CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting

The Certificate in Business Accounting is CIMA’s entry level accounting qualification for students with little or no accounting background.

The certificate level gives you business experience beyond just financial accounting and you’ll gain insight into how the different areas of accounting relate to the business world.

It can be seen as a knowledge refresher course or a foundation to a career in business and finance. The Certificate in Business Accounting forms the basis of the CIMA Professional Qualification and is a valuable qualification on its own.

What do I need to get started?

You don’t need any formal qualifications to start this level. You will need a good understanding of both English and maths and a passion to succeed in business.

If you have any previous accounting experience you might be eligible for exemptions from subjects at this level.

Find out about exemptions

Find out about different ways to enter CIMA

What will I learn?

The certificate level consists of five subjects:

C01 C02 C03 C04 C05
Fundamentals of management accounting Fundamentals of financial accounting Fundamentals of business mathematics Fundamentals of business economics Fundamentals of ethics, corporate governance and business law

You’ll achieve a solid understanding of basic accounting, management accounting and business principles. You’ll gain skills in preparing financial reports, forecasting performance and data analysis among many others.

Find out more about what you’ll learn

How does it work?


This level offers a lot of flexibility to suit your personal circumstances. You can study full-time or part-time meaning you can work and learn at the same time.

There are different ways to study depending on what works best for you. While tuition providers give students the best chance of passing, you can also study online with or by using official CIMA textbooks from CIMA publishing.

Find a course provider


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The CIMA Higher Apprenticeship in Management Accounting

If you are a UK/EU/EEA resident you may be eligible to study the Certificate in Business Accounting through the CIMA Higher Level Higher Apprenticeship in Management Accounting.

Find out if you’re eligible


Exams can be taken in the order and combination you choose and at your own pace. Exams can be sat all through the year at over 5,000 computer based assessment (CBA) centres around the world.

After passing all five exams you are awarded the Certificate in Business Accounting qualification. You can then proceed to the CIMA Professional Qualification, starting at the operational level.

See exam fees 

Designatory letters 

By completing the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, you can gain the letters CIMA Cert BA after your name. 

Find out more about the designatory letters.

What should I do next?

Register as a student


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