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CIMA and SAICA sign revised agreement to provide easier access to dual-designation status for members

31 May 2022, Johannesburg – The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) have agreed to sign a revised agreement that will make it easier for their members to qualify for and use both the Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designations in South Africa. 

When talks first began between SAICA and CIMA, it was agreed that the bodies would enter a five-year partnership to create an expedited pathway to earning the CGMA designation and CIMA membership at the Associate level (ACMA) or Fellow level (FCMA) for eligible SAICA members. Similarly, the partnership provided eligible CIMA members with an accelerated route to SAICA membership and the CA(SA) qualification. Thanks to this partnership between SAICA and CIMA, significant advances have been made to broaden access to the accounting profession in South Africa.

For this reason, both institutions believed that it was incumbent on them to find ways to make dual-designation status more achievable for their members when renewing the agreement. This accelerated pathway will help enhance members’ skillsets and enable them to seize new careers opportunities, which will benefit businesses and the South African economy on the long-term. 

“CIMA has been guiding thousands of professionals across the world to become finance business leaders for over 100 years. We work tirelessly to equip our members with the skills and competencies they need to succeed throughout their careers and become strategic business partners who create long-term value for their organisations. I am very pleased to continue our partnership with SAICA, it is a true testament to our joint commitment to nurture and develop accounting talent in South Africa,” said Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing AICPA & CIMA. 

“We are very proud of what we have achieved through our partnership with SAICA over the past 5 years. This new agreement marks another significant milestone in our relationship, which will bring additional value to our members in South Africa and boost their employability in a competitive job market. I look forward to strengthening our partnership in years to come and we further our joint efforts to develop highly-skilled accounting professionals who can guide and lead their organisations, and in turn our national economy, towards sustainable success,” added Tariro Mutizwa, Regional Vice President for Africa at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing AICPA & CIMA.

“As an organisation, nothing is more important to us than creating highly qualified accountants possible in order to enhance the breadth of knowledge and the quality of insight they provide our country and economy with. Through agreements such as this, SAICA confirms its commitment to driving a dynamic accounting profession equipped to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world – a profession that adds value to business and responds decisively to issues like sustainable growth, good governance and stamping out corruption and malfeasance,” echoed SAICA’s CEO Freeman Nomvalo.

What does the new agreement mean for SAICA and CIMA members?

High-level changes brought about by the new agreement include:  

  • Eligible SAICA members who have a minimum of three years verified relevant work-based practical experience looking to become CGMA designation holders and gain CIMA membership (ACMA, CGMA) are now exempt from 15 of 16 CIMA exams. They will only need to complete the Strategic Case Study Preparation Course with a registered training provider and successfully pass the Strategic Case Study exam, the final capstone exam of CIMA’s Professional Qualification. 
  • Eligible CIMA members wishing to become CAs(SA) no longer have to pass SAICA’s first qualifying examination (the Initial Test of Competence (ITC)). Instead, they must now register for an accredited Professional Programme and sit SAICA’s second qualifying examination (the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)), which can be taken annually in November/December.

Both institutions have also agreed to the following transitional arrangements for CIMA members wishing to register as CAs(SA), who can either: 

  • Elect to follow the conversion requirements outlined in the new agreement, OR
  • Attempt the ITC in June 2022, January 2023 or June 2023 AND enter into a training contract to satisfy the practical experience requirements of the 2017 agreement. CIMA members who opt to follow this route have until 1 June 2022 to register for a training contract.

Full details on the conversion routes for both SAICA and CIMA members can be found on SAICA’s website

For further information, CIMA members can contact romona.rampersad@aicpa-cima.com and SAICA members can contact adrik@saica.co.za