Everybody likes to stand out, to have some sort of superpowers. Did you ask why? Of course, it is because being common is boring. It is for this reason that many professionals in business, finance, and accounting take the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants examination — to stand out and easily achieve their lofty career dreams.
CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants offering the most relevant accounting qualification for a career in business. If you are considering a career in business and finance, the CIMA qualification will open doors with employers all over the world — CIMA Website
Once you bag a CIMA certification, you can adorn your name with the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) title and join the prestigious league of certified management accountants in the world. In Nigeria, CIMA Nigeria organises and conducts the CIMA examinations periodically for interested professionals who want to have a piece of CGMA cake. Upon successful completion, candidates are certified according to global standards.
Job Functions of a CIMA professional
Other than managing organisational finances, management accountants perform a whole lot of other roles which makes them widely-regarded and widely-sought. They are innovators, business leaders, decision-makers, and forecasters. Being qualified as a management accountant prepares you to be adept at making financial and non-financial decisions in the organisation. The modern management accountant is expected to perform some of these functions;
- Creating reports for internal usage
- Compiling information for future analysis
- Providing information needed by the organisation
- Measuring operational and financial performance
- Take charge of both the quantitative and qualitative part of the data of the firm.
The management accountant's role differs in some respects from the traditional accountant. That is why organisations don't use either as substitutes. As it is often said, a management accountant is a manager of other accountants. For instance, one of the primary roles of a financial accountant is to prepare past financial performance for regulatory reporting; but this is not true of a certified management accountant.
Having a CIMA qualification propels your career to the next level as a management accountant. The CIMA qualification is not limited to prospective management accounting professionals only. Many other professionals, especially in the finance and business spaces acquire this certification too. They include;
- Public accountant
- Internal auditors
- Financial analyst
- Financial controller
- Cost accountant
- Treasurers/Vault managers
- Finance/Risk managers
You can know more about the roles of management accountants just with a few queries on Google.
CIMA in Nigeria: Exams to write
We have recognised the prospects that there are in being a CIMA certified management accountant. Again, let's rehash the deep connection the membership gives. For instance, the Nigerian wing of the organisation has over 5000 members; that is over 5000 colleagues to network and grow with. It is, then, not untrue to say that acceptance into a professional body such as CIMA can greatly improve your job opportunities and career possibilities.
So, what about the exams?
The certification is in stages and a candidate may be enrolled in the category of
- Graduate member
- Licentiate member
Generally, people start studying for the CIMA certification at different stages of their lives. You may start as an undergraduate, a postgraduate, or even as a secondary school leaver. The two categories of the CIMA examination are;
- CIMA certificate in business accounting (entry-level)
- CIMA professional qualification (advanced)
There are no specific formal requirements for the first stage, making it suitable for everyone (as long as you can read and study for the basic exam). At this level, it is wise to get expert supports in your study. Getting a private tutor will make you familiar with the exam structure and mode. There are tons of tutors on Superprof who are ready to help you study and pass well; even better, you can always choose the learning mode that suits you. On the other hand, the CIMA professional qualification examination is more advanced. It is used by the CIMA body to validate your skills. You will need to have passed the foundational level before writing the professional qualification examination. It is categorised into three stages:
- The operational level
- The management level
- And the strategic level
Moreso, If you have a degree in accounting or a related field, you’ll be exempted from writing some of the courses.
We should also say that the CIMA examinations are scheduled quite flexibly so that they do not choke the candidates unduly. Candidates can be enrolled for the CIMA examination and still have enough time to work. Candidates can spread the exams across several months as they wish. The exams may be completed within a year or a maximum of four years.
The examinations are structured into three pillars and three levels. Altogether, there are 12 exams — nine objective tests and three case study exams. The objective tests are usually 90 minutes long while the case study exams take 3 hours each.
While the exams have a high passing rate, they are as challenging as any other professional exam. However, whether you want to study by yourself or with a private tutor, with adequate efforts, it should be a less stressful ride.
If you are considering getting a guide, Superprof parades expert tutors who provide online and home classes that can help you study better and pass well. You can never go wrong with a Superprof tutor.
IS the CIMA Qualification good for you?
Most accounting professionals and potential CIMA candidates are often in a dilemma of which certifications to pursue. More so, for many, the career prospects of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants certification are not known, especially because it is not often emphasised like ICAN or ACCA. With the diverse subfields in accounting today, it becomes imperative to research which certification is the best for you.
Management accountants work internally within an organisation providing financial insights and making decisions. If you would like to pursue a career that doesn’t just restrict you to the numbers in accounting, a management accounting role might be a good decision. Your career aspirations and profile will determine your choice here and you may want to speak to a career counsellor to gain more clarity.
The CIMA certification is ideal for graduates or candidates hoping for a career in business and finance, and who has a flair for strategy, commercial awareness and excellent managerial skills. It goes beyond just looking at numbers on a spreadsheet. If you analyse situations and weigh options with excellent precision, you are a good fit for a career in management accounting.
As a body with global repute, adding CIMA to your CV gives you a huge advantage with employers and places you on a very lucrative pay scale. It boosts your earning capacity and gives you the liberty to practice other areas of accounting due to the broad knowledge base you possess.
Why Should You Choose CIMA?
The accounting profession has developed into an expert field over the years and invariably boasts of scores of certifications, such as the ACCA, CMA, CPA, CISA among others. Most of these qualifications enjoy wide acceptance and enjoy international recognition. However, CIMA remains the standard certification for management accountants. Needless to say again that it affords you a great career. You start by obtaining a diploma before attempting the advanced level, thus becoming skilled in both accounting and business management.
Its wide acceptance and global recognition also make it possible for its holders to work anywhere in the world. If you decide to work outside Nigeria, the certification places you in an employable position.
Also, CIMA holders enjoy the huge benefits of having diverse expertise. They may choose to practise in auditing, taxation, management consulting or other major areas in the accounting profession as they deem fit. The syllabus of CIMA is also regularly updated to suit industry needs and enable CGMAs to be ever relevant.
Furthermore, having a CIMA qualification can boost your earning potentials. In Nigeria, the median salary for management accountants is about ₦271, 000 per month, and depending on experiences, it could be up to ₦421, 000 per month. It is even a sweeter story if you are working with a multinational company or working abroad.
The certification is an invaluable springboard for your career regardless of industry or the nature of business. Even if you decide to be an entrepreneur, the certification will give you peerless professional recognition, authority, and lend credence to your business acumen.
Today, many industries prioritise individuals with digital and tech. skills, such as data science, cybersecurity, integrating reporting, and business modelling. You can learn some of these digital skills with the CIMA certification. That is why we say that a CIMA certification will offer you a good route to not only career development but global recognition and relevance.
As you decide to write the CIMA Certification examinations, remember that you can do it together with Superprof.