CIMA vs other Financial courses

What makes CIMA qualification different from other financial courses? This question arises many times in various web portals and also in students mind. We tried our best to answer this question with all valid points.


Most accounting qualifications such as CA, CWA prepare candidates for private practice, financial reporting, audit and tax issues. In contrast, CIMA prepares you for a career in business. CIMA prepares you to work across an organisation, not just within finance. Since, in addition to strong accounting fundamentals, CIMA teaches strategic business and management skills. Chartered Accountancy (CA) takes more than 4 years to complete the qualification and the passing rate is about 5% per level where as CIMA takes approximately 2-3 years to complete and the passing rate is about 40 to 50%.

CA is recognised in India whereas CIMA is recognised in more than 176 countries. More than 1 lac CAs in India where as number of CIMA members is growing and current number is less than 500. Moreover many companies across the world are managed by CIMA members, that is why many companies are looking for CIMA members in India as well.


Both CWA and CIMA are Management Accounting qualifications. ICWAI gives more focus on Costing and Finance Accounting whereas CIMA also focus on Management Accounting along with strategic business, costing and Management Skills. CWA is an Indian Qualification whereas CIMA is an international qualification with more than 218000 members in 177 countries.

In terms of passing rate, CWA passing rate is 5% whereas the passing rate in CIMA is between 40% and 50%.


CIMA focuses on Business which includes Management, Costing & Financial Accounting whereas focus of ACCA is more on auditing and accounting work. CIMA members are across the globe where as ACCA members are concentrated in the UK.


Both the qualifications are recognized all over the world. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) focuses more on investments which includes Derivatives, Portfolio Management, Fixed Income & Equity Market whereas the focus of CIMA is on the overall success of Business which includes Corporate Strategy, Reporting, Organizational Management, Financial Management etc. CFA charter holders will find job opportunities in Financial Services sector whereas CIMA will find opportunities across all sectors.

Job Opportunities

Both the qualification will offer better job opportunities in the Indian job market. CFA was introduced in India before CIMA, Which is why many opportunities are open for them in the job market. But at the same time, more than 20,000 candidates are writing CFA exams in India which is intensifying the competition for them in the job market. While in CIMA, jobs are not restricted to Financial Services Sector, many European and US based companies such as Vodafone, KPMG, Ford Motors, Pepsico, Accenture, WNS are hiring CIMA members in India. But due to few numbers of CIMA members in India, many of these companies are not able to fulfil their requirements.