Average CIMA Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average CIMA Salary in South Africa is R36,490 per month. An entry-level CIMA earns a salary range of R20,125, a Mid-career level earns about R35,334, and a senior/experienced level earns R45,366 per month.

Average CIMA Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level CIMA 20,125
Mid-Career CIMA 35,334
Experienced CIMA 45,366

Types of CIMAs and Their Functions in South Africa

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a globally recognized professional body that offers qualifications and certifications in management accounting. In South Africa, CIMA professionals play a crucial role in various sectors, contributing to strategic financial management and decision-making. Here are some key types of CIMA professionals and their functions in the South African context:

1. CIMA Students

Aspiring management accountants undergo rigorous training and education to become CIMA-qualified. Students engage in a structured program that covers financial management, strategic management, and business analysis.

2. CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (CIMA Cert BA) Holders

Individuals with the CIMA Cert BA have a foundational understanding of business and accounting principles. They may work in entry-level roles, supporting financial processes and basic analysis within organizations.

3. CIMA Operational Level Professionals

Operational-level professionals focus on the day-to-day financial operations of an organization. They contribute to budgeting, cost control, and performance analysis, ensuring efficient financial processes.

4. CIMA Management Level Professionals

Management-level professionals take on a more strategic role, involving themselves in long-term planning and decision-making. They contribute to strategic management, risk management, and performance evaluation.

5. CIMA Strategic Level Professionals

Strategic-level professionals are involved in high-level decision-making, shaping the overall direction of the organization. They provide financial leadership, develop business strategies, and assess the financial implications of various decisions.

6. CIMA Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA)

CGMA designation holders possess a combination of CIMA and AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) qualifications. They often hold leadership positions, providing a bridge between financial and non-financial stakeholders. CGMAs play a pivotal role in aligning financial strategies with overall business objectives.

7. CIMA Members in Practice

Members in practice have their own consulting or advisory firms, offering management accounting services to businesses. They may provide expertise in areas such as financial planning, risk management, and performance improvement.

8. CIMA Members in Industry

Members of the industry work within organizations across various sectors. They may hold positions such as finance directors, controllers, or chief financial officers (CFOs), influencing key financial decisions and ensuring financial sustainability.

CIMA professionals in South Africa cover a spectrum of roles, from entry-level positions to strategic leadership roles. Their functions extend beyond traditional accounting to encompass strategic management, risk assessment, and overall business leadership. As the business landscape evolves, CIMA professionals continue to play a vital role in driving financial success and sustainability in South Africa.

Factors Affecting CIMA Salary in South Africa

Several factors can affect the salary of individuals with CIMA qualifications in South Africa. These factors can vary based on an individual’s experience, industry, location, and other relevant considerations. Here are some key factors that influence CIMA salary levels in South Africa:

1. Experience

Experience plays a significant role in determining salary levels. Those with more years of experience in the field of management accounting and finance are generally paid higher salaries. Entry-level positions typically offer lower salaries, while experienced professionals, especially those in leadership roles, tend to earn more.

2. Qualification Level

The specific CIMA qualification level can impact salary. Higher-level qualifications, such as the CIMA Strategic Level or the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting, often command higher salaries compared to the entry-level CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.

3. Industry

The industry in which you work can have a substantial impact on your salary. Certain sectors, such as finance, banking, and consulting, often offer higher salaries compared to industries like nonprofit organizations or public sector roles.

4. Company Size

The size of the company or organization you work for can affect your salary. Larger corporations tend to have more resources and may offer higher salaries compared to smaller businesses or nonprofits.

5. Location

Salary levels can vary significantly depending on where you work within South Africa. Metropolitan areas like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban generally have higher living costs and, as a result, may offer higher salaries compared to rural areas or smaller towns.

6. Skills and Expertise

Specialized skills and expertise in areas such as data analysis, financial modelling, or risk management can lead to higher-paying roles and opportunities for career advancement.

7. Certification and Additional Qualifications

Having additional certifications or qualifications alongside your CIMA designation can enhance your earning potential. For example, a CIMA-qualified professional with a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential may command a higher salary.

8. Networking and Professional Development

Active networking and involvement in industry associations or professional organizations can open doors to higher-paying job opportunities and career advancement.

9. Economic Conditions

Economic factors, such as inflation rates and economic stability, can impact salary trends. In times of economic growth, salary levels may rise, while economic downturns can lead to stagnation or lower salary increases.

10. Negotiation Skills

Your ability to negotiate your salary during job interviews or performance reviews can also affect your earnings. Effective negotiation can result in better compensation packages.

How to Become a CIMA in South Africa

To become a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional in South Africa, you’ll need to follow a specific pathway that includes education, examinations, and practical experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to become a CIMA in South Africa:

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Before you begin, ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements set by CIMA. Typically, there are no specific educational prerequisites to start CIMA studies, but you’ll need a strong foundation in mathematics and English.

2. Register with CIMA

Visit the CIMA website and register as a student. You’ll need to create an account, pay the registration fee, and complete the registration process.

3. Choose a Study Route

CIMA offers various qualification levels and study routes. The most common route is the CIMA Professional Qualification, which consists of three levels: Operational, Management, and Strategic. You can also choose to start with the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting if you have no prior accounting background.

4. Prepare for Examinations

Enroll in a CIMA-approved learning provider or use self-study resources to prepare for your exams. CIMA provides study materials, but many students choose to supplement their studies with additional resources.

5. Pass CIMA Exams

Sit for and pass the required CIMA exams at each level of your chosen qualification route. The number of exams varies depending on the level, and the pass rates can be demanding, so thorough preparation is essential.

6. Gain Practical Experience

As you progress through your CIMA studies, you’ll need to accumulate practical work experience to qualify for full CIMA membership. This experience is known as the Practical Experience Requirement (PER). You can gain PER through employment in relevant roles, such as accounting, finance, or management.

7. Complete the PER

Work with your employer to document and verify your practical experience according to CIMA’s guidelines. You’ll need to complete the required number of months of relevant work experience to fulfil the PER.

8. Pass the CIMA Gateway Exam (if applicable)

If you have relevant qualifications or experience, you may be eligible to take the CIMA Gateway Exam, which allows you to skip some exams in the CIMA Professional Qualification route. Check CIMA’s website for eligibility criteria.

9. Apply for CIMA Membership

Once you have completed the required exams and fulfilled the PER, you can apply for CIMA membership. This step is essential to attain the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which is internationally recognized.

10. Maintain Your Membership

As a CIMA member, you’ll need to maintain your membership by fulfilling continuing professional development (CPD) requirements and paying annual membership fees.

11. Advance Your Career

With your CIMA qualification and CGMA designation, you can pursue various career opportunities in management accounting, finance, and related fields. Continue to develop your skills and seek out opportunities for career growth and advancement.



The average CIMA Salary in South Africa is R36,490 per month. Becoming a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional in South Africa involves a structured process of registration, examination success, practical experience accumulation, and membership application. The pathway begins with eligibility verification and registration, followed by rigorous exam preparation and successful completion.

Practical work experience is crucial for membership eligibility, and CIMA’s Practical Experience Requirement (PER) must be met. Gaining CGMA status through membership allows professionals to pursue rewarding careers in finance, accounting, and management. Staying informed about evolving requirements and seeking guidance from CIMA-approved resources is essential for success in this journey.