CGMA Competency Framework

Competency-based qualifications responding to the needs of people and business.

A framework for success

We carried out comprehensive research with finance professionals and employers around the world to develop the CGMA Competency Framework. Our research revealed that while producing good accounting information is essential, today's and tomorrow's finance professionals need to be able to apply financial disciplines in managing a business. Having the technical skills relevant to each area is not enough. These skills have to be integrated and applied in the context of an organisation’s business, with finance professionals working alongside or leading others from different departments.

In addition to accounting and analytical skills, finance professionals must also have an understanding of the organisation, its business model, its strategic context and its competitive position. They also need the people and leadership skills necessary to ensure that they apply their expertise effectively, whether it be in the form of supplying management with accounts, information, analysis or insights.

The CGMA Competency Framework is very much the engine of change that has helped us to understand the knowledge and skills the business world needs from business and finance professionals.

As a result, both the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and CIMA Professional Qualification are underpinned by the framework, allowing CIMA to assess students' skills and knowledge as they progress through the qualification, while allowing CIMA students and members to demonstrate their employability and the breadth of skills and knowledge gained to employers.

After completing the CIMA Professional Qualification, as a requirement of membership, students will need to submit their practical experience for assessment. Successful applications will result in the awarding of CIMA membership and the CGMA designation and demonstrate that they have successfully developed skills and knowledge, defined by the framework and applied in their professional lives.

The framework then becomes a powerful tool for members to use in identifying any gaps in their technical, business, personal and leadership skills. Through CPD, members are then able to select the most appropriate activities to address these gaps.

Levels of proficiency

The Framework operates across four proficiency levels.

Foundational level

This requires a basic understanding of the business structures, operations and financial performance and includes responsibility for implementing and achieving results through own actions rather than through others.

Intermediate level

This requires a moderate understanding of the business operations and measurements including responsibility for monitoring the implementation of strategy. This has limited or informal responsibility for colleagues/and or needs to consider broader approaches or consequences.

Applies to Management level of the CIMA Professional Qualification.

Advanced level

This required strong understanding of the organisations environment, current strategic position and direction, with strong analytical skills and the ability to advise on strategic options for the business.  This includes formal responsibility for colleagues and their actions, and that that their decisions have a wider impact.

Applies to Strategic level of the CIMA Professional Qualification.

Expert level

This requires expert knowledge to develop strategic vision and provide unique insight to the overall direction and success of the organisation.  This level requires formal responsibility for business areas and actions and decisions taken at this level have a high level of strategic impact. 

Those operating at Expert level are likely to be CGMAs in very senior roles and would be keeping their skills up to date through CPD. 

Knowledge areas

The framework contains four knowledge areas


Technical skills enable finance professionals to collect, store, process and analyse information to be shared with various stakeholders. These include the preparation and dissemination of external and internal reports per the professional accounting standards.

A closer look

Financial Accounting and Reporting, Cost accounting and management, Business planning Management reporting and analysis, Corporate finance and treasury management Risk management and internal control, accounting information systems Tax strategy, planning and compliance.


Business skills enable finance professionals to use their knowledge of the business and its environment to transform data into insight that enables organisations to evaluate their strategic positioning, the alignment of their business models to their strategies, their performance and opportunities for the future. 

A closer look

Strategy, Market and Regulatory Environment, Process management, Business relations, Project Management and Macroeconomic Analysis.


People skills, particularly in communication, are used to influence the decisions, actions and behaviours of decision-makers and others throughout the organisation and its stakeholders. 

A closer look

Influence, Negotiation and Decision Making, Communication, Collaboration and Partnering


Leadership skills take place at various levels. Three types of leadership can be identified: peer, functional and strategic.

  • Peer leadership involves leading peers in and out of the finance function on issues that require an understanding of the financial implications of events and issues in the organisation’s internal and external operating environments.
  • Functional leadership refers to the leadership that ensures that the finance function delivers its objectives to the organisation. It takes place from the intermediate level onward, but mostly at the advanced level.
  • Strategic leadership is exercised at the strategic level. Experts join with leaders in other functional areas to define, formulate and oversee the implementation of the organisation’s strategy.

A closer look

Team Building, Coaching and Mentoring, Driving Performance, Motivating and Inspiring, Change Management.