CIMA Requirements In South Africa

CIMA stands for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. They have four CIMA accounting qualifications that you can study. These qualifications prepare great management accountants with high-quality standards in their skills.

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CIMA Accounting Qualifications

There are four CIMA accounting qualifications that you can complete to become CIMA qualified. They have the entry level qualification to introduce you to the industry and teach you the basics of management accounting. Then they also have the professional qualification. With this qualification, you will gain knowledge and practical work experience. 

CIMA Accounting Qualifications Breakdown

So you know that there are four CIMA qualifications, but let’s see what you will learn in each course. After completing one of the CIMA accounting qualifications, you can get a job. With CIMA, you don’t need to complete all of the qualification levels before you can get a job. 

Certificate Level

The course that you will do at the certificate level is the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. The qualification that you will get after completing this course is the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. The credentials that you can use after your name is CIMA Cert in BA.

NQF Level

The CIMA certificate qualification is equivalent to an NQF Level 5 with the SAQA ID: 24418.

What Knowledge Will You Gain in This Qualification? 

You will learn the fundamentals of management accounting. It is the financial backbone of a company. You will also know more about business principles and management. The focus here is to meet internal business needs rather than external accounting standards.

How Many Subjects Do You Need To Complete?

There are four subjects to complete. They are:

  • BA1 Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • BA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • BA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law

What Are The Entry Requirements To Study the CIMA Certificate?

There are no entry-requirements for CIMA accounting qualifications. You should be 16 years and older and understand English. If you have an understanding of mathematics, then it is a bonus.

The CIMA certificate is called the entry-level qualification for a reason. You don’t even have to have knowledge of the business and finance industry, because it will be cover in this course.

How Long Does It Take To Complete?

The qualification can be completed within 12 – 18 months. According to CIMA, most of the students complete the course within 12 months.

How Many Exams Do You Have To Take?

You need to complete four objective test exams, one for each subject. Objective tests are computer-based assessments that are based on short questions. The questions that you can expect are multiple choice, fill in the gap and other short questions.

Operational Level 

The CIMA Professional Qualification: Operation level is the first level of the three CIMA Professional Qualifications. After completing this course, you will be awarded a Diploma in Management Accounting. You can also use the credentials CIMA Dip. MA.

NQF Level

The CIMA operational qualification is equivalent to an NQF Level 6 with the SAQA ID: 24406.

What Will You Gain Out of This Qualification?

The Operational level focuses on short-term business decisions. You will learn how to prepare financial statements and how to use strategy as a tool in the business. You will also learn more about management and business skills.

How Many Subjects Does This Course Have?

There are three subjects that you need to complete. They are:

  • E1 Organisational Management
  • P1 Management Accounting
  • F1 Financial Reporting and Taxation

What Are The Entry Requirements For This Level?

To do the CIMA Professional Qualification: Operational Level course, you have to pass the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. If you have studied a degree before relevant to CIMA, you can be exempted from certain exams. Find more information on CIMA South Africa.

How Long Does It Take To Complete This Level?

The qualification can be completed within 1-2 years. If you pass all of your exams the first time around, it can take you one year to complete. Remember, that this is a professional qualification, so you still need to gain practical experience for your CIMA Professional Qualification.  

How Many Exams Are There?

You need to complete three objective test exams, that is is 90 minutes each. CIMA exams are computer-based assessments. You will have to complete the integrated operational case study exam. This test is 3 hours long.

Management Level

The Management level is the second level of the CIMA Professional Qualification. After completing this qualification you will be awarded a CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting. The credentials that you will receive is CIMA Adv Dip in MA.

NQF Level

The CIMA certificate qualification is equivalent to an NQF Level 6 with the SAQA ID: 24406. It might be the same NQF level as the Operational level however, you receive the Advanced Diploma in this level.

What Will You Learn In This Qualification?

The management level teaches you how strategy is developed, how you use it and how to report on it. You will also know how to manage performance. The management level focuses more on medium-term business decisions.

How Many Subjects Does This Course Have?

For the management level, you need to complete three subjects. They are:

  • E2 Project and Relationship Management
  • P2 Advanced Management Accounting
  • F2 Advanced Financial Reporting

What Are The Entry Requirements To Study the CIMA Management Level?

You had to pass the Operational level and case study exam, then you can do the management level.

How Long Does It Take To Complete This Level?

It takes 1-2 years to complete the level. If you do your practical work in between it could take longer.

How Many Exams Are There?

There are three objective tests of 90 minutes each which are computer-based assessments. You also need to take a 3 hour long integrated management/gateway case study exam.

Strategic Level

The final level, which is known as the CIMA Professional Qualification: Strategic Level. The qualification that you will receive is the Professional Qualification: Chartered Management Accountant. Upon completing your three years of practical work and receiving CIMA membership, you will receive CGMA or ACMA designations.

NQF Level

Your qualification is equal to NQF Level 7 as per SAQA ID: 20400.

What Will You Learn In The Strategic Level Course?

The course focuses on strategic decisions over the long-term. You will also learn about risk management, how to spot it, rectify it and put a plan into action to prevent it. Another thing that you will learn is about financial decisions and internal control.

How Many Subjects Does This Course Have?

You have three subjects to focus on in this level. They are:

  • E3 Strategic Management
  • P3 Risk Management
  • F3 Financial Strategy

What Are The Entry Requirements For The Strategic Level?

You should have passed all of your Management level exams to start with the Strategic level.

Duration of the Strategic Level?

It also takes 1-2 years to complete. You still need to have three years of practical experience to get the designation letters.

How Many Exams Are There?

Once again, you need to take three objective tests of 90 minutes each. Then you will do you integrated case study exam of 3 hours long. Your integrated case study exam will determine if you will become a CIMA member. You also need to have three years of practical experience to become a CIMA member.

Start Your CIMA Studies Today!

You don’t need any previous accounting experience, qualifications or accounting school subjects when you register for a CIMA qualification. What you need, is a basic understanding of English, so that you are able to understand the course material.

Skills Academy

Skills Academy is a distance learning college who are CIMA accredited. They offer tutors to assist you during your studies and include your textbooks in your fees.

They also courier your study materials to you so that you don’t have to pay for traveling costs. Contact them at their toll-free number 0800 39 00 27 or complete the form on the right-hand side for a callback.

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