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Difference between AAT and CIMA

Difference between AAT and CIMA

There are a few key differences between the AAT and CIMA qualifications. The AAT is more focussed on practical accounting tasks, whereas CIMA is more focussed on management and financial strategy. CIMA is also a much longer qualification, taking around 3 years to complete in full. However, the CIMA qualification is broader in scope, and can be used in a wider range of business roles. If you’re looking for a career in finance or management, then CIMA may be the right choice for you.

What is AAT?

  • AAT Association of Accounting Technicians is a nonprofit membership association for accounting professionals. AAT offers professional development, networking, and resources for its members. AAT also advocates on behalf of the profession and the public interest.
  • AAT’s standards and qualifications are widely recognized and respected by employers, government, and other professional organizations. AAT’s members work in all sectors of the economy and in all types of organizations, including small businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies.
  • AAT’s membership includes both accounting technicians and accountants. AAT’s mission is to promote excellence in accounting and finance. AAT’s vision is to be the global leader in promoting excellence in accounting and finance.
  • AAT’s values are integrity, accountability, professionalism, and respect. AAT is headquartered in London, UK. AAT has over 130,000 members in more than 100 countries. AAT is governed by a Board of Trustees.
  • AAT’s membership consists of both individuals and organizations. AAT offers a wide range of services to its members, including professional development, networking, resources, advocacy, and standards.

What is CIMA?

  • CIMA, or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, is a professional body for management accountants. CIMA was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants with over 227,000 members and students in 179 countries.
  • CIMA members work in industry, commerce, the public sector, and academia. CIMA’s main aim is to promote the science of management accounting and to ensure that its members are properly qualified and experienced professionals who can practise their profession effectively and contribute to the development of businesses around the world.
  • CIMA members are required to comply with CIMA’s code of ethics which requires them to act with integrity, objectivity, professional competence, and due care. CIMA also offers a range of qualifications that allow members to progress in their careers from entry-level positions to senior management roles.
  • CIMA’s qualifications are recognised by employers worldwide and are highly respected by both employers and employees. CIMA’s website provides more information about the organisation and its activities. CIMA also has a YouTube channel which features videos about CIMA and its qualifications.

Difference between AAT and CIMA

  • AAT is a Association of Accounting Technicians, and CIMA is a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Both AAT and CIMA offer professional qualifications in accounting and finance, but there are some key differences between the two.
  • AAT focuses specifically on accounting technicians, while CIMA offers a more broad-based education in management accounting. AAT also has a lower entry requirements than CIMA, making it a more accessible option for those who do not have a degree in accounting or finance.
  • However, CIMA is generally seen as the more prestigious qualification, and it may be required for certain senior positions in accounting and finance. Ultimately, the decision of which organisation to join should be based on your specific career goals and educational background.


The AAT Association of Accounting Technicians is a UK based professional accounting body. CIMA Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is an international management accountancy institute. They both offer qualifications in accounting and finance, but there are some key differences between them. The AAT qualification is more focused on practical skills and covers areas such as bookkeeping, taxation and audit. The CIMA qualification has a greater focus on business strategy and financial decision making. There are also different membership levels with each institution. If you’re looking to become a qualified accountant, it’s important to understand the difference between these two institutions and decide which one is best for you.

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