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ACCA Exemptions for CMA? Latest on MRA and Waivers [Video]

acca exemptions for cmaMany candidates would like to know if they can get ACCA exemptions for CMA if they want to become a Certified Management Accountant.

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 can now 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 requirements 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 with this plan (See below under August Update). The original press release was deleted. Here is a summary of the scraped plan:

1. ACCA Exemptions for CMA Exam

  • 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 the CMA exam waived
    • Need to pass (i) P4 and/or P5, (ii) Part 1 of the CMA exam to get the CMA certification
  • Applicable to ACCA members only

2. CMA Exemptions for ACCA Exam

  • Complete the ACCA’s essential papers: P1 (Governance, Risk and Ethics), P2 (Corporate Reporting), and P3 (Business Analysis)
  • Work on the Professional Ethics module
  • Complete a minimum of one year (12 months) of 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.

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’s degrees can get qualified to take the CMA exam.

I am Confused… Is There Any Exemption Available on Either Side?


ACCA full member –> CMA certification

The benefit is that the degree requirement is waived. In other words, if you are an ACCA full member without a bachelor’s degree, you can still take the CMA exam. Normally, in order to qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree.

CMA certification holder –> ACCA

Until Dec 31, 2015: you are exempted 7 papers (F1,2,3,4,5,8,9)

Effective Jan 1, 2016: only F1, F2 and F3 are waived:

F1 Accountant in Business
F2 Management Accounting
F3 Financial Accounting
  • All Foundation in Accountancy (FIA) papers are exempted as before.

You can double check with this exemption enquiry tool on the ACCA website:

Here is a Summary in Video Format

For Your Further Reading

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About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.

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