Complete Guide for How To Become a Certified Management Accountant

How to become a CMA
  1. Earn a degree.
  2. Apply for Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) membership.
  3. Enroll in the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) program.
  4. Pass the CMA exam.
  5. Gain relevant work experience.
  6. Get and maintain your certification.

How To Become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) – IN ONLY 8 STEPS

Average salary of a certified management accountant

Follow these steps to become a certified management accountant:

1. Earn a degree

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field is the first requirement for becoming a certified management accountant (CMA). The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) sets the standards for the CMA certification, so it’s crucial to make sure your degree program complies with their standards and places a strong emphasis on business.

Additionally, you might want to think about doing an internship because it can help you develop your professional network, gain experience in the field, and choose the career path you want to pursue after receiving your certification.

2. Apply for IMA membership

The next step is to submit an IMA membership application in order to become a CMA. Your membership will grant you access to resources for preparing for the CMA exam, job boards, and the continuing education programs you’ll need to keep your certification current. Filling out an application and paying the annual membership fee are both required steps in the application process.

Depending on whether you are considered a qualified student, a regular student, or a professional, the IMA’s annual membership fee ranges from $39 to $245.

3. Enroll in the CMA program

You can enrol in the CMA program once your application for IMA membership has been approved. An additional entrance fee of $188 for students and $250 for professionals will be needed to enroll in the CMA program. You’ll have access to the CMA exam preparation materials through this program. You must take the CMA exam within a year of enrolling in the CMA program.

4. Pass the CMA exam

The two components of the CMA exam must then be taken and passed. There are two essay questions and 100 multiple-choice questions on each part of the demanding four-hour exam. The essay questions must be completed within one hour. The cost of the exam is $311 for students and $415 for professionals.

Part 1 is financial planning, performance and analytics. Planning, budgeting, and forecasting (20%), performance management (20%), cost management (15%), decisions regarding external financial reporting (15%), internal controls (15%), and technology and analytics (15%) are among the competencies covered.

Part 2 is strategic financial management. It covers the skills of financial statement analysis (20%), corporate finance (20%), professional ethics (15%), investment decisions (10%), and risk management (10%). Decision analysis is covered to a 25% degree.

5. Gain relevant work experience

You must acquire the necessary work experience mandated by the IMA after passing the CMA exam and passing the education requirements before receiving your CMA certificate. Candidates for the CMA designation must have two years of full-time work experience in a position related to the CMA designation, such as financial management or management accounting.

Although you will have up to seven years to complete the work experience requirement after passing both parts of the exam, it may be possible for you to complete it before passing.

6. Get and maintain your certification

You will receive the CMA designation once you have fulfilled all eligibility requirements. The IMA’s Statement of Ethics for Professional Practitioners must be followed in order for you to continue taking continuing education courses, which must total 30 hours per year. Additionally, you will need to pay IMA and CMA maintenance fees annually.

What does a certified management accountant do?

For those in the accounting or finance fields, a certified management accountant is a professional designation. CMAs are experts in financial planning and analysis. Depending on their position and the sector they work in, their responsibilities may differ, but they typically involve:

Corporate accountants, cost accountants, management accountants, financial planners, financial strategists, and risk managers are among the positions that certified management accountants can hold. They frequently make financial decisions for the business they work for.

FAQ about becoming a certified management accountant

Frequently Asked Questions about CMAs include the following:

How long does it take to become a certified management accountant?

Gaining a bachelor’s degree, two years of relevant work experience, and passing the CMA exam all take at least six years to complete. Your previous two years of employment must have been in a position related to the CMA certification, such as accounting, finance, budgeting, or auditing.

What is the difference between a CMA and a certified public accountant (CPA)?

The area in which their work is concentrated is the main distinction between a CMA and a CPA. CMAs concentrate on a company’s strategic financial management, including financial planning, forecasting, and budgeting. CPAs concentrate on the regulatory aspects of a company’s finances, including tax filing and IRS representation.

What is the job outlook for CMAs?

The CMA’s job can be divided into two categories: S. Depending on the position the CMA holds, there are career groups within the Bureau of Labor Statistics for financial managers or accountants and auditors.

Financial managers are expected to experience job growth of 16% between 2018 and 2028, which is significantly higher than the average national job growth rate for all occupations. In the same time frame, they forecast a 6% job growth rate for accountants and auditors, which is also higher than the average national job growth rate for all occupations.

This implies that CMAs should enjoy high job security and have a wide range of career options available to them.

What types of shifts do CMAs work?

The majority of CMAs hold full-time jobs, and many put in more than 40 hours per week. Peak financial periods of the year, such as tax season and the end of a company’s fiscal year, may cause a CMA’s shift to be longer.

What is the work environment of a CMA?

The majority of CMAs work in corporate office settings, but some may work from home or carry out specific tasks after regular business hours. Although they do most of their work on their own, they may also collaborate closely with senior-level executives and employees from the accounting and finance departments.

FAQ

Is CMA harder than CPA?

A bachelor’s degree, professional experience, and passing a licensing test are requirements for both certifications. Although the CPA certification is generally regarded as the more challenging and prestigious of the two, both certifications are respected and offer unique opportunities for those who are licensed.

How much does CMA certification cost?

Have an active IMA membership, which is a prerequisite for receiving the CMA. Complete and pass CMA Exam Parts 1 and 2. possess a bachelor’s degree from a university or college with accreditation or a professional certification in a related field

How do I become a qualified CMA?

Job Opportunities and Earning Potential According to Searle, having a CMA certification gives you a significant competitive advantage. He claims that some positions call for either a CMA or CPA designation. When it comes to leading teams, managing projects, and making important business decisions, CMAs excel.

Is a CMA worth it?

Job Opportunities and Earning Potential According to Searle, having a CMA certification gives you a significant competitive advantage. He claims that some positions call for either a CMA or CPA designation. When it comes to leading teams, managing projects, and making important business decisions, CMAs excel.

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