The Changing Face of CIMA

25 Oct 2016

Monday 24 October 2016 saw a visit from Jason Nye, Student Recruitment Manager at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), one of the leading professional bodies for management accountants in the UK.

Jason had been invited to attend by Usha Mistry (2nd from the left at the back in the picture), Head of Programme Development and the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Accounting and Financial Management at LSBM. A course which has been gaining significant interest from students looking for a new, cutting-edge approach to studying accounting and finance.

The talk was well attended by over twenty students who were keen to learn about the benefits of CIMA, and the potential opportunities that earning the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation can bring them.

The good news for new LSBM students, who have just started in September 2016 on our BA (Hons) Accounting and Financial Management course, is that the registration fee for CIMA is paid for by LSBM itself, so many of those benefits are already available to our students free of charge.

This means that they can take advantage of CIMA online communities and free resources, including career support services such as: interview tips; CV support; discussion forums; graduate vacancies; networking events and employment skill classes. 

Jason had previously visited us in January 2016 to talk about CIMA, and you can read about it here.

Three Things that Remain the Same About CIMA

Many of the principles that Jason spoke about in that earlier talk remain true:

1/ CIMA is BIG! – There are currently over 229,000 members in 176 countries. Jason’s talk also claimed that 100% of the Global Top 100 Brands employed CIMA graduates. So this is a qualification that Human Resource executives are going to recognise when you apply for a position.

2/ CIMA Graduates are Strategically Qualified – This doesn’t just include knowledge about the ‘usual’ finance disciplines. It sees business in a wider context. The roles in which CIMA graduates are employed include jobs as project managers, management consultants and chief executives. Because the training offers a strategic view of business (rather than simply a financially audited view), this means that those who qualify are well-equipped to work in any area of a business.

3/ CIMA Graduates are in Demand – Jason put up a slide with a list of over 200 companies who all actively recruit CIMA Graduates. The word ‘actively’ is crucial here. It needs to be stressed that many companies have special schemes that particularly target CIMA students to apply.  These include:

  • Tesco
  • TK Maxx
  • DHL
  • Rolls Royce
  • J.P Morgan
  • Sky, and
  • Aston Martin

Who all have special CIMA schemes.

Another big employer is the NHS who have a Graduate Finance Program that offers 25 places each year on their new graduate scheme specifically for CIMA.

Three Changes Since January 2016

There have also been some significant changes since we last saw Jason in January. These include:

1/ CIMA is Seeking Out New Professional Alliances

In June 2016, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) announced that separate membership ballots of them and the CIMA membership had approved the creation of a new accounting association that will integrate the two operations.

This is an interesting development if you look at the relative core competencies of the two organisations.

CIMA promotes itself as creating ‘strategic accountants’. In fact, on the very first PowerPoint slide of Jason’s talk it said:

  • ‘Be a Business Leader, Not a Number Cruncher. When you’re a CGNA, it’s not just about the Numbers!’

Ironically, the AICPA, who will be merging with CIMA, are all about the numbers!

In a Press Release from 18 June 2016, the AICPA had this to say about the merger (my bolding):

‘Members of the AICPA and CIMA will continue to receive all existing benefits plus added value from the new association. The AICPA will continue its strong commitment to promoting, protecting and growing the CPA and advancing audit, tax and other core services. By joining together, the organizations will be able to strengthen advocacy, accelerate efforts to boost member employability, and provide additional resources to enhance the quality and competency of public and management accountants in the U.S. and abroad.’

This should be seen as a good thing for our students as they will very soon become part of an even bigger accounting family. The new organisation is set to launch in 2017, and it seems that there are both different and complementary skills that each organisation can bring to the table. 

2/ A Greater Scope and Range of Opportunities for Students who Qualify

It will be interesting to see how the two philosophies are integrated together into one body.

The AICPA has over 400,000 members according to the membership page on their website, and Jason claimed 229,000 CIMA members in his talk. So it is certain that the combined body will be formidable in terms of the number of members.

Greater size and geographic reach (particularly in the USA where the AICPA is particularly strong) may also mean new opportunities for people who qualify through CIMA in the next few years to work in other countries.

CIMA graduates will also be well-placed to take full advantage then of the infrastructure, knowledge and support of not one, but two global bodies, once it is fully integrated in 2017.

So pursuing the CGNA now could have considerable benefits for our students. Namely, to take immediate advantage as early-adopters in a new global powerhouse of accounting associations.

3/ LSBM has Exemptions in Place!

Another big difference between now and when Jason last spoke to us in January, is that LSBM have been working hard behind the scenes to secure exemptions for our students from many of the CIMA exams.

The practical reality of this effort is to make things (much) simpler for our students, who are taking our BA (Hons) Accounting and Financial Management degrees to quickly gain the extra CGMA qualification.

The course is accredited by CIMA, and provides graduates with exemptions from the following CIMA examinations:

  • BA1 Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • BA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • BA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law
  • E1 - Organisational Management
  • P1 - Management Accounting
  • F1 - Financial Reporting and Taxation

You can download the CIMA Syllabus from this page if you would like to see the full list of courses they offer.

A Few Facts…

There are over 400,000 accountants in the UK, which sounds like a lot! Until you consider that there are over 5 million businesses in the UK, and a handful of bigger employers, like Tesco and the NHS who employ thousands of finance professionals in all kinds of jobs. (The NHS and Tesco alone account for over 2 million jobs in the UK!)

A search on job website showed over 1000 finance jobs that were available today for example.

So there is a very real opportunity to secure a great future once you have qualified.


Specific Ways CIMA Can Help YOU!

There are a number of specific ways that CIMA aims to help. Here are three:

1/ You can see a list of the benefits of membership here.

2/ You can view a list of upcoming events that CIMA has organised in Central London here.

3/ You can register for the CIMA Grad Club here.

Many Thanks for Coming Jason!

Thanks to Jason for coming along and talking to our students about CIMA.

I know that the happy bunch of students (pictured around him in the centre above) were glad they had come.

LSBM looks forward to welcoming him back and deepening our relationship with CIMA over the years ahead.

If you would like to find out more about the BA (Hons) Accounting and Financial Management courses we offer, that have the CIMA exemptions, then you can find them here.


Stuart Brown
Media and Content Manager

Partners and Accreditations

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