Robert Jelly: The international benchmark for world-class financial management

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the largest professional body in the world whose sole focus is the training and support of accountants in business. With more than 60,000 qualified members working throughout the world and 80,000 students studying for our examinations, the Chartered Management Accountant has become the international benchmark for world-class financial management training.

The CIMA qualification has also become a passport to career development. This passport is not limited to the finance function either: many of our members work as finance directors and financial managers in small, medium and multinational companies, but also in a wide range of careers which are far removed from what most graduates would include in their understanding of "accounting".

In a recent global survey of CIMA members, we found that nearly one third of our members now work in the financial services sector: global finance, banking, insurance. Other industries where our members are well-represented include manufacturing (most, if not all, of the well-known blue-chip companies covering automotive, aerospace, electronics, pharmaceuticals) together with health, retailing, tourism and hospitality, travel, transport and consultancy.

Why management accounting?

Many graduates entering the job market are unaware that accounting has two key aspects linked to the work that you will ultimately undertake. One is focused on the past and historical data, and which forms the basis of audit training. The other is focused on the future, preparing forecasts, measuring performance, making sense of the financial numbers for the business and the wider management team in order to inform the organisation's strategic thinking.

It is also worth having a close look at the CIMA syllabus. It has been designed to enable the huge variety of job opportunities to be within your grasp. Subjects you will study include: management accounting decision-making and performance management, organisational management (covering marketing, HR and operations), systems and project management, financial strategy, information strategy and business strategy. We also cover financial accounting and reporting with a strong emphasis on understanding and interpreting financial information rather than the preparation of the accounting statements.

Our final examination is a case study, which is posted on the CIMA website ( six weeks before the exam, and is based on a real world situation. Students have the opportunity to study a particular industry and particular business issues in depth and are asked to identify potential solutions. The case study encourages innovation and creativity in its solutions and CIMA is the only such body to offer a global case study of this nature to all of our students wherever they live and work.

I recently asked a key CIMA tuition provider in what way they distinguished CIMA from our main competitors in the highly competitive accounting qualifications market. The reply summed up, for me, CIMA in a nutshell: "If you want to know, study for the competition. If you want to learn how and why, study for CIMA."

Supporting our members and students throughout their careers

Our key focus as an organisation is the ever-increasing employability of our members and students. To achieve this, we work closely with thousands of employers throughout the world to ensure that the CIMA qualification meets their needs and that the minimum three years relevant practical experience required to achieve Chartered Management Accountant status (in addition to passing our exams) is fulfilled. And it doesn't stop there. We are fully aware of the need to keep you up to date as your career progresses, both in increasing your specialist knowledge and widening your managerial skills. In a groundbreaking partnership with Henley Management College, CIMA students on qualifying can now proceed to study for the Henley MBA with a "fast-track route" which can reduce by up to half the time and cost of studying for a world-class postgraduate qualification to add to your world-class professional one. We also have a fast-track route with the Association of Corporate Treasurers for our students and members.

Whatever your career objective, the CIMA qualification will enable you to get ahead, and by becoming a member of a chartered membership body you can count on support and guidance every step of the way.

Robert Jelly is director of education at CIMA

Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Recruitment Consultant (Trainee / Experienced)

£18000 - £27000 per annum + doe OTE £45K: SThree: SThree are always looking fo...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are a recent psychology graduate ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Graduate Graphic Designer

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Largest Independent Motor D...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own