CMA vs CIMA: Which is Better? Which Qualification Should You Go For?

cma vs cimaManagement accountants who aspire to work and live abroad are thinking about global qualifications such as CIMA and CMA. How do we compare the two qualifications? Which one is better in your situation?

CMA vs CIMA: An Overview

The CMA qualification discussed here is the one granted by the Institute of Management Accountants, also known as IMA. CIMA, which stands for Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, is a designation from the UK.

Membership and Network

Both qualifications were established a long time ago, but CIMA has a much larger presence with 218K members and students. IMA has around 70,000 members.

Global Presence

In terms of international presence, CIMA traditionally has a more global presence and is well recognized in most places — less so in the US but more so in the UK and commonwealth countries. In recent years, the CMA (now CPA) Canada and CMA Australia are getting more popular in their respective countries so CIMA is arguably less sought after in these countries.

On the other hand, IMA has been actively building up its global presence, notably in emerging countries e.g. China and the Middle East. For now, CMA is well established in China, and is head-to-head with CIMA in the Middle East.

At the same time, CIMA pairs up with AICPA to establish a new qualification known as CGMA. CIMA members can pretty much “pay” to get the new designation before 2015. It remains to be seen whether yet another qualification is accepted by the business community.

Here is a summary based on my observation:

  • US: CMA much more recognized
  • UK and commonwealth countries: CIMA much more recognized, less so for Canada and Australia
  • Canada: CPA Canada is the best; CMA slighly better than CIMA
  • Middle East: CMA and CIMA have similar standing
  • China: CMA considerably more recognized

Mutual Reciprocal Agreements

CIMA has MOU with ICAI in India and alliance in various degrees with other universities and accounting associations. The agreement with CMA Canada is subject to change due to the unification of CA/CMA/CGMA in Canada.

The IMA has a strategic alliance with the ACCA that allows ACCA full members to automatically qualify for the CMA exam.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor degree is required to get qualified for the CMA exam (exemptions given to full ACCA full members). This is not required for the CIMA because the CIMA itself offers a more rigorous program.

Exam Content, Format and Duration

In this regard, CMA is quite obviously more favorable to those who want to get a qualification fast. It is a 2-part exam and most candidates aim to finish within one year. Candidates can take the exam anytime within the testing windows, which opens 6 months out of each year.

In order to become a CIMA, the candidate must pass the 12 papers, complete at least 3 years of qualifying practice, and obtain verification and endorsement from supervisors. It takes a lot more time, effort and commitment.

Exam Costs

Lastly, on cost, since CMA only has two exam parts, the exam fee is substantially lower than that for the CIMA exam. Also, there is little competition in the CIMA review materials and so they are very expensive.

The average cost to complete the CMA program is US$2,000 – 2,500, versus US$6,800 for the CIMA Professional Qualification program.


There isn’t a “better” or “easier” qualification. As fellow reader Gunner pointed out in the comment section, while CMA may look easier with only two parts in the exam, it requires a bachelor degree, vs a high school diploma in CIMA. Or looking at it the other way, because CIMA has a lower entry barrier, it has a more comprehensive exam with more papers and time/effort in the preparation.

A more important consideration is where you would like to work in a longer term. This will help you select the qualification best suited in that region.

More Discussions on the Internet

Here are more discussions on CMA vs CIMA in various article and forums. Some forums are more bias than others, so please use your discretion when reading the information.

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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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  • Gunner says:

    I would like to point out that it is extremely difficult to compare these two qualifications. Although the CMA “only” requires 2 exams, one must have a 4 year bachelor degree. With the CIMA a high school diploma is all that is needed, consequently it makes sense that more exams are required.
    So unless you have a 4 year degree the CMA designation is not faster to attain.

  • John Pitts says:

    Thanks for the information. Just one correction: I have been a Chartered Accountant in Canada for 2 years and in the financial services industry for 6 years and have never heard (until I saw this post) of the CIMA nor have I met one. The CMAs,CGAs, and CAs (now CPAs) are the only recognized groups in Canada.

  • Asia says:

    Tell me cma is best or cima ?I wanna to complete my study in 2 years. .I have been passed 4 paper of cima bt i cannot do it because 70% marks is too much. ..plzzzz give me any idea there is no one to help out me

  • thameem says:

    I am from india and i have just completed my 12th in commerce which will be the best for me to take up CIMA or CMA usa .
    And will we able to take up CIA or such professional degrees after completing a management accountant degree
    and yeah is it of any use doing a CIA after doing a CIMA or CMA usa

    I hope you’ll see to it and i’ll be getting a valuable reply .

    • Hi Thameem,
      CMA/CIMA and CIA lead to very different path. If I were to choose, I would pick either one, not both.
      You can always get another professional qualification but you’ll have to analyze whether it’s worth it in your situation.

      If not sure, you can always get the qualification at a later date, even after your university graduation. you may have a better idea what you like then.

      Regards, Stephanie

  • thameem says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for your reply .
    But I still have a doubt whether to take up CMA usa / CIMA, according to you which will be having more recognition and job offer in INDIA and in MIDDLE EAST .

    I am in great dilemma between these two , you reply would be of great help

    Thank you

    • In my own opinion (and please note this is very general), CIMA is more recognized in India, and CIMA and CMA have similar recognition in the Middle East. It also largely depends on which type of companies you want to work for. Regards, Stephanie

      • Tamilarasan says:

        Hi Stephanie ! No , CMA is more recognized in india because those who are qualified CMA will be automatically qualified as CMA india by ICAI (as per mutual agreement) So CMA is more recognized than CIM
        A in India..

        • Haha, true, but there is some restriction, for example, one can only take advantage of the mutual agreement if one does NOT go through the CMA program within India. Regards, Stephanie

  • Asia Aslam says:

    I have passed 4 paper of cima now I wanna to join cma because cima will take long time paper has been increased its decision right or wrong for me

    • I see. Well… if I were you, I would focus to finish the CIMA. In theory you can get CMA done very quickly, but looking at the passing rate of CMA Part 1 (typically around 35%-40%) — not exactly the easiest exam.

  • Asia Aslam says:

    CMA is difficult or cima?

    • Hi Asia Aslam,
      They are not exactly comparable… CMA is heavy on multiple choice questions, and CIMA is more on longer questions and case studies.

      They are difficult in their own ways. I would probably select based on the long term benefits that they can offer to your own career.


  • Shazz says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Member of institute of cost accountant of India (ICAI) have got direct membership for CMA US. so whether they can use CMA designation in their names & how this membership is useful for ICAI members.


  • Ashish says:


    I am 24 years old and a pass out from delhi university in accounts. In 2013 I cleared my CA-inter(both groups). Now i have a strong desire to move to canada for pursuing CIMA global course. So my question is can i directly move to canada to pursue this course or will i have to take up admission in any post grad diploma and then start with CIMA.? And is there better course that can be taken up in canada in Accounts or finance.?

    • Hi Ashish, my site covers the CMA (US) qualification only but my understanding is that CIMA is actually based in the UK. They are pretty big also in the commonwealth countries, but for the two biggest commonwealth countries — Canada and Australia — they have their own management accounting certifications.

      For Canada, it is used to be called CMA (Canada) but they have now merged with other Canadian accounting qualifications to form the new “CPA (Canada)” designation. So you might want to check that out before pursuing CIMA, if you are quite sure you are going to Canada. Hope it helps! Stephanie

      The official website:

  • Murad says:

    I think…at first we have to determine where we will live permanently ! …after that, we should look at the type of degrees that are highly demanding on that place. I think local ACA, CMA is better, and local practice and experience beside study is important beside study. Also, Tax is a very important part, local laws on taxes, vat are extremely important to be a successful accountant in the job field in that particular country. Therefore, place will give you a decision which certificate match with your dream job.

  • Matt says:

    Please help me decide guys,
    I am live in Canada, I have AAT and have been offered an opportunity to complete an online BSc Accounting with CIMA(Advance diploma) in 2 yrs from one of UK university. I have studied for one semester at a community College in Canada and should be going for second semester. It temps me to go for 2 yr degree from UK vs 4 yrs I would have to do in Canada but the odds is; it is not easy finding a job with a foreign qualification in Canada. Therefore I kind of caught in between. Any suggestion is appreciated.

    • Hi Matt, I am not too familiar with the situation in Canada, but I agree that in terms of getting a job anywhere, it is better with a local qualification. Also, recruiters may think that you try to get an easy way out with a 2-year degree somewhere else vs a “proper” one in your own country. Obviously budget could be a concern and I totally respect that; but if this isn’t an issue, I wouldn’t do it for the benefit of job hunting post graduation and your long term career. Comments from other readers are most welcome.


      • Matt says:

        Highly appreciated Stephanie Ng, but the reason its a 2 year degree is they recognize a 2 year Accounting Technician Diploma (AAT) which I graduated from. It is a UK qualification and as far as I know all Universities in UK recognize it although some give a 1 yr credit though. In Canada it is not recognized even employers turn a blind eye towards it. But I guess I’m stuck to where I am then. Thank you.

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Matt, I see. If AAT is itself a UK qualification and that it isn’t as recognized in Canada anyway, it makes sense to go for the one in UK. I guess either way it’s still not a smooth path to find a job in Canada to be very honest, but it’s certainly doable.

          I have a friend who recently immigrated to Canada and he could find a job without any qualification. I am sure you can!

    • matts says:

      CIMA is OK for Middle East and Asia but has NO value in Canada. You will be wasting your time with CIMA if you are going to be in Canada and looking out for employment.

      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks Matts. This validates my suspicion that CIMA is not really recognized in Canada.

        • Haris says:

          Hmmm. My friend is an associate member of CIMA and easily got his CPA-CMA (Ontario) via mutual recognition scheme or something. CIMA itself might not be recognised in Canada but you can always convert to CPA-CMA for a fee…

  • Sagar says:

    Hi..i m in fybcom and along with this i m doing icwa. After completing this which is better for me CIMA OR CMA?

  • Gagan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of all thanks to provide a space for sharing our views regarding professional qualifications. Actually recently i completed my CMA ( Cost and Management Accountant) from India and started working here in India only. I want your suggestion about CIMA and CMA US ? Till now i didn’t decided to settle in any country but from growth point of view or from globally recognition point which is best.
    I will be very thankful to you if u could give me best selection.

    • Hi Gagan, my suggestion would be exactly the same as mentioned in the above: it depends on your decision where you will end up working long term. If you aren’t sure, you can wait a bit and see. Good luck! Regards, Stephanie

  • jeje says:

    hi stephanie..aside from the mentioned about the industry.. which industry that recognize cima or cma more? i’m working in the energy, oil and gas sector..which certification would you suggest? appreciate your respond.

    • Hi Jeje, I believe it’s not as obvious, but for CMA at least, big manufacturing companies tend to value CMA certification a bit more, simply because cost accounting is a big emphasis in the CMA exam and none of the other accounting qualifications have enough coverage on that.

      You will see from our blogger Casey’s next post (out this coming wednesday) how useful the CMA is to his every day job even when he hasn’t finished his part 2 exam.

      I imagine CIMA is similar… so this is probably not a deciding factor. Regards, Stephanie

  • Saurabh says:

    Hello ma’m, my name is saurabh n i am from india. i have recently completed my grad in bachelor of business administration(3 year university degree course) with a major strength in finance in my final year. i read your posts very often regarding cma from ima, cpa and cima. i have a query. as i told you i have completed my grad and planning to pursue a two year post graduate diploma course in accounting from either senecca or centennial college from toronto, canada from next year january intake. as i have 4 months time i am planning to devote these 4 months for the preparation of cma/cima/cma canada! but i am confused as whether to pursue cma from ima or cima uk or cma canada. most likely chances are that i will look for a job in Canada itself after the completion of my two year diploma course in accounting from either of the afore mentioned colleges. so i want your expert advise as to which course should i take up as an add on qualification? is it cma, cima, cma canada? also please tell me if its advisable to pursue this certification along with the two year post graduate diploma in accounting? i have conversed with u before over the review material and u had suggested gleims but now i am in a dilemma as to which course to pair up along with the diploma course? please help with this asap. thank you so much 🙂

    • Hi Saurabh,
      It’s exciting time to continue your studies in Canada! If you plan to stay in Canada for work in the future (which makes sense), I suggest that you look into CPA Canada more closely. It is the most relevant qualification you can get, and most helpful for your career in you stay in the country. I am not familiar with which course make you qualified for this relatively new CPA Canada exam, but if your diploma is sufficient for that purpose, go for it! Don’t worry about CMA (US) and CIMA for now. Probably not as helpful in Canada, and even if you want a more global certification, it is better to do one at a time. Best of luck! Stephanie

      • Saurabh says:

        Thank you so much for your instant reply. Cpa canada requires a lot of procedures to go through. It is really tough looking at it’s course content and it is an expensive course.too. I think 1 needs to devote minimum of two years solely for the cpa preparation. but then the thing is, investing so much in the two year diploma course there and then investing two more year’s of time and money in Cpa would be an expensive deal. So I think I should go for US CMA and i should pair that up with the diploma course. and that’s because i do not plan to stay in Canada for a long time. As soon after the pg course i’ll work there for around 2-3 years and then i plan to come to India and start my own venture here. And even if I won’t be able to start my own venture, then the US CMA certification will help me to get a job here in India I hope. but that’s my point of view.. your further advice and direction will help a lot here. Thank you so much:)

        • I see Saurabh. Yes I did some basic research on CPA Canada and I have the same conclusion. If you aren’t permanently living in Canada, your plan makes a lot of sense. CMA hasn’t been that popular in India yet but I see that it’s picking up — IMA has recently established more IMA chapters there and I have substantially more readers from India in the past year. In a few years’ time, I can see the CMA title getting a lot more recognized there.

          I am glad to know you will be taking on the CMA journey. If you need any help just let me know! Regards, Stephanie

  • ZM says:

    i am currently doing my cima , but i am planning to settle in the us . So i hava decided to take up the cma qualification. But i havent completed any bachelor’s degree. I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree along with cima and completed two years of it. I would like to know if i could register for cma and take the exams now . i am really looking forward for your reply.

  • Mone says:

    Hi, I have also a question for you 🙂
    I’m from Germany, so I don’t know if you had that case before. I did my 3 years apprenticeship, after that I worked 2 years in the same tax office as an accountant, than I changed the tax office and worked in the other on as an accountant for 3 years. I did a full time further education in full time for nine month called Bilanzbuchhalter and that counts as an bachelor degree. Also I did a international accounting degree called IFRS.
    Right now I’m currently in hawaii, I felt in love with an American. We get married this weekend. I also want to continue my carrier. And I need your advice. What are my changes here on the us market? I have the feeling my nine years of work experience and my bachelor degree and ifrs degree is so based on the German market, Europe, and I feel not so secure about the market in USA.

    So I was looking into the Cma qualification. Do you think that makes sense for me? I think one big advantages is also the learning of the business English and the whole vocabulary. But it’s crazy 30-46% can make it and that is mother tongue I think. I’m ambitious but also nut sure if it’s the right qualification. But I think it’s the only one – a cpa I can’t make because of the school background right? I have a lot of work experience in tax offices.

    Do you have an advise for me? Also which company is good, online?
    Thank you in advance!!!

    • Hi Mone, first of all congratulations! On your question, let me answer this one by one.
      For getting a job in the US, you don’t really need a certification. It helps of course, but you can get a job without it. If your job is tax related, is it applicable to the US at all (as in is it international tax)? If so, try get a job from there first. Otherwise, if there are US regional office of German companies around, you have a distinct advantage, because they most likely prefer Germans if they can find one (easier to communicate with head quarters for example).

      For corporate job you don’t absolutely need any certification as well, although as you move up the career ladder, especially if you are in big manufacturing companies, the CMA will certainly be helpful.

      As you mentioned CPA is the best but yes the educational requirement is pretty hard to get…

      In terms of the pass rate, 35-40% is the overall average including the non-English speaking candidates. If you look at the US (or even the European) percentage, it’s more like 55-60%. I’ve got a chart here:

      So on that front it’s not as scary as you said. But I do believe you should focus on the general job hunting first. Certification can always come next.

      Just my thoughts. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Willie says:

    Hello, may I ask which should I take, CMA or CIMA as I had completed Bachelor/Degree level in 2 years. Due to financial problems, I was unable to decide which I should take, and if there are any classes for CMA or CIMA.
    Also, am I able to obtain the study materials easily either one of them?

    Help…Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Willie, as mentioned above, the major factor is where you plan to work long term. I believe this is a question that only you can answer?
      The content could be similar but the format is completely different. So you can’t really use the same review materials in my opinion. Retaking is costly, so I would just pick one and then focus on that. Regards, Stephanie

      • willie says:

        From what I know, CMA and CIMA both major in costing isn’t it? For me to work in long term, I prefer to work in costing management. But what are the major differences in CMA and CIMA? For your info, I had taken the BA (Hons) in Business Accounting, should I further to CMA or CIMA?


        • Hi Willie, in terms of the coverage and exam content, they are similar. But the way of testing and how the exam is administered is very different. Also, the recognition varies across the region. As mentioned above, CIMA is better in UK, Europe and commonwealth countries, while CMA (US) is big in the US and China. For Middle East both of them are well recognized. Regards, Stephanie

  • Hari says:

    Hi Stephanie. Thank you for the info. I am from India. I have overall of 9 years of experience in Outsourcing – Finance (Office Automation). I want to plan my future career in Singapore and India. What are my options in Singapore? CMA or CIMA.. Which one is better for me? Once again thanks.

    • Hi Hari, I am not too sure about Singapore, but CIMA could be more popular… for India, I think CIMA is also more popular for now but IMA is very aggressive in expanding in the country. I am quite sure they can catch up quickly in the near future.

  • Zatoon says:


    I am in Pakistan trying to begin my CIMA. I will be moving to the US in 2-3 years and begin to live there permanently. Does this mean that I should not waste my time doing CIMA because it is not really valued in US? Should I do general studies and try to get credit towards a US bachelor degree for CMA/CPA instead? Please answer with any insight. Thank you

    • Hi Zatoon, I have to say CIMA is not really recognized here in the US… and yes, if you can transfer your credits and graduate with a US degree, it will help quite a bit not only in qualifying for CPA/CMA, but in landing a job in the US. Afterall, the recruiters will understand what you get in terms of the degree and are more willing to see you as qualified as other candidates in the US. Regards, Stephanie

  • Khalid says:

    Hay Guys
    I belong to Pakistan and here i have Don CMA up to inter level ( managerial level ) in Pakistan
    in Institute of cost and management accountant of Pakistan. Now I want to get study in Australia CMA USA Help me what process i adopt to go there and start degree there regularly.

  • Awais says:

    sir i am from pakistan and i have completed my HSSC Fsc (pre-engineering) and one thing i am slightly weak in advance math like integration 🙂 and now i want to join a professional course can you suggest me which program will be easier and better for me ACCA, CA, or CMA
    thank you

    • Hi Awais, the math involved in accounting are simple calculations only (+ – x / ). Definitely no integration at the professional exam level. The thing is, you should go for a certification because it is going to be useful for your future career, instead of which one is easier. So I encourage that you think alone this line in terms of picking the best qualification for you. Regards, Stephanie

  • Fatha says:

    Hello Stephanie, I’m from India. I have completed CMA(Cost and Management Accountant) inter level exams. In future I want to work either in India or in Middle East countries. Which course would be better for me after clearing CMA (India)?

    • Hi Fatha, I believe both are helpful in the Middle East. For India, if you plan to work in multinational companies headquaratered in the US, CMA is slightly better. Otherwise, CIMA is probably still a bit more popular there.

      In any case your Indian CMA qualification is good enough for a head start. I would work hard and do a great job before consider another qualification. Regards, Stephanie

  • Tridev Parashar says:

    Should I go for CMA after completing CIMA?
    Suggest me other certifications to pursue after CIMA.
    I am looking for a good combination that could make me stand apart from everyone else.
    I am also willing to pursue MBA in future.

    • Hi Tridev, unless you plan to work in the US, CIMA is good enough for management accounting. I encourage that you work on doing an excellent job at work. No credentials will help you stand out if you’re not actually good at your job. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Michael Sergienko says:

    For those who plan to work in Canada – indeed my CMA from IMA is not popular here. I just returned from an interview with a recruitment agency, specializing on finance/accounting recruitment. The experienced recruiter turned out to be unaware of the CMA certification by IMA. Although he knows CIMA. His advice was to get a Canadian designation if possible (no rush, maybe in 4-5 years time).

    It’s difficult and time consuming to obtain a “CPA, CMA” designation (that’s one, not two!) in Canada – that’s my perception after looking at their web site. I will not attempt the Canadian CMA (called “CPA, CMA”) the straight way.

    The other way:
    “CMA Canada established a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of the United Kingdom (CIMA). Under this agreement, qualifying members of CIMA can become Certified Management Accountants and vice versa.”

    I happen to be an MBA, which means I can take the “Master’s gateway route” at CIMA, and pass just 5 exams: CIMA Gateway exam (also known as the Management Level Case Study exam for those who are not on the accelerated route), 3 Strategic exams + 1 Strategic case study. I have more than 3 years of practical experience, so all requirements for CIMA will be met. And then I would just need to formally apply for the CPA, CMA designation. That’s my plan. I will share how it works out 🙂

    Good luck, folks!

    And thank you, Stephanie!

    • Hi Michael,
      Thanks for confirming that CMA (US) isn’t as recognized in Canada. Your plan sounds pretty good. Best of luck and hope to see you return and tell us the good news some day! Stephanie

      • Gunner says:

        Just a little caveat. Recruiting agencies are sometimes not very useful. In the past few years all they have done is copy and paste a job description without necessarily understanding the required qualifications or credentials.
        Not trying to sound too negative, there is certainly a bias towards Canadian accounting credentials, but you should be alright if you are looking for an industry accountant job with the IMA CMA credential as long as you have solid Canadian accounting experience.
        I have met a number of accountants here in Canada who are IMA CMA or CIMA certified and they are doing well without a Canadian credential, but they do have very good local experience.

  • Shahid says:

    Your site very informative found yesterday and thought to put my question to clear my doubts. I am interested in studying the CMA (US) but I have only one question in my mind as few of my friends have CIMA (UK). I want to know is the syllabus of CMA (US) covers everything as CIMA (UK) does because CIMA (UK) have 15 papers and CMA (US) 2 papers and I am new in this but like management accounting as my field thats why want to clear everything.

  • Mily Moyalan says:

    For a better job in India is it more useful to do a course in ICWA-CMA OR CIMA?

    • I guess it’s hard to generalize because it depends on which job or which type of companies you would like to work for, and what is considered a “better job”. You can try accumulate some experience before deciding on a particular qualification. Regards, Stephanie

      • Mily Moyalan says:

        What I meant by better job is a step ahead of the rest, and which course would provide more value in case of India?
        Or Is cima a recognized course in India ?

  • Dilip says:

    I have a question ask to you…. which course is more difficult part in terms of exams point of view …?

    • It’s hard to compare apples and oranges Dilip. Both have their challenges. If the exams are too easy, they will not be respected so you can expect a fair amount of difficulty for each one. Regards, Stephanie

      • Dilip says:

        Yes…can you tell me one thing after completing the cima course and will I get automatically cpa USA membership without writing exams for cpa ? and if i do cma USA what are free certifications and recognition will be there in all over world…

        • Hi Dilip,
          First of all, you need to be a full CIMA member to take advantage of the AICPA-CIMA mutual agreement. And you will be getting CGMA, not CPA. That’s VERY, VERY different in my opinion. For the CPA you still need to go through the usual rigorous 4-part exam.

          On your other question, CMA (US) doesn’t lead you to another “free” certification, but there are some waivers on the ACCA program.

  • saf_al says:

    Hey sir
    1 : If I complete cma (usa)do i want to study cima full papers bcs I heard that cma-s need only one paper to be cima?
    2 : If I complete ACCA is there any exemption for cima/cma?
    3 : Is cma worth it,bcs salary offerings comparing with ACCA are very low?And job also is really few?

  • preeti says:

    I m pursuing CA, actually did not pass any group of IPCC. I want a to know that is it better to switch off CA and start CMA(US)? is it really fruitful for job prospectus view point? can i do job in India?Is CMA provide a gateway for MNCs & BIG 4?
    Waiting for your valuable REPLY… plz help me..

    • Hi Preeti, here is my view on CMA in India (among other countries):

      As you see, it isn’t a simple answer, and the value depends on whether you see CMA for short-term or longer-term.

      In terms of benefits for getting jobs, the best way is to go to an online job search site popular in your area, and try searching for “CMA” or “Certified Management Accountant”. You will get an idea. Generally, in my opinion, big multinational companies with manufacturing base tend to value CMAs more, because of the specific skills in costing analysis. If you have companies in mind that value the skills you learn from the CMA program, apply for those as well.

      For Big 4, CPA (US), ACCA or Indian CA (for Indian office) is much better in my opinion. Regards, Stephanie

  • Shipra says:

    All i want to know is how recognised is CMA US in India? How much would i earn after completing this course in this country?

  • Sharath says:

    Mam can I easily settle in uk after cima if I am from India or will I have to face lot of problems while finding jobs????

    • Hi Sharath, I guess it is the same answer as in whether you can easily settle in UK after getting ACCA? I personally don’t think so but I may be wrong. Regards, Stephanie

  • Rahul says:

    I want to do CIMA in Canada . Will it be useful and recognizable if I go for work in the Middle East and the European countries as well as America ?

    • Hi Rahul, I guess it’s least helpful in America (meaning Canada and US), but for Middle East and some European countries, it should be a lot more useful. As much as IMA/CIMA etc have tried, there isn’t (yet) emerged a truly global designation for management accountants, so it helps if you can somewhat decide where you’ll end up working.

      Regards, Stephanie

  • yash says:

    Hii,I just want to know that after completion of my CIMA from india how much time it will take me to settle abroad from India??

    • Hi Yash, I am not sure if you can actually work abroad based on CIMA (or other professional qualifications) alone. I don’t cover CIMA other than its comparison with US CMA. Please contact CIMA for details.

  • yash says:

    please reply as soon as possible…

  • Daliya Mohamed Farook says:

    I am an acca affiliate and bachelor of commerce graduate. Wanted to migrate to Australia. Cima , cma or any Australian course makes me easier for that

    • Hi Daliya, I would think the CMA Australia designation is the most relevant, but I don’t know if a professional designation can help in the immigration process. If you are serious about this it is better to talk to an immigration consultant.

  • Navin says:

    Hi have currently enrolled for CMA do you feel that this qualification can help me in getting a job in Australia

  • Abid says:

    I am from Pakistan. I did Mcom. Now I m looking for certification. I want to know which certification is more popular and acceptable in Pakistan.. I also have a plan to may b move to Hong Kong in future so does CMA is more popular in hong kong then CIMA as in China.

    • Hi Abid, I am not familiar with the situation in Pakistan, but in general the financial accounting qualifications — the CPA, ACCA etc — are more recognized in Asia (at least Hong Kong and China). CMA is pretty well known in China but I am not sure if you know the language there to stay competitive.

      You might want to drop a note to Waqar over on my CIA exam page. He is from Pakistan, and he went for CMA and now for CIA:

  • Anoop says:

    Hi Stephanie

    I am Anoop from Middle east. I took CMA exam part 2 two times and score only 330 each exam. I was confident about passing second time but not sure. Now i am thinking to change the study material to Gleim. i think this will help me to deal with more complex questions.

    Please help me with your suggestion.


  • Volkan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am Volkan from Turkey. I am holding local CPA. I am going to replace the CFO in the company in next 2 years and i need another credential. I am trying to decide which to choose CMA or CIMA. The thing is that since i am holding local CPA, i have an exemption for 10 exams out of 14 in ACCA -from F1 to FP and P6-. If i can get ACCA, i automatically get CMA. On the other hand i have exemption for certificate level (B1 to B4). I am considering to go for ACCA then get CMA.
    What would you advise?

    Thank you in advance for your time.


    • Hi Volkan, I am a bit confused here… do you mean you get CIMA (instead of CMA) automatically after getting your ACCA?
      In any case, you should go for the qualification that is more recognized in your country. I don’t about that in Turkey, but you should have an idea, or you can find out by talking to recruiters or a search in the online job sites. Regards, Stephanie

  • aslam says:

    I am Aslam
    i have done Bcom from distance education i have 3 years experience in account
    my education is not strong as i have studies in Indian from Hindi language
    i want to work in india or middle east Dubai Kuwait soudi
    please suggest me which would be better form me CIMA or CMA

    • Hi Aslam, for Middle East, the prospect of the two is pretty similar. For India, CIMA is likely still more recognized but IMA is catching up really quickly (you’ll notice from the many Indian readers we have in the comment section). You may want to decide whether you will more likely work for companies headquartered in US or UK/Commonwealth. Or you can select based on the format of the exam. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Vivek says:

    Hi Stephanie/team

    I’m Vivek from India and have been working in the IT industry for 15 years now (donning various roles like being a Project Manager, Financial operations/forecast manager, Utilization and Profitabiity analyst et al). Academically I hold a B.COM degree and did my Masters in Financial management (MFM). I also happened to do my ICWA (now CMA) in India 15 yrs back and cleared the foundation course back then.

    Here are my queries:

    1. With my current background do you recommend that I could do a CMA (US). If yes, am I directly eligible to go for it, owing to my work experienc (heard that there’s a 2 yr work exp requirement) and my academic degrees?
    2. Gathered that CMA (US) has only 2 parts. Would it be possible that these can be cleared in a year’s time?
    3. Is CMA(US) recognized in India? There’s an MoU between the ICMA institute in India with IMA in US and I heard that the CMA (US) certificate holder cannot practice in India but there’s no clarity that a CMA (US) certif holder can work as a CMA in India.
    Simply put – In India, is CMA (US) treated the same way as a CMA done in India for purposes of employment?
    4. How many attempts are allowed for clearing the CMA course?
    5. Can I enroll and register online for CMA (US) and then take exams in the USA (in case I happen to travel to the US in between, can I do this?) Is the place of enrollment important? Can you clarify?

  • Naveed Islam says:

    Hi I am living in Germany and want to work as well here for long period of time. Can you suggest me CMA or CIMA? I already have bachelors degree in commerce.

    • Hi Naveed, I am not familiar with the situation in Germany, but from what I know the US CMA certification is not well recognized there. So maybe CIMA is better? Or is there other local qualification? I can’t imagine Germany doesn’t have a local qualification given how large the economy is. Regards, Stephanie

      • Gunner says:

        In Germany the “Wirtschaftspruefer” is the local qualification; however, for industry accounting jobs most employers are looking for a German accounting or “BWL” degree or a “BiBu” qualification. Neither CMA nor CIMA are well known, but IMA is starting to build a network there through its office in Zurich.

  • Ashiq says:

    i’m from India. i like to do job in big 4 firm and i really interested in costing, management accounting and finance.
    please tell me which qualification is suitable for me…….. CIMA or CMA ??????

    • Hi Ashiq, I have to say that for Big 4 opportunities, CMA may not be the best choice… it’s more for corporate accounting. I would think the local Indian CA degree would be most appropriate? The US CPA license is obviously helpful as well. Regards, Stephanie

  • Kasturi says:

    I am a indian Chartered Accountant planning to move to canada or australia in future. which qualification will be beneficial for me ?

    • Hello Kasturi,
      Thanks for your note. Unfortunately there isn’t really a good-for-all qualification in accounting… To answer your question, the Canadian CPA is good for Canada and CPA Australia is good for Australia. You might want to target a specific country before working on these qualifications.

  • Balaji says:

    In specifically in FRANCE CMA has value or not kindly reply regarding my question

    • Hi Balaji, if you are asking whether the IMA CMA certification adds value in France… I am not sure, but I would say it is less than other places given there aren’t many CMAs in France and in Europe in general. I assume the recognition is quite a bit less over there…

      Regards, Stephanie

  • Minal says:

    Hello, I am interested in doing CMA but I don’t know whether it is recognised in New Zealand. Which accounting course should I go for Cima or cma?

  • Kundan says: from India and I’m in class 12 .Which certification should be better for me….and which certification gets the the more salary…CIMA or cma

  • Kundan says:

    Which certification gets the highest salary in India……cima or cma

    • Meghan D says:

      I’d recommend searching local job boards for CIMA and CMA and see what salaries are being offered. The salaries will vary greatly by location and job type, so I can’t answer you without a lot of details.

  • Kevin says:

    After 12th, which course is best in India.
    On the basis of salary, working time ….etc.


    how is the scope & recognition of CMA -Australia in global job markets,
    Indian ICWA has mutual recognition agreement with CMA- USA as well as CMA_ australia, but I a not sure that a person can go for one MRA or two MRA.

    Between these 2 CMA which one do you suggest

    • Hmm, from what I know, CMA Australia hasn’t been getting the critical mass to be well recognized. Even within Australia, my friends seem to go for CPA Australia for an equivalent management accounting qualification. It’s best for you to check it out yourself by asking around locally. Regards, Stephanie

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