Individuals with a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) can work in corporate financial accounting and strategic management. Professionals can choose the CMA route as it covers a variety of subjectschartered accountantcertificate (CPA).
CPAs focus on job duties such as writing audit reports and preparing tax returns. In contrast, CMAs specialize in administrative and executive level duties. CMA also analyzes budgets and helps companies make informed strategic business decisions.
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) certifies individuals who pass the CMA exam. Accountants can obtain a CPA license before applying for executive positions such as financial officers. CMA salaries typically exceed those of non-CPAs.
Why Get CMA Certified?
Consider the following benefits of investing in CMA certification.
- Earn a higher salary:Accountants with a CMA designation tend to make more money than those without one. According to artIMA survey in 2021, median compensation for CMAs was 58% higher than non-CMAs.
- Stand out:The CMA certification is one of the best designations a management accountant can earn. It is considered by many to be the professional standard for management accounting. Earning a CMA certifies that you are an expert in accounting and financial management, giving you an advantage when looking for a job.
- Creating global recognition:The CMA label has worldwide recognition. CMAs can use their knowledge and skills outside of the United States, making it valuable for accountants who want to work abroad.
What are the requirements for a certified management accountant?
CMA candidates must follow the requirements set by the IMA. Accountants must complete the CMA program through the IMA, pass the CMA exam, and meet all CMA requirements.
Professionals who meet the IMA's education and experience requirements can obtain CMA certification. Applicants for the certificate must have active membership in the IMA. All participants in the CMA program receive membership in the IMA. Aspiring CMAs must also pass a two-part exam and follow the IMA's Code of Professional Conduct.
People should note that IMA is chargedCMA Program Fees. Professional members must pay $250 to enroll in the program and $415 for each part of the CMA exam. Student members pay $188 and $311, respectively.
CMA Education Requirements
Aspiring CMAs should have either a bachelor's degree from an accredited college orIMA-odobren professional certificate. All non-accredited degrees must be assessed by an independent body.
CMA applicants with a bachelor's degree should have their schools email official transcripts directly to IMA. Those who have completed professional certification can request certification bodies to email official letters to IMA.
Prospective registrants must verify their training within seven years of taking the CMA exam.
- Read about certification programs in financial analysis
- Read about certification programs in internal audit
- Read about certification programs in fraud investigation
- Read about certification programs in fraud investigation
- Read about degree programs in accounting
CMA Professional Requirements
CMA candidates should have worked in management accounting or financial management for at least two consecutive years.
If possible, work experience should be full-time. However, applicants who work at least 20 hours per week in full-time, part-time positions may apply their experience toward the requirements for a certified management accountant. Part-time experience is calculated at a rate of one year for every two years of work.
Full-time teaching positions count toward work experience requirements if at least 60% of the course load covers accounting or finance above the entry level.
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What does the CMA exam cover?
CMA exam takers can take Part 1 and Part 2 in any order. The first part covers financial planning, performance and analysis. The second part explores financial management. Each part is disassembled as follows:
- Part One: Financial Planning, Performance and Analysis
- Decisions on external financial reporting (15%)
- Planning, budgeting and forecasting (20%)
- Performance Management (20%)
- Cost management (15%)
- Internal audits (15%)
- Technology and analytics (15%)
- Part Two: Strategic Financial Management
- Analysis of financial reports (20%)
- Corporate financing (20%)
- Decision Analysis (25%)
- Risk Management (10%)
- Investment decisions (10%)
- Professional ethics (15%)
Each part of the exam lasts four hours, including 100 multiple-choice questions and two 30-minute essays. After completing and exiting the multiple-choice section, respondents cannot return. Candidates have access to development questions after completing the multiple-choice section or after three hours, whichever occurs first.
Candidates must correctly answer at least half of the multiple-choice questions for each section of the CMA exam to proceed to the essay section. The essay part contains 10-12 written answer or calculation questions. The essay questions consist of two scenarios that describe common business situations.
Candidates take the CMA exam atPrometric examination centerslocated all over the world. The test follows an electronic format. The CMA exam fee is non-refundable. Students who are more than 15 minutes late to the exam forfeit their appointment and must re-register at full cost. Paper and pencils are provided by Prometric.
On the day of the CMA exam, candidates should do the following:
- Come to the exam center 30 minutes before the exam.
- Subscribe to Prometric Magazine.
- Provide your fingerprint.
- Bring a valid ID. Accepted forms of ID include passport, US passport, driver's license, military ID and credit card.
- Bring a calculator.
CMA Exam Structure
|Financial planning, performance and analysis||100 multiple choice questions, two descriptive questions||Four hours|
|Strategic financial management||100 multiple choice questions, two descriptive questions||Four hours|
A score of 360 out of 500 is considered a "pass" for the CMA exam. Candidates do not need to pass every part of the test. Pass or fail depends on each individual's overall score for both parts of the exam. For consistency and fairness, CMA exam scores are weighted.
Candidates receive their scores approximately six weeks after the end of the month in which they took the exam. Those who fail the exam also receive a performance report from Prometric. This report details the results of respondents in each subject area. Prometric sends performance reports approximately two weeks after candidates receive their test results.
The IMA reported a global pass rate of 45% for parts one and two in more than 5,000 people who took the CMA English exam.
The IMA awards candidates with the best results the first time on the CMA exam. Examinees must pass two parts of the exam on their first attempt to qualify for the award. Both parts should also pass within the same test time frame.
As of May 2020, less than half of those who took the 2020 CMA exam passed. TheHas been reporteda global pass rate of 45% for parts one and two for more than 5,000 people who have taken the CMA English exam. For Part 1, this marked an increase from the previous average pass rate of 35%. The second part remained in line with the previous average success rate of 45%.
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How to Register for the CMA Exam?
CMA candidates must take both parts of the exam within the allotted testing times. The first and second parts are available in three time frames:
- January February
- May June
- September October
Registration for each trial period closes after February 15th, June or October. After becoming a member of the IMA, potential examinees can apply for the CMA exam atIMA online store. They can also register by calling 800-638-4427 or (201) 573-9000. Callers should have their credit card information ready.
After applying and receiving authorization to sit for the CMA exam, candidates must schedule a testing appointmentthrough Prometric. Those who do not make an appointment lose the cost of the examinations.
Candidates may cancel their Prometric exam appointment at least 72 hours before the scheduled exam. Prometric charges a fee to those who cancel within 30 days of the scheduled appointment date. Cancellation allows test takers to reschedule an appointment for another date within the same test period — it does not generate a refund or allow a change of test period.
Attendees pay tuition forIT HAS A SUBSCRIPTION, IMA's CMA program and CMA exam. Admission is non-refundable. The cost of the exam is refunded within 30 days of the exam date of purchase, as long as the candidate has not made an appointment with Prometric. Those who receive a refund of examination fees must pay a processing fee.
Registration and exam prices are as follows:
|members||There is a subscription and application fee||Ticket to the CMA program||Fee for the CMA exam (per module)|
|Professional||245 dollars||250 dollars||415 dollars|
|Student/Akademac||135 dollars||188 dollars||311 dollars|
How can you prepare for the CMA exam?
The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) provides a listcourses and independent study programsfor the CMA exam. The IMA also has a listapproved CMA course providers. All providers on the IMA list have proven that they can help candidates obtain CMA certification.
Candidates can also fillpractice questionsfor the CMA exam.
The best tips
- Organize a schedule for yourself. Decide what time of day you want to study and for how long. Stick to this program and your consistency can pay off.
- Take a CMA review course
- You can sign up for a refresher program if you want more structure or preparation. Make sure the course suits your learning style.
- Solve mock tests
- If you can find a practice test, take it. They help you understand the material and know what to expect when you sit the exam.
- Outsourcing your responsibilities
- If you have other obligations—like picking up the kids from soccer practice or walking the dog—ask someone to help, whether it's a spouse, parent, sibling, colleague or friend.
- Rest before the exam
- You don't want to walk into the testing room exhausted, so make sure you're well rested.
Practice exams and study resources
Becker works with the IMA to prepare test takers for exam day. Candidates studying with Becker can choose from two CMA exam review packages: CMA Review Advantage ($1,199) and CMA Review Pro ($1,499). Both packages offer a two-part refresher course with digital textbooks, practice questions, practice essays, lecture videos, and flashcards.
Gleim's customizable packages offer personalized learning plans based on ICMA content specifications and learning outcome statements. Gleim's basic and premium customizable courses cost $1,349 and $1,599, respectively. Both offer a personal trainer and guided class. Participants can also choose a self-study program for $999.
Surgent also offers a personalized, customizable curriculum. This course aims to help CMA candidates pass their exam on the first try. Surgent offers a free trial of the CMA review, plus a "pass or money back" guarantee. CMA test takers who used Surgent and did not pass may be eligible for a refund.
CMA certification requirements to stay certified
CMAs must maintain membership in the IMA and meet continuing education requirements to remain certified. Continuing education for CMAs includes 30 hours each year, including two hours of ethics.
CMAs must complyIMA Statement on Ethical Professional Practice, as well as any local laws that apply to their accounting practices. Finally, CMAs must pay an annual CMA fee, including IMA membership and a CMA maintenance fee.
Do you need to get multiple certifications?
Many accountants who earn the CMA certification are already certified public accountants (CPAs). CPAs typically provide accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services. Combining a CPA license and CMA certification can increase employment opportunities, increase salary, and broaden expertise.
However, CMA certification requirements differ from CPA provisions. CPA candidates must join the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and pass the CPA exam, which includes special fees, exam requirements, and continuing education mandates. Earning the CPA and CMA designations can be time-consuming and expensive. However, for many accountants the benefits outweigh the costs.
Learn how to earn your CPA certification
Learn how to become a Certified Global Management Accountant
Frequently asked questions about the CMA designation
What is the CMA certificate good for?
The CMA certificate shows that the accountant has expertise in financial accounting and strategic management. This label has worldwide recognition. CMAs focus primarily on corporate finance andaccounting management.
What are the requirements for a certified management accountant?
CMAs must have a bachelor's degree or specific professional certification, plus two years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management. CMA candidates must also pass a two-part exam.
Is the CMA designation easier than the CPA?
Yes, the CMA designation is generally considered easier and less prestigious than the CPA certification. For example, the CMA exam takes a total of eight hours, while the CPA exam takes 16 hours. Both certifications require similar training and work experience.
Is the CMA designation worth it?
Yes. Management accountants who earn the CMA certification enjoy higher salaries, global recognition, and an edge over their competition. This designation distinguishes CMAs from other professionals in corporate finance and management accounting.
Both the CPA and CMA provide their unique benefits, and it's not a matter of one credential being better than the other, but a matter of which one is better for your career and interests. The CPA is a U.S. license, while the CMA is a globally recognized certification.Is a CMA better than a CPA? ›
Both the CPA and CMA provide their unique benefits, and it's not a matter of one credential being better than the other, but a matter of which one is better for your career and interests. The CPA is a U.S. license, while the CMA is a globally recognized certification.How do I get CMA certified? ›
- Meet the CMA Education Requirements.
- Pay for an IMA Membership.
- Join the CMA Program.
- Enroll in a CMA Review Course Program.
- Begin Studying by Following a Proven Study Plan.
- Register for a CMA Exam Part After Week 8 of Your Study Plan.
- Take the CMA Exam.
The CMA credential can provide opportunities for career advancement, higher earnings potential, and greater job satisfaction. For those considering a career in management accounting, pursuing the CMA designation is an excellent way to gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in this exciting field.What is CMA salary? ›
Average CMA Salary
According to PayScale, the average salary for a CMA is $65k a year (or $28 an hour). Entry level or early career CMAs can expect to make around $49k each year. However, mid-career professionals will easily reach the $65k average.
The US CMA Exam is considered as hardest as it tests the intellectual limits of an individual. The average passing rate for both sections is 45%, which implies less than half of the candidates taking the test rate will pass. Qualifying for any exam requires preparation and so this.Who earns more us CMA or CPA? ›
Career Opportunity and Salary
read more, etc. Over the course of a career, the average salary of a CPA hovers around $120,000, while that of a CMA is around $100,000.
How long does it take to get your CMA certification? According to the IMA, passing the CMA Exam typically takes “12-18 months to complete both parts, on average,” and has a "worldwide pass rate" of 45% across parts 1 and 2 of the CMA Exam.How long does it take to get CMA? ›
You're required to pass both CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam parts within three years, but you can pass (and start reaping the benefits) within one year with a dedicated study plan. Overestimating or underestimating how long it'll take you to prepare can negatively impact your studies.What is a CMA certification good for? ›
One major benefit of being a CMA is that preparing for the certification can broaden your knowledge of management accounting topics. Additionally, earning a CMA certification can help you stand out among other accountants for new roles.
CMA Passing Rate Compared to Other Accounting Certification Exams. You might be surprised the learn that when compared to other accounting certification exams, the CMA pass rates are among the lowest, coming in at around 50%. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam is similar, with a 54% pass rate.Is CMA in demand in USA? ›
Indian CMA is only valid in India, while US CMA is globally recognized, giving the edge in CMA USA job opportunities in India. The job prospects and salaries of US CMA are better than Indian CMA. So yes!What can a CMA not do? ›
- placing the needle or starting and disconnecting the infusion tube of an IV.
- administering medications or injections into the IV line.
- charting the pupillary responses.
- inserting a urine catheter.
- independently performing telephone triage.
For example, IMA salary surveys have demonstrated that when a CPA makes about $123,000 a year, a CMA makes approximately $128,000 in that time, and someone with the CPA and the CMA makes $132,000.Where do CMA get paid the most? ›
- Oakland, CA. $23.49 per hour. 26 salaries reported.
- San Diego, CA. $21.72 per hour. 103 salaries reported.
- Sacramento, CA. $21.50 per hour. 68 salaries reported.
- Los Angeles, CA. $21.44 per hour. ...
- Chico, CA. $20.72 per hour. ...
- Show more nearby cities.
Average starting Salary for CMA in India is around ₹0.7 Lakh per year (₹5.8k per month). No prior experience is required to be a CMA. What is the highest salary for a CMA in India? Highest salary that a CMA can earn is ₹22.0 Lakhs per year (₹1.8L per month).How many times can you fail the CMA exam? ›
How many times can I take the exam? Initial candidates for the CMA (AAMA) Exam are allowed three exam attempts. Candidates recertifying by exam are allowed three attempts. Each attempt will require a new exam application and fee.How many times can you fail CMA? ›
How Many Times Can You Fail the CMA Exam? The short answer: as many times as it takes. There are no limits to how many times a single candidate can take the CMA exam.How many hours does it take to pass CMA? ›
In general, your CMA preparation should amount to 90 or more hours of studying per exam. Depending on how long you can study per day, this can take anywhere from seven weeks to three months. But these are just general estimates. Some people might need to study for longer over a several-month period.Can I take CMA exam without experience? ›
CMA experience requirement
ICMA requires that CMA candidates have at least two continuous years of full-time work experience in management accounting or financial management.
While you can't take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam without completing an accredited program, you can take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), and National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exams without going to school.How many times can you take the CMA exam? ›
Exam Retake Policy
Candidates for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam are allowed a limit of three (3) opportunities to take and pass the exam.
To pass the CMA Exam, you must earn at least a 360 out of 500. All scores on the CMA Exam parts are expressed as scaled scores to maintain consistency and fairness across candidates. If you fail the CMA Exam, Prometric will email a performance report detailing your performance in each key topic area.What is the CMA for accountants? ›
People with a certified management accountant (CMA) certification can work in corporate financial accounting and strategic management. Professionals may choose the CMA pathway because it covers different topics than the certified public accountant (CPA) certification.How long is the CMA US exam? ›
The US CMA examination pattern consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) as well as essay-type questions. Part 1 and Part 2 are four-hour tests containing about 100 MCQs and two essay questions. Aspirants will be granted 3 hours to finish the MCQs and 1 hour to complete the essay-type questions.Can you take the CMA exam online? ›
CMA Exam Dates Quick Facts
Starting January 18, 2022, remote testing is now available for the CMA exam. The CMA exam can be taken in-person at a Prometric testing center or remotely using Prometric's ProProctor service. If needed, you can easily reschedule your exam through the Prometric website.
The primary difference is a CMA is certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants, while a CCMA pursues certification through the National Healthcare Association. A CMA may perform more administrative work than a certified clinical medical assistant.Is a CMA better than a ma? ›
A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) has the same job responsibilities as a medical assistant, but typically with better pay. Most physicians prefer to hire certified medical assistants because there is some assurance that they have the skills and knowledge to safely treat patients.How many questions do you need to pass the CMA exam? ›
To pass the CMA exam, you must score at least 360 out of 500, or 70% overall, between the multiple-choice questions and the essays.How many tests is the CMA? ›
The CMA exam is a two-part exam. Each part tests different topics, but they have the same structure. Each part of the CMA exam is four hours long and has 100 multiple choice questions and 2 essay scenarios.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019, ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) welcomed a record-high 11,530 new CMAs, up an impressive 89% compared to last year. For the same time period, new candidates joining the CMA program totaled 49,862, an increase of 26% compared to last year.What is the salary of CMA in US per month? ›
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
Although the CMA USA is a professional certification that certifies individuals as having expertise in the field of Finance and Accounting, it can be pursued instead of a master's degree program.Which bachelor degree is best for us CMA? ›
With B.Com, commerce graduates have the most diversified prospects for further studies, including professional certifications & courses like US CMA, CPA, MBA, and CA.Why do people fail CMA? ›
4 Most Common Reasons Why People Fail the CMA Exam
Insufficient study time. Inadequate study effort. A shallow understanding of exam concepts. Lack of time management.
CMAs are allowed to do financial Audit, Internal Audit, GST Audit, Excise Audit, VAT audit, stock audit, etc.Is CMA physically demanding? ›
Typical physical demands: Requires full range of body motion including handling and lifting patients, manual and finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination. Requires standing and walking for extensive periods of time. Occasionally lifts and carries items weighing up to 50 pounds.What is better than CMA? ›
The average salary of a Chartered Accountant in India is 8,06,154 INR pa while a Certified Management Accountant makes 5,50,000 INR average income pa. Thus, we can conclude that a CA earns more than a CMA.Does a CPA or MBA make more money? ›
So on average, a Masters in Accounting salary and an MBA degree salary is higher than a CPA's salary (regardless of their degree). Of course, these numbers are averages and don't include things like benefits, bonuses, and profit-sharing.Does a CFO need a CMA? ›
In addition to college and possibly graduate work, it's recommended that people who want to become a CFO pursue an professional accounting certification. The two most popular and respected are Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
|Experience||Average Salary in USD|
|Entry-level CMA (1-3 years)||$79,534|
|Senior Level CMA (8+ years)||$141,356|
The highest-paid state for medical assistants is Alaska with an average salary of $46,918 per year.Is CMA USA good career option? ›
The CMA USA is more recognized and respected in the USA, and it is the preferred certification for management accounting and financial management positions in the USA.What is the highest salary in CA? ›
Average Annual Salary by Experience
Chartered Accountant salary in India with less than 1 year of experience to 9 years ranges from ₹ 2 Lakhs to ₹ 14.5 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 6.4 Lakhs based on 10.5k latest salaries.
The average salary for a certified medical assistant in California is $35,500 per year. Certified medical assistant salaries in California can vary between $18,000 to $61,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.Is a CPA harder than a Masters? ›
CPA is harder. It requires passing an exam that covers a range of topics in accounting and finance. An MBA can be harder depending on the program, but usually entails completing coursework in areas such as marketing, management, and financial analysis.Is CPA or Masters more important? ›
Getting a CPA License is a Must in Certain Industries
For most industries, getting a master's degree is not a must. However, you need a CPA license to move beyond the manager level in any reputable CPA firm. A CPA license also becomes almost necessary once you move to senior finance positions in big companies.
It's a highly respected title
Once they pass the CPA exam, they are required to perform a series of on-the-job training before they receive their official title as CPA. The process of becoming licensed typically spans several years, and individuals who obtain their license are highly regarded for that reason.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Salary Overall
10th percentile – $29,070, or $13.98 per hour. 25th percentile – $30,200, or $14.52 per hour. 50th percentile (median) – $37,190, or $17.88 per hour. 75th percentile – $43,490, or $20.91 per hour.
While other health care roles require years of schooling, a Clinical Medical Assisting certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete. There are also options to earn an associate degree and most medical assistant schooling tends to last about two years.
So, Which One is Better for You? If you are interested in management opportunities or general business consulting, then an MBA would be the better choice. On the other hand, if you are strictly a “numbers cruncher,” you should become a CPA, especially if you want to work for a big four accounting firm.Why is becoming a CPA so hard? ›
What makes the CPA Exam so hard? The CPA Exam is so difficult because: It covers a wide variety of topics at different skill levels. It tests those topics using multiple question types, including some that simulate real-world tasks CPAs are expected to perform.What degree is best with CPA? ›
Earning a bachelor's degree in accounting can help qualify you to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam. With a CPA credential you can find more positions at advanced levels. However, to meet the full educational requirements for CPA licensure, many candidates choose to obtain a master's degree.Should you put CPA after your name? ›
Yes, you should put CPA after your name on a resume.
However, adding CPA after your name on a resume indicates that you're letting the hiring manager know immediately that you're a qualified candidate.
A bachelor's degree in accounting provides you with all of the fundamental knowledge and skills to get an entry-level job as an accounting professional. However, a master's degree gives you the opportunity to deepen your skillset to pursue specialized opportunities in the accounting profession.Is it worth getting a masters in accounting? ›
A master's degree in accounting can be the boost you need to achieve a higher-level position in banking, taxation, insurance or any company with a financial division. It can also be an important step toward certification as a public accountant.Are CPAs declining? ›
More than 300,000 U.S. accountants and auditors have left their jobs in the past two years, a 17% decline, and the dwindling number of college students coming into the field can't fill the gap.What is the hardest CPA part? ›
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) Often considered the most difficult exam, Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) has had the lowest passing scores of the four exams.What is the hardest subject in CPA? ›
- Auditing & Attestation. ...
- Financial Accounting & Reporting. ...
- Business Environment & Concepts. ...
- Regulation. ...
- CPA Exam sections—hardest to easiest.
- Among the four sections, FAR has a reputation for being the hardest. ...
- Scoring weights.