Advice on CIMA

Old May 28th 2012, 2:30 am
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Default Advice on CIMA

I have an MBA, and was thinking of utilizing the fast track program to join CIMA. However I would like some advice:

1. I am not an accountant, nor will I ever be one. I spent 12 years building finance based business intelligence solutions, things like GL consolidation and reporting systems,P&L Reporting systems, BPR/BPM systems and KPI reporting systems. I also built a couple of Basel II capital adequacy and liquidity compliance and reporting systems.

For the last year I have been managing Pan Pacific whole of government audits for the Asian Development Bank. The job description reads:
  • Advisor to the Auditor-General's, Secretaries of Finance and Ministers of Finance of the Pacific Islands of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu.
  • Managed a team of up to 12 multinational auditors performing whole of government audits and State Owned Enterprises. 

  • Developed and implemented a common audit methodology, process and format.
  • Advise, guide and assist in the conduct of key financial and performance audits.
  • Represent the ADB in meetings with the IMF, World Bank, AusAID et
c.

So - I know a lot about accounting for various reasons, but I have never been never been one.

However for CIMA I need at least three years accounting experience, and I am not sure the above really applies. I have asked CIMA, and drawn a complete blank. They basically said the decision lies with an assessor, and the assessment take place after you join etc.

Would anyone like to comment on the situation? Would the above fit the requirements? Or am I going to join, do the exam and then be told I can't be an ACMA unless I work in AP/AR for the next 3 years?


2. The above attitude brings me to the second question. I am very wary of organizations that charge money and offer courses for membership .They frequently seem more interested in getting money out of you by any means than in being a professional body. the IT industry is littered with them - join us, pay $XXX, do our exams (cost $XXX) and we can help you pass with our course (only $XXX+). Even the Institute of Management here in Australia is like this, and it really concerns me.

The current attitude of CIMA is beginning to sound like this. They keep emailing me with "join now" discounts and special offers, and yet specifically ignore my questions. They seem more interested in my 700 pounds fees than in being a professional body.

So question 2, how professional are CIMA? Are they a cowboy rip off semi pro body who chase dollars, or are they worthwhile?

I really don't want to pay the money then get told by CIMA that I don't qualify.

Any comments anyone?
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Old May 28th 2012, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Advice on CIMA

Originally Posted by slapphead_otool
I have an MBA, and was thinking of utilizing the fast track program to join CIMA. However I would like some advice:

1. I am not an accountant, nor will I ever be one. I spent 12 years building finance based business intelligence solutions, things like GL consolidation and reporting systems,P&L Reporting systems, BPR/BPM systems and KPI reporting systems. I also built a couple of Basel II capital adequacy and liquidity compliance and reporting systems.

For the last year I have been managing Pan Pacific whole of government audits for the Asian Development Bank. The job description reads:
  • Advisor to the Auditor-General's, Secretaries of Finance and Ministers of Finance of the Pacific Islands of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu.
  • Managed a team of up to 12 multinational auditors performing whole of government audits and State Owned Enterprises. 

  • Developed and implemented a common audit methodology, process and format.
  • Advise, guide and assist in the conduct of key financial and performance audits.
  • Represent the ADB in meetings with the IMF, World Bank, AusAID et
c.

So - I know a lot about accounting for various reasons, but I have never been never been one.

However for CIMA I need at least three years accounting experience, and I am not sure the above really applies. I have asked CIMA, and drawn a complete blank. They basically said the decision lies with an assessor, and the assessment take place after you join etc.

Would anyone like to comment on the situation? Would the above fit the requirements? Or am I going to join, do the exam and then be told I can't be an ACMA unless I work in AP/AR for the next 3 years?


2. The above attitude brings me to the second question. I am very wary of organizations that charge money and offer courses for membership .They frequently seem more interested in getting money out of you by any means than in being a professional body. the IT industry is littered with them - join us, pay $XXX, do our exams (cost $XXX) and we can help you pass with our course (only $XXX+). Even the Institute of Management here in Australia is like this, and it really concerns me.

The current attitude of CIMA is beginning to sound like this. They keep emailing me with "join now" discounts and special offers, and yet specifically ignore my questions. They seem more interested in my 700 pounds fees than in being a professional body.

So question 2, how professional are CIMA? Are they a cowboy rip off semi pro body who chase dollars, or are they worthwhile?

I really don't want to pay the money then get told by CIMA that I don't qualify.

Any comments anyone?
I am not CIMA qualified but CA and ACCA, but based on your experience and duties I believe you should be able to get membership from a professional accounting body. I have colleagues in the govt sector who have been admitted to the CA based on similar experience. More experienced members on this board can comment.

CIMA is very highly regarded (much more than the Australian CPA) and I have never heard or seen any one complain about their professionalism. I have seen preference for the qualification in Perth for Management Accountants and Performance Analysts. I think it is very fair to expect the professional bodies to market their designations.

Good luck.
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Old May 29th 2012, 12:26 am
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Default Re: Advice on CIMA

I agree with Joe's second paragraph, CIMA are well regarded and professional organisation. I am not a member so unbiased.

I would hesitate to say you would qualify for full membership, I am inclined to think no, partly because not enough information to say anything else.
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Old May 29th 2012, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Advice on CIMA

Thanks guys,

It is quite complicated. CIMA say you must have 18 months experience in core accounting work:


Area 2 - core experience
2a. preparation of management accounts - no
2b. planning, budgeting and forecasting - no (but built the systems)
2c. management reporting for decision making -no (but built the systems)
2d. product and service costing - yes
2e. information management - yes (12 years)
2f. project appraisal - yes
2g. project management - yes (12 years)
2h. working capital content - no
2i. risk management and business assurance - sort of

I will try contacting CIMA UK direct, the Sydney office have no idea...
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Old May 30th 2012, 7:07 am
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Default Re: Advice on CIMA

Do you really get any market value out of a CIMA or CPA qualification?

Are you only going to work up to FC or Mngt Accountant level? then perhaps yes. If you had worked for many years in AP/AR then FC level without obtaining a formal accounting qualification I would be put off. Coming in from another functional area at senior mngt level I would not be so concerned.

I would certaintly put more emphasis on experience and the MBA.

My feeling is all qualifications have become somewhat diluted. Hard to define common sense but its something missing in a number of graduates / middle managers.

Thats my thoughts for you
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