Full-Form of CIMA

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

What is the Full-Form of CIMA?

The full-form of CIMA is Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. It is a professional body based in the UK and spanned across 170 countries or more. It provides a course in the management field and provides a degree of CIMA to the candidates fulfilling the stated conditions of the program.


  • It was established as a Cost and Works Accountant in 1919 by a few legal professionals to cater to the changing finance, accounting, and management domains’ changing needs.
  • In 1975, it received a Royal Charter and management accounting status as a branch of the accounting profession to qualify for business and finance careers. It has more than 2,18,000 members across 177 countries and is considered the largest professional management body globally.
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants fraternity members works in diverse fields such as Corporate Finance, Financial Reporting, Project Finance, Treasury Management, risk management, etc.
  • It is also a member of the International Federation of Accountants, considered a global organization in the accountancy profession. It was founded in 1977 and consisted of more than 175 members in 130 countries with over 3 million candidates worldwide.
Full Form of CIMA

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These exams follow a typical UK-based approach different from US institutions such as CPA. CMA etc. A relevant master’s degree, an equivalent degree, or a certificate in business accounting from CIMA is required to opt for the CIMA exam. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants syllabus is divided into three pillars and three parts. It includes objectives and case study-based questions. Out of total exams, there are nine objective exams and three case study-based exams. In the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, one level needs to be clear to move to the next level.


All levels cumulatively require nine objectives and three case study-based exams to clear the course.

Qualifications of CIMA.jpg

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  1. Operational Level: The operational level comprises three groups- organizational management, management accounting, financial reporting, and taxation. This level majorly covers the work of a junior accountant and provides exposure in the area of implementation of strategy and related reporting. In addition, the financial statements providing management accounting information and decision-making are taught at this level.
  2. Management Level: The management level comprises project and relationship management, advanced management accounting, and advanced financial reporting. This level prepares the candidate for a managerial or sub-managerial level. For example, the candidate learns about organizing a group account, pricing, product decisions, etc.
  3. Strategic Level: At the strategic level, there are three divisions; Strategic management, risk management, and financial strategy. Here, the candidate creates a financial plan with strategic relationships and prepares for senior management.

Exam Details

The objective exams take place on Pearson VUE assessment networks across the globe. The candidates need to clear all the exams before taking the case study exam. The exam is 90 minutes long and made of multiple-choice questions.

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  1. Both CIMA and ACCA courses are facilitated by professional bodies in the UK and provide job opportunities of similar strata. The major difference lies in specialization. Whereas ACCA is more focused on accounting and auditing, CIMA approaches management more vigorously.
  2. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants requires clearing 17 examinations to avail of the degree, but multiple exemptions are available due to tie-ups with other institutes worldwide. The course focuses more on business and management accounting subjects, with its core strategy, strategic management, and marketing. There are four stages of exams, coupled with three years of practical experience to complete this course. It takes around 2-2.5 years to finish the entire curriculum.
  3. On the other hand, a series of 14 examinations is required to pass; like CIMA, it also provides some exemptions to candidates of other accounting and financial professional courses. The highlighted subjects are accountancy, management, cost accounting, and performance management. The major thrust behind this course is on accountancy, auditing, and taxation. The program takes an average of 3-4 years, along with three years of practical practice, to finish the course.


  • It has a collaboration with CPA (America). A Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualified candidate achieves a complementary degree, CGMA from the CPA Institute, and the CIMA qualification. These degrees surely increase the weightage of the resume and advance the candidate one notch higher.
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants fraternity boasts more than 1,72,000 members in 160 countries and collaboration with 4500 companies for job prospects for qualified students. These credentials surely help the student to land a lucrative job.
  • It allows a flexible schedule for its students to finish at their own pace, and the student can complete the course with ease.
  • It is very cost-effective compared to the other courses available in the market. It charges only GBP 5302 for a full period spanning over three years.
  • The qualified CIMA candidate also gets preferential benefits in immigration to Australia and Canada, as CIMA has collaborated with professional bodies such as CPA Australia and CMA Canada.
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants course is well recognized in most companies across the globe. Some prominent companies are Ford, Siemens, Barclays, Sony, Deloitte, Xerox, Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Accenture, Cap Gemini, PWC, HSBC, Nestle, Coca Cola, American Express, etc.


Overall, this course is designed to excel, educate, and make a mark in management studies. Apart from global recognition, and well-established tie-ups with various educational organizations across the globe, it also provides a strong network of alumni chairing the top management roles in leading companies of the world.

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This article has been a guide to the full form of CIMA, i.e. (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and its definition. Here, we have discussed the history of CIMA, structure, qualification, and exam details. You may refer to the following articles to learn more about finance: –