Difference Between CIMA and ACMA

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.


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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.


The 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 vs Acma 1

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.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonCIMAACMA
Kind of bodyCIMA is a professional body based in the UK.ACMA is a professional body and a member of CIMA.
Training providedProvides training in management accounting and business accounting.Provides training in management accountant.
Courses offeredAt 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 examThe 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 structureOne 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.

CIMA offers courses at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The primary level course includes Financial Operations, Enterprise Operations and Performance Operations.

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 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 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

  1. Completion of CIMA certification takes about 3 to 4 years while ACMA certification can be completed in 6 to 12 months.
  2. One can get the CIMA exams scheduled according to them while ACMA exams are conducted at a particular time each year.


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