CIMA Courses: Who is CIMA and why study management accounting courses?

Management accounting courses can open doors to unlimited career opportunities. It especially lays a good foundation for entrepreneurs. By completing a management accounting course, you can gain a great advantage; climb the corporate ladder and reach your career goals.

Let’s take a look at CIMA management accounting courses and what career opportunities you can look forward to.

Who is CIMA?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants. Their mission is to assist people and businesses to achieve their goals in the public and private sectors. They offer a range of management accounting courses.

Why study CIMA management accounting courses?

CIMA’s business ready management accounting courses teach students real-life skills and competencies. This leaves them fully prepared for a career in management accounting.

What is management accounting?

Management accounting combines accounting, finance, and management with expert techniques needed to drive a successful business.

The management accounting skillset

Qualified management accountants can work in various departments in an organisation. They are not just limited to finances.

 Together with strong accounting fundamentals, CIMA also teaches students strategic business and management skills:

  • Analysis – they analyse business data before/when making business decisions.
  • Strategy – they use business strategies to create productivity, cash flow and shareholder value in the organisation.
  • Risk – they identify and manage risks.
  • Planning – they use accounting techniques to plan and budget for projects.
  • Communication – they conclude which information would be of great importance to management and then explains the numbers to the non-financial managers.
  • A CIMA qualification is the most relevant management accounting qualification for business.
  • CIMA management accounting courses prepare students for a career in business.
  • There is a big demand for qualified management accountants in South Africa, which shows that there are job opportunities in this field. 
  • The CIMA syllabus is designed in such a way that students can learn and experience real-life skills and competencies.
  • A CIMA qualification shows that you fully understand the theory and practice of management accounting.
  • A CIMA qualification is a highly valued and widely recognised qualification that can provide excellent career opportunities.
  • When qualified, you will demonstrate professionalism and employability.
  • A qualifiedCIMA professional could earn an above average salary.
    • A CIMA qualification will help you to develop both your technical ability and your professional capacity.

Careers to pursue with a management accounting qualification

A career in management accounting is more than just working with numbers. Management accounting involves accounting, finance and management.

A management accountant has a range of responsibilities such as:

  • Sitting with managers and discussing spending and financial implications of projects;
  • Conveying business strategies;
  • Conducting internal business audits; and
  • Monitoring company spending

Chartered management accountant job profile

A chartered management accountant prepares, develops and analyses important financial information to guarantee that the business’s management team makes well-informed decisions when it comes to the stability, growth and profitability of the business. In a sense, the chartered management accountant’s role is to look to the future.

They can work in a specific division or across the whole organisation.


  • Formulating periodic financial statements
  • Providing a support service to all departments and management teams when it comes to financial decisions
  • Making sure spending doesn’t go over budget
  • Formulating business strategies and key strategic decisions
  • Giving advise on financial implications and consequences of business decisions
  • Analysing financial performance and adding to the medium and long-term business planning
  • Conveying on big projects, loans and grants
  • Giving professional judgment on financial matters and giving guidance on how to improve business performance
  • Studying and communicating financial data to non-financial managers
  • Communicating with other managers to put finances and accounts in context
  • Monitoring and evaluating financial information systems and suggesting improvements where necessary
  • Implementing business governance procedures, risk management and internal controls

  Skills required for this job:

  • Business sense (have an interest in business and understand how a business operate)
  • High level of expertise
  • The ability to explain difficult financial information in an easy to understand way
  • Accuracy
  • Computer literate
  • Project management skills
  • Good communicating and teamwork skills
  • Initiative
  • The ability to remain objective
  • Logical approach to work
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to work under pressure
  • Stamina and motivation

 Other job opportunities for management accountants

The primary responsibilities of a management accountant may vary according to an organisation’s size, compliance and reporting requirements, and total revenue. Here are profiles for expectations of management accountant positions.

Budget Analyst

A budget analyst position can be found in a wide range of companies and organisations. They often report to accounting or finance managers.


  • Organise financial tasks
  • Develop budgets
  • Monitor cost and revenue trends
  • Inform project managers of budget details
  • Make strategic planning and resource allocation recommendations

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst can work in a wide range of industries from international businesses and insurance companies to credit institutions and non-profit organisations.


  • Make cost management decisions
  • Invest funds
  • Improve financial practices
  • Provide detailed data analysis and reports that track budget trends and forecast future needs

Accounting Manager

An accounting manager can work in a range of settings, from retail and healthcare to education and non-profit organisations. This role usually reports to senior members such as finance directors or corporate controllers. 


  • Prepare financial statements and balance sheets
  • Assist with auditing requirements
  • Ensure compliance with financial regulations
  • Oversee the organisation’s accounting processes
  • Supervise and train staff accountants


A controller position can be found in business settings, non-profit organisations an government agencies. The range of responsibilities will vary based on the size of the company and its accounting department.


  • Oversee all accounting functions
  • Maintain financial data
  • Supervise accounts payable and receivable transactions
  • Audit financial documents and processes
  • File tax returns
  • Establish internal accounting policies and procedures
  • Create financial reports

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The CFO of a company is a top-level executive that can be found in small and large companies. Responsibilities will vary based on the size of the organisation, staff and budget, as well as the nature of organisation and products and services.


  • Lead all financial operations
  • Fundraising and investing
  • Risk management
  • Budget planning
  • Ensure regulatory compliance
  • Report to the board of directors
  • Participate in high-level decisions about asset allocation and strategic planning
  • Provide oversight for human resources, accounting and other offices within an organisation


As you can see, there are various career opportunities for those who have obtained a professional management accounting qualification. College SA offers one of the CIMA management accounting courses: CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. Once you have completed this course, you will be able to apply for business accounting positions.   

If you would like to take a look at other CIMA courses, you can visit their website directly.