Why CIMA, and is CIMA Worth It?

In this article, we will explore what CIMA is all about and why you should consider pursuing this highly practical qualification to reach your career goals.


Dreaming of a career in accountancy that will allow you to work in virtually any sector, anywhere in the world?

Do you want an accountancy qualification that is internationally recognised in 190 countries?

Have you got your eye on increasing your earning potential once qualified? 

Well, look no further. The answer is the CIMA qualification, pioneered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). In this article, we will explore what CIMA is all about and why you should consider pursuing this qualification to reach your goals.

What's the purpose of the CIMA Qualification

The CIMA qualification focuses on equipping accountancy students with the skills necessary to become a professional Management Accountant

Since the focus is on management accounting rather than financial accounting, it is an Ideal qualification for those interested in business management and financial strategy. 

What does a Management Accountant actually do?

Day-to-day, it is the responsibility of the MA to interpret financial information and prepare reports. This data is used to forecast future financial trends and improve efficiencies in the business. This is where MAs differ from traditional accountants. 

Management Accountants are found in a diverse range of companies and roles that require financial analysis for business improvement. Therefore, if you want to be involved in the financial growth and sustainability of a company, then you become an MA.


What will you gain from studying CIMA?

  1. Global Recognition: CIMA is the world’s largest professional body for Management Accountants and is highly valued by employers worldwide. This opens up a wide range of job opportunities in different countries and industries.
  2. High Demand: CIMA-qualified accountants are in high demand across the globe, making it easier to find employment opportunities in various sectors.
  3. Business Management Skills: CIMA equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in business accounting, including skills in risk management, financial planning, and performance management.
  4. Business Strategy: CIMA focuses on strategic management accounting, which is essential for developing business strategies that lead to long-term success.
  5. Practical Experience: CIMA integrates practical work experience with the qualification, ensuring that students gain hands-on experience while they study.
  6. Flexibility: CIMA offers a flexible study structure that allows students to study at their own pace and choose the level of qualification that best suits their career goals.
  7. Career Advancement: A CIMA qualification can open up new career paths and lead to career advancement opportunities, such as senior management or financial director roles.
  8. Professional Network: As a CIMA member, students can access a vast professional network of like-minded individuals, including employers, fellow students, and CIMA-qualified professionals.
  9. Competitive Salary: CIMA-qualified professionals are known to earn a competitive salary, which is often higher than those with other accounting qualifications.
  10. Continued Professional Development: CIMA requires members to undertake continued professional development, which ensures that their skills and knowledge remain up to date and they stay relevant in the ever-changing business environment.

Structure of the CIMA Qualification

Explore VIVA's complete CIMA Courses here

Certificate Level: 

The Certificate level is the introductory level of the CIMA qualification. It provides a foundation in accounting and business principles, including accounting in a digital age, management accounting and financial reporting.

The Certificate level consists of three exams and a case study which is computer-based and can be taken at any time throughout the year.

Professional Level: 

This level focuses on advanced management accounting and business skills. The Professional level consists of three pillars.  The pillars are:

  • Enterprise Pillar: This pillar focuses on the development of skills and knowledge in the areas of business strategy, risk management, and financial management.
  • Performance Pillar: This pillar focuses on performance management, including the analysis and interpretation of financial data, cost management, and budgeting.
  • Financial Pillar: This pillar focuses on financial reporting and taxation, including preparing financial statements, taxation, and corporate reporting.

The CIMA professional qualification consists of three levels (Operational, Management and Strategic). At each level, three "Objective Test" exams (see below) test your knowledge in each pillar. The Operational level exams establish your foundational technical skills in all three pillars. The Management level focuses on equipping you with the practical skills and insights to be able to effectively manage a team/department in real-world scenarios. And the Strategic level delivers the highest level capacities to lead entire organistaions into the future.

You will write a total of 12 exams comprising nine "Objective Tests" and three "Case Study" exams. Objective Test exams are 90 minutes long, are computer-based and can be taken at any time throughout the year.  Case Study exams are 3 hours long, are also computer-based. However, the Case Study exams must be taken during specific windows which occur four times a year - in February, May, August and November.

What’s the best method for studying CIMA?

VIVA Financial Tuition has a holistic delivery method that has helped more than 10,000 students to pass their CIMA exams and achieve career success.

We have become an industry leader in CIMA online tuition by using a mixture of on-demand content and live webinars to ensure students cover every aspect of the syllabus in as efficient and engaging a manner as posisble. We also offer mock exams of unrivalled exam realism, utilising an online testing platform that mimics the real-world CIMA exams. All live sessions are recorded for later viewing convenience. Our on-demand HD video lessons, full downloadable course notes, and 1000s of Objective Test practice questions further facilitate learning and explain why VIVA was awarded CIMA's prestigious Global Pass Rate Excellence Award in 2020.

These delivery methods are ideal for those working and studying part-time, or those who want to manage their studies on their own time and at their own pace. The flexibility afforded by this approach accommodates the learning styles of most students. 

Having experienced tutors available to support you through your studies is a must for this qualification. With lively debate and interaction with fellow students and tutors, VIVA gives you a rich and varied approach to professional learning. The practical, exam-focus of VIVA's tuition entrenches what you have learned theoretically, making this the quickest way of proceeding through a qualification as practice-focused as CIMA.

Student testimonials attest to our learning approach being an industry leader:

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In conclusion, this short overview has provided many reasons for you to seriously consider CIMA as a valid and highly sought-after qualification.

It meets the needs of anyone who aims to become an internationally equipped Management Accountant. With the right service provider, you can achieve this qualification successfully.

The benefits are more than the cost of studying the qualification in terms of time, resources and money making this a worthwhile investment in your future. 

Don’t waste any more time researching qualifications that don’t have the same recognition and power behind them.

Start today and before long you can put those cherished letters "CGMA" alongside your name!

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