What is CIMA? Course overview. Syllabus. Course fees

by Eduyush Team

CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, is a world-leading professional body that equips business leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to make sound decisions. CIMA is the perfect place to start if you're looking to pursue a career in management accounting. With more than 210,000 members in 178 countries, CIMA offers a wealth of resources and opportunities for professional development. So what are you waiting for? Find out more about CIMA today!

What is CIMA qualification?

The CIMA qualification is an internationally recognized certification that proves financial management mastery. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious and rigorous qualifications available in the field of finance. 

The CIMA qualification is held by business professionals worldwide, and those who possess it are highly sought after by top employers. If you are looking to pursue a career in finance, or are already working in the field and want to take your job to the next level, then the CIMA qualification is definitely for you.

Is CIMA worth it: The advantages of the course

Let's look at the benefits of pursuing CIMA. 

  • The CGMA designation: Once you complete the CIMA course, you get qualified for the title and can use the title along with your name. It will add value to your resume and recognize you as a Chartered Management Accountant on a global platform. 
  • Career Prospect: CIMA-qualified members are always in demand and highly preferred in IT, Banking, Financial Services, and E-commerce in various managerial roles across industries in India and abroad.
  • Flexibility: The best part of this course is that you can pursue this at your own pace. It is beneficial for both students as well as professionals.
  • Recognition: CIMA is a globally recognized course valued across 178+ countries. The institute is constantly working with corporates and influencers worldwide.
  • Exemptions: Based on your qualification, you can opt for paper exemption, and CIMA gives you a maximum of 15 exemptions. 

What are the CIMA Levels?

CIMA's course is segregated into four levels:

  1. Certificate Level
  2. Operational Level
  3. Management Level
  4. Strategic Level

How many CIMA exams are there?

1. Certificate Level: Certificate in Accounting: It is an entry-level course and can be pursued after completing Class X. 


  • BA1 – Fundamentals of Business Economics     
  • BA 2 – Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • BA 3 – Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • BA 4 – Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance, and Business Law

Exam pattern: 4 Objective-type Exams

2: The Operational Level (CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting): It generally covers the role of Junior Accountants and gives you a good understanding and knowledge of how to prepare financial statements, provide management accounting information, and use appropriate tools to make business decisions.

This level covers primarily three areas: 

  • E1:Organizational Management
  • P1: Management Accounting
  • F1: Financial Reporting and Taxation

Exam pattern: 3 Objective type Exams and 1 Case study Exam

3: Management Level (CIMA Advance Diploma in Management Accounting): This one covers the role of the Manager who connects the Sr. Management with employees. One will learn how to prepare group accounts, make pricing and product decisions, and manage projects and relationships.


  • E2: Project and Relationship Management
  • P2: Advanced Management Accounting
  • F2: Advanced Financial Reporting

Exam pattern: 3 Objective Type Exams and 1 Case study Exam

4: Strategic Level: This advanced level prepares you for the Senior Managerial role. The syllabus concentrates on making strategic decisions and providing the context for implementing those decisions. Candidates learn how to formulate financial strategy, manage strategic relationships, and identify and manage risk.


  • E3 Strategic Management
  • P3 Risk Management
  • F3 Financial Strategy

Exam pattern: 3 Objective Type Exams and 1 Case study Exam

You can plan your CIMA exams ahead. We have listed the critical CIMA exam dates on this blog.

Read our detailed blog on the CIMA Syllabus and exams list.

CIMA Eligibility

CIMA is divided into Certification Level and Professional Levels. 

  • CIMA Qualification in Business Accounting is an entry-level certification
  • Basic proficiency in accounting or business studies is mandatory to pursue Operational Level Studies. One should have one of these to qualify for the Operational Exam: 
  • CIMA Qualification in Business Accounting
  • Master's in Accounting or MBA
  • Membership of ICWAI: Any relevant qualification to get an exemption from the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting
  • For Management Level studies, CIMA Operational level studies and Operational Case studies should be cleared.
  • And for Strategic Level studies, operational and management level studies, along with their case studies, should be completed and cleared.  

How long does it take to complete CIMA?

10+2/ Undergraduate/ Graduate with non-commerce background

  • Duration of the course is 3.5 years
  • Exemption: Nil

10+2 pass outs

  • The duration would be three years
  •  CIMA exempts you from 5 papers: BA1, BA3, BA4, P1 & OCS

Graduate with Commerce background

  • Duration: You can complete the complete course in 2 to 2.5 years
  • Exemption: You get exemption from 4 papers: BA1, BA2, BA3, and BA4

CA Inter cleared

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Six papers can be exempted: BA1, BA2, BA3, BA4, P1, and F1


  • Duration: 1 year
  •  After completing the post-graduation from the commerce stream, you can opt for exemption from 11 papers: BA1, BA2, BA3, BA4, P1, F1, E1, OCS, E2, P2, and F2

CA/CMA/Graduate (75%) +3 years work exp./CEO/CFO

  • Duration: 6 months
  • Exemption: 15 papers: BA1, BA2, BA3, BA4, P1, F1, E1, MCS, E2, P2, F2, OCS, E3, P3 and F3

How much does CIMA cost: 

The CIMA course fees without any paper exemption are between INR 3.5 Lakh to 4 Lakh. 

The entire fee is divided into four categories:

  • Registration fees: It is a one-time fee, including the first year's subscription fee. (CIMA's subscription year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st)
  • Subscription fees: An annual subscription fee must be cleared on January 1st.
  • Exam Fees: For every examination, you need to clear the fees before sitting for the respective exam. 
  • Exemption fees: If any of the papers is exempted, you need to clear the exemption fee per paper, which is generally the exam fee of the corresponding paper.


To sit in the examination, one should have cleared the Certification program from CIMA or have a relevant master's degree or equivalent accounting qualification. CIMA's examination paper at every level comprises topics based on Enterprise, Performance, and Financial, covering organization management, management accounting, and financial reporting.


The objective paper is a 90 minutes multiple choice question paper conducted on Pearson's VUE platform. 

Objective Tests: You can complete the objective Objective Test at each level in any order; however, all papers should be cleared before pursuing the Case Study exam.

Case Study Exam: The Case Study exam is 3 hours long and tests your knowledge and learning skills with a real-time scenario. 

What is the scope of CIMA?

We break this into three parts

  1. CIMA Salaries in India
  2. Companies hiring CIMA Candidates
  3. CIMA job roles


CIMA salary in India

Per the CIMA survey, qualified candidates with less than five years of experience earn, on average, Rs.8.47 lakh in basic annual salary. The survey also showed that professionals with five years of experience earn over Rs.10.00 lakh in basic wages alone.


 Numerous organizations are looking for CIMA-qualified candidates. 

Some of the companies are: 

  • HP
  • Cisco
  • British Petroleum
  • Accenture
  • General Motors
  • Ford Motor
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Microsoft India
  • Motorola
  • Infosys
  • Wipro
  • IBM
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Tata steels
  • Sandisk
  • EMC
  • Dell
  • Intel Corporation
  • Nestle
  • Siemens
  • Lenovo
  • JP Morgan
  • Qualcomm
  • KPMG
  • Seagate technology
  • ITC 

CIMA Job roles

CIMA-qualified candidates are known to be experts in financial accounting, management, accounting, and various other fields, and one may opt for:

Management consultant:

This is the most common position professionals opt for. As a Management Accountant, you become In-charge of preparing reports, allocating funds and ensuring the proper distribution of resources.

Salary Expectation: As a fresher, you can earn around INR 3.5 lakhs/annum; the candidate with 4-5 years of experience can expect a salary of INR 9.5 lakhs/annum, and competent professionals with more than a decade of experience can expect INR 25 lakhs per annu

Other positions include:

  • Business analyst
  • Management accountant
  • Financial controller
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Project manager

Closing comments

CIMA is the perfect place to start your journey into management accounting. With over 210,000 members in 178 countries, CIMA offers a wealth of resources and opportunities for professional development. So what are you waiting for? Find out more about CIMA today! And be sure to check out Eduyush's selection of CIMA KAPLAN books and CIMA BPP online training to help you on your way! 

Do also read our blog on the comparison of ACCA Vs CIMA.

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You’ll need to get registered with CIMA before you can sit the exams. Head to the CIMA website to get started.

Check out our all about CIMA page page for more information on starting your CIMA joruney.

CIMA Exams

Objective tests: Available on demand held throughout the year

Case Study: Held four times a year

Read our blog for the CIMA Exam timetable

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BPP CIMA online courses