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As an employer should you go for CIMA or ACCA qualification!

As an employer should you go for CIMA or ACCA qualification!

If you are an employer in need of a qualified accountant, you will likely be debating whether to hire someone with an ACCA or CIMA certification. Both the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and the Associate Certified Public Accountant (ACCA) designations are respected in the accounting industry. 

Critical Distinctions Between ACCA and CIMA

Both credentials are significant, but their importance depends on the nature of your company. Depending on the specific expertise needed for open positions, one organisation may favour one over the other in the recruitment process. However, both certifications are highly sought after because of their widespread acceptance and recognition by businesses.

Both are desirable in a candidate and should be sought out during the hiring process, complementing soft skills. The interview is the time to inquire about relevant certifications and get a sense of the candidate's top accounting skills and strengths. Which qualification your candidates select is dependent on their skills. They have likely picked the accounting credential that best suits their career goals, whether they are management positions or technical ones. With the help of this guide, you can determine which certification is ideal for your company based on factors like the industry you operate in and the desired skill set for new hires.

ACCA vs CIMA qualifications for new recruits

The duration of each programme is three years. Exam costs should be factored into your decision between ACCA and CIMA. Exam costs for ACCA range from £1,500 to £2,000, whereas those for CIMA run between £2,500 and £3,000.

The abbreviation "CIMA" refers to the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting, which is responsible for conferring the certification upon successful candidates. Coursework in accounting, finance, and performance management are all required for the qualification. If you are in the financial services industry and looking to hire, CIMA may be your first choice. Candidates with charisma, strategic savvy, and a desire to develop their people management abilities will find the CIMA programme appealing. A financial accountant analyses a company's cash flow and, among other things, recommends ways to cut expenses. Along with passing exams, students in this programme are also expected to complete a three-year work internship.

Association of Certified Public Accountants (ACCA) When it comes to accounting, the ACCA certification is more concerned with the nuts and bolts. Accounting principles and the technical side, including tax accountancy and auditing, are emphasised more than management training, in contrast to CIMA. Avoid candidates with ACCA certification if you're hiring for a position in the banking industry, but consider them if you're a small business in need of a technically oriented accountant. Candidates with strong quantitative and regulatory knowledge are often attracted to ACCA.

If you are in the market for a tax accountant, this is a desirable skill set to have on your list of requirements. They advise businesses on how to determine and meet their tax obligations based on their income and investments and are expected to be well-versed in the most recent developments in the relevant laws. Candidate must work for a total of three years, complete three years of supervised accountancy work experience, and pass a series of exams to graduate from this programme.

Comparison of ACCA and CIMA sector wise

Keep in mind that both qualifications are widely accepted by firms and organisations at the entry level if you are looking to fill a position that requires them. Nonetheless, you might want to evaluate applicants differently depending on which of the two qualifications they prioritised. Reason being: CIMA and ACCA certifications focus on different fields. Management accounting is where CIMA shines, but it can also be used in the finance department of larger companies. CIMA candidates gain a deeper comprehension of accounting strategy, making them more valuable to you as a business owner or manager of a sizable enterprise.

The ACCA certification, on the other hand, allows for more leeway. It's a good idea to think about if you're hiring for a client-facing practise, and it gives candidates the chance to work as a certified independent accountant. If your company is on the smaller side, this qualification will appeal to you more.

ACCA vs. CIMA for local, national, or international work

Think about which is more popular in your area: ACCA or CIMA. Both qualifications are accepted globally, but if your business operates in other countries, you should check to see if the ACCA qualification is also accepted there. Most accounting firms think that these qualifications are valuable, so you should look for both of them in candidates. The ACCA and CIMA qualifications offer different benefits to candidates around the world, which you may also want to think about. If you get a CIMA qualification, you can call yourself a Chartered Global Management Accountant, which is a well-known title around the world. You also join a network of chartered accountants from all over the world. For instance In India, it is better to have a CIMA qualification than an ACCA qualification. The UK is where CIMA is based. In the same way, candidates with an ACCA qualification will be recognised in more than 100 countries and will be able to work with local accounting bodies in many of these countries.  

Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the ACCA and CIMA certifications

 You should now have a solid understanding of the differences between the ACCA and CIMA certifications and what each entails. Consider the following brief explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of each option so that you may evaluate candidates' accounting credentials with confidence.
Pros of CIMA qualifications:

  • Globally recognised title of Chartered Global Management Accountant;
  • Candidates have solid background in management and strategy as well as accountancy skills;
  • More applicable if you are a larger business;
  • More applicable if your business is in the financial sector.

Cons of CIMA qualifications:

  • Less applicable for self-employed accountancy or working for smaller firms;
  • Less focused on tax and auditing skills;
  • Management training might not be relevant to your business;
  • More costly to enrol in than ACCA.

Pros of ACCA qualifications:

  • Recognised in 179 countries;
  • Candidates have solid tax and auditing skills;
  • Candidates can work for you on a self-employed basis;
  • Less costly to enrol in than CIMA.

Cons of ACCA qualifications: 

  • Less recognised globally than CIMA;
  • Candidates do not have the same management or strategic training gained through CIMA;
  • Less relevant for corporate organisations or firms;
  • Less preferred in the financial sector.

Accountancy departments and businesses all over the world see applicants with CIMA and ACCA certifications as a promising prospect. However, before deciding amongst applicants with these qualifications, you should think about which qualification is best for your company. Strategy and performance management, in addition to auditing and tax, are all part of the expanding field of accountancy. First, you should settle on the nature of your accounting function, the requirements you'll be searching for in a candidate, and the geographic region in which your company operates.

Here at Ujuzingo, we've made it a habit to support accounting and finance enthusiasts put their best foot forward as they search for opportunities that meet their skills and career aspirations, while also assisting employers in finding more job-ready applicants. Check out our accounting and finance courses or current job openings.