ACCA IMA Partnership Aug 2013 Update: No More MRA But Earlier Exemptions Still Valid

ACCA IMA partnershipMany candidates would like to know if they can get exemptions in other professional qualifications if they become a Certified Management Accountant.

We understand that you won’t get any for the US CPA, but there are some waivers for ACCA members.

The ACCA IMA Partnership

In June 2012 ACCA and IMA jointly announced a strategic partnership. I see this as a counter-action of the recent AICPA-ICMA alliance but in any case it is good news for CMA and ACCA candidates.

January 2013 Update

ACCA members now can have their bachelor’s degree requirement waived when they seek the CMA certification. In other words, ACCA members are automatically qualified to take the part 1 and part 2 of the exam. They still need to fulfill the rest of the requirement e.g. the 2 years of relevant working experience to get the CMA title.

For full details of this IMA-ACCA alliance, please refer to this press release.

June 2013 Update

Further and more tangible collaboration was announced on the first anniversary of ACCA IMA partnership, but IMA/ACCA decided not to proceed this plan (See below under August Update). The original press release was deleted. Here is a summary of the scraped plan:

1. ACCA Members Going For CMA

  • ACCA members who complete P4 (Advanced Financial Management) and P5 (Advanced Performance Management): full recognition i.e. can apply for CMA certification now
  • Other ACCA members:
    • Part 2 of CMA exam waived
    • Need to pass (i) P4 and/or P5, (ii) Part 1 of CMA exam to get the CMA certification
  • Applicable to ACCA members only

2. IMA Members Going For ACCA

  • Complete the ACCA’s essential papers: P1 (Governance, Risk and Ethics), P2 (Corporate Reporting), and P3 (Business Analysis)
  • Complete the Professional Ethics module
  • Complete a minimum of one year (12 months) ACCA Practical Experience Requirements, plus all Essential Performance Objectives

August 2013 Update

On August 13, 2013, IMA and ACCA announced that they are no longer proceeding with the MRA signed in June 2013 because they see the risk of people taking a “fast-route” for getting qualifications for the sake of it, instead of a benefit for existing members. For details refer to this announcement here.

This doesn’t mean the ACCA IMA partnership has ended: the exemptions granted in the January 2013 agreement is still valid, i.e. ACCA members who do not have bachelor degrees can get qualified to take the CMA exam.

Any Questions?

For more information on the CMA exam as well as tips on study tactics, please consider signing up to my e-course which is completely free. You can learn about the mini e-course here or sign up directly below.

Comments

  1. Augustine says

    IMA already declared through their magazine ” Strategic Management” about giving professional recognition credit to qualified ACCAs. So all ACCAs will be eligible for CMA certification.

    • Stephanie says

      Yes but you still need to take the CMA exam and fulfill the experience requirement in order to get the CMA title. It is not a direct reciprocal agreement, like the one between CMA and ICWAI.

  2. kamran shahid says

    i want to take admission in CMA but the fee of exam and tuition fee is very high and i can,t pay. I can pay low fee when you. Help me please

  3. Arhin says

    so will i be able to use my ACCA student status to apply for the CMA exams? Will i in this case be able to to hav a student IMA membership instead of professional membership?

    • Arhin says

      But then again, i find it very disturbing that CMA does not hav a comprehensive pdf documentation that explains all these

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Arhin,
      No you will still need to apply for the CMA exam separately and go through the necessary exam and requirement to become a CMA. But as a CMA you can get exempted from some ACCA requirements. I can see your frustration that it is quite complicated. Hope this helps! Stephanie

  4. StephanieStephanie says

    Hi aamir,
    I am not 100% sure, but since there are only two parts in the CMA exam, I doubt if they will give you any exemptions from any designation. For this US CMA exam candidates do not need to take any “courses” so it is also hard for them to grant exemption based on waiver of courses.

    FYI, IMA used to grant exemption to US CPA holders on Part 1 of the old exam (when they had 4 parts of the exam vs 2 parts now) but is not longer the case.

    Stephanie

  5. Mueez Ilyas says

    Hi Everyone,

    I currently reside in Uk and I have recently gained ACCA membership. I am in process of immigrating to States in near future. I was delighted to hear about global strategic partnership between ACCA and IMA. I understand that it is quite tough to get exemptions for CPA but I see CMA as an alternative to get into finance qualification in USA.

    I have read previous articles/comments about CPA vs ACCA and it really frustrates me that ACCA is not widely accepted in USA for the purpose of CPA. This is why I am considering applying for CMA instead of wasting time looking for CPA exemptions.

    I have 4 years experience of working in both financial and management accounts department for a transport company which also has operations in USA and I also hold BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University.

    I would be grateful if anyone can guide me with the following questions;

    1- If I get equivalence certificate of my qualification and experience would I be eligible to apply for CPA examination or I could apply in California (apparently they may accept ACCA) and sit for my exam in New Jersey?

    2- If it is not possible for me to get into CPA, can I still apply for CMA exams and does CMA operates on individual states basis likewise CPA or it has one central exam body.

    3- Any further news on exemptions for ACCA individual who want to study CMA?

    I would really appreciate if anyone could guide me or share any suggestion which you may think would be more appropriate considering my situation.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Mueez

  6. bahati says

    Hi stephanie,can I get exempted from some of ACCA papers after sucessfully finish the CMA exams but not yet done with work experience requirement?

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Bahati, this is a good question… I don’t know the answer but I will send an inquiry to ACCA (students@accaglobal.com). Will get back to you via this comment section. Stephanie

    • Muhammad Faheem says

      no you can’t. graduation and experience are compulsory stipulations which have to be provided for CMA certification either you passed the exam. IMA provides 7 years after passing CMA papers to submit the required documents. as soos as you will provide the documents, you will get the certification. one your get the CMA USA certification, you will be able to apple for exemptions. thanks | Faheem

  7. shani says

    what about the exemption in ACCA by doing CMA(USA).. this exemption is given after three years practical experience or just by clearing the CMA exams?????

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Shani,
      It says “completion of the CMA program” so I assume it means the completion of the 2 years of experience when you can actually use the CMA title, but then, please double check with ACCA to make sure. Stephanie

    • Srinvas Reddy-Letslearn says

      Hi Shani,
      Pleaes make a note that IMA ( Institute of Management Accountants) will issue CMA credential after verifying you Graduation program and 2 years experience.

      Upon receiving this certificate, scan and mail to ACCA paying appropriate FEE. You will be notified about exemptions in couple of weeks.

      Best,
      Srinivas Reddy.

  8. Anisha says

    Hi, I have done CPA (certified, not a licenced one and I still have to give ethics exam) I was thinking of taking up CMA. My question is do I get any expemtion since I have cleared CPA?

    • Srinvas Reddy-Letslearn says

      Hi Anisha,

      A CPA does not get any exempitons from CMA as we have only 2 paper in CMA.

      Best,
      SRINIVAS REDDY

  9. Srinvas Reddy-Letslearn says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am Srinivas. People and my students call me as Letslearn Srinivas. I teach CMA credentials. I have been into CMA teaching for the last 4 years.

    In your Blog you mentioned a CMA gets 9 exemptions from ACCA. Please correct it, as we get 7 exemptions from ACCA.

    Best,
    Srinivas Reddy.
    CMA,CFE,LLB,MBA,M.Com,ICWA

    • StephanieStephanie says

      I thought I did say 7 papers being exempted (also, as shown in the screen shot of the ACCA website above), but it is possible that I made a mistake somewhere on this site. In this is the case please let me know. Thanks a lot for your help. Stephanie

  10. Syed Burhanuddin says

    Dear Stephanie,
    I have completed first level of ACCA except F8 – Audit and Assurance,
    can you tell me am I eligible to take admission in CMA based on this qualification.

    Thanks,
    Syed

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Syed,
      Are you looking to get a waiver using ACCA? I believe you need to become a full ACCA member in order to get qualified. Stephanie

  11. Lapbuin Rodrigue says

    With the CMA qualification (and a 3 years’ bachelors degree in accounting), how possible is it to do the CPA program?Will the credit hours achieved amount to 120 or 150?

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Lapbuin, I am afraid nowadays the US CPA exam does not consider any exemptions from professional examinations. It only gives exemptions to members of the statutory accounting bodies in the countries that have signed reciprocal agreement in the US. You can get more info here:
      http://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-exam-international-sites/

      With a 3-year bachelor degree you’ll need to get an extra year (preferably two years) from another degree, e.g. a master’s degree in relevant field. Even in the US the candidates need to study for 5 years in university in order to take the CPA exam.

      Stephanie

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Anas,
      I am afraid you need to become a full ACCA member to get the waiver benefit. Also, note that it is a waiver of educational requirement — you still need to take the CMA exam like all others in order to get the certification. Regards, Stephanie

      • Maaz Arif says

        Hey Stephanie

        I am still a ACCA student but by Dec 2013, I’ll be an affiliate. Does any of the above mentioned Exemptions for ACCA going to CMA applicable on ACCA affiliate or students?? Or is it necessary for us to become a FULL ACCA MEMBER to
        1. get degree requirement waived or
        2.gaining the exemptions of part 1 and part 2 exams of CMA if p4 and p5 is undertaken??

        In short, are the above mentioned exemptions granted by CMA are applicable on ACCA affiliate??

  12. Kazim says

    IMA has three prerequisites for its program (CMA) completion:
    1- Passing part1 & 2 exams,
    2-Experience requirements and
    3- Education (bachelors degree).
    While proceeding towards ACCA one can get the BSc. Hons in applied accounting degree from Oxford Brookes UK. I am only worrying if IMA consider that sufficient to fulfill the education requirement (as Oxford Brookes) is on the list of approved institutions.
    Looking forward for assistance in this regard.

    Regards
    Kazim

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Kazim, are you an ACCA full member of affiliate? If full member, you get automatically qualified for the CMA exam so there is no need to worry about whether Oxford Brookes is on the approved list. In any case I think it is. You can double check with IMA directly on this by emailing them. Stephanie

  13. Carrie says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I already passed CMA exams, but I don’t fulfill the two year work experience requirement now. Can I also get ACCA exam exemptions?

    Regards,
    Carrie

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Carrie,
      I believe you need full CMA designation in order to get ACCA… but you can double check with IMA.

      Here is the direct quote:

      Members of IMA who have earned the CMA qualification and who have undertaken the requirements below shall be considered to have met the education, examination and experience requirements for admission into membership of ACCA:
      – Achieve ACCA’s three Essentials exams P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics, P2 Corporate Governance, P3 Business Analysis
      – Complete the Professional Ethics module
      – Complete a minimum of one year ACCA Practical Experience Requirements, plus all Essential Performance Objectives

      Stephanie

  14. Evelyn says

    Hey Stephanie, Thank you for the information.

    Iam currently enrolled in the ACCA program and I want to know whether it is possible to study CMA without taking tuitions?

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Evelyn,
      IMA and ACCA have recently signed another MRA which allows member to get the other’s qualification as is. You can wait until you finish your ACCA to get the CMA qualification. If you don’t want to wait, you can always go ahead with the CMA exam — just pay the membership fee and exam fee. The review courses are optional. There isn’t any tuition fee.

      The popular review courses are listed here:
      http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

      Regards
      Stephanie

  15. Zain Abdul Rehman says

    Can Plz explain that How difficult the CMA exam is??? The Difficulty level of CMA is equal to same as the ACCA or Less ??? and How many chances to Pass the Exam in First Attempt??

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hmmm… I guess it’s a difficult question to answer because it is very subjective. I am not a good person to answer this question because I havenever taken ACCA, but i would say the format is very different. CMA is mostly multiple choice questions with 2 essays. The questions are lenghtly and narrative which makes it quite difficult, especially for non-native speaker of English. For pass rate you can refer to this page: tp://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-pass-rate/

  16. GM says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Could you help to clarify that after I got the CMA designation, about the ACCA exam part, I only need to take the paper P1, P2 and P3, is that right? And, it means that I have got exemptions for all F1 to F9 exams, and also the two papers from P4 to P7, right?

    Thank you!

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Well you need to pass P1-3 as well as:
      1. Complete the Professional Ethics module
      2. Complete a minimum of one year (12 months) ACCA Practical Experience Requirements, plus all Essential Performance Objectives

      Does it help? Stephanie

  17. Mohammad says

    i have CMA plus CPA New Hampshire but i do not have License.
    i passed 4 exams

    is there any additional exemptions ???

  18. Mehsin says

    Hi,

    I have completed CMA and have registered for ACCA. I have already received exemptions for 7 ACCA papers. But, as per the new MRA between ACCA & CMA, will I be eligible for the remaining exemptions? So that I’ll have to attend only P1, P2, P3 & Ethics + experience requirements. When will this be effective?

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Mehsin, I believe this is effective immediately, but you can double check with IMA or ACCA. It saves a lot of effort to have these waivers doesn’t it? Stephanie

  19. abdul basit says

    Hi I am ACCA member from last 4 years working for big 4 and pass P4 and P5 in old stream, am I eligible for CMA Certification? And what is your requirements to get CMA Tittle, is it different than ACCA Member ship

  20. Santosh Gupta says

    Hi,

    I am MBA with more than 5yr of exp. and want to start CMA. Please let me know what is the difference between student registration and professional registration. Which one is the best for me.

  21. Azam says

    Hello there,
    I have some questions if anyone could help me id really appreciate that.
    Thing is I have completed my ACCA now working in audit field for past one year now so I am left with 2 more years to to get a full ACCA membership. In my optional I opted for p5 and p7. My questions are:

    1. What exemptions will I get once I become an ACCA member(probably after 2 years) given all remains the same.

    2. Will my work experience towards ACCA Membership waive the 2 years CMA work experience requirement if the experience is relevant.

    3. What exactly is management accounting experience. It is actually a very broad term

    That is all I wanted to know.

    Thanks and regards,
    Azam

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Azam,
      This is my understanding:
      1. Once you are done with p5 and are an ACCA member, you can apply for the CMA certification as a full CMA.
      2. Yes, because CMA needs 2 years which is well covered on the ACCA side.
      3. It is very broad which is a good thing :) Anyway, if you get your ACCA no need to worry about this.

      Cheers
      Stephanie

  22. Febin says

    Dear Stephanie,

    I have completed my ACCA with P4 and P5 (June-2013). Now i’m ACCA Affiliate. Also, i completed my 8 years professional careers.

    My question is, now how i’ll be a CMA member ?. what are the procedure i need to do for the CMA membership? where i should contact for the CMA membership?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Febin,
      You will need to become a full ACCA member in order to get the exemptions for CMA. Once you complete the required experience for ACCA, you can apply for the full CMA certification. Stephanie

  23. ong says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for this great site. Relating to bahati question on “..can I get exempted from some of ACCA papers after sucessfully finish the CMA exams but not yet done with work experience requirement?”

    Is there any update from ACCA?
    Best regards.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Ong,
      Thanks for your note! I am not a ACCA member, but I believe you need to accumulate certain experience to become one? The rule is that you need to be a full ACCA member in order to get the CMA exemptions. Hope it’s helpful. Stephanie

      • ong says

        Hi Stephanie,
        Pardon me please. What I want clarify is : If I pass the CMA exam only i.e not yet given the title of CMA because of a lack of professional experience. Will ACCA grant me the 7 papers exemption?

        Thanks and regards.

  24. Azam says

    I want a suggestion from all of you guys, I am done with my ACCA and working towards the membership (2 more years left ) apparently ACCAs now cant get any exmptions of CMA.

    I dont like or have much of interest in the feilds of Audit, Accounts and taxation. what I like the most is Management Accounting (Cost accounting). At the same time i have a perception that in the feild of Accounting and Finance, Cost accountaning feild (CIMA, CMA etc) earn the least.? (Is it?)

    1. Which is the most money making feild in Accounting and Finance. (after ACCA)

    2. What qualifications should I go for now, as i dont like to be free in my spare time.

    Please all of your suggestions would highy be appreciated.

    Cheers.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Azam, in all honestly, if you include finance, I would think banking (investment banking) makes the most money, but it is hard work and volatile industry. Otherwise, asset management is more stable but then it is more of a CFA thing vs a CMA thing.

      For cost accounting, I would say corporate accounting in general doesn’t pay as much but you don’t need to develop a client base and all the stress of meeting client requests and deadlines… some people can still get paid well at the senior level, especially in big, multi-national companies, but you need a lot of good social skill/luck to get there. That’s my 2 cents. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  25. Ngan Tran says

    Hello Stephanie Ng. I have a question that when I have a CMA certification, and I want to study ACCA, can I get any exemptions in study ACCA?

    Thanks a lot. Have a nice day.

  26. Arsalan says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Hope things are all good at your end. I am an ACCA qualified memeber and wanted to clarify with the new release if
    I can claim any exemptions from cma. I havel completed
    P4 in ACCA

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Arsalan, unfortunately, since the IMA/ACCA backed off from their MRA, you can’t really get any exemption other than that, as an ACCA member, you can take the CMA exam without a bachelor degree.

  27. Arsalan says

    Hi Stepanie,
    It was a delight to hear the announcement of MRA by ACCA and CMA in june 2013, since I am going to apply for membership with ACCA and completed P4 in the professional level. I was expecting to get an exemption from Part 2 – leaving me to complete only part 1 and get the IMA credentials – looks like I have to now appear for both the parts of CMA.

    Just wanted to confirm, is there still any exemptions available for ACCA memebers or take the old traidtional way of completing both the parts of CMA ?

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Arsalan, unfortunately since IMA/ACCA backed off from their MRA, there isn’t any exemption for ACCA members except that you can get qualified for the CMA exam without a bachelor’s degree. After qualification the process is the same for all. Stephanie

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Paiker,
      I am afraid there is no short route; but if you are an ACCA member, then you can get qualified for the CMA exam even in the case that you don’t have a bachelor degree. Stephanie

  28. jazzy says

    i am tired of e-mailing IMA & ACCA no one is responding my this query

    can you help me with your practical knowledge in CMA & ACCA

    actually i don’t have bachelor degree , so can i claim ACCA exemption of 7 papers, just by passing 2 papers of CMA & showing 2 years of practical experience ?

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Jazzy, if you are a member of either IMA or ACCA, quoting your ID will help you get response faster.
      ACCA never responds my email but IMA does within 1-2 days, likely because I am an IMA member.

      Anyway, I think it works the other way round — if you are a full member of ACCA, then you can take the CMA exam without a bachelor degree. Without the bachelor degree and without ACCA membership, you can’t get qualified for the CMA in the first place. Hope it helps, Stephanie

  29. moidin Kunhi says

    i was on full force when i heard of MRA between IMA and ACCA. since they backed off from it, now what is the way out. I am a CMA and want to get ACCA…
    Advice and Suggestion please…………

  30. Tariq says

    I am part qualified ACCA (PART 2) and bachelor degree (BSC Hons) from oxford brooks university whether i am eligible for CMA examination or not?

    Thank You

  31. lee eun gyu says

    HI I AM LEE AND I HAVE SOME QUESTION TO YOU. IT IS HARD FOR ME TO KNOW WHAT SUBJECT WILL BE EXEMPTED.

    I HAVE PLAN TO STUDY IN LSBF, SINGAPORE NEXT YEAR.

    THERE IS MY QUESTION

    1. I AM QUALIFIED TO EXEMPT F1-F5, F8 AND F9 AFTER I PASS CMA TEST WITHOUT HOLDING BACHELOR’S DEGREE.

    HERE IS MY CONFLICT. I STUDIED IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR ACCOUNTING MAJOR UP TO FOURTH YEAR FIRST SEMESTER AS KOREAN. AND I AM NOW IN KOREA. I HAVE PLAN TO TRANSFER TO LSBF SINGAPORE AND NOW I PASS CMA EXAM PART 1 AND 2. BUT I WONDERED THAT I AM ABLE TO EXEMPT PAPERS FROM ACCA WITHOUT BACHELOR’S DEGREE

    and i have plan to study in LSBF,singapore to get bachelor’s degree from OBU.
    is it not possible to exempt any papers from ACCA ?

  32. rohit mandhre says

    Dear stepahnie & friends,

    Hi there! hope all r fine n well…I just want to know what are job prospects for people from
    Non finance education field say like ARTS, SCIENCE OR MBA OR ENGINEERING…after doing CMA IN INDIA , MIDDLE EAST ETC…

  33. abhi says

    Can i claim exemptions for ACCA papers once I complete my CMA exam? Is it necessary to first
    fulfill IMA’s experience criteria before applying for exemptions to ACCA.

  34. Kamran Islam says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am ACCA qualified and I have already passed both the CMA exams, I have 2 years of job experience, My CMA profile shows incomplete status, My question is whether ACCA qualified status is enough to fulfill the CMA education requirement or you need to be a ACCA member.
    Thanks
    Kamran Islam

  35. Claudio says

    Dear Stephanie,

    I am not sure whether i understood correctly.. as a cma designation holder wanting to get acca certification. I will be exempted for f1-f5 + f8/9 ? Or even more exams?

    Thanks for clarification

    Claudio

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Muhammad, I believe ICAEW have some kind of MRA with CIMA so I don’t think they will have one for CMA (US). However, it is best to double check with the IMA directly. Regards, Stephanie

  36. says

    Most of the students pursuing ACCA after CMA realised that all Fundemental papers are not exempted for CMA holders. following are exempted:

    F1 Accountant in Business
    F2 Management Accounting
    F3 Financial Accounting
    F4 Corporate and Business Law
    F5 Performance Management
    F8 Audit and Assurance
    F9 Financial Management

    that means F6 Taxation & F7 Financial Reporting papers CMA holders should write.

    Kindly clarify ???

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Jojo, since there is going to be changes in the CMA exam content itself, I don’t know if this will affect the exemptions. Let me check and get back to you here in the comment section. Thanks. Stphanie

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