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Exemptions You Can Get If You Do Both CMA And ACCA

CMA and ACCA are both top notch accounting qualifications with having fascinating the students in USA and UK for decades now. In fact, students from all over the world enrol in these two courses to get an entry into the world of finance. An interesting fact that we have seen is that even experienced professionals choose to pursue both CMA and ACCA in order to boost their careers further.

How can you become a CMA?

Institute of management accountants (IMA) which is the body which conducts the CMA course has specified that in order to become CMA certificate holders the candidates must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree course or an equivalent certificate which is recognised by IMA
  • Must have completed a professional certification course from a recognised college, university or an institute approved by IMA
  • Pass Parts I and II of the CMA exam is held by IMA.
  • They must also have a work experience of at least 2 years in accounting, finance, or any of the related areas.

How can you become an ACCA?

The following are the requirements have to be fulfilled by those who want to become an ACCA certification holders:

  • Pass the 14 exams spread across the foundation and professional levels of the course. Those who hold a certificate of an equivalent professional examination related to accountancy that is recognised by ACCA can get exemptions in up to 9 of these 14 examinations.
  • An experience of 36 months in a job function that requires candidates to apply their knowledge in accounts, audit, taxation, finance, or assurance.
  • Should have cleared the professional ethics module as prescribed by ACCA.

Mutual recognition agreement

In 2012, IMA and ACCA have entered into a partnership for mutually recognising each other’s members and to ease the eligibility and qualification requirements for getting the other qualification. So if you are a member of one of the institutes, then you can get some waivers if you decide to pursue the other course.

Exemptions available if you are already an ACCA

As per the agreement, if you are already an ACCA, then you will not be required to hold the bachelor’s degree. In other words, if you had decided to go for the ACCA qualification right after your 10+2 school leaving examinations, and did not do your bachelor’s degree, or are yet to complete it, then you will be benefited by this exemption. You can still enrol in CMA as an ACCA member, and complete the other eligibility requirements to become a CMA.

How to claim the CMA exemptions?

All requests for exemptions are thoroughly validated by IMA before they are approved.

To get the CMA exemptions, you will have to request ACCA to send an official letter confirming that you are a qualified member of ACCA. The mail should be sent to:


10 Paragon Drive Suite 1 Montvale, NJ 07645

Ensure that the confirmation letter is written in English, and it contains your ACCA membership number.

What if I want to do ACCA after CMA?

In the same way, as those wanting to do CMA after ACCA can get exemptions, there are ACCA exemptions for CMA qualified professionals as well. The CMA members can go for these ACCA UK exemptions if they want to get both CMA and ACCA qualified.

ACCA qualification exemptions for CMA holders:

As a CMA member, you are exempted from passing the following papers of the ACCA examinations:

  • F1 – accountant in business
  • F2 – management accounting
  • F3 – financial accounting
  • F4 – corporate and business law
  • F5 – performance management
  • F8 – audit and assurance
  • F9 – financial management

In short, this means that you are exempted from passing the entire Fundamental Level consisting of 9 papers covering the Knowledge and Skills modules. You can straight away proceed to the professional level and pass the remaining 5 papers in that level to get ACCA certified.

You can check the latest exemptions that are available from the ACCA Exemption Calculator.

Do the following:

  1. Enter the name of the institute as “INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS (IMA), USA”
  2. Type in your graduation year,

The ACCA website will then show you the exemptions you are eligible for.

How to claim the ACCA exemptions:

The granting of exemptions is not automatic, and you will have to apply to ACCA for it.

The application letter that you will send should be accompanied by copies of the official documents like certificates, mark sheets or transcripts that has been sent to you by IMA. Online certificates are not accepted, and only copies of original physical certificates must be sent. These documents need to be written in English, and the copies need to be properly signed and stamped by IMA, otherwise, they will get rejected.

Once ACCA receives the application, they will verify it and grant the exemptions to you if everything is in order.