CIMA – a way forward

Friday, 1 July 2011 01:39 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has been, for the longest time, the ‘path forward’ for hundreds of students across the globe, and for a good reason too. CIMA is the only international accountancy body with a sole focus on business.

 It’s a world leading professional institute that offers an internationally recognised qualification in management accountancy, focusing on accounting in business, in both private and public sectors. CIMA is the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants with 183,000 members and students in 168 countries. In Sri Lanka alone, there are more than 2000 members working in a variety of fields both in the private and public sector. CIMA students in Sri Lanka number more than 12,000. 

CIMA is, quite possibly, the most employable qualification in Sri Lanka. Approximately 98% of CIMA members and students are working in the industry of their choice, with the remaining 2% pursuing higher studies. With such an astounding success rate, it would have perhaps been understandable if the Institute had decided to continue with its current curriculum; indeed, CIMA – Sri Lanka is renowned for the calibre of its members and lecturers, with Sri Lankan tutors being routinely recognised as some of the best in the world. For example, in the last year alone, Sri Lankan CIMA tutors have been both the winner and runner-up in the international awards for the best tutor in the world. 

Equipped with results that illuminate what global business will look like in five years, CIMA set out to redesign its curriculum to reflect what the corporate world of the future will demand and the result was an ambitious, innovative next-generation qualification for the business leaders of today and tomorrow. Emphasising the fact that the CIMA qualification is focused on strategic management and finance, CIMA Regional Director for South Asia and the Middle East, Bradley Emerson noted that only a third of the syllabus is devoted to accounting. 

Having successfully positioned itself as the next generation strategic management professional qualification, CIMA is confident that it gives its members and students the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the global marketplace. Renowned for developing today’s business leaders, CIMA looks forward to building the business leaders of tomorrow. 

CIMA members, though they are globally recognised, need not travel abroad for better prospects. As one of the key contributors of highly skilled employees to the nation’s economy, CIMA is heavily involved in helping to build a more attractive destination for investment. In accordance with national plans to showcase Sri Lanka as a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub, CIMA is committed to helping the nation keep moving up the BPO value chain by ensuring that its members have the skills necessary to prosper in the global arena. 

Another example of CIMA’s dedication to help its members move up the value chain can be seen in its educational partnerships. The institute has tied up with three prestigious British universities to offer top-up degrees, including both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which complement its professional qualification. Through an exclusive CIMA degree pathway, CIMA-qualified students can earn a B.A. (Hons.) from Northumbria University simply by studying three additional modules and completing a project. CIMA members can also earn M.Sc. degrees from the University of Gloucestershire and Birmingham City University by embarking on a research programme that typically takes up to a year. 

Emerson said, “We do believe that academic education is important, but quality professional higher education leads to career progress and a quality professional education doesn’t come part-time, which is why CIMA is a preferred option for students who don’t always make it to the local University as the qualification is not only recognised as a degree but it grants open access to MBA providers like the Northumbria, Gloucestershire and Manchester Universities which give CIMA qualified students up to 30 credits.”

Emerson further added that CIMA qualified students now have access, in the form of direct membership to CP Australia, CMA Canada, and ICAEW in the UK and ACCA; a buy one get four free package of sorts. Apart from this, a new development in the form of an MOU between CIMA and the Chartered Global Management Accountants to offer a joint qualification has recently been established. 

Also, a well known fact is that the world’s top corporate giants prefer CIMA qualified students. Emerson said, “In terms of versatility, we put out the best students that are snapped up as soon as they graduate. At CIMA we’re about delivering students that are sought after, students have the power of career options at their hands. And we’ve accomplished that year after year by deepening and broadening a student’s knowledge and horizons.”