Difference Between CMA and CIMA
The full form of CMA is Certified Management Accountant and students will only need to clear one level for obtaining this degree whereas the full form of CIMA is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the students pursuing this course will need to clear three levels for obtaining the degree of this course.
CMA exam and CIMA certification hold such lucrative opportunities for management professionals abroad that often it leaves many confused about what to pursue. We help you understand the differences because we understand how difficult it is to build a career as a management professional. Just read on.
Below is the flow of the article –
What is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA)?
The CMA or Certified Management Accountant is a globally recognized certified program offered by the U.S based Institute of Management Accountants. This certificate is a great attribution for management professionals who are looking to advance their knowledge and skills in the financial management fields.
The course equips a professional with skills in the area of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. A CMA-certified professional can avail the opportunity of working in different sectors in the management capacity.
They can work in industries and organizations which include manufacturing and services, public and private enterprises, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, government entities, and multinational corporations.
What is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)?
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a UK based body offers this certified course to help management professionals to develop their knowledge and expertise in the area of management accountancy. The course provides training and qualification to allow accountants to attain mastery over the subjects related to this field.
It provides a good grounding and insight into how the different areas of accounting relate to the business world. This accounting qualification is most relevant to the current times and trends of the industry, helping individuals to unleash their talent and accelerate their careers 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.
CMA vs CIMA Infographics
|A candidate is required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university to qualify for the exam.||The CIMA course is open to everyone as the course is a rigorous program in itself. A high school diploma is a minimum requisite required to become eligible for the exam. However, exemptions to the exams are provided on the basis of the qualification of each individual.|
|The CMA is a two-part exam, each exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions.||The CIMA course comprises of 15 papers and each paper is tested by a two-hour computer-based assessment.|
CMA vs CIMA – Comparative Table
|Certification Organised By||Chartered institute of management accountants||Chartered institute of management accountants|
|Number of Levels||CMA has only one level to clear. The level has two parts. Part one is about Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control and Part two is all about Financial Decision Making.||CIMA has three levels to clear.
1. Operational Level
2. Management Level
3. Strategic Level
|Exam Window||CMA Exam Dates 2017|
Jan – Feb Jan 1 to Feb 28
May – Jun May 1 to Jun 30
Sep – Oct Sep 1 to Oct 31
|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
1. Financial planning
2. Performance and control
3. Financial decision making
4. Performance management
5. Cost accounting
6. Risk management
7. Decision Analysis
8. Professional Ethics
9. Planning, budgeting and forecasting
10. Investment decisions
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
|Fees||After the price increase in July 2015, the registration fee of the exam is now $415 per part, which means you’ll have to pay $830 altogether.||2017 syllabus objective tests (per exam) from 11 January 2017:- GBP64|
|Pass Percentage||As per the result of June, 2015, the pass percentage of CMA Part One (Inter) is 14% and pass percentage of CMA Part Two (Final) is 17%. |
Passing Percentage of December 2016 exam:
CMA Intermediate- 9.09%
CMA Final- 12.71%
|CIMA November 2016 case study results:
|Job opportunities||1. Financial risk manager|
2. Financial planner and analyst
3. Capital venture
4. Internal auditor
5. Cost accountant and manager
|1. Finance analyst
2. Finance manager
3. Internal auditor
4. Financial analyst
5. Financial accountant
6. Tax specialist
Why Pursue CMA?
- CMA enjoys a strong global presence and is much more recognized and accepted by employers across the nations.
- It finds favor with students and professionals alike, due to its fast-paced completion.
- CMA is a two-part exam and can be successfully finished by a candidate within a year.
- However, one needs to keep in mind that the minimum qualification requisite remains a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
- CMA entitles an individual with an advantage in the job market as the course develops your decision making capability allowing you to produce results in a critical situation for your company.
- Also, the CMA certificate brings more visibility to a candidate’s resume and allows an employer to evaluate the professional’s ability to be suitable for higher positions in the company.
- CMA is a course that specifically targets to improve your skillset and thus is a much more applicable educational experience.
- The CMA course study is very relevant to the modern-day situations and it does not limit its scope for financial professionals. The very obvious reason is CMA designation holders are paid 30% more than there non-certified colleagues and it is a must to do the course if you want to build your career in corporate accounting.
Why Pursue CIMA?
- Traditionally it is a known fact that CIMA enjoys a better global presence than CMA due to its tie-up with Common Wealth countries. Thus employers understand the experience, knowledge, skills and professional commitment that a CIMA will bring to the table.
- Moreover, the course is designed to impart not only financial education to the candidates but also equip them with the skills in business management, capable of advising on business strategy and risk management.
- CIMA definitely gives a boost to your earning potential while preparing you for roles in the business and finance sectors. Also, CIMA is not rigid in its idea of pre-requisites required to be eligible for the exam, thus a wide range of professionals are open to give the exam, creating wider job opportunities.
There is neither an easy qualification nor a better one, which makes it easy and better is your dedication and determination to achieve it. Thus make your decision wisely keeping your long terms in mind before choosing a program for yourself.
This has been a guide to CMA vs CIMA. Here we discuss the key difference between CMA and CIMA along with infographics to help you choose the right management professional. You can learn more from the following articles –