Unbiased advice needed please? ACCA v CIMA

rebeccas Registered Posts: 25 Regular contributor ⭐
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone could give me some unbiased advice as to where best to progress onto? If I talk to an ACCA, I get told ACCA and if I talk to a CIMA I get told CIMA! (Loyal folk them accountants!) :laugh:

The things that I am not worried about are... how long either will take, whether one costs more than the other or whether one had a higher pass rate than the other.

As things stand I work as a management accountant (CIMA I hear you cry!) but it is a position that I "fell" into. I also help the Finance Director prepare the accounts at the end of the year and I prepare the full and final accounts for 2 small entities which I enjoy doing. I currently work in the not-for-profit sector, but would not rule out moving to another sector at some point in my career. The one sector that I dont want to work in is banking. I would quite like to have the option to work from home when I am older doing peoples/small businesses books. I quite enjoy budgeting/forecasting and (believe it or not) VAT. Im not too keen on doing anything in the audit profession. I guess my ultimate goal would be to become a financial controller.

Now! After that exhaustive list of what I like and dont like, what do you think is best for me to go ahead with?

Would taking one of them prevent me from doing any of the things that I want to do? Does one of them allow you do "things" that the other doesnt? Is one more sought after than the other?

Any advice greatly received as Im just about to get my exemptions and need to make this life changing decision!!

Thank you :):thumbup1:


  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Either will let you do all the things you like - with the right work experience!

    I would have a look at the syllabus of each and see which one you prefer.

    They will both take the same amount of time and cost the same i would imagine. I think that maybe it may be easier to get a CIMA practicing certificate than an ACCA one but a CIMA studier may be able to advise better on that.

    Other than that I would just have a look at what you will study in each one and then make a decision based on what you like.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Bluewednesday is right. Once you have either of these qualifications under your belt then you will have a lot of options for the future.

    In my opinion ACCA is more flexible and more widely recognized. A lot of peoples initial reaction to CIMA is that it is purely for people working in industry. ACCA is certainly more recognized across the board and perhaps a better option if you wish to set up your own practice in future.
  • NeilH
    NeilH Registered Posts: 553 Epic contributor 🐘
    ACCA is certainly more recognized across the board and perhaps a better option if you wish to set up your own practice in future.

    ACCA do have quite stringent requirements for a practising certificate, you'll need three years experience with an approved employer - a minimum of two of these years are in addition to the three already required for membership and must be ompleted after beoming a member of the ACCA. Without an ACCA practising certificate you would be able to do little more than book-keeping and payroll.

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