC is being organized by ICMA (International Capital Market Association)|
|Number of Levels||CIMA has three levels to clear – Operational Level, Management Level & Strategic Level.||This Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) is an intermediate level qualification and thereby requires that candidates should already have some prior knowledge and familiarity with the below mentioned topics:
Fundamental Numerical Skills
Overview of Financial Markets and Participants
The Main Fixed Income Securities
|Mode/Duration of exam||Examinations to obtain CIMA are being split into two steps. First, you need to clear a 90 minute objective test for each subject at each level. And then, you need to sit for a 3 hour case study to go to the next level.||Candidates have six months from the programme start date to complete their study and take the FIC 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
Operational Level Exam Date:- 7th - 11th November 2017
Management Level Exam Date:- 14th - 18th November 2017
Strategic Level Exam Date:- 21st - 25th November 2017
|The FIC Exam runs on three term dates annually, April to September, July to December and October to March.|
|Subjects||1. Strategic management|
2. Risk management
3. Financial strategy
4. Project and Relationship management
5. Advanced management accounting
6. Advanced financial reporting
7. Organizational management
8. Management accounting
9. Financial reporting
|1. Trading the Yield Curve with Cash Market Securities
1.1 Fixed income securities & interest rates
1.2 Monetary policy & the yield curve
1.3 Interest rate risk
1.4 Trading views on the yield curve with cash instruments
1.5 Financial fixed income trades
1.6 Bonds with embedded options
1.7 Inflation-indexed bonds
1.8 Sovereign credit risk & sovereign ratings
1.9 Fixed income market practice & regulation
2. Interest Rate Derivatives
2.1 Short-term interest rate (STIR) futures
2.2 Bond futures
2.3 Interest rate swaps & swap futures
2.4 Interest rate options
2.5 Inflation derivatives
2.6 Counterparty risk in derivatives
2.7 Derivative market practice & regulation
3. Credit Trading
3.1 Credit risk & credit spreads3.2 Default probability & expected recovery
3.3 Credit analysis & credit ratings
3.5 Credit default swaps & credit default swaptions
3.6 Credit trading & hedging with single name CDS
3.7 Credit trading with index CDS
3.8 Credit trading with CDS index tranches
3.9 CDS pricing & revaluation
|Fees||The fees for completing CIMA are usually higher than other professional qualifications. It’s around US $2500 if students pass all the exams in first attempt.||£3,000.00 for Members and £3,900.00 for non-members|
|Pass Percentage||CIMA November 2016 results:|
|The exam consists of a 75 question multiple choice paper. Candidates have three hours to complete the exam and are required to answer a minimum of 45 questions, or 60%, correctly in order to pass.|
|Job opportunities||Finance analyst|
|Senior positions in in client or market facing positions in fixed income within a bank or fund management company.A good position for those aiming to work in financial IT service companies, exchanges and central securities depositories.
|There are no pre-requisite specified for a candidate to be eligible for the exam. However, the institute expects its enrolling students to have some familiarity with the topics of the syllabus and have a prior reading background on Fundamental Numerical Skills
· Overview of Financial Markets and Participants
· Fixed Income Securities
|The eligibility criterion for the CIMA course is not rigid allowing everyone to appear for the exam as the course is a rigorous program in itself. The minimum requirement is a high school diploma to be able to sit for the exam. Exemptions to the exams are provided but it is strictly decided on the basis of the qualification of each individual.|
Why pursue CIMA?
- CIMA enjoys a better global presence due to its tie-up with Common Wealth countries. And therefore, traditionally it is a known fact that employers understand the value of a CIMA certified who definitely has an edge amongst his peers due to his experience, knowledge, skills, and professional commitment.
- The course structure of the CIMA program is designed to ensure that the candidates are not only equipped with financial education but also they receive training and practice that would enrich their skills in business management making them capable of advising on business strategy and risk management.
- CIMA is a great way to better your job prospects as it definitely gives a boost to your earning potential while preparing you for roles in the business and finance sectors.
- CIMA’s eligibility criterion is flexible and therefore allows a wide range of professionals to give the exam, creating wider job opportunities.
Why pursue FIC?
The FIC certificate is an added advantage for professionals working in the client or market-facing positions in fixed income within a bank or fund management company, as it enriches their knowledge about the fixed income markets and range of credit products.
The course allows the candidate to be up to date with the current best market practice as well as regulatory considerations for fixed income and derivative markets.
- The FIC program gives the students a complete six months’ study time which primarily helps in studying as well as absorbing the material provided, and is thoroughly prepared for the examination.
- The FIC course provides training and ensures that all students are on par from the beginning. Therefore it provides access to the FIC online campus in advance to help the students to prepare for classroom-based teaching.
- The online campus gives out a series of sample exam questions and videos from the course to help candidates to monitor their progress from Day one.
- The FIC program is a combination of theory classes, combined with ample of practical work which is based on the concepts that has been taught in the training sessions. Thus the combination of theory and practical is an excellent way to test whether a student has understood the material and is able to implement new acquisitions.
- The FIC program attracts students from various professional backgrounds providing an extremely interesting diaspora and international atmosphere to thrive in and learn.
- The FIC Program is enlisted in the UK’s Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) qualifications list for ‘Advising on securities and derivatives in the wholesale market place’. Thus the qualification is widely recognized and is sure to provide an edge to professionals in the job market.
For those candidates aiming for a CFA in the future, the FIC program can help in qualifying them for 30 credit hours under the guidelines of the CFA Institute’s Continuing Education Programme.
Don’t go by what others advise you. Take your decisions based on your likes, your preferences and your career path and you will see you will never have to regret a decision taken by you.
This has been a guide to CIMA vs FIC. Here we discuss the top differences between CIMA and FIC along with infographics and comparative table for exam requirements. You may also have a look at the following articles –