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Knowledge Specification

As the world’s most powerful qualification, CIMA® defines knowledge areas critical for success in the complex and multidisciplinary investment & management accounting profession.

Knowledge Specifications

CIMA® content and exams have been designed keeping in view six specific needs for candidates to excel in the investment & management accounting profession as CIMA® qualified professionals. These six requirements are: knowledge; comprehension; application; analysis; synthesis and evaluation. The CIMA® program architecture, hence functions as a robust platform to ensure consistency of coverage of CIMA® exams across time and space, and also assist CIMA® Educators in designing training and exam-preparatory courses around CIMA®. The specifications are dynamic, linked to the common body of knowledge, and hence may change in tandem with changes in the body of knowledge. Besides establishing the foundation on which CIMA® certification exams are developed, the knowledge specifications are a good way for candidates to understand the knowledge expectations from them when they are being scored in their CIMA® exams .

Standard route candidates must qualify the Standard CIMA® Level 1 and Standard CIMA® Level 2 exams. Standard CIMA® exams cover 20 knowledge areas – 10 in each level. The Professional pathway candidates are required to qualify only one, unified Professional Pathway Exam covering 13 knowledge areas only.

Investment & Management Accounting - Foundational Principles & Concept Frameworks Weight Knowledge e Specs
CS-11 Accounting for Investment & Managerial Decision-Making 8% INTERMEDIATE
CS-12 Business, Strategy & International Competitiveness 8% INTERMEDIATE
CS-13 Analyzing Financial Statements for Business Decisions 12% ADVANCED
CS-14 Managing & Accounting Risks in Business 12% ADVANCED
CS-15 Cost Structuring, Product Costing & Activity Based Costing 10% ADVANCED
CS-16 Investment Accounting Framework & Concepts 10% ADVANCED
CS-17 Financial Markets, Instruments & Derivatives 10% ADVANCED
CS-18 Techniques of Managing Investment Portfolios 10% ADVANCED
CS-19 Capital Investments and Capital Budgeting 10% ADVANCED
CS-20 Management Accounting & Enterprise Performance Analysis 10% INTERMEDIATE
Investment & Management Accounting - Application Principles & Practice Frameworks Weight Knowledge e Specs
CS-21 Techniques of Pricing Financial Assets 10% ADVANCED
CS-22 Techniques & Practices of Valuing Businesses 12% ADVANCED
CS-23 Practices in International Financial Reporting 10% ADVANCED
CS-24 Techniques of Currency Risk Management 10% ADVANCED
CS-25 Accounting Tax In Global Investments and Business 7% INTERMEDIATE
CS-26 Accounting Transfer Pricing In Global Business 10% INTERMEDIATE
CS-27 Investment Accounting Techniques & Practices 15% ADVANCED
CS-28 Investment Audit Techniques & Practices 10% ADVANCED
CS-29 Corporate Governance & Ethics in Global Organizations 8% BASIC
CS-30 Technology & Analytics in Accounting 8% INTERMEDIATE


The three levels of expected knowledge followed by the CIMA Institute are as follows:

  • Level A: Knowledge and comprehension of base concepts and principles
  • Level B: Knowledge and comprehension of concepts and principles as well as skills to analyze, apply these principles and guide peers
  • Level C: Knowledge and comprehension of concepts and principles; skills to analyze and apply these principles; ability to synthesize and evaluate.

The levels of expected knowledge as they apply to each of the topics are presented in the table. The levels represent the manner in which topic areas are to be treated and represent ceilings, i.e., a topic area designated as Level C may contain requirements at the "A," "B," or "C" level, but a topic designated as Level B will not contain requirements at the "C" level.

Read more on CIMA® Exams in the CIMA® Candidate Guide