CMA | Certified Management Accountant

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.

CPAs focus on job tasks, like writing audit reports and preparing tax returns. In contrast, CMAs specialize in management and executive-level duties. CMAs also analyze budgets and help companies make informed strategic business decisions.

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) certifies people who pass the CMA exam. Accountants may get a CPA license before applying to executive positions, like chief financial officers. CMA salaries typically surpass non-certified accountants.

What Are the Certified Management Accountant Requirements?

Prospective CMAs must follow requirements set by the IMA. Accountants must complete the CMA program through IMA, pass the CMA exam, and complete all CMA requirements.

Professionals who meet IMA's educational and experience prerequisites may pursue CMA certification. Certification candidates must hold active IMA membership. All CMA program enrollees get IMA membership. Aspiring CMAs also need to pass a two-part exam and follow IMA's code of professional ethics.

People should note that IMA charges CMA 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.

Educational CMA Requirements

Aspiring CMAs should hold either a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or an IMA-approved professional certification. An independent agency must evaluate any non-accredited degrees.

CMA candidates with bachelor's degrees should have their schools email official transcripts directly to IMA. Those who completed professional certifications may ask their certifying organizations to email official letters to IMA.

Prospective enrollees must verify their education within seven years of taking the CMA exam.

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