Over the years, management accounting has become very important to any institution since it provides information that may prove to be crucial in the decision making process for the performance of an institution or an enterprise. Management accounting helps an institution in gaining information on what is better for the institution.
May it be a large institution or a small firm, each of them recognizes the importance of management accounting and therefore they appoint professional management accountants who are proficient in their jobs.
To train individuals in management accounting certification courses began, the two most important certification courses for management accounting are CIMA and ACMA.
CIMA vs ACMA
The main difference between CIMA and ACMA is CIMA or The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant is an educational and professional body that gives training in management accounting to the management accountants whereas ACMA or The Associates of Cost and Management Accountants is a certificate course provided by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) and Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP).
CIMA is a professional certification course to provide proper training to the management accountants in the field, it is mostly based in the UK and the Commonwealth Nations. ACMA is a professional course for the same, provided by ICAI which is more popular in the USA, India and the middle east.
Comparison Table Between CIMA and ACMA
|Parameter of Comparison||CIMA||ACMA|
|Kind of body||CIMA is a professional body based in the UK.||ACMA is a professional body and a member of CIMA.|
|Training provided||Provides training in management accounting and business accounting.||Provides training in management accountant.|
|Courses offered||At the primary level, CIMA offers courses in Enterprise operations, Financial operations and Performance operations. The secondary level courses offered by CIMA are Enterprise Management, Financial Management and Performance Management. At the last level, CIMA offers courses in Enterprise Strategy, Financial Strategy and Performance Strategy.||ACMA offers courses in Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Business Mathematics, Statistics, Business Economics, Enterprise Management, Commercial Law, Strategic Financial Management, Investment Analysis, Corporate Financial Reporting, Cost and Management Audit, Portfolio Management, Professional Ethics and Tax Management and Practices.|
|Structure of exam||The exam conducted by CIMA has four levels. The first three levels are based on the three levels of courses. The fourth and the last level has got two parts, the first part is based on the experience of 3 years of an individual and the second part is a case study exam.||ACMA exams are divided into three parts. The first part has a total of four papers. The second part is further divided into two parts and each part has four papers and the third part has the same pattern as of the second part.|
|Fee structure||One has to pay Rs One lakh for each level of examination.||The fee to be paid for ACMA is around sixty to seventy thousand.|
What is CIMA?
CIMA or The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant is a professional body based in the UK, it provides training to individuals in management accounting to make a person a qualified management accountant. It focuses mainly on the financial and business management accounting and not on auditing. CIMA is particularly a popular course in the UK and the Commonwealth Nations.
CIMA offers courses at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The primary level course includes Financial Operations, Enterprise Operations and Performance Operations. At the secondary level it has Financial Management, Enterprise Management and Performance Management. The last level of course includes Financial Strategy, Enterprise Strategy and Performance Strategy.
The exam conducted by CIMA is on four levels. The first three levels are based on the three levels of courses. The fourth level is divided into parts A and B, part A is based on the three-year experience of an individual while part B is a case study of three hours.
An individual is given the certificate only after the completion of all the levels of exams. CIMA certification takes around three to four years to complete. The CIMA course is however expensive, one has to pay one lakh for each level of examination.
What is ACMA?
ACMA or The Associates of Cost and Management Accountants is a professional certification training given by ICAI (The Institute of Cost Accountants of India) and ICMAP in management accounting. The ACMA course is popular in the US, India and the Middle East.
The ACMA course is divided into three parts. It includes Financial Accounting, cost accounting, Business Mathematics, Business Economics, Statistics, Enterprise Management, Strategic Financial Management, Investment Analysis, Commercial Law, Portfolio Management, Tax Management and Practices.
The ACMA examination is conducted at three levels based on the three levels of courses. The first part has four papers. The second and third levels are further divided into parts and each of these parts has four papers.
The completion of ACMA certification takes around six to twelve months. One has to pay around sixty to seventy thousand for the course.
Main Differences Between CIMA and ACMA
- CIMA stands for The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant and ACMA stands for The Associates of Cost and Management Accountants.
- CIMA is an international body based in the UK whereas ACMA is a member of CIMA.
- CIMA is particularly popular in the UK and the Commonwealth Nations while ACMA is dominant in the USA, India, China and the Middle East.
- Both CIMA and ACMA offer courses at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
- CIMA conducts its exams in four levels while ACMA conducts its examination in three parts.
- The exams of CIMA are based both on syllabus and experience and case studies while the exams of ACMA are based only on the syllabus.
- CIMA certification is more expensive as compared to the ACMA certification.
- Completion of CIMA certification takes about 3 to 4 years while ACMA certification can be completed in 6 to 12 months.
- One can get the CIMA exams scheduled according to them while ACMA exams are conducted at a particular time each year.
There may be many differences between the certification of CIMA and ACMA but the basic idea behind them is the same. Both focus on providing the training to make an individual professional management accountant so that they can contribute to the welfare of an association and play an important role in the decision-making process at every level in the organization.
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