May 12, 2021
ACCA for B COM Students of Bangalore University
April 27, 2021
acca online exams
ACCA Remote Exams: Details & Guidelines to book your exam
June 8, 2021
People who aspire to improve their professional qualifications in accounting often debate ACCA vs CIMA. The key contrast between the two is that ACCA focuses on developing advanced accounting skills and principles, while CIMA provides knowledge for individuals seeking to take on strategic and business leadership positions.
ACCA certification equips students with skills in bookkeeping, management accounting, taxation, auditing, etc., while CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) certification provides relevant training and degree related to management accounting and various other related subjects.
Both ACCA and CIMA are recognized certifications in accounting and finance. However, CIMA is more than just accounting as it also helps to improve decision-making skills as it is a combination of accounting and business management. So both certification programs focus on specific job profiles and candidates have to decide based on their career aspirations.

Comparative Table – ACCA vs CIMA

Organizing body Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
Pattern Divided into three levels Knowledge Level
Skills Level
Professional Level
Divided into four levels Operational Level
Management Level
Strategic Level
Professional Level
Duration of course Three years Three years
Syllabus Accounting & Auditing
Financial Management
Financial Reporting
Ethical & Professional Standards
Business Accounting
Management Accounting
Information Management
Finance Management
Strategic Marketing Management
Exam Fees £1,500 – £2,000 £2,500 – £3,000
Jobs Accountant
Financial Consultant
Tax Manager
Finance Manager
Internal Auditor
Management Accountant
Business Analyst
Forensic Analyst
Project Manager
Finance Controller
Difficulty Moderate Moderate
Exam Dates Sep 05-09, 2022
Dec 05-09, 2022
Feb 09-25, 2022
May 11-27, 2022
Aug 10-26, 2022
Nov 09-25, 2022

ACCA vs CIMA – Which is Better?

This is a very common question and unfortunately there is no simple answer. There is no doubt that both certifications help secure some of the most sought-after jobs in finance and accounting. ACCA emphasizes advanced tax principles and external audits and prepares candidates to work independently or in private finance-focused firms. On the other hand, CIMA helps candidates prepare for the business side of accounting with a flair for managerial knowledge.

Skills Obtained

After becoming ACCA certified, a candidate will gain a deeper understanding of the technical side of financial accounting. On the other hand, a CIMA candidate who passes the exam develops excellent strategic and business management skills.


Both courses require a similar amount of time to complete. For ACCA, candidates must pass 13 professional exams and three years of supervised accounting experience. If candidates manage their work and studies at the same time, they can complete the ACCA qualification in three years. On the other hand, CIMA candidates must complete 16 papers and three years of relevant work experience to successfully complete the CIMA qualification. So even in CIMA candidates can complete the course in 3 years if they balance their work and studies well.

Eligibility or Experience Required

A candidate must complete high school to be eligible for the ACCA exam. In contrast, CIMA exams need a candidate to graduate from any discipline from a recognized university. In addition, both the ACCA and CIMA qualifications require the candidate to have three years of relevant work experience. Finally, it should be noted that candidates are eligible for exemption from papers based on their educational background.


In addition to the core areas of accounting, auditing and taxation, the ACCA course covers business studies, financial reporting, financial management, law and ethical and professional standards. On the other hand, the CIMA qualification focuses on developing business skills. Its subjects are business accounting, management accounting, information management, financial management, strategic marketing management, etc. ACCA syllabus has 13 exams while CIMA has 16 exams.

Career Opportunity and Salary

An ACCA qualified professional usually starts in the job profiles of Accountant, Financial Advisor, Tax Manager, Finance Manager and Internal Auditor. On the other hand, a CIMA qualified professional is best suited as an Accounts Manager, Business Analyst, Forensic Analyst, Project Manager and Financial Controller. ACCA trainees start on an average salary of £19,300 p.a., while ACCA finalists and ACCA part-qualifiers can earn up to £30,700 p.a. and £25,800 p.a. respectively. On the other hand, CIMA qualified professionals receive an average salary of £62,000, rising to £129,000 at higher levels.

Fees and Passing Rates of ACCA and CIMA

CIMA is slightly more expensive than ACCA in terms of examination cost. The ACCA qualification costs around £1,500-£2,000, while the CIMA qualification costs in the £2,500-£3,000 range. Based on historical graduation rates, both courses can be said to be moderately difficult. The table below shows the results of the ACCA exams conducted during March 2022, where we can see that the Professional level is the most difficult, while the Knowledge level is the easiest.
ACCA Qualification Mar – 22
Applied Knowledge
     Accountant in Business 83%
     Financial Accounting 71%
     Management Accounting 67%
Applied Skills
     Corporate and Business Law 85%
     Taxation 51%
     Financial Reporting 50%
     Performance Management 40%
     Financial Management 50%
     Audit and Assurance 44%
Strategic Professional – Essentials
     Strategic Business Leader 50%
     Strategic Business Reporting 46%
Strategic Professional – Options
     Advanced Audit and Assurance 33%
     Advanced Financial Management 43%
     Advanced Performance Management 34%
     Advanced Taxation 38%
  The table below shows the results of the CIMA exams conducted during February 2022. Apart from the Professional level, all other levels are equally difficult in terms of pass rate.
CIMA Qualification Feb -22
Operational 62%
Management 73%
Professional 45%
Strategic 72%

Exam Availability

ACCA exams are held in March, June, September and December, while CIMA exams are held in February, May, August and November.


When it comes to choosing between ACCA and CIMA, there is no straightforward answer as to which qualification is better. Both programs are recognized certifications in accounting and finance, and they offer unique training and degrees to students. While ACCA focuses on equipping students with essential skills in accounting, auditing, and taxation, CIMA emphasizes the importance of decision-making skills and business management. Ultimately, candidates must evaluate their career aspirations and job profiles to determine which program is better suited for them. Whatever the choice, earning either a CIMA or ACCA certification can open a world of opportunities in the accounting and finance industry. Contact us for more information or for any other related queries on the courses.

Request More information

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *