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arrow_back ACCA or CIMA - which will give me better qualification?

in Studying accounting Accounting Expert
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I am currently working as a Management Accountant for a music company and have been offered the opportunity to study further via my company. I have a Business Degree, so may be exempt from a few exams.

I understand CIMA is deemed as more 'Commercial' although I would like to have a qualification that gives me the most opportunities. I am especially interested in:

- Earning potential

- If it will be recognised abroad

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Both the ACCA and CIMA are international qualifications that are globally accepted and highly regarded. Both qualifications will take 2-3 years to complete.

CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants): 

·       Focuses on management accounting, cost management and enterprise strategy

·       Its core subject are organisation management, financial reporting, project and relationship, strategic and risk management

·       Qualification in management accountancy and related subjects

·       The CIMA is divided into four levels. There are a total of 12 exams to achieve the CIMA certificate, nine multiple-choice objective tests (three per level), and three case studies (one per level).

·       Exam window: February, May, August, November

·       3 years of qualified work experience needed for membership

·       Examining body based in UK

·       Pass percentage rate: 35%-46%

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants): 

·       Focuses on financial accounting and audit

·       Its core subjects are accounting, law, taxation and financial reporting

·       Qualification is a certification in chartered accountancy

·       The ACCA offers a total of 16 courses; you need to give 14 papers which are divided in the following format, 9 papers of the Fundamental Level and 5 papers of the Professional Level.

·       Exam window: June, September, December

·       3 years of qualified work experience needed for membership

·       Examining body based in UK

·       Pass percentage rate: 30%-40%

The ACCA will give you a stronger foundation in accounting principles than CIMA, which focuses more on management reporting and corporate strategy. These are two certifications with different focus, and choosing between the two depends on the path you want to take with your career.

Because of CIMA’s focus on management accounting in a business context, it is suitable for those who know they want to work in the finance or management of bigger organisations. ACCA’s broader approach to accountancy skills means you can work in the financial accounting of a wide range of sectors.

According to new research by recruiters Hays, the earning potential of ACCA and CIMA finalists studying towards both qualifications is similar, being in the range of £35,000- £42,000 in London.

Further points you could consider are the fees and annual subscriptions of each qualification, as well as the needed Continued Education.

The right choice between these qualifications will depend on your personal career aspirations.

Accounting Guru
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