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Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) : Importance, Qualification & Salary

Last Updated : 09 Jan, 2024
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What is CIMA?

CIMA is defined as a management accounting program that equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue dynamic careers in investment banks, audit firms, banking, IT sectors, and even e-commerce. A candidate may pursue employment opportunities in fields such as Treasury Management, Corporate Finance, Business Analysis, Financial Reporting, Financial Analysis, Project Finance, and Risk Management upon completion of the CIMA course. The full form of CIMA is Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants.

Geeky Takeaways:

  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) examination is a worldwide recognized qualification for management accounting and finance professionals.
  • The Operational, Management, and Strategic CIMA exam levels include diverse management accounting and financial strategy topics.
  • The CIMA exam thoroughly evaluates financial management, accounting, risk management, and strategic decision-making skills.
  • CIMA’s assessment method comprises objective tests, case studies, and integrated case studies to evaluate applicants’ theoretical understanding and real-world application.
  • Passing the CIMA exam confers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) certification.

Basics of CIMA

Complimenting Degree

BBA, B.Com., ACCA, CFA, and MBA

CIMA Course Duration

2 to 3 years bifurcated in 4 levels

Exam Paper Structure

Bifurcated in four levels

  • Certificate Level
  • Operational Level
  • Management Level
  • Strategic Level

Average Passing Percentage

50% to 60%

Job Opportunities

  • Finance Business Partner
  • Financial Accountant
  • Business Analyst
  • Accounts Assistant

Difficulty Level 


History of CIMA

In 1919, a group of legal professionals founded the organisation as a Cost and Works Accountant in response to the changing needs of the finance, accounting, and management industries. It was granted management accounting status as a branch of the accounting profession and a Royal Charter in 1975, enabling its members to pursue careers in business and finance. Consisting of over 2,18,000 members covering 177 countries, it is widely regarded as the premier professional management organisation on an international scale.

The fraternity members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants are employed in a variety of disciplines, including Corporate Finance, Financial Reporting, and Project Finance, Risk Management, Treasury Management, and so forth. Additionally, it maintains membership in the International Federation of Accountants, a globally recognised organisation within the field of accountancy. Established in 1977, its membership surpassed 175 individuals across 130 countries, and it currently has 3 million candidates globally.


1. Widely Recognised: CIMA is the world’s largest professional body for accounting professionals and is highly valued by businesses all over the world. This brings up a plethora of work prospects in many nations and industries.

2. High Demand: CIMA-qualified accountants are in high demand all around the world, making it easier to obtain work in a variety of industries.

3. Management Skills: CIMA provides students with the information and skills necessary to thrive in company accounting, such as risk management, financial planning, and performance management.

4. Corporate Strategy: CIMA focuses on the strategic management of accounting, which is critical for building long-term corporate plans.

5. Practical Experience: CIMA incorporates real job experience into the certificate, ensuring that students receive hands-on experience while studying.

6. Flexible: CIMA provides a flexible study framework that allows students to study at their own pace and select the degree of qualification that best suits their career ambitions.

7. Career Advancement: A CIMA qualification can lead to new career routes and prospects for growth, such as senior management or financial director positions. As a CIMA member, students get access to a broad professional network of like-minded people, including managers, other learners, and CIMA-qualified professionals.

8. Lucrative Salary: CIMA-qualified individuals are recognised to earn a respectable wage, which is frequently greater than those with other accounting degrees.

Importance of CIMA

1. Additional Degree: It has a partnership with CPA (America). A candidate who is qualified by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants receives a complementary degree, the CGMA from the CPA Institute, and the CIMA qualification. These degrees undoubtedly increase the weight of the resume and push the individual one step forward.These certifications will undoubtedly assist the student in obtaining a prosperous profession.

2. Huge Base of Members: The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants has over 172,000 members in 160 countries and works with 4500 companies to provide job opportunities for qualified students.

3. Flexible Timetable: It provides a flexible timetable for students to complete the course at their own convenience, and the student can complete the programme with ease.

4. Inexpensive: It is quite inexpensive when compared to other courses on the market. It costs only GBP 5302 (₹5,61,274.98) for the entire three-year duration.

5. Preferential Treatment: Because CIMA has worked with professional groups like as CPA Australia and CMA Canada, certified CIMA candidates receive preferential treatment in immigration to Australia and Canada.

6. Universally Recognised: Most firms throughout the world recognise the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants training. Ford, Siemens, Barclays, Sony, Deloitte, Xerox, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Accenture, Cap Gemini, PWC, HSBC, Nestle, Coca Cola, American Express, and others are among the notable corporations.

Structure of CIMA

Operational Level

Management Level

Strategic Level

E1 Objective Test
(Managing Finance in a Digital World)

E2 Objective Test
(Managing Performance)

E3 Objectives
(Strategic Management)

P1 Objective Test
(Management Accounting)

P2 Objective Test
(Advanced Management Accounting)

P3 Objective Test
(Risk Management)

F1 Objective Test
(Financial Reporting)

F2 Objective Test
(Advanced Financial Reporting)

F3 Objective Test
(Financial Strategy)

Operational Case Study

Management Case Study

Strategic Case Study

CIMA Course Details

1. Certificate Level: The Certificate level serves as the foundational tier of the CIMA certification program. It includes management accounting, financial reporting, and accounting in the digital era, among other topics, and provides a foundation in accounting and business principles. The Certificate level is comprised of three computer-based exams and a case study that may be completed at any time during the year.

2. Professional Level: This level emphasizes business acumen and advanced management accounting skills. Three foundational pillars comprise the Professional level. These are the pillars,

  • Enterprise Pillar: It places emphasis on the cultivation of expertise and understanding in the domains of financial management, risk management, and business strategy.
  • Performance Pillar: It places emphasis on performance management, including cost management, budgeting, and the analysis and interpretation of financial data, is the focus of this pillar.
  • Financial Pillar: The financial pillar corresponds to taxation and financial reporting, including activities such as the preparation of financial statements, corporate reporting, and taxation.

CIMA professional qualifications are divided into three levels, operational, management, and strategic. Three “Objective Test” exams at each level assess your knowledge in each pillar. The operational level tests create your technical foundation in all three pillars. The management level focuses on providing you with the practical skills and insights you need to lead a team/department effectively in real-world circumstances. The Strategic level provides the most advanced capabilities for leading entire organisations into the future. You will take 12 tests in total, nine “Objective Tests” and three “Case Study” exams. Objective Test tests are 90 minutes long, computer-based, and available at any time of year. Case Study tests are three hours long and computer-based. The Case Study tests, on the other hand, must be taken during certain periods that occur four times a year, in February, May, August, and November.

Syllabus of CIMA


Topics and Weightage

CIMA Certificate Level

  1. Fundamentals of Business Economics
  2. Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  3. Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  4. Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance, and Business Law

CIMA Operational Level

  1. Introduction to organisations (25%)
  2. Managing the finance function (15%)
  3. Managing technology and information (15%)
  4. Operations management (15%)
  5. Marketing (15%)
  6. Managing Human Capital (15%)

CIMA Management Level

  1.  Introduction to Strategic Management and Assessing the Global Environment (30%)
  2.  The human aspects of Organisation (20%)
  3.  Managing Relationships (20%)
  4.  Managing Change through projects (30%)

CIMA Strategic Level

  1. Interacting with the organisation’s Environment (20%)
  2. Evaluating Strategic position and strategic options (30%)
  3. Leading Change (20%)
  4. Implementation Strategy (15%)
  5. The Role of Information systems in organisational strategy (15%)

Qualifications Required to Opt for CIMA

  • You need either a passing grade in 10th grade or an O-level or an intermediate or A-Level to sign up for the CIMA study.
  • If you already have an undergraduate or graduate degree in any area, you can still sign up for the course.
  • Having an MBA or a professional accounting qualification is the best way to get into the CIMA school quickly.

Exam Details Of CIMA

Objective Type

Case Study

Exam at Each Level 3 1
Duration 90 180 min
Paper Type Objective type Integrated Case Study
Exam Frequency Daily based on availability at centre 4 times a year (Feb, May, Aug, Nov)
Result Declaration Immediately After 1 month of the exam

Salary of CIMA

Job Title


Finance Manager ₹525k – ₹3m
Chartered Accountant ₹498k – ₹3m
Senior Finance Manager ₹1m – ₹4m
Finance Analyst ₹440k – ₹786k
Management Accountant ₹356k – ₹983k
Financial Controller ₹2m – ₹4m
Financial Analyst ₹295k – ₹671k

CIMA Exemptions

If you’re curious whether the CIMA institution offers exemptions or not, we have some excellent news for you. In some circumstances, the CIMA course allows for exemptions. What else? The Institute does not charge any further fees for the exemptions granted. In the year 2015, CIMA or the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) inked an MOU indicating that members of both professional bodies will have a more streamlined entry starting in March 2015.

CIMA would provide ICMAI members with specific degree qualifications or work experience with an exclusive pathway route and exemptions for 16 exams, including the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (5 exemptions) and Professional Qualification (11 exemptions), leading up to the strategic case study exam. An ICMAI member would only need to take one exam to complete the professional qualification – the strategic case study.

Difference Between CIMA and ACCA




Focus Management Accounting and Strategy General Accounting and Finance
Levels Operational, Management, Strategic Knowledge, Skills, and Professional
Emphasis Strategic Decision Making, Risk Management Technical Expertise, Professional Skills
Exams Case studies, Objective tests Objective tests, Strategic Professional
Professional Title Chartered Global Management Accountant Chartered Certified Accountant
Membership Body CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)


Overall, this course is intended to excel, educate, and leave a lasting impression in management studies. Aside from global recognition and well-established partnerships with other educational organisations across the world, it additionally offers a strong network of alumni who hold top management positions in the world’s largest firms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the parts of the CIMA exam?


There are three stages of the CIMA exam: operational, management, and strategic. For each level, there are both objective tests and case study tests. The objective tests check for understanding and knowledge, while the case study tests check for ability to use and analyse information.

2. How often are CIMA exams given?


CIMA objective tests are computer-based and can be taken whenever you want, all year long. Sometimes in February, sometimes in May, sometimes in August, and sometimes in November.

3. How do I sign up for the CIMA exams?


Candidates must make an account on the CIMA website, choose the exam and testing centre they want, and pay the exam fees in order to sign up for a CIMA exam. Different registration dates apply, so it’s important to always check the official CIMA website for the most up-to-date information.

4. What is the minimum score needed to pass the CIMA exams?


There is no set pass mark for tests given by CIMA. The scaled score method is used to give grades, and the pass mark may be different for each test. Individuals are told their score on a scale and whether they passed or failed the test.

5. Can I study on my own for the CIMA exams?


Yes, people who want to take the CIMA exams can choose to study on their own using study tools from CIMA or other reputable sources. But a lot of people also choose to get help from approved learning providers to better understand the material and get ready for the test.

6. Are there any things I need to know before I can take the CIMA exams?


To start the CIMA qualification, you don’t need to have any special academic requirements. There are, however, written and numerical parts to the tests, so candidates should have a good grasp of basic maths and English. Also, it might help to have a related degree or experience with accounting, but it’s not necessary.

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