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Academia student obtains CIMA exemptions

To eventually receive the title of chartered global management accountant (CGMA) you must meet two requirements. First, you must gain practical experience; second, you must meet specific academic requirements. The academic side can be completed through the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) itself, or via an academic institution, like Akademia, which was granted CIMA exemption.

To receive an academic qualification from CIMA, you must write a total of 16 exams. If an institution was granted CIMA exemption, it means that you receive exemption for some of those exams. You then actually have a faster route to the CIMA qualification, through which you can obtain a degree qualification and a professional qualification.

Akademia’s BCom (Management Accounting) and BCom (Financial and Management Accounting) programmes receive exemption for 8 of the 16 CIMA exams; additionally, the institution’s Postgraduate Diploma in Management Accounting receives exemption for 11 of the 16 exams.

‘The above mentioned qualification at Akademia and the CIMA qualification teach students how to work with numbers, but will also develop the critical knowledge and skills that employers around the world are looking for,’ said Rika Nieuwoudt, the department head of Economic and Financial Sciences at Akademia. ‘I am grateful that students continue to complete their CIMA qualification. It will open many doors of opportunity for their careers and it warms my heart to know that Akademia could form a part of that. I believe that Akademia trains our students to eventually complete the CIMA exams successfully.’

Eugene Schmidt is a student at Akademia who recently completed his BCom (Management Accounting). He mentioned how the faster route through the CIMA recognition serves as a short cut to his professional career and counts in his favour in South Africa and abroad. ‘I want to complete my CIMA qualification in order to create more international opportunities for myself; thus, I can take hold of the opportunity to live out my aspirations abroad, while seeing the world. It is also rewarding to one day be able to work with a title after your name that nobody can take away from you.’

As a child, Schmidt loved working with money and in high school he was already selling stickers where he developed a combination of entrepreneurial- and financial skills. ‘The day I discovered accounting in high school, I was convinced that it was what I would do for the rest of my life.’

His decision narrowed down to BCom (Management Accounting), seeing that it enabled him to fill managerial positions and to plan a company’s financial future ahead of time. On top of that, he would also be able to manage finances, projects, and risks. ‘When I, as a matriculant, had to make the decision about what and where I would study, the exemptions for the CIMA exams were certainly very attractive.’

He decided to take on his studies at Akademia, seeing that he wanted to study in his mother tongue and because of the opportunity for after-hours studies. It was also a good option for him because Akademia received very high CIMA exemptions. ‘Initially, I weighed different qualifications and compared the advantages of each establishment against each other; Akademia definitely won by a mile. A degree that has SAIPA- and CIMA-recognition with exemptions for various board exams—who wouldn’t take that route?’

Schmidt mentioned that he had an extremely positive experience of after-hour studies. ‘I built valuable friendships with fellow students of all ages, and I received the opportunity to apply my studies in the workplace.’ He mentioned how he discovered that the corporate world requires young employees to have the necessary qualifications, but that employers prefer graduates with some work experience under the belt.  

To advance his career, Schmidt also decided to continue his studies with a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Accounting. ‘I decided to complete the postgraduate qualification, not only for the support it would provide for the further completion of the CIMA board exams but also for how it will benefit me when I apply for further studies in international tax or financial reporting.’  

His advice to aspiring BCom (Management Accounting) students is to form effective study groups where they can support each other and share ideas. He also advises prospective students to actively participate in class wholeheartedly and to share their opinions—even if it initially feels strange.

He hopes to also qualify as a chartered accountant and to gain experience in the field of taxation, auditing, and eventually even forensic accounting. His biggest dream is to one day be able to enter a partnership and to establish an integrated law- and financial firm with another professional accountant. Akademia will keep track of his future and we look forward to what his career holds in store for him.

Eugene Schmidt has just graduated with his BCom (Management Accounting) and is now continuing his studies with a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Accounting at Akademia. He also received CIMA exemptions upon the completion of his qualification.