CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting

The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting is an entry requirement to the CIMA Professional Qualification and a recognised qualification in its own right. It will give you a solid grounding in the basics of management accounting and business skills.

The syllabus for CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting

  • Paper C01 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • Paper C02 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • Paper C03 Fundamentals of Business Mathematics
  • Paper C04 Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • Paper C05 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law


You will be examined by Computer Based Assessment (CBA) for all 5 exam papers. The pass mark for each subject is 50% and you will receive your results and a Certificate of Achievement immediately after the assessment. If you are unsuccessful, you will receive some feedback on your performance in the assessment.


These qualifications will give exemptions from the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.
Therefore you will have direct entry into the CIMA Professional Qualification:

  • A relevant degree that specialises in accountancy or business
  • The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Technical level
  • The Open University (OU) Certificate in Accountancy

To find out if you can claim exemptions check CIMA's online database. CIMA give exemptions to make sure that you are not re-assessed in a subject that you have already studied. Before you decide whether to accept any exemptions look at CIMA syllabus and exam papers to make sure that your knowledge is up to date. The CIMA Professional qualification is built upon the knowledge you gain from the Certificate so it is important that you are confident that you have a good understanding of the subjects - this will give you a greater chance of success in future CIMA exams. If you are exempt from all of the five Certificate level subjects you will not receive the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. You must sit at least one Certificate assessment to be awarded the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting - for example, you can be exempt from four subjects and sit one Certificate assessment.

What is CBA?
CBA uses the computer to examine students for each of the Certificate Level paper. The computer will mark the answers and add the total marks achieved with the results being given as an immediate pass or fail.

Where can I take CBA?

CIMA has accredited a number of CBA centres and we are pleased to say that HELMAC is one of them. CBA can be taken at any time of the year so there is no longer any need to wait for the May or November exams. There is no limit as to how many times you can attempt CBA. The fee per attempt is £50 which is payable to HELMAC on enrolment.

How does it work?
The questions within an assessment are randomised as defined by pre-set system criteria and consist of a mixture of multiple choice and objective test questions. The most common type is the multiple choice type where you have to select an answer from a list of possible answers. The other types of questions include true/false questions, matching pairs of text and graphic, sequencing and ranking, labelling diagrams and single and multiple numeric entries. You answer by pointing and clicking the mouse, moving objects or typing numbers in a box.
All questions must be answered within 120 minutes.
There is a clock on the screen showing you how much time you have left. You will not be able to answer any more questions once the allocated time has passed.

What happens after the assessment?
On completion or at the end of the allocated time, you are given your mark (either a pass or a fail). If successful, HELMAC will then issue a Certificate of Achievement and at the same time will forwarded  your results
to CIMA in order to claim the exemption from the relevant Certificate level subject. If unsuccessful, you will receive some indicative performance feedback to help you identify the areas of the syllabus where you require a better understanding of the topics. You can then enrol to retake the assessment whenever you want (even on the same day if you wish!).

What are the benefits of CBA over the paper based exams?
· It is flexible in that you are not restricted to sitting the Certificate Level papers at the set times in May and November.
· You can sit the CBA exams at any time so you can progress quickly through to the Professional Level.
· You obtain the results immediately after the assessment and can therefore start studying for the next papers.

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