Updated on March 29, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between CIMA and FIC

If confused between these two sets of qualifications, this article will surely help track the right decision. These two certifications are the opposite in terms of skill sets. CIMA is about management accounting; FIC is a certification that covers fixed income securities in detail.


You are free to use this image on your website, templates, etc, Please provide us with an attribution linkHow to Provide Attribution?Article Link to be Hyperlinked
For eg:
Source: CIMA vs FIC (

What is CIMA?

The UK-based body, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, offers the CIMA course to help management professionals develop their knowledge and expertise in management accountancy. The course consists of an excellent syllabus prepared by the industry professionals, which aids in providing the best training and qualification to accountants and ensures they attain mastery over the field-related subjects.

The course structure ensures the rudimentary fundamentals are cleared. 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 design and qualifications offered are most relevant to the current times and trends of the industry. That is essential to ensure that every individual’s core talent is unleashed, helping them 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 candidates can work in the commerce industry, management consultancies, banks, and not-for-profit and public sector organizations.

What is FIC?

The Fixed Income Certificate (FIC)  is a certificate program by the ICMA (International Capital Market Association). It is an intricate qualification that can hone the practical skills of marketing professionals. The institute has offered this challenging qualification to market professionals for forty years. The institute aims to create professionals who can adapt to any market conditions and turn the tables around with extensive knowledge of practical trading, investment, and risk management skills.

The FIC program is rigorous and demands focus and hard work. While the program’s syllabus 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 expertise with the proper technical skills to allow the candidate to compete in the global marketplace.

The course is difficult and has varied fixed-income instruments and market topics. However, the institute constantly assesses every candidate’s knowledge, examining scenarios to ensure each course participant is prepared with adequate knowledge and practical skills to execute day-to-day business activities with great efficiency in their respective jobs.

Financial Modeling & Valuation Courses Bundle (25+ Hours Video Series)

–>> If you want to learn Financial Modeling & Valuation professionally , then do check this ​Financial Modeling & Valuation Course Bundle​ (25+ hours of video tutorials with step by step McDonald’s Financial Model). Unlock the art of financial modeling and valuation with a comprehensive course covering McDonald’s forecast methodologies, advanced valuation techniques, and financial statements.

CIMA vs. FIC Infographics

Let us understand the difference between CIMA vs. FIC with infographics.


You are free to use this image on your website, templates, etc, Please provide us with an attribution linkHow to Provide Attribution?Article Link to be Hyperlinked
For eg:
Source: CIMA vs FIC (

CIMA vs. FIC Comparative Table

Section CIMA FIC
Organizing Body The UK’s Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) organizes the CIMA exams. The International Capital Market Association (ICMA), Switzerland, is the organizing body for the FIC exams.
Pattern The course consists of one level of basic qualification (Certificate in Business Accounting) and three levels of professional qualification (Operational level, Management level, and Strategic level). The course is an intermediate-level qualification for professionals working in market or client-facing positions dealing in fixed income securities.
Duration of Course The candidates may take approximately three years – four years to complete the course. The candidates are required to take the exams within six months from the date of enrolment.
Syllabus The syllabus of the course focuses on the following topics:
  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • Management Accounting
  • Business Accounting
  • Finance Management
  • Information Management
The syllabus of the course focuses on the following topics:
  • Trading the Yield Curve with Cash Market Securities
  • Interest Rate Derivatives
  • Credit Trading
Exam Fees The expenditure of the course may come from £2,500 to £3,000 based on the time of registration, including the exam fees and the cost of study material cost. The online course cost for the ICMA members is €2,050 + VAT and for the non-members is €2,650 + VAT. On the other hand, the cost of the live-streamed course for the ICMA members is €2,950 + VAT and for the non-members is €3,550 + VAT.
Jobs Some of the common profiles include
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Management Accountant
  • Forensic Analyst
  • Finance Controller
Some of the common profiles include
  • Fixed Income Analyst
  • Fixed Income Strategist
  • Fixed Income Trader
Difficulty The exams are moderately difficult. The pass rates for the exams conducted in May 2020 were: –
  • Operational level: 57% Management level: 67%
  • Strategic level: 69% [Source: CIMA Global].
There is no public information available about the passing rate. However, it is known that candidates need to score 60% marks to clear the exam.
Exam Date The schedule for the forthcoming exams for the year 2021 is as follows: –
  • Certificate in Business Accounting: On-demand across the year.
  • Operational level: Feb 10- Feb12, May 12- May14, Aug 11- Aug13 & Nov 10-Nov12.
  • Management level: Feb 17 – Feb19, May 19- May 21, Aug 18- Aug 20 & Nov 17 – Nov19.
  • Strategic level: Feb 24- Feb 26, May 26 – May28, Aug 25 – Aug 27 & Nov 24 -Nov26.
The candidate must schedule the exams within six months from signing up for the course. The online course starts on the 1st of each month. The registration is currently open for 1st Feb 2022 and 1st Mar 2022.

Educational Requirements

There is no prerequisite-specific eligibility for a candidate for the exam. However, the institute expects its enrolling students to possess familiarity with the topics of the syllabus and a prior reading background on fundamental numerical skills. Overview of Financial Markets and Participants· Fixed Income SecuritiesThe eligibility criterion for the CIMA course is not rigid; allows everyone to appear for the exam as the course is a rigorous program. However, the minimum requirement is a high school diploma to appear for the exam. Exemptions to the exams are provided, but it is strictly decided based on the qualification of each individual.

Why pursue CIMA?

  • CIMA has a better global presence due to tie-ups with commonwealth countries. And therefore, traditionally, it is known that employers understand the value of a CIMA-certified person who 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 receive training and practice that may enrich their skills in business management, making them capable of advising on business strategy and risk management.
  • Finally, CIMA is a great approach to better job prospects as it gives a boost to earning potential while preparing for roles in the business and finance sectors.
  • CIMA’s eligibility criterion is flexible and allows a wide range of professionals to give the exam, creating wider job opportunities.

Why pursue FIC?

The FIC certificate is an add-on advantage for working in client or market-facing fixed-income positions within a bank or fund management company. It enriches their knowledge about the fixed income markets and range of credit products.

The course allows the candidate to be updated with the current best market practice and regulatory considerations for fixed income and derivative markets.

  • The FIC program gives the students a full six months’ study time, which primarily helps in studying and 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 allows access to the FIC online campus to help the students prepare for classroom-based teaching.
  • The online campus enables a series of sample exam questions and videos to help candidates monitor their progress from the start.
  • The FIC program combines theory classes with much practical work based on the concepts taught in the training sessions. Thus, the combination of theory and practice is an excellent method to examine whether a student has understood the material and can 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 marketplace.’ Thus, the qualification is widely recognized and will provide an edge to professionals in the job market.
  • For those candidates aiming for a CFA in the future, the FIC program can help qualify them for 30 credit hours on non-marketplace lines of the CFA Institute’s Continuing Education Programme.


The candidates must not do what others advise them. Instead, make decisions based on their likes, preferences, and career path, and they will never regret a decision taken themselves.

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

Reader Interactions


  1. Shaul Tedder says

    Very informative and good differentiation between both these certifications. Would you please tell me how to give CIMA qualification exam? And how to deal with CIMA Qualification.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Many Thanks. I have a beginners guide on CIMA exam which will help you to take the CIMA exams in the best way possible

  2. Dorrell Morphy says

    Thanks for sharing this blog. You really made it easy to understand the difference between this both certifications. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *