CIMA vs. Other Accounting Courses

Some years back when someone thought of accounts, generally he/she would visualize an accountant toiling over a pile of files and papers; probably wearing rather somber attire. But today the picture has changed as accountancy has evolved from being just about bookkeeping and taxmen; to specialized financial experts playing a vital role during a company’s financial and strategic decision making process.

In this exceedingly cut-throat financial market the accountancy profession is becoming a highly attractive preference for graduates pondering over feasible career prospects.

So what are the most popular courses available today and what benefits do they offer?

Accountancy today offers various career choices in diverse industries and across several different locations; along with this there are many courses available, and a student considering options may want to look into these following popular options.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)- Requires passing 14 examinations though certain degrees results in exemption from some of the examinations CareerGlobally accepted course; mainly in business and industry, forward thinking and strategic based roles
Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) – Also requires passing 14 examinations and similarly certain degrees offers exemption in majority of these papers. Career Recognized only in UK; mainly in audit and tax, accounting expertise based roles
Chartered Accountancy (CA) – offered by the ‘Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’ (ICAI). Requires various steps and is a very comprehensive course. CareerRecognized only in India; mainly in auditing, taxation & accounting. Can also start your own practice in India
Chartered Public Accountant (CPA) – offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Equivalent to a CA in India. CareerRecognized mainly in the US; but also may be accepted globally and has high value.
Cost and Management Accountants (CMA) is offered by Institute of Cost Accountants (ICAI). Career Recognized in India and earlier known as CWA (Cost and Works Accountant), these professionals are responsible for looking after cost accounts.


The various courses though different do offer some similar benefits also making it difficult to choose. However if you are looking for a career which gives you the flexibility to pursue a career in different countries and also something which covers accounting as well as business skills, then CIMA is the way to go.
Benefits of choosing CIMA as your career path

  • Globally recognized with an extensive global network.
  • Access to a wide range of jobs in financial organizations
  • Expertise in finding creative solutions to the complex issues and challenges
  • Get well acquainted about professional and ethical organizational values
  • Knowledge in both accountancy and management
  • Offers an avenue to work at senior and management level positions
  • Acquire an edge with access to more management accounting, business strategies and financial strategies
  • Increase in job offers as the course is revered highly by companies
  • Investment pays off in the first year itself, with high demand of CIMA in senior level posts
  • Helps individuals develop into financially qualified and confident business leaders, whom are constantly on the lookout for by enterprises today
  • While most accounting qualifications provide training on external audit and tax issues; CIMA trains and prepares you for a livelihood in business promoting expertise in strategic advice, managing risk and making key decisions.

Finally choosing the right course depends on an individual’s career aims. University of Bath research states– “CIMA qualification covers more management accounting, more business strategy and more financial strategy material than the ACCA syllabus.”