which one is the best between CIMA & CFA

Replies : 13


i am Prasad P. Bhide currently working with state street syntel services pvt. ltd for the capital market profile. I had done lean six sigma green belt certification. I have completed from pune University and persuing MBA from ICFAI university. i am looking for some international courses in finance. So any body suggest me which course have more demand in the global market between CFA & CIMA. If i want to make career in investment banking profile which one is better between CFA(US) & CIMA (UK).



Thanks & Regards

 Prasad P. Bhide


Chartered Financial Analyst  (USA) or a Chartered Management Accounant.

Personaly I think these are two different professional qualifications.

If your interest is to pursue 'investment banking' then the CFA one is for you.

CIMA is an 'accounting qualification' for those working outside of public accounting (i.e. audit)

Best regards

Cliff Moggs

assistnce on career guidance

Hi Cliff,


Thanks your guidence. i'm little bit confused, which one profession i've to choose as per your experience?


Thanks & Regards,


Accountant or Financial Analyst?

My earlier days found me 'surrounded' by accountants.

Maybe if I had been surrounded by 'investment bankers or advisors etc', my career may have taken a different direction.

At this time I strongly suggest you read the CFA website as to what they are all about. I think website is They are headquartered in the USA.

Best regards

Cliff Moggs

Wrong website address

Sorry, just checked - the correct address is Apparently the 'cat fanciers ' got there first! CM


Needs another 't', CM

Cliff, I think you need a "T" break

Or am I just being catty?

Sorry, couldn't resist!



If you're looking for a front-office job in investment banking, no question that the CFA will take you further. 

CIMA is more about accounting and related issues within finance departments and companies. It is more accounting focused, of course, and the financial analysis is nowhere near the level of complexity - or accuracy - you would do in investment banking. For instance, if you gave CIMA's definition of ROCE at an entry level interview in investment banking, you would likely get rejected, as it is just not how it is done there. However, CIMA is really good at being practical, results focussed, intuitive, and helpful in real life corporate world. CIMA is good for back-office/middle-office in investment banking. Also good for working towards a CFO type role in a corporate. 

CFA is about financial analysis. CFA is ideal if you're aiming to become a fund manager for large institutional investors. It cares less about the technicality of accounting, and focusses more on the financial meaning, including risk management, economics and the likes, although CIMA touches on these themes. CFA is a bit more quantitative than CIMA however. CFA will touch upon derivatives with some depth for instance, whereas CIMA mainly focusses on its accounting significance with a high level discussion on their use. 

One way you can look at it is the CFA will be a buyer of whatever product the investment banks structure on behalf of companies managed by CIMAs.

Another 'tea' break

Alistair, just finished the crossword in my break and catching up on the latsest news.

I think Jean-Philippe has made an excellent comparison of the two qualifications and how different they are.

This should enable Prasad to decide , at this time, what is his preference.

Best regards

Cliff Moggs

Cheers Cliff

Glad you enjoyed your break.  You and Jean-Philipe make some good points there.

Kind regards,


thanks for the guidance

Hi all,


Thanks for your guidance on CIMA OR CFA. Looking for further assistance about CIMA from your side in future.


 Thanks & regards

 Prasad P. Bhide

CFa and CIMA?

hello Jean Philippe,

could I ask you how do you see the combination CFA-CIMA?

In theory I'd be interested in both, but maybe I'm more focused in investments, because I like more them. But I'm afraid that I should have a broad business basis before trying to understand investments:

what do you think? do I really need business knowledge before studying about investment analysis? Do I need accounting skills or, anyway, they could give me an edge in evaluating companies as a financial analyst?

Thank you in advance.

Leonardo Calderone




I also have an interest in doing the combination of CFA-CIMA, but i do not have enough information about CFA. I really need you advice.


@ Leonardo


If you want to be involved in investments (like Warren Buffett) then just do the CFA.  You will learn enough about business and economics on a CFA to be able to analyse investments.  You can do CIMA or an equivalent qualification at a later date if you feel that you need more granular knowledge.  

I had the same predicament as you, and had a look at the study texts of CIMA and CFA in my university library.  I clarified that I wanted to know the contents of both.  I felt that CIMA would be more relevant to my needs however as I wanted to start my own business.

A large bookstore will also have these textbooks.

I suggest you go and look through them.  Go with what you find more relevant / interesting and start there.  Getting CIMA then CFA won't get you rejected for CFA roles and vice versa.  Not having a business base doesn't mean you won't be able to analyse investments.  

You will probably find once you start down a particular track, the other qualification will fade from significance.  Other people in the company will cover the role met by the qualification you don't have.  Because of the division of labour, it won't really enhance your career / earnings to do be able to carry out both roles... you can only do so much work.  Maybe you are planning to become the next Warren Buffett, taking on CEO, CFO and CRO roles simultaneously as he does?  You might want to add FRM to CIMA/CPA and CFA.