In this article, we’ll show you, step-by-step, on how to apply for CIMA – as student and as exam candidate.
(CIMA in this website refers to Chartered Institute of Management Accountant. For Certified Investment Management Analyst, please click here.)
This is a simple process but must be done in order to move on to the next step. Once you register, you will be given a Contact ID in order to log in the MyCIMA account. This is a system that holds your profile and progress in your CIMA journey.
If you have any technical questions regarding the registration, the MyCIMA system and Contact ID, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
The default CIMA entry requirements is to have the Certificate in Business Accounting (Cert BA) offered by the CIMA. This is a program dedicated to those without an accounting or finance background, but would like to switch or start a business and finance related career.
There are no prerequisites to take the course and you can see this as an alternative to university. There are 4 exams at the end of the course:
Cert BA is a standalone certification, but most take it as a CIMA qualification requirement for Step 3: the Professional Qualification.
Many candidates apply for an exemption to Cert BA. You should if you have a university degree in accounting, business, economics, management and finance.
CIMA provides a handy exemption lookup database for your reference, but here is the general guideline:
|Degree group||Exemptions awarded|
|Accounting||All BA1 to BA4|
|Business studies/administration||All BA1 to BA4|
|Commerce||All BA1 to BA4|
|Business general||BA1, BA4|
|Finance||BA1, BA2, BA3|
|MBA||All certificate level exams + E1|
Note: E1 stands for the organisational management exam, which is one of the 3 Objective Tests in the first level of the CIMA exam.
Once you pass the Cert BA exams or get all the necessary exemptions, you are qualified to take the CIMA exam. Most candidates require 3-4 years in the CIMA journey starting from this step, plus time to accumulate the relevant experience. You can take the exam and accumulate experience at the same time.
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.