Discover the Difference: A Comprehensive Guide to ACCA vs CIMA
The accounting and finance industry is rapidly evolving and becoming more complex daily. As a result, the demand for qualified professionals with an in-depth understanding of the industry is increasing. This has led to the emergence of two leading professional qualifications – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Both qualifications are globally recognised and provide excellent career opportunities for those pursuing a career in the accounting and finance industry. But what are the differences between the two qualifications? Let’s take a look at a comprehensive guide to ACCA vs CIMA.
Introduction to ACCA and CIMA
ACCA is a global professional accountancy body that offers various qualifications, from foundation level to advanced chartered accountant. The qualification is recognised and respected in more than 180 countries and is one of the most sought-after qualifications in the world.
CIMA, on the other hand, is a UK-based global professional body for management accountants. It offers a range of qualifications that focus on managing financial information and is recognised and respected in more than 180 countries.
Overview of ACCA and CIMA
ACCA is a professional accounting qualification that focuses on the principles of financial accounting and its application. It provides students with the knowledge and skills required to become a professional accountants. The qualification consists of 13 exams, which must be completed to become a qualified accountant.
CIMA, on the other hand, is a professional management accounting qualification. It focuses on the principles of management accounting and its application in business. It provides students with the knowledge and skills required to become professional management accountants. The qualification consists of 14 exams, which must be completed to become a qualified management accountant.
Core differences between ACCA and CIMA
The core difference between ACCA and CIMA is the focus on qualifications. ACCA focuses on the principles of financial accounting and its application in business, while CIMA focuses on management accounting and its application in business.
Another critical difference between ACCA and CIMA is the content of the examinations. The ACCA exams focus on the principles of financial accounting, while the CIMA exams focus on management accounting principles.
ACCA and CIMA Qualification Requirements
The qualification requirements for both ACCA and CIMA are similar. To become a qualified accountant, students must complete the relevant exams and demonstrate a deep understanding of the topics covered.
For ACCA, students must complete the 13 exams to become qualified accountants. ACCA exams are held four times a year. Refer to our ACCA exam timetable for dates
For CIMA, students must complete the 14 exams to become qualified management accountants. CIMA exams are held four times a year. Refer to our CIMA Exam timetables for exact dates.
Career Opportunities with ACCA and CIMA
ACCA and CIMA provide excellent career opportunities for qualified professionals. ACCA-qualified professionals are in high demand and can find employment in various sectors, from banking and finance to consulting and auditing.
CIMA-qualified professionals are also in high demand and can find employment in various sectors, from banking and finance to consulting and auditing. However, CIMA-qualified professionals tend to have more opportunities in the management accounting sector.
Benefits of Studying ACCA and CIMA
Studying for a professional accounting or management accounting qualification has many benefits. ACCA and CIMA provide students with a deep understanding of accounting principles and the skills and knowledge required to become a professional accountant or management accountant.
In addition, both qualifications are recognised and respected in more than 180 countries, which provides students with a global perspective on accounting and finance. This makes them more marketable and increases their chances of finding employment in their desired industry.
Cost of ACCA and CIMA Qualifications
The cost of ACCA and CIMA qualifications varies depending on the country where the student is studying. Generally, ACCA and CIMA qualifications are more expensive in countries where the qualifications are widely recognised, such as the UK, USA and Australia.
In tIndia, the ACCA qualification costs approx INR 150,000 to INR 300,000 depending on the exemptions you get.
In the UAE, the ACCA qualification can cost upto 14300 AED for all training materials and exams.
In Australia, the ACCA qualification costs AU$ 7,200 for the written exams and AU$ 7,400 for the practical exams. The cost of the CIMA qualification is AU$ 7,800 for the written exams and AU$ 8,000 for the practical exams.
Expansion of ACCA and CIMA Qualifications
ACCA and CIMA are continuously expanding their qualifications to meet the changing needs of the accounting and finance industry.
In recent years, ACCA has introduced new qualifications that focus on specific areas of accounting, such as financial management, auditing, taxation and risk management. These new qualifications have enabled ACCA to become a more comprehensive accounting body.
CIMA has also introduced new qualifications that focus on specific areas of management accounting, such as financial planning and analysis, corporate finance, business strategy and performance management. These new qualifications have enabled CIMA to become a more comprehensive management accounting body.
ACCA and CIMA Exam Preparation Tips
- Understand the exam structure: It is essential to understand the exam structure to know what topics will be covered in the exam.
- Make a study plan: It is essential to make a study plan to make sure you have enough time to cover all the topics.
- Take practice tests: Taking practice tests is a great way to familiarise yourself with the exam structure and to identify areas that need to be improved.
- Set realistic goals: It is essential to set realistic goals to stay motivated and focused.
- Get help: If you are struggling with any topic, it is essential to seek help from an expert.
ACCA and CIMA are two globally recognised professional qualifications that provide excellent career opportunities for those pursuing a career in the accounting and finance industry.
Although both qualifications are similar in many ways, there are critical differences between them. It is essential to understand these differences to make an informed decision about which qualification is best suited for you.
If considering taking the ACCA or CIMA qualifications, follow the exam preparation tips outlined in this article. This will ensure that you are well-prepared for the exams and increase your chances of success.
Are you ready to discover the difference between ACCA and CIMA? Take this comprehensive guide to ACCA vs CIMA and start your journey towards becoming a qualified accountant or management accountant today!
The ACCA exam time in India is typically around 1:30 PM local time for centre based exams. In some cities, exams can also be offered at 9:30 AM
For remote exams, there are multiple slots during the day at 15 minute intervals.
There are four exam sessions per year for the ACCA qualification: September, December, March, and June.
Candidates have the opportunity to sit exams in any of these sessions.
Students must go to their myACCA login and book the exams directly.
As all exams are Computer based, students will be redirected to the Pearson exam booking window, where they will need to select their centre or remote times.
Exam dockets are sent via email and also available for download on your MyACCA login three weeks prior to the exam dates.
The ACCA exams are typically multiple choice or objective test questions, although some exams may also include written case study questions. The exams are usually held in a computer-based format, although paper-based exams may be available in some locations.
Yes, you can change the exam session or location after you have registered, but no changes can be done after the exam booking deadline date
If you miss an exam, you will need to re-register and pay the exam fees again. ACCA marks you as absent.
You will also need to wait until the next exam session to sit for the exam.
Yes, you can request a refund if you decide not to take the exam and have cancelled the exam booking prior to the exam deadline.
The refund will be credited to your ACCA account which you can use for your next exams.
If you need a refund back to your credit card, you will have to contact ACCA team.
The syllabus of ACCA does not materially change every year.
All amendments are done basis the September to June exam cycle.
As an example, in order to keep up with the latest changes in the accounting industry and business world, the syllabus is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. So although there may not be any major changes each year, there will likely be some minor amendments made.
It is best to review the latest syllabus on ACCA site prior to starting your studies.