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CIMA vs. ACMA: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 29, 2024
CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) focuses on business finance; ACMA (Associate Chartered Management Accountant) is a professional designation.

Key Differences

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a UK-based professional body offering training and qualification in management accountancy and related subjects. It is one of the largest and leading professional bodies for management accountants globally. On the other hand, the term ACMA refers to Associate Chartered Management Accountant, a professional designation awarded by CIMA. ACMA represents an individual's proficiency and recognition as a qualified management accountant.
CIMA emphasizes providing education and qualification for strategic management and financial decision-making in businesses. It offers a comprehensive program that combines accounting, finance, and management with the leading-edge skills and techniques required for successful career in business. Conversely, ACMA is a designation achieved after completing the CIMA professional qualification and gaining the required practical experience. It is a testament to one's skills and commitment to the field of management accounting.
The curriculum of CIMA focuses on various aspects of business finance, including financial analysis, business strategy, risk management, and decision-making. It prepares individuals for a broad range of financial roles within a company. In contrast, holding the ACMA title implies that the individual has met the rigorous requirements set by CIMA, including passing challenging exams and having relevant work experience in management accounting.
CIMA is recognized worldwide, with a global presence and a wide network of members and students. It provides its members with ongoing support, resources, and continued professional development opportunities. ACMA, as a designation, enhances an individual's professional profile, indicating their expertise and dedication to the field, which can lead to better career prospects and professional recognition.
CIMA is the institution providing education, training, and membership, while ACMA is a professional status achieved within the framework of CIMA. Both play crucial roles in the professional journey of a management accountant, with CIMA laying the educational foundation and ACMA signifying professional accomplishment and recognition.

Comparison Chart


Professional body
Professional designation


Business finance education and training
Recognition of qualified status in management accounting


Membership, exams, ethical commitment, CPD
CIMA qualification, practical experience

Global Recognition

Highly recognized worldwide
Recognized as a qualified management accountant

Career Impact

Provides broad financial and strategic skills
Signifies expertise and commitment in the field

CIMA and ACMA Definitions


CIMA emphasizes strategic and financial decision-making in businesses.
The CIMA training helped her develop strategic planning skills.


ACMA enhances professional recognition and career prospects.
Obtaining ACMA opened doors to advanced roles in her company.


CIMA is a global professional body for management accountants.
He pursued a CIMA qualification to enhance his career in finance.


ACMA signifies proficiency in management accounting.
Her ACMA designation reflects her expertise in financial management.


CIMA provides ongoing professional development and resources.
Attending CIMA seminars keeps me updated on industry trends.


ACMA requires completion of CIMA qualification and experience.
He is working towards his ACMA by gaining practical experience.


CIMA is recognized for its global presence in the finance sector.
With a CIMA certification, she found opportunities in international firms.


ACMA is a professional designation for management accountants.
After receiving his ACMA, he was promoted to a senior accountant position.


CIMA offers a comprehensive program combining accounting and management.
CIMA's curriculum prepared him well for a leadership role in finance.


ACMA represents commitment to ethical and professional standards.
As an ACMA, she upholds the highest standards of professional ethics.


Obsolete spelling of cyma


A kind of molding. See Cyma.


What does ACMA stand for?

Associate Chartered Management Accountant, a professional designation.

Is CIMA recognized internationally?

Yes, it's globally recognized in the field of management accounting.

How do you become a CIMA member?

By completing the CIMA qualification and meeting membership criteria.

What are the requirements for ACMA?

Completion of the CIMA qualification and relevant work experience.

What is CIMA?

It's a global body offering training in management accountancy.

Are CIMA exams challenging?

Yes, they're rigorous and test a wide range of skills.

How does ACMA impact salary potential?

It often leads to higher earning potential and senior roles.

What career advantages does ACMA offer?

Enhanced professional recognition and career advancement opportunities.

What type of professionals should pursue ACMA?

Those specializing in management accounting seeking professional recognition.

Can CIMA qualifications lead to other professional designations?

Yes, such as ACMA and CGMA.

What industries value CIMA qualifications?

Industries like finance, consulting, and corporate sectors value it highly.

Is work experience necessary for ACMA?

Yes, relevant practical experience is required.

Can non-finance professionals join CIMA?

Yes, if they meet the entry requirements and pass the exams.

What networking opportunities does ACMA offer?

Access to a global network of management accounting professionals.

Is there a CPD requirement for CIMA members?

Yes, continuing professional development is required for members.

Does CIMA offer continuing education?

Yes, CIMA provides continuous professional development for members.

Does CIMA require an ethical commitment?

Yes, members must adhere to a strict code of ethics.

What skills does ACMA emphasize?

Skills in strategic decision-making and financial management.

Can ACMA holders work globally?

Yes, ACMA is recognized in many countries worldwide.

How often does CIMA update its curriculum?

Regularly, to keep pace with industry changes and demands.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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