The Chartered Investment & Management Accountant (CIMA®) qualification paves the way for high-profile finance and accounting careers and strategic leadership roles in leading global organizations.

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CIMA® is trusted as the most distinctive validation of expert-level competence of professionals in two of the most rapidly growing super-specialization areas in accounting – investment accounting, and management accounting. A truly gilt-edged global qualification, the CIMA® charter equips professionals with a proven promise and readiness for deriving critical financial intelligence that organizations require to monitor, manage and grow their businesses and investment assets and portfolios.

Double-Specialize & Differentiate

CIMA® may well be the only qualification you will ever need to navigate and grow confidently in your career. Today, when most qualifications in business, finance and accounting seem commoditized, the CIMA® lends your profile the most powerful differentiation, besides rounding you well in the complex multi-disciplines of investment & management accounting – both at the same time! CIMA® charter-holders bring to the table a demonstrated potential for high-impact roles in global corporations, moving much beyond conventional financial or management accounting.

Arrive & Impact

The CIMA® program journey shapes you for critical accounting roles that directly help top managements and CXOs of organizations take decisions that impact growth, revenues, competitiveness and firm value. Designed for professionals from diverse functional and industry backgrounds, the CIMA® charter is valid for life, is easy to maintain, and leads to the elite professional membership of the CIMA Institute. CIMA® is a must-have qualification for you, if you hold at least a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline – especially if you have majored in management, finance, technology, engineering, mathematics or statistics.

Earn CIMA® Faster

You can earn your CIMA® charter within three to six months, if you are already oriented to accounting, finance and business via other qualifications. You get to register along the Professional Pathway if you hold a specialist, globally recognized certification or a professional charter in finance, accountancy, management accountancy, cost accounting, public accounting or company secretaryship. Similarly, you can register for the CIMA® charter via the Master’s Pathway, if you hold, or you are pursuing qualifications like MBA or MS in areas related to finance or accounting. Master’s Pathway is currently open only for applicants from universities and b-schools accredited by international bodies like the AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. The Pathways require taking only one, unified exam, instead of two in the Standard route, accelerate your CIMA® program journey by almost halving the number of modules you require to study for your exam.

If Your Professional Education is Pandemic-Affected:
You can register under a special CIMA® professional pathway until October 30, 2021, if the exams of your professional certification are delayed due to Covid outbreak. This pathway is currently open ONLY for applicants hailing from Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, Guyana, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Rwanda, Vietnam and Zambia.


CIMA® At a Glance

  • Start
  • Candidacy
  • Validity of Qualification
  • Number of Module Exemptions
  • Number of Exams
  • Maximum Completion Period
  • Fee (US Dollars)
Standard Route
  • Anytime during the year
  • Bachelor's in any discipline
  • Life-time
  • No exemptions
  • 2 exams - One for each level
  • Within 3 years, but usually completed in 6-9 months; self-planned study
  • $ 3900 USD
Master's Pathway
  • Anytime during the year
  • Master's/ MBA
  • Life-time
  • 5 modules exempted
  • 1 unified exam
  • Within 2 years, but usually completed in 3-6 months; self-planned study
  • $ 2925 USD
Professional Pathway
  • Anytime during the year
  • Professional qualification/ certification in accounting/ finance or related areas
  • Life-time
  • 7 modules exempted
  • 1 unified exam
  • Within 2 years, but usually completed in 3-6 months; self-planned study
  • $ 2535 USD

For applicants completing their registration after July 20, 2021, candidate services like exam scheduling and mock exams will commence from October 30, 2021, once the upgraded myCIMA dashboard is commissioned. However, the latest copies of essential resources like candidate and study guides will be duly available. Candidates registered before August 20, 2021 will continue receiving their services and support as they have been.

Candidate Services List +

The CIMA® Package

  • Re-exams/ Re-sits for Each Exam
  • Mock Exams
  • CIMA® Membership
  • CIMA® Membership Card
  • Access to myCIMA Dashboard
  • CIMA® Maintenance Fee
  • Digital Designation Badge
  • Printed Credential-Certificate
  • Designation Pin
  • Entry fee for CIMA® Events
  • CIMA® BoK & Candidate Guide
  • CIMA® Publications Access
Standard Route
  • No re-exam fee for up to 2 attempts
  • 4
  • Covered for 10 years
  • Yes
  • Life-time
  • Covered for 3 years
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • All events for 5 years
  • Life-time access
  • 7-year subscription
Master's Pathway
  • No re-exam fee for up to 2 attempts
  • 2
  • Covered for 8 years
  • Yes
  • Life-time
  • Covered for 3 years
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • All events for 3 years
  • Life-time access
  • 5-year subscription
Professional Pathway
  • No re-exam fee for up to 2 attempts
  • 2
  • Covered for 5 years
  • Yes
  • Life-time
  • Covered for 3 years
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • All events for 3 years
  • Life-time access
  • 3-year subscription

I hit upon the idea of doing a management accounting certification while I was in the final semester of my MBA program, as I wanted to sharpen my fitness for finance roles that lead up to the CFO position. I chose CIMA® as it looked a qualification that would help me break into global companies. I was lucky that I could register under the Master’s Pathway. CIMA® is a program that completes fastest and offers perhaps the highest RoI, I must say!

Hannah Foster  CIMA®, Financial Accountant, The Adecco group

CIMA® Candidacy Tracks

The prerequisite for the CIMA® program registration is at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in any discipline. Higher qualifications like Master’s or MBA, or specialist professional qualifications in finance, accounting and related areas can accelerate the CIMA® program journey through registration under CIMA® Master’s or Professional pathways that require taking a single, unified exam.

You can write to us at [email protected] to make specific queries about candidacy or to explore the special pathway currently open for individuals who have not been able to complete their accounting/ finance professional certification due to Covid-related exam delays.

  • Standard Route

    Choose this track if your most recent qualification is a Bachelor’s degree from a nationally or internationally recognized/ accredited institution. The background or major is no limitation, though, if you have a prior exposure to accounting, finance or business, your CIMA® journey completes easier and faster.

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  • Master’s Pathway

    Choose this faster CIMA® program track if you hold or you are pursuing a Master’s degree like MBA/ MS/ M.Sc in business, finance, accounting or related areas from a nationally/ internationally recognized institution, or from a b-school accredited by international agencies like the AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.

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  • Professional Pathway

    Choose this swifter CIMA® program track if you hold a professional qualification or certification in finance, accountancy, corporate law; management accountancy; company secretaryship, cost accountancy, public accountancy or similar or related areas from a professional association or a certification body.

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For Students of Institutions on the CIMA® Ace List

If you are a student or alumnus of an MBA or Master’s program of an institution included in the CIMA® list of Ace institutions, you get to register for the CIMA® charter at a special fee. Premier, nationally and internationally renowned universities and business schools are recognized as CIMA® Ace institutions under the CIMA® investment & management accounting advocacy program. Not to be missed: if you have already completed/ pursuing your MBA, or Master’s in finance, accounting or related fields, do check the CIMA® Master’s Pathway facility. You can speed up your journey of obtaining the CIMA® charter through exam-exemptions in 8 of the 20 standard CIMA® modules and take a single exam instead of two!

Apply for the Master’s Pathway program

For Members of Institutions on the CIMA® Accord List

You get to register in CIMA® at a special fee when you apply for the CIMA® program, if you are a member of an institution included in the CIMA® list of Accord institutions. National, regional and international bodies and associations of accounting professionals are gazetted as CIMA® Accord institutions under the CIMA® charter. Do not forget to check the Professional Pathway facility that we have, if you also hold a chartered or specialist qualification or certificate in management accounting, public accounting or related fields and disciplines. Your CIMA® program journey can be accelerated as you take a single, unified exam instead of two, and you earn exam-exemptions in 9 of the 20 standard CIMA® modules.

Apply for the Professional Pathway program

For Students of CIMA® Educators & Academic Affiliates

If you are a student or an alumnus of an MBA or Master’s program of a CIMA affiliated university or business schools, or you are registered with an official CIMA®Professional Educator for an accounting training or exam-preparation program, you stand to get a special fee discount when you apply for the CIMA® program. Technically, universities, business schools and academic institutions not included in the CIMA® Ace program become part of the CIMA® networks of authorized Educators and academic affiliates. Not to be missed: if you have already completed/ pursuing your MBA, or Master’s in finance, accounting or related fields and disciplines, do check the CIMA® Master’s Pathway facility. You can speed up your CIMA® program journey through exam-exemptions in several CIMA® modules!

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CIMA® Membership

Membership of the CIMA Institute is immediately granted to candidates once they qualify for the award of the CIMA® charter. The membership, covered in the CIMA® program fee for up to 10 years includes a number of benefits including a life-long myCIMA dashboard carrying career and self-development resources. The membership card and certificate is included in the CIMA® credential pack sent to candidates after they have qualified all prescribed conditions for award of the CIMA® qualification and designation.

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CIMA Membership Card

CIMA® Qualification Pathways

CIMA® Master’s and Professional pathways accelerate the CIMA® program journey of applicants already oriented and exposed to accounting and finance, and reducing the cost of earning the qualification. Candidates already holding/ pursuing Master’s qualifications like MBA/ MS/ from accredited institutions or specialized professional qualifications in various areas of accounting or finance stand to earn the advantage of their prior orientation and exposure to finance and accounting to obtain exemptions from standard modules and exams. While the standard CIMA® program requires candidates to complete and qualify Level 1 and Level 2 exams (of 3-hours each), the Master’s and Professional Pathway candidates obtain exemptions from standard exams, requiring to qualify only one, single, unified special pathway exam to earn CIMA® qualification. Not to be missed, the Master’s and Professional Pathway applicants pay a special fee, much lower than the standard fee.

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Qualification Pathways

I completed CIMA® program within almost six months of graduating with a major in Economics. That became possible because the CIMA® program coverage is very compact and finely sculpted around the needs of CFOs working in multinational companies, and it has served me very well as the Head of Finance in an apparel export company.

Mark Francis,
Chief Financial Officer, Trafigura Group

Program Structure

The standard CIMA® program is composed of two levels. Level 1 is dedicated to foundational aspects of Investment & Management Accounting. Level 2 is focused on application, practical and decision-making aspects of investment & management accounting.

The Level 1 covers 10 knowledge areas essentially dealing with basics of business, strategy and economics as well as covering building blocks of investment & management accounting across themes like risks, costs, financial markets, financial asset pricing, capital budgeting and performance analysis. Level 2 covers 10 areas cutting across advanced aspects of investment accounting, financial reporting, currency exposure management; transfer pricing; global taxation and technology applications in investment & management accounting.

Check the CIMA® Program Structure here

CIMA® Exams

Candidates registered through the Standard route require to take two exams, one each for levels 1 and 2. Each exam is 3-hours long, containing 75 multiple-choice questions. Pathway applicants, who have earned exemptions, on the other hand, require to qualify a unified, single 3 hour, 75-question Master’s/ Professional Pathway exam. Master’s Pathway applicants get exam-exemptions in 5 of the 20 modules, while Professional Pathway applicants get exam-exemptions in 7 modules. A majority of Master’s/ Professional Pathway applicants often manage to complete the program within three to six months from the date registration confirmation, if not earlier.

Though CIMA® exams are online in most countries, in some, they are conducted in the offline, pen-and-paper mode considering examinee convenience. Candidates will get detailed information about their offline pen-and-paper exam from their myCIMA dashboards. Similarly, registrations for online exams can also be done from the myCIMA dashboard. The online exams can be scheduled on any of the available slots within the four exam windows given here. The offline exam dates and venues vary across countries and will be available on the candidate myCIMA dashboard.

Click here to learn more about CIMA® exams

CIMA Exams
Learning Resources

CIMA® Study Planning

Though study effort required varies across individuals and whether they study on their own or take external assistance, typically, each module requires around 15-30 hours of study time. Experience demonstrates that CIMA® Pathway candidates with prior exposure to accounting and finance can complete their exam studies in as few as 125-175 hours of good, distraction-free study on their own. Standard CIMA® registrants, on the other hand, may take around 250-300 hours to complete 20 modules. All candidates can choose the self-study option to prepare for their exam(s).

CIMA® program candidates also get mock exam facility on their myCIMA dashboards, providing them a good preview and feel of the real CIMA® exam. The CIMA® program structure lends itself to a very conveniently progressive learning, helping candidates start with refreshing their knowledge on the building blocks of managerial accounting, and then moving them gradually into more advanced and practical aspects of investment & management accounting. read more

Once your registration is complete, an authorized CIMA® partner connects with you directly to share self-study content, cutting down your struggle for and spends on additional books or course material for any CIMA® level. It is interesting to note that almost 91% of CIMA® candidates prepare through self-study clocking a pass rate of 82%.

Registered CIMA® candidates get membership for up to 10 years; two free resit attempts for each exam; life-time access to myCIMA dashboard; CIMA® Candidate Guide, the CIMA® Body of Knowledge; digital designation badge; printed CIMA® credential-certificate and designation pin. The candidates also have 3 years of CIMA® maintenance fee covered in the registration package, besides getting digital subscriptions of CIMA® publications, exclusively meant for CIMA® members.


CIMA® Exam Preparation

The program applicants require to be thorough in foundational aspects of accounting, business, strategy, valuation, international business and core principles of managerial accounting, as well as in investment accounting, forex management, international financial reporting, taxation, transfer pricing and corporate governance. The candidates get a detailed CIMA® program study guide for planning their exam preparation, besides practice and mock exams. Though, to conform to the standards laid down for qualification and certification bodies, the CIMA Institute cannot provide exam preparation assistance or material, independent content providers contact CIMA® candidates separately to offer online study material for CIMA® exams. Some professional forums provide such content free of charge to promote excellence in the investment & management accounting profession. In some countries, partners of American Council of Professional Accountants also provide specially curated study material and exam-preparation programs. For more guidance and assistance, registered CIMA® program candidates can write to [email protected].

Exam Preparation
Validity & Maintenance

Validity & Maintenance of CIMA®

CIMA® is valid for life and the qualification never expires. Qualification holders simply require to maintain it well by attending the CIMA® Review Webinar once a year. For the first 3 years after the date of award of CIMA® qualification, the holders need to take no action. Fourth year onward, however, holders require to attend the online CIMA® Review Webinar and pay a nominal maintenance fee of US$ 150.00 every year. Alternatively, CIMA® qualification holders can pay a lifetime maintenance fee of USD 650.00. Attending the Review Webinar helps CIMA® qualification holders catch up with the latest buzz on regulations, trends, best-practices and emerging techniques critical for investment & management accountants to know to stay ahead of the curve in their profession.

CIMA® continuation policy click here


The roadmap to earn the CIMA® qualification covers five simple steps. Covering these milestones in sequence will ensure that your entire qualification process is smooth. Feel free to Contact Us for any further information you may need at any time.

Step 1: Create Account+
Step 2: Validation and Registration Confirmation+
Step 3: Study Plan Resources +
Step 4: Schedule Your Exam+
Step 5: Award+

Schedule Your Exam

Ready to schedule your exam? Find exam dates suiting your convenience if you have registered before August 20, 2021.


Examination Policies

Learn more about the exam policies.

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