CIMA Professional Qualification

The CIMA Professional Qualification is recognised worldwide as the most relevant global finance qualification for business.

As a CIMA-qualified professional you will be able to drive business success, by using your financial knowledge to influence strategic decisions and manage performance. You’ll become part of a global organisation, powered by two of the world’s leading accounting bodies (AICPA and CIMA) which is working to make management accounting the most valued profession in business worldwide.

What do I need to get started?

You will require:

  1. A good understanding of business English and maths, both of which are vital to the course.
  2. A foundation certificate in business or accounting studies, to make sure you have the knowledge required to begin the qualification. This could be:

Find out how you can start studying CIMA.

Find out more about exemptions.

What will I learn?

The qualification syllabus was designed to encourage step by step development of finance and business knowledge as well as skills that are required by today’s businesses. It has three pillars and four levels.


As a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) you won’t be just a number cruncher, but manage the future of a business. The pillars are therefore designed to cover not just finance, but a range of other business areas.

  • Enterprise: how to formulate and effectively implement strategy.
  • Performance: how finance helps in formulating and effectively implementing strategy. 
  • Financial: how to prepare and interpret financial statements to make decisions. 


The levels encourage progressive, constant development of knowledge, ensuring you have exactly the skills businesses need.

  • Operational: how to prepare financial statements, provide management accounting information, and use appropriate tools for decision making through a broad understanding of business. After successfully completing this level, you will receive the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting.
  • Management: how to prepare group accounts, make pricing and product decisions based on a robust analysis, and manage projects and relationships. On completion, you receive the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting.
  • Strategic: how to formulate financial strategy and manage strategic relationships while managing risk, using the competencies gained at operational and management levels.
  • Test of professional competence: Bridges the gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’, combining finance and business knowledge to help you inform and forecast business strategy. On completion, you become a Chartered Global Management Accountant with the designatory letters ACMA and CGMA.

Download our full syllabus.

CIMA Professional Qualification diagram

How does it work?


You can study either full or part time. There are different ways to study depending on what works best for you, including:


We have two main global exam sittings in May and November each year, for all students worldwide.

'Extra' exam sittings are available for resits and T4 part B first attempts in March and September at certain centres. 

Exam registration deadlines


  • Register as a student and submit relevant documents: 31 January
  • Register for exam entry: see exam timetable


  • Register as a student and submit relevant documents: 31 July
  • Register for exam entry: see exam timetable

What should I do next?

Register as a student


Sign up for updates from CIMA