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CIMA Certificate Holder

The Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a globally renowned association of Chartered Accountants with branches in around 180 countries in the world. The CIMA certification is a much sought after qualification for the students as well as the companies recruiting them. The CIMA certification holders are widely recognized as experts in financial accounting, management accounting, risk management, business management and various other disciplines.

The course is open to everyone who is interested in joining the profession of accounting. This is why the rules for entry are quite flexible. However, it is mandatory that the students must have proficiency in Business English and Mathematics.

Criteria For Entry

The following are the entry routes to the CIMA qualification:

  • School leavers: Anyone who is about to finish school can join the CIMA examinations in order to get started early. There is no need to wait till they complete their graduation. They can save several valuable years by heading straight into the profession after doing CIMA.
  • Graduates: Those who are still pursuing their graduation or have already completed it can join the CIMA course directly.
  • Masters degree holders: Candidates who have done their MBA or masters in accounting, can also join the CIMA course in order to get the additional edge in their careers. The CIMA qualification can help them to move ahead of the others in the job market.
  • Professional qualification holders: Those pursuing a professional course, like CA, CFA, ACCA or CMA, or have already gained the membership in a recognized IFAC body can join the CIMA course directly to enhance your career.
  • Others: Even if you do not have the educational background in accounting or any prior professional experience, you can still join the CIMA course. Enrollment to the course is open to everyone, even to those who are completely new to the world of business.


The graduates, post graduates and professional certification holders can claim exemption in several papers if they have studied similar subjects during their formal education years.

Exemptions are available to:

  • Graduates with a qualification listed in the database of CIMA accredited programmes.
  • Graduates who have completed a degree programme which is similar to the CIMA syllabus.
  • Candidates with an MBA or a Master’s in Accounting.
  • A member or student of Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
  • A passed finalist or member of ICWAI or ICMAB, or a member of ICMAP.
  • Those who are studying or have completed a relevant qualification with another professional body.

CIMA Gateway Routes

To earn the exemptions, students can enroll for the CIMA Gateway programs. CIMA Gateway Routes:

These are the accelerated entry routes to the CIMA Professional Qualification and the CGMA designation. The eligible candidates have to appear for the CIMA Gateway Exam to qualify for these routes. The CIMA Gateway Exam is a computer based case study exam of 3 hours duration, held in four windows in a year. After passing the CIMA Gateway Exams, they can get exemptions in up to 11 papers of the CIMA exams.

Eligibility Criteria

Management Accountant Gateway Route

Open for the members and passed finalists of:

  • Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI)
  • Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP)
  • Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB)

Exemption Available: Candidates get exemptions from 11 papers from the certificate level, operational and management level exams, and can progress to the strategic level of the CIMA Professional Qualification.

Professional Gateway Route

Open for the members and passed finalists of professional bodies which are both:

  • A member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
  • An examining body

Exemption Available: Candidates get exemptions from 11 papers from the certificate level, operational and management level exams, and can progress to the strategic level of the CIMA Professional Qualification.


  • Open for individuals who hold an MBA or Masters in Accounting. They can directly enroll in the Master’s Gateway accelerated route into CIMA to get exemption in 12 papers of CIMA.

Exemption Available: Once they pass the CIMA Gateway exam, the candidates can get exemption in 12 papers and can directly enroll for the strategic level of the CIMA Professional Qualification.

Earning the CIMA certificate:

To earn the CIMA certificate, you need to clear 9 objective type papers and 3 case studies based examinations covering the three pillars of knowledge that have been specified in the CIMA Qualifications Framework.  Upon completion of these examinations, they will receive the CIMA professional qualification certificate. Thereafter, they can pay the necessary fees and apply for the CIMA membership.

Earning the CGMA designation:

After getting the CIMA certificate, if you want to get the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, then you have to additionally complete the Practical Experience Requirements (PER).

The PER requires the CIMA certificate holders to gather an experience of 3 years a working in a role related to accounting in a company. Once the student gathers the PER, he/she can apply for the membership of CGMA. If their membership is approved, then they can use the CGMA designation.

Companies Looking For CIMA Holders

The curriculum for the CIMA qualification has been designed carefully to blend the disciplines of financial accounting, management accounting and various other subjects that help the students to become a business focused and highly professional. Due to this reason, there is a rising demand for CIMA holders in the industry, and several companies look for the CIMA professionals on an ongoing basis.

These companies belong to various industries like:

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • B2B services
  • Construction property
  • Education
  • Financial services
  • Health care
  • Manufacturing and engineering
  • Telecommunications
  • Media, marketing, advertising and PR
  • Oil and gas
  • Public sector
  • FMCG
  • Retail, etc.

Some prominent companies which employee CIMA certificate holders include JP Morgan, Accenture, Deloitte, HP etc.


The 2016 CMA Salary Survey reveals on an average the CIMA certificate holders working in various industries receive extremely attractive salaries. The global average salary of CIMA members is £68,647. 70% of the members surveyed said that they were expecting to receive an average bonus 11% in 2016.

The salary prospects for the students of the CIMA course are also attractive. The global average salary drawn by the students stands at £27,146 in 2016. 62% of the students said that they were expecting to receive an average bonus of 9% this year. A majority of them expect to receive handsome salary increments as well.