Building better business through management accounting

Building better business through management accounting

Today’s businesses face rapid economic, technological and social changes. As organisations struggle to manage volatility and uncertainty, they need support to make better decisions faster.

CGMA competency framework

The CGMA competency framework is designed to help CGMA designation holders and their employers assess the skills that accounting and finance professionals need. Competencies are the bridge between education and employment.

CIMA conducted extensive research, validated by AICPA, with employers globally to find out what competencies they require to drive better business. They told us they’re looking for certain skills—technical, business, people and leadership—in their teams. All of these are underpinned by ethics, integrity and professionalism. They expressed that it’s not adequate for finance professionals to just navigate, they have to steer business and have the capability to make critical decisions.

The CGMA competency framework shows the skills and competencies finance professionals need to help drive the success of their organisation. CGMA designation holders’ commitment to lifelong learning ensures they have the skills relevant to today’s organisations, and remain valued and respected by businesses.

Research to develop the competency framework was conducted in three phases:


  • Face-to-face interviews with 67 organisations from Malaysia, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States;
  • Roundtables held in 13 countries from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas; and
  • An online survey with nearly 3,400 CIMA member, student, academic and tuition provider participants.


CIMA’s 2015 syllabus is based on these competencies, updated to equip CGMA designation holders with the skills businesses need. The overall aim of the syllabus and assessment is to produce competent and confident management accounting professionals who are able to guide and lead their organisations to sustainable business success.

Relevant, global testing

CIMA has changed the way it assesses the competencies, to take advantage of improvements in technology and to reflect the changes in the workplace. It has pioneered a new assessment process that includes a combination of computerised assessments and case studies to examine its syllabus. Each subject will be assessed not only by an objective test, but also by an integrated case study which combines the knowledge and learning across the three pillars at each level of the syllabus. 

Beginning in January 2015, both AICPA and CIMA candidates for the CGMA designation will be required to pass the same computerised strategic case study exam and subsequently fulfill the same practical experience requirements to become designation holders. Implementation of both the syllabus and exam ensures that CGMAs not only have a solid foundation in management accounting through rigorous training, but also consistent testing worldwide.

Looking ahead 

The CIMA syllabus is being launched now to give educators, review course providers and training partners time to prepare their course materials for implementation in January 2015. The AICPA and CIMA will work with these groups to enhance their understanding of the learning outcomes and how they will be tested so that they can prepare candidates fully.

Visit the CIMA website for more in-depth information about the syllabus and its implementation worldwide: