cima distance learning

Study CIMA online - gain a globally recognised accounting qualification

  • May
  • November
  • The minimum time it takes to complete all 14 papers and TOPCIMA is 30 months
  • 3 years of relevant practical work experience is also required to gain the CIMA qualification

CIMA tuition packages start from £180
CIMA revision packages start from £150

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification is internationally recognised as the benchmark of excellence for forward thinking and talented accountants. Studying towards CIMA with London School of Business & Finance and InterActive will give you access to more than just fully flexible online study, you will also be joining a global community of experienced tutors, corporate partners, and fellow students.

The CIMA course is held in high regard by leading employers and organisations worldwide. It has been designed for those who wish to develop a diverse and accomplished career in financial and business management. Creating a solid foundation upon which successful careers can be built, CIMA sets students up for professional success.

The InterActive platform provides expert and career-focused tuition via HD-quality video lectures, not to mention a range of other helpful online study resources. You will have the opportunity to cover the course syllabus at your own pace – from Applied Management Accounting to Business Strategy. Studying through InterActive also allows you to acquire industry relevant knowledge and the skills needed to work across a variety of departments and industries.


This highly rated qualification is issued by the largest global professional body of Management Accountants (with 195,000 members from 176 countries). CIMA members work at the very core of commerce, industry and non-profit organisations all over the world. Since its creation, CIMA has forged and developed strong working relationships with the largest employers in every major industry worldwide. The CIMA qualification will grant you unprecedented access to the heart of business wherever you choose to work.


In order to attain CIMA certification you must successfully complete 13 papers. It may take a minimum of 2 years to complete them all. You will have the option to register for examinations twice a year, which will be either computer or paper-based at one of CIMA's worldwide centres.

CIMA allows you to sit a maximum of 3 papers together, but InterActive recommends that you sit no more than 2 at the same time.

You can apply for a specific date to sit your exams from CIMA. Exams are held in November and May. 3-9 months before you are due to sit an exam (July or January at the latest), you may apply for the subject's corresponding paper with InterActive.

Here is a step by guide to how you should proceed with your studies and examinations:

  • Choose the CIMA study package and papers which best suit your needs and the relevant papers from the InterActive Enrolment centre During your purchase, you should provide a confirmation number from CIMA showing that you have already registered for your exams.
  • You will receive an email with your InterActive login details 24 hours after payment. You may begin your studies 16 weeks before you are due to take your exams i.e. either early August or early March. Please note revision packages are available one month prior to your exams.
  • You will then be able to study towards your paper according to the content of the package you purchased. At the start of your studies you will be given access to all learning tools included in your package, such as recorded HD quality video lectures, lecture notes and other study materials, tutor marked mock exams and progress tests.

    cima distance learning video example Robert Wood

  • The next step would be for you to take your exams. If you pass, you will be able to continue with your application to sit more CIMA papers. If you fail but are eligible for the Pass First Time Guarantee, you will get access to CIMA study materials for the papers you failed and can re-sit them once you re-register. If you fail but purchased Ultimate Confidence Booster along with your study package and are eligible, then you will get your money back.

The levels of the CIMA professional qualification are:

  • Operational (E1, F1 and P1)
  • Management (E2, F2 and P2)
  • Strategic (E3, F3 and P3)
  • Test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting (T4 parts A and B)

Certificate level

CO1: Fundamentals of Management AccountingRead more

The paper prepares candidates to address core management accounting topics such as cost determination, breakeven analysis, standard costing, cost and accounting systems and financial planning and control.

Session 1 – Cost classification and cost behaviour
Session 2 – Cost classification continued
Session 3 – Cost behaviour and break-even analysis
Session 4 – Standard costing
Session 5 – Cost and accounting systems
Session 6 – Financial planning and control

CO2: Fundamentals of Financial Accounting Read more

This paper leads candidates through conceptual and regulatory frameworks, accounting systems and control, and the preparation of accounts for single entities.

Session 1 – Introduction to accounting
Session 2 – The framework of financial systems
Session 3 – Double entry book keeping
Session 4 – Accruals and prepayments
Session 5 – Bad debts and allowances for receivables
Session 6 – Noncurrent assets
Session 7 – Inventory
Session 8 – Preparation of statements with adjustments
Session 9 – Organising the book keeping system
Session 10 – Controlling the book keeping system
Session 11 – The regulatory framework of accounting
Session 12 – Limited company accounts
Session 13 – Cash flow statements
Session 14 – Incomplete records
Session 15 – Interpretation of financial statement
Session 16 – Manufacturing accounts

CO3: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics Read more

The paper introduces students to basic mathematics, probability, summarising and analysing data, variables, forecasting, financial mathematics and spreadsheets.

Session 1 – Basic mathematics
Session 2 – Probability
Session 3 – Summarising and analysing data
Session 4 – Inter-relationships between variables
Session 5 – Forecasting
Session 6 – Financial mathematics

CO4: Fundamentals of Business EconomicsRead more

This paper covers the goals and decisions of organisations, the market system and the competitive process, the financial system and the macroeconomic context of business.

Session 1 – The goals and decisions of organisations
Session 2- The goals and decisions of organisations, the market system and the competitive process
Session 3 – The market system and the competitive process (continued)
Session 4 – The financial system
Session 5 – The macroeconomic context of business
Session 6 – The macroeconomic context of business (continued)

CO5: Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business LawRead more

This paper covers ethics and business, ethical conflict, corporate governance, comparison of English law with alternative legal systems, the law of contract, the law of employment and company administration and finance.

Session 1 - Ethics and business
Session 2 – Ethical conflict
Session 3- Corporate governance
Session 4 - Comparison of English law with alternative legal systems
Session 5 – The law of contract
Session 6 – Corporate governance & company administration and finance
Session 7- The law of employment
Session 8 – Company administration and finance

Operational Level

E1: Enterprise OperationsRead more

This paper addresses several functional areas of business, and introduces candidates to the economic, social and political contexts of international business. Learning requirements for the sections dealing with information systems, operations, marketing and managing human capital will alert students to major developments, and tools and techniques.

Section A
Lead 1 – Explain the social, political and economic context of business
Lead 2 – Analyse the relationship between the internal governance of the firm and external sources of governance and regulation

Section B
Lead 1 – Discussing the wider business context within which information systems operate
Lead 2 – Analysing how information systems can be implemented in support of the organisation’s strategy

Section C
Lead 1 - Explain the relationship of operations management to other aspects of the organisation’s operations
Lead 2 - Apply tools and techniques of operations management

Section D
Lead 1 - Explain developments in marketing
Lead 2 - Apply tools and techniques used in support of the organisation’s marketing

P1: Performance OperationsRead more

This paper deals with tools and techniques that generate the information needed to evaluate and control present and projected performance. Both budgeting and project appraisal emphasise the critical importance of optimising cash flow. The final section of the paper continues this theme from the perspective of managing working capital.

Section A – Cost accounting systems
Lead 1 – Discuss costing methods & their results
Lead 2 – Explain the role of MRP and ERP systems
Lead 3 – Apply principles of environmental costing

Section B – Forecasting and budgeting techniques
Lead 1 – Explain the purposes of forecasts, plans and budgets
Lead 2 – Prepare forecasts of financial results
Lead 3 – Prepare budgets based on forecasts

Section C – Project appraisal
Lead 1 – Prepare information to support project appraisal
Lead 2 – Evaluate project proposals

Section D – Dealing with uncertainty in analysis
Lead 1 – Analyse information to assess the impact on decisions of variables with uncertain variables

Section E – Managing short term finance
Lead 1 – Working capital position and identify areas for improvement
Lead 2 – Identify short – term funding and investment opportunities

F1: Financial OperationsRead more

This paper's core objectives are the preparation of full financial statements for a single company, and the principal consolidated financial statements for a simple group. Coverage of a wide range of international standards is implicit in these objectives. Understanding of the regulatory and ethical context of financial reporting is vital. Principles of taxation are included.

Section A
Lead 1 - Types of tax that can apply to incorporated businesses, their principles and potential administrative requirements
Lead 2 - Fundamental concepts in international taxation of incorporated businesses
Lead 3 - Corporate income tax calculations

Section B
Lead 1 - Methods of regulating accounting and financial reporting
Lead 2 - CIMA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

Section C
Lead 1 - Financial statements for a single company and the consolidated statements of financial position and comprehensive income for a group
Lead 2 - Fundamental concepts in international taxation of incorporated businesses

Management Level

E2 Enterprise ManagementRead more

E2 moves towards a holistic, integrated view of management across an organisation. Building on important concepts in strategic management, this paper develops tools and techniques for identifying key types of competitive environments. Project management skills and tools are also addressed. The paper introduces the skills and tools needed to work with, manage and develop teams. This includes both the legal aspects of managing individuals, as well as the softer elements of negotiation and leadership skills.

Section A
Lead 1 - Competitive environments and key external characteristics of these environments
Lead 2 - Developments in strategic management

Section B
Lead 1 - Tools and techniques of project management
Lead 2 - Relationship of the project manager to the external environment

Section C
Lead 1 - Effective operation of an organisation
Lead 2 - Activities associated with managing people and their associated techniques

P2 Performance ManagementRead more

The main focus of paper P2 is the application of information in the management processes of decision making and control to optimise performance.

Section A
Lead 1 - Cost and revenue, pricing and product decisions
Lead 2 - Short-term pricing and product decisions
Lead 3 - Pricing strategies and their consequences

Section B
Lead 1 - Techniques for analysing and managing costs for competitive advantage

Section C
Lead 1 - Principles that underlie the use of budgets in control
Lead 2 - Performance based on budgets, recognising alternative approaches and sensitivity to variable factors
Lead 3 - Managerial issues arising from the use of budgets in control

Section D
Lead 1 - Responsibility centres in devising organisation structure and in management control
Lead 2 - Information suitable for management decision-making in responsibility centres
Lead 3 - Managerial issues arising from the division of the organisation into responsibility centres

F2 Financial ManagementRead more

Extends to more advanced topics in financial accounting (preparation of full consolidated financial statements and issues of principle in accounting standards dealing with more complex areas) and to developments in external reporting.

Section A
Lead 1 - Consolidated statements of a single company and the consolidated statements of financial position and comprehensive income for a group (in relatively complex circumstances)
Lead 2 - Principles of accounting for capital schemes and foreign exchange rate changes

Section B
Lead 1 - Accounting principles and their relevance to accounting issues of contemporary interest

Section C
Lead 1 - Ratio analysis from financial statements and supporting information
Lead 2 - Performance and position evaluation

Section D
Lead 1 - Contemporary developments in financial and non-financial reporting

Strategic Level

E3 Enterprise StrategyRead more

This paper continues the integration of skills across functions, concentrating on developing the knowledge and skills used in designing and implementing strategy.

Section A
Lead 1 – Key external factors affecting an organisation’s strategy
Lead 2 – Impact of information systems on an organisation

Section B
Lead 1 - Advise on important elements in the change process
Lead 2 – Evaluate tools and methods for successfully implementing a change programme
Lead 3 – Change management processes in support of strategy implementation

Section C
Lead 1 – Process of strategy development
Lead 2 – Tools and techniques used in strategy formulation

Section D
Lead 1 – Tools and processes of strategy implementation

P3 Performance StrategyRead more

This paper considers both financial and non-financial risks.

Section A
Lead 1- Control systems for organisational activities and resources

Section B
Lead 1 - Types of risk facing an organisation
Lead 2 - Risk management strategies and internal controls
Lead 3 - Governance and ethical issues facing an organisation

Section C
Lead 1 - The importance of management review of controls
Lead 2 - Processes and purposes of audit in the context of internal control systems
Lead 3 - Governance and ethical issues facing an organisation

Section D
Lead 1 - Financial risks facing an organisation
Lead 2 - Alternative risk management tools

Section E
Lead 1 - Benefits and risks associated with information related systems

F3 Financial StrategyRead more

This paper explores key elements in designing and managing the organisation's financial strategy - in the context of contributing to achieving the organisation's objectives and within its external constraints.

Section A
Lead 1 - Potential strategic financial objectives, and the relationships among and constraints on the elements of financial strategy
Lead 2 - Financial strategies and objectives of an organisation and the extent of their attainment

Section B
Lead 1 - Financing requirements of an organisation and strategies

Section C
Lead 1 - Investment choices

Professional Competence Level

T4 Test of Professional Competence in Management AccountingRead more

The T4 is the final level of the CIMA qualification and must be taken after successful completion of the full strategic level. The Test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting comprises two component parts that must both be achieved in order to complete the test.


Students must gain a minimum of three years' relevant work based practical experience. Full details of the practical experience requirements and how to complete the CIMA Career Profile can be found on the CIMA website and within a separate publication entitled 'Practical Experience Requirements'. Employers and their students are advised to refer to these documents.


The examination is based upon a case study that is set within a simulated business context relating to one or more fictionalised organisations. However, the context described in the case material is based on a real business or industry.

The emphasis will be on assessing the student's capabilities and competence in the application of appropriate, relevant knowledge, the ability to demonstrate the higher level skills of synthesis, analysis and evaluation, and skill in effectively presenting and communicating information to users.

CIMA registration requirements

  • CIMA qualification is open to everyone 18 and older with proficiency in mathematics and English language. Your entry route, however, will differ according to the qualifications you already have.
  • If you have no formal education in business or finance, you should start by studying the Certificate in Business Accounting. This provides a solid grounding in the fundamentals of management accounting, and may serve you either as a certificate on its own or as a first step for reaching your CIMA qulification.
  • If you hold a relevant undergraduate, postgraduate or professional qualification, you may be eligible for exemptions from some CIMA papers. Please view exemptions on the CIMA official website in this case.
  • It is your responsibility to prove to CIMA that their entry/ exemption requirements are met, and to register for the CIMA examinations directly.

InterActive entry requirements

  • To apply to study for your CIMA qualification with InterActive you need to purchase your chosen CIMA study package.

In partnership with London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), InterActive has developed tuition and revision packages specifically designed to fit your individual needs.

CIMA: The Essentials packageRead More

This package allows you to review the full CIMA syllabus, and includes HD quality video tuition lectures and notes. With this basic package, you will benefit from an online community of students and mentors, with whom you can share knowledge and ideas.

CIMA: Tuition packageRead More

With HD quality video lectures with notes, tutor support and options for testing yourself via tutor marked mock exams, this tuition package ensures you have a comprehensive understanding of your course. You will benefit from a large online community of students and mentors. In addition, you will receive a Pass First Time Guarantee and an option to buy Ultimate Confidence Booster.

CIMA: Last Minute Tuition packageRead More

This package provides you with study materials that allow you to recap and summarise the course syllabus in preparation for your exams. Besides HD quality tuition video lectures with notes, it also contains tutor marked mock exams. You will also benefit from tutor support and a large online community of students and mentors. The revision package is available one month before your exams and contains equivalent study materials as CIMA: Last Minute Tuition package.

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CIMA: The Essentials
(£180 per paper)
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CIMA: Tuition
(£300 per paper)
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CIMA: Last Minute Tuition
(£150 per paper)
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CIMA: T4 Preparation Course
HD quality tuition video lectures with lecture notes
Pass First Time Guarantee
Ultimate Confidence Booster
Tutor marked mock exams
Tutor support
Online community of students and mentors

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