7 common CIMA myths revealed

Haven’t figured what to do after finishing your studies with AAT?

It can be hard to work out which organisation suits you and your career goals the best. As an AAT student or member, you can take the next step in your career and start studying for the globally recognised CIMA qualification at any time.

CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants. Studying with CIMA lets you delve deeper into the topics you covered with AAT, and gain new skills like financial analysis, project management, negotiation and leadership.

Here we explain the facts behind seven common myths held about CIMA, and show why studying with CIMA could be the right choice for you.

Myth #1: I want to work in small business, so CIMA isn’t for me

CIMA graduates work and are in-demand for businesses of all shapes and sizes; from big banks to small family run businesses – so the chances are, in any industry you can think of, there will be CIMA-qualified staff. The CIMA professional qualification doesn’t just teach you to crunch numbers but lets you develop the skills that you need to impress employers in all industries worldwide.

AAT graduate and CIMA member Ben works for Plymouth Argyle Football Club. Read Ben Rendle’s story.

Myth #2: CIMA is too hard

Although CIMA isn’t easy, it is certainly achievable, and AAT will set you up well to study for and pass your exams. You will be able to buy study resources such as revision cards, exam kits and the official CIMA study text. Read about how Rebecca balanced parenthood with her CIMA study to achieve joint first place (globally) in the August 2018 CIMA management case study exam.

You can access a full overview of exam pass rates on the CIMA website. The pass rates are high, with an overall exam pass rate of between 70-95% for objective test sittings and certificate level exams in the 12 months to 30 September 2018.

Myth #3: CIMA is too expensive

You can choose from a range of study options, depending on your budget. If you have a more modest budget, choosing the option to self-study could work for you. Alternatively, CIMA has more than 70 training providers for you to choose from in the UK alone.

Currently, all CIMA registered students receive 50% off AAT full membership fees while studying towards the Professional Qualification and according to CIMA’s 2018 salary insights, CIMA students see their salary increase at all stages of their study.

Students who have passed the Operational level of the CIMA qualification receive on average £30,000 per annum, rising to £63,000 as a CGMA. Create your own personalised salary report to find out where a CIMA qualification can take you.

Myth #4: I’ll have to finish AAT before starting CIMA

You can start studying CIMA at any time and if you have completed the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting, you are exempt from the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, allowing you to jump straight into the professional qualification.

Myth #5: CIMA doesn’t have many networking opportunities

Made up of members and students who help plan events throughout the UK, CIMA’s nine different regional areas bring a wide range of events, social activities and training closer to you.

They offer you the opportunity to develop your skills with locally organised events, as well as providing networking opportunities with other like-minded peers.  In the past, we’ve held events on everything from soft skills training to future-proofing your career in finance.

Take a look at the opportunities to get involved near you.

Myth #6: Management accounting is boring

A career in management accounting is exciting as it will let you lead from the heart of the business, revealing insights and making the decisions that shape a business’s future. It’s about more than the numbers.

CIMA CEO Andrew Harding believes that it will no longer be sufficient for finance professionals to only produce accounts. “As business partners, finance professionals need to act as commercially-minded problem solvers to handle ambiguity and speak the language of the business fluently.”

Studying CIMA will let you build on the skills that you’ve acquired through your study with AAT. You’ll gain new skills like financial analysis, project management, negotiation and leadership. All of this will set you up for an exciting and varied career, regardless of whether you want to work in big business or a smaller organisation.

Myth #7: CIMA students have no work/life balance

Just like AAT, the beauty of studying CIMA is that you can take it at your own pace, with the option to study part-time or full-time. This makes it easier to manage your other commitments. You can also choose how you study – with a tuition provider, on your own at home, or using a combination of methods anywhere in the world.

To find out more about taking your next steps after AAT, contact CIMA today.

CIMA is the world's largest professional body of management accountants.

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