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The common problem faced by most people who want to become professional accountants is choosing between the two widely recognized professional accounting courses, ACCA and CIMA.
ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants while CIMA is the acronym for Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Both courses are internationally recognized and require students to have work experience before they become fully qualified.
While both certifications claim to be better than the other, there is no huge difference in style of examination, number of courses to be completed, and others.
The core difference is that ACCA focuses more on the technical side of accounting, and is more beneficial for those who want to become auditors, tax accountants and corporate accountants. CIMA is focused on management reporting and organization strategy. CIMA deals mainly with predicting the future with past data, and is more about forecasting, budgeting, variance analysis and strategic planning.
CIMA has 15 courses. One cannot move on to the next stage if he has not cleared the current one. ACCA has 14. Many believe it is easier to complete ACCA than CIMA. Examinations for ACCA happen in June and December; CIMA in May and November.
The ultimate deciding factor depends on what the student really wants to do. ACCA deals with preparing a company’s financial statements to be presented to shareholders and the public. CIMA works directly with the management of organizations using financial data.
• Both ACCA and CIMA are internationally recognized
• ACCA focuses on the technical side of accounting
• CIMA focuses on making management decisions
Source: Dipshikha Mitra, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer