CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants


CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is an internationally recognized professional body that supports over 164,000 students and members in 161 countries. CIMA is responsible for the education and qualification of Chartered Management Accountants who work in all business sectors, in roles both within and outside finance. CIMA is the only professional body that qualifies accountants solely for business. CIMA Chartered Management Accountants work in industry, commerce, the public sector and not-for–profit organizations.




To qualify as a Chartered Management Accountant under the CIMA qualification, an applicant must:


  • Meet the stringent entry requirements for the professional qualification

  • Register as a student with CIMA

  • Study for, sit and pass nine examinations, as defined within the syllabus

  • Sit and pass the CIMA test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting (TOPCIMA), as defined within the syllabus.

  • Gain a minimum of three years’ practical experience, as defined within the CIMA Practical Experience Requirements, and have their Career Profile approved




The diversity of functions in which CIMA members operate can be demonstrated from the findings of our 2006 member survey. The following are areas which occupy a significant amount of time within the roles of CIMA members.


Management Accounting                  65%

Financial Management                      54%

Planning and Strategy                       42%

Financial Accounting                         39%

Project Management                         36%

Information Technology                    34%

Corporate Reporting                         28%

Business/Practice Management     24%

Risk Management                             23%

Compliance                                        22%


How to apply


If you are new to business or accounting studies and you do not already have an exempting qualification you will start by gaining the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.

  • Entry into the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is open to all, regardless of your financial knowledge. All you require is a passion to succeed in business.

  • If you enter the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting after studying at university, you may be eligible for exemptions from one or more of the levels. To see if you are eligible for any exemptions, 


visit cimaglobal exemptions details.




Certificate Level


The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is ideal for people who are new to the world of business qualification because it offers a solid grounding in the basics of management accounting, financial accounting and business and consists of 5 papers. It is also a stepping stone towards the CIMA Professional Qualification.


Operational Level


The three exams at this level introduce students to contemporary business subjects like ethics, forecasting, reporting and marketing, from an operations view. Students who pass all three operational level papers will be awarded the CIMA diploma in management accounting.


Management Level


The three exams at this level focus on subjects like project management, relationship management, analysis of financial accounts and budgeting. Students who pass all three management level subjects will be awarded the CIMA advanced diploma in management accounting.


Strategic Level


The three exams at this level build on previous knowledge and cover change management, performance evaluation and strategy implementation and managing financial risk.




The Test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting (TOPCIMA)




In order to apply for exemptions you will need to send us a certified copy of your award certificate and a copy of the transcript (details of the subjects you studied) along with your completed registration form and relevant fees. To be certified the copy of your certificate and transcript must be signed by a responsible person as a true copy of the original. Please note that you should not sign up for a CIMA course until you have written confirmation of your exemptions. We do not accept liability for course fees which have been affected by an exemption decision. When you have completed the Certificate, or if you already have a qualification that gives you direct entry, you can begin studying for the CIMA Professional Qualification.


Source: CIMA


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