SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Professional Qualification: Chartered Management Accountant 
20400  Professional Qualification: Chartered Management Accountant 
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 
FASSET - Financial and Accounting Services SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
Undefined  930  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of the qualification is to:
  • Provide the learner with the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience to become a Chartered Management Accountant, for individual and social transformation.
  • Prepare the learner to work as a management accountant and develop a specialist accounting and management career, either within South Africa or in other countries around the world.
  • Provide the learner with a developmental experience which promotes independence and self reliance and encourages the adoption of a critical, questioning approach, analysing and challenging the truth and value of received wisdom.
  • Provide employers and others, with an adequate basis for assuring that those learners gaining the qualification, are competent to act as management accountants for companies and other organisations, whether in manufacturing, commercial or service organisations, in either the public or private sectors of the economy within South Africa.
  • Provide companies and other organisations, with professionally qualified, skilled staff, who are able to make a positive contribution to the development of business and society, adding value and creating sustainable economic growth, both for their employers and the economy of South Africa.

    This Qualification will provide all economic sectors with a pool of well-qualified people whose competence will be internationally recognised and who will be able to perform a number of functions within the economically active sectors of South Africa.

    The Professional Qualification, Chartered Management Accounting is distinct from other Qualifications in the Accounting profession as its main focus is Management Accounting. Thus, successful learners will receive a specialist Qualification, which will enable them to perform specialist Management Accounting functions. 

    It is assumed that learners accessing this Qualification are competent in Communication, Mathematics and Accounting at NQF Level 5.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    The Qualification may be achieved in part through the recognition of prior learning. The manner of assessment of prior learning will be determined and assessor, and moderated by the relevant ETQA. The emphasis should be on integrated assessment of exit-level outcomes, particularly on their application to real or simulated situations. 



    Learners will be able to:

    1. Explain the role and purpose of financial management.
    2. Identify and assess the impact of international aspects on a company's taxation.
    3. Explain and evaluate the regulatory framework governing the preparation of financial statements and corporate reports.
    4. Prepare financial statements for companies, for publication in accordance with International Accounting Standards.
    5. Analyse and interpret financial statements in an international context.
    6. Prepare and evaluate plans, budgets and forecasts for a wide range of sectors.
    7. Evaluate costing and accounting systems for a wide range of sectors.
    8. Apply and evaluate techniques used in management decision making for a wide range of sectors.
    9. Evaluate and recommend improvements to the control of organisational activities, resources and the management of quality.
    10. Advise on the management of working relationships and the management of change.
    11. Evaluate different approaches to strategy formulation, identify strategic options and make appropriate recommendations.
    12. Evaluate the role of management accounting techniques in a changing business environment.
    13. Evaluate performance measurement systems for an organisation.
    14. Evaluate and interpret the financial implications of strategies within organisations.
    15. Evaluate advanced investment proposals.
    16. Evaluate the use of information systems/information technology to improve the competitiveness of an organisation.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    Learners will be able to:

    1. Identify, systematically examine, critically evaluate and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions have been made, using critical and creative thinking.
    2. Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
    3. Organise and manage oneself and one`s activities responsibly and effectively.
    4. Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
    5. Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and language skills in the mode of written presentation.
    6. Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
    7. Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
    8. Manage his/her own skills development from the range of experiences and learning opportunities available.
    9. Transfer skills and continuous learning to organisational setting. 

    The qualifying learner:

  • Understands and explains the interrelationships between decisions concerning investment, financing and dividends.
  • Understands the role and management of the treasury function.
  • Identifies and differentiates between the financial objectives set by different companies.
  • Compares and contrasts the services provided by financial institutions and recommends appropriate providers in different scenarios.
  • Recommends the sources of capital most appropriate for an organisation.
  • Evaluates the most appropriate method of funding an asset.
  • Calculates investor ratios and demonstrates the impact of changing capital structures on these ratios.
  • Calculates the cost of capital and demonstrates the impact of changing capital structures.
  • Explains the impact of interest rate changes on the cost of capital.
  • Identifies appropriate methods of finance for trading internationally.

  • Evaluates the taxation implications of alternative methods of running an overseas operation and makes appropriate recommendations.

  • Explains the elements of the regulatory framework within which published financial statements are produced.
  • Explains the process leading to the promulgation of a standard practice.
  • Evaluates the relationship of the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements to the standard setting process.
  • Explains the role of the external auditor.
  • Explains the elements of an audit report and the "qualifications" of that report.

  • Analyses and explains the relevant regulatory requirements.
  • Prepares financial statements in a form suitable for publication, with appropriate notes.
  • Prepares accurate cash flow statements in a form suitable for publication, with appropriate notes.
  • Correctly applies the relevant rules for reporting performance.

  • Evaluates financial statements and prepares a concise and accurate report on the results of the analysis.
  • Recognises the limitations of analysis based on published financial statements.
  • Explains the weaknesses of the financial report, which can reduce effectiveness in communicating meaningful information to users.
  • Evaluates financial statements and prepares a concise and accurate report on the results of the analysis.
  • Recognises the limitations of analysis based on published financial statements.
  • Explains the weaknesses of the financial report, which can reduce effectiveness in communicating meaningful information to users.
  • Prepares and correctly interprets segmental analysis, inter-firm and international comparison.

  • Demonstrates an understanding of the need for organisations to prepare plans.
  • Calculates future sales and costs using appropriate forecasting techniques and evaluates the results.
  • Explains and correctly interprets the effect of amendments to budget/plan assumptions.
  • Understands why it is necessary to identify controllable and uncontrollable costs and effectively communicates reasons to others.
  • Correctly evaluates performance using fixed and flexible budget reports.
  • Understands alternative approaches to budgeting and makes appropriate reasoned recommendations.
  • Evaluates the use of the balanced scorecard.
  • Understands and explains the behavioural implications of planning and budgeting.
  • Compares and contrasts cost and profit centres.

  • Critically evaluates and correctly applies alternative costing and accounting systems.
  • Correctly applies direct product profitability.
  • Evaluates and correctly applies target costing.
  • Evaluates and correctly applies life cycle costing.

  • Identifies relevant costs, benefits and qualitative factors.
  • Evaluates external pricing strategies using sales variance analysis.
  • Explains and demonstrates the application of transfer pricing in an international context.
  • Correctly applies and evaluates profit maximisation.
  • Prepares and correctly interprets reports using Pareto analysis.
  • Applies the experience and learning curve.
  • Identifies risk and uncertainty.
  • Correctly applies decision trees.

  • Critically evaluates and recommends appropriate control systems for the management of organisations.
  • Critically evaluates and recommends improvements to the control of Information Systems including those using Information Technology.
  • Analyses problems with the management of quality in an organisation and makes appropriate recommendations for improvement.
  • Critically evaluates the features, benefits and drawbacks of contemporary approaches to the management of quality.
  • Prepares and communicates appropriate plans for the implementation of a quality improvement programme.

  • Explains the concepts of authority, power, responsibility and delegation.
  • Analyses the relationships between managers and subordinates.
  • Analyses situations where problems have been caused by the adoption of an ineffective or inappropriate management style and recommends remedial action.
  • Understands the problems of maintaining discipline and evaluates the tools available to help a manager achieve it.
  • Understands the responsibilities of the organisation, its managers and staff in relation to health and safety and advises as to how a manager can promote the health and safety of subordinates.
  • Identifies and evaluates the determinants of change in organisations and the different levels at which change must be managed.
  • Recommends ways in which appropriate planned change can be implemented at the organisational and departmental levels.
  • Identifies opportunities to improve the management of change and communicates recommendations to appropriate managers.

  • Understands the importance of objectives and objective setting.
  • Evaluates and contrasts differing corporate frameworks and objectives.
  • Evaluates an organisation's mission, goals and aims and recommends appropriate changes.
  • Evaluates different approaches to strategy formulation, considers options and recommends the most appropriate.
  • Evaluates the competitive forces in the market place.
  • Evaluates the importance of international issues including competition, management and regulation.
  • Evaluates the availability and quality of data for environmental analysis.
  • Analyses and evaluates the organisation's customer portfolio.
  • Prepares and evaluates competitor analysis.
  • Evaluates relationships with customers and suppliers and recommends appropriate changes or improvements.
  • Evaluates and recommends growth and divestment strategies.
  • Evaluates and recommends response strategies to competitors' actions.
  • Prepares and evaluates strategic scenario plans.
  • Evaluates and recommends appropriate changes in organisational structure.
  • Applies appropriate investment techniques to marketing and strategy decisions.
  • Analyses and interprets the risks facing an organisation.
  • Evaluates alternative risk management strategies and makes appropriate recommendations.

  • Identifies and evaluates differing approaches to the design and operation of the management accounting systems and makes appropriate recommendations.

  • Evaluates and prepares accurate multidimensional models of performance measurement.
  • Considers the effect of regulation on performance and explains conclusions.
  • Evaluates the use of shareholder value analysis.
  • Identifies problems in performance measurement and recommends solutions.
  • Evaluates performance from different time and stakeholder perspectives and reports findings.

  • Identifies appropriate actions for improving financial performance.
  • Correctly assesses the attainment of financial objectives.
  • Analyses and correctly interprets the risk implications of business plans.
  • Analyses and correctly interprets company accounts of customers, competitors and target companies.
  • Identifies and correctly interprets the impact of internal and external constraints on financial strategy (e.g. funding, regulatory bodies, investor relations, strategy, and economic factors).

  • Evaluates domestic and international investment proposals and makes appropriate recommendations.
  • Recommends appropriate methods of funding investments.
  • Correctly interprets the likely impact of changing exchange rates and inflation rates on investments.
  • Calculates and correctly interprets real options (abandonment, follow-on, deferment).
  • Correctly calculates the tax shield of debt finance on investments.
  • Identifies and describes procedures for the control of international investments.
  • Recommends appropriate investment decisions when capital is rationed.

  • Identifies and evaluates appropriate IS/IT systems and recommends changes to meet the strategic information needs of an organisation.
  • Evaluates the use of IS/IT to gain competitive advantage and recommends appropriate strategies.
  • Evaluates the importance of process innovation and reengineering.
  • Evaluates the strategic benefits of IT and advises managers on the development of an IS/IT/IM strategy.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Formative and summative assessments are integrated to provide a coherent indication of the learner's ability, skill and experience.

    Assessment of competence will be done through a combination of formative and summative assessment tools, techniques and procedures, which do not discriminate against learners in an unjust or invalid way. Formative assessment will integrate theory with practice.

    A final summative assessment combining theory and practical competencies will be done through learners writing examinations covering all learning areas. 

    The CIMA qualification is recognised in more than 100 countries as a leading qualification in management accounting.

    The qualification can be accessed by learners of all nationalities and from countries all around the world. Current holders of the qualification and learners working towards the qualification are based in more than 130 countries.

    CIMA is a senior member of IFAC (International Federation of Accountants). IFAC is an organisation of national professional accountancy organisations, that represent accountants employed in public practice, business and industry, the public sector, and education, as well as some specialised groups that interface frequently with the profession. It has 153 member bodies in 113 countries, representing 2 million accountants. A CIMA representative is currently chairperson of IFAC's Financial and Management Accounting Committee and CIMA also represents the United Kingdom on the IFAC Information Technology Committee. 

    Entry to qualification

    Learners with prior learning and qualifications can normally enter the learning programme at the following levels:
  • Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Management Accounting.
  • Membership of other relevant professional bodies such as the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

    On Completion of the Qualification

    Qualifying learners can:
  • Register to sit the Final level examinations of other professional institutions such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
  • Register as members of other professional institutions such as the Institute of Certified Book-keepers, the Institute of Commercial and Financial Accountants.
  • Register as members of other professional institutions such as the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Institute of Commercial and Financial Accountants, the Institute of Administration and Commerce.
  • Gain entry to relevant Masters degree learning programmes. 

    Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with a relevant ETQA. Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA. Formative assessment will be conducted internally by the provider with moderation being done by the relevant ETQA. 


    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.