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CIMA

A CIMA qualification could be on the cards if you’re aiming high in a business accounting career. Another accounting qualification, you say? What does this one involve?

What’s CIMA?

CIMA is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. This particular professional qualification is recognised globally. It is tailored for those who want to excel in management accounting, namely accounting in business that combines various responsibilities in accounting (of course), finance, business strategy, risk and management.

CIMA is concerned with teaching and honing all of the necessary areas of knowledge and skills you need you be a top-notch management accounting specialist. People who have this qualification demonstrate that they are trained in and uphold the CIMA principles and ethics in practice.

What will it involve?

There are two main CIMA qualifications available: the Certificate in Business Accounting (for those without the necessary accounting knowledge and experience to take them straight onto the professional course) and the professional exams.

There are plenty of modules and exams to keep you busy with CIMA! The Certificate in Business Accounting has a mere ten (!) exams to its name that focus on strategic, operational and management elements.

The professional level also has ten exams for you to pass before you reach qualification glory. Don’t panic though – you won’t be taking all of these exams at once! Study can be staggered across a period of time and then you can take some exams in May or November each year when you are ready – a bit like a driving test.

What will it enable me to do?

CIMA is the largest accounting professional body in the world; membership with the CIMA qualification could therefore be your ticket to job opportunities in loads of different industries and in locations all over the world!

An incentive for accounting professionals to obtain CIMA is the chance to earn a salary boost.

How do I get a CIMA qualification?

If you have an accounting degree or a relevant degree listed by CIMA you could skip right through to the professional qualification exams or be exempt from taking certain papers.  

School leavers can get involved with the CIMA action too! If you’re a school leaver you can start with study for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, which provides fundamental management accounting knowledge and provides the grounding for progression to the professional qualification. The certificate can be an option for graduates without accounting-related degrees too.

CIMA qualifications can form part of a graduate or school leaver scheme with accountancy firms or professional services firms, so you might get the opportunity to qualify whilst you work. There is also the option of taking CIMA study as a full-time course, or to fit around your job with part-time, online and distance learning courses. You can find a number of business schools in London and other cities across the country that offer structured CIMA courses.

In order to get full CIMA membership you will have to have completed a certain amount of work experience in the field – three years or more.

By Jos Weale, Editor, All About Finance Careers

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