CIMA Vs ACCA Earnings

The Bureau of Labour Statistics claims that career prospects in the field of accounting will grow 10% from 2016-26, faster than any other occupation in the US. A career in accounting can be rewarding, challenging and stable all at the same time. 

But did you know that top MNCs and the big fours consider certifications such as ACCA and CIMA to be the cherry on top for candidates? A whopping 96% of FTSE 100 firms trust and employ ACCA and CIMA members. However, even in these firms ACCA graduates are preferred over others owing to the exposure they have in a wide range of subjects.


CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants)  are two prestigious UK based, globally recognised certifications that will add immense value to your professional life. 

Both are well paying qualifications that offer a wide range of opportunities. Here we will help you explore what the career prospects are for students choosing to pursue either certification, the job opportunities available, and if and how the pay scale varies. 

Job prospects

  • CIMA certified candidates start their career as management accountants, business analysts, forensic analysts, project managers and financial controllers. 
  • ACCA certification can help you begin as an accountant, financial consultant, tax manager, financial manager and/or internal auditor. 

Salary expectations – UK

  • CIMA qualified candidates earn an average salary of £62,000 PA which can escalate to £129,000 PA as they grow professionally. 
  • ACCA qualified accountants can earn about £155,300 PA as they grow professionally. The average salary of an ACCA qualified accountant is about £75,500 PA.

Salary expectations – India

When it comes to India an ACCA certification is considered to be on par with a Chartered Accountant qualification. 

  • The average salary of a starting ACCA accountant is about 15 LPA which can go up to 50 LPA with experience and skills.

With the demand being high in both developed and developing countries, the Big 4 companies across the globe hire ACCA professionals in large numbers. 

  • The average salary of a starting CIMA accountant is about 10 LPA and will increase to 30 LPA with time.

Also, the demand for CIMA qualified members is relatively low in India.

Although the learning is laudable when it comes to CIMA’s course objectives, the job prospects in India, especially with respect to the big 4, boils down to how well acquainted you are with accounting knowledge specific to the Indian domain.


While CIMA offers job prospects in the field of management and accounting, ACCA enables candidates to arm themselves with a solid foundation in core principles pertaining to accounting. 

ACCA is recognised in 180+ countries globally and the demand for ACCA professionals is competitive. The certification also opens you up to several new opportunities. 

If you envision for yourself a career where you’d be crunching numbers, ACCA would be the way to go. 

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