CPA vs CMA: Which Is the Best Certification for You?

Secondly, the CMA is the most global management accounting certification. We will touch on this later, but it is the largest in the niche, next to CIMA, and the most available globally. It is also the fastest-growing accounting certification across the globe.

That includes learning how to work with emerging technology like AI, but also, refining soft skills like critical thinking. Earning the CMA credential offers an opportunity to accelerate the future-proofing process. But it can go a long way toward helping professionals upskill in a meaningful way — and to shine in the hiring marketplace, today and tomorrow. The CMA program is rigorous requiring the passing of a difficult 2-part exam together with 2 years of relevant experience. Employers pay more respect to a title that is earned rather than paid. Studying from accounting textbooks you already have on-hand from your coursework can save you money on materials, but it has massive opportunity costs.

Those numbers are based solely on the first testing window of 2020, however, and may be too limited in scope to provide an accurate picture. In the same press release, IMA stated that the average worldwide pass rate “over the past several years” was 35% for Part 1 and 45% for Part 2. To determine the cost of an average amount of CMA Exam failure, we first need to figure out how many times our average candidate would have to take each part to pass.

The Chartered Global Management Accountant certification is a direct competitor of the CMA. There’s no good way to convert those hours into a discernable cost, so let’s explore some bad ones. Again, let’s assume for now that you’ll pass both parts on your first try.

Moreover, the percentage of female CMA-holders is much higher in the Middle East and even in the US. Given this is a US qualification, the CMA is the most recognized in the United States. These job opportunities extend to US subsidiaries outside of the US, but only if they are run by American is cma worth it supervisors who know about the CMA. In other words, if it is a big regional office with a local hiring team, I am not sure if the CMA title is that useful. Knowing that the CMA value varies by country and industry, how can you know where to get the most value from your certification?

  1. In my opinion, the designation is created largely for CIMA and (especially) AICPA to promote their brands, add value to the membership and increase revenue stream.
  2. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the CMA in the Middle East to make your final decision.
  3. Membership is a requirement and must occur prior to enrolling in the CMA program.
  4. Beyond the job title you earn, holding a CMA certification can also expand your duties and responsibilities in the field of financial management, which can add to your career versatility.
  5. The essay section poses written response or calculation questions.
  6. Kuchen says attaining the CMA shows that you are serious about your career and interested in improving your skillset.

The same applies to AICPA members as long as they fulfill the 3-year experience requirements. Depending on where you live, you may have to take the exam at a distant testing center. Be sure to consider where you plan to sit for the exam while you’re making your budget. In addition, make sure you register for the CMA exam early to secure the most convenient exam date, time, and location. If you fail a part of the CMA exam, you will need to repay the CMA exam fee in order to retake that part of the exam. If you need to cancel or reschedule your exam appointment, you will have to pay a rescheduling fee.

Which CMA Review Course Is Right for You?

Competition for the best finance and accounting jobs can be tough, even if you’re a highly skilled and experienced professional. And if you’re just starting your career, catching the eye of a hiring manager can be especially challenging. However, if you’ve earned industry certifications that employers hold in high regard, it can help increase your chances of standing apart from the crowd. CMAs understand numbers and finance at a deeper level than other accountants.

Professionals may choose the CMA pathway because it covers different topics than the certified public accountant (CPA) certification. While you don’t have to become a CMA to work as a management accountant, many do, and there are more than 40,000 active members. A lot of accountants have decided to pursue the CMA since the program’s inception in 1972. In this article, we’ll take a look at what four CMA holders have to say about the designation’s benefits. Certified management accountant certification has many benefits, including higher earnings and increased job opportunities. If you see yourself working in the financial industry for years to come, this is the certification you need to move into higher-paying positions that may be the dream job for you.

Is CMA designation easier than CPA?

However, this certification will need a few more years to establish itself in terms of reputation and execution of knowledge. As I mentioned above, the eligibility and requirements for earning each designation vary. When compared to the process of becoming a CGMA, it is much easier to be eligible as a CMA. Taking the CMA exam will cost $740 for professionals and $555 for students. And remember; there are scholarships available for students that will help cover those costs. The CMA is a low-barrier-to-entry way to improve your career opportunities and your income.

You can focus on the specific content and learning outcomes for each part outlined by the IMA. Study time for a recent (or current) student familiar with financial, managerial, finance and management can likely be measured in weeks for the CMA rather than months for the CPA. People taking the exam can walk in with confidence—and their approved financial calculators. The CMA is the fastest growing global certification for a reason. It is recognized internationally as the “gold standard” of management accounting certifications and earns the CMA-holder immediate respect.

Best for CMA Coaching

I often hear the same question “Does a CMA certification increase my salary? ” When it comes to CMA salary, I think you will find it quite appealing in comparison to other accounting salaries. In my opinion, there are so many benefits of the CMA designation, many of which I have had the pleasure of enjoying throughout my career. The benefits of being a CMA are clearly widespread, and can lead to a variety of lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities that can reward you throughout your career’s lifecycle. Explore all of Becker’s CMA offerings to get started on your path to CMA. They are now pretty much the only certification in finance and investment.

CMA Certification Requirements to Stay Certified

This means you will be a prime candidate for job positions when you hold this distinction. Your aunts and neighbors may have never heard of the CMA, but in the corporate accounting world, CMA is a very respected designation. In fact, it is considered the “gold standard,” meaning it is one of the top certifications in management accounting that you can obtain. Holding the top title in the field is a big motivation for many people.

Prometric sends out performance reports around two weeks after candidates get their test scores. Prospective enrollees must verify their education within seven years of taking the CMA exam. Aspiring CMAs should hold either a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or an IMA-approved professional certification. Consider the following benefits of investing in a CMA certification.

While the cost of becoming and staying a CMA may seem steep, the potential increase in salary covers that cost—and then some. Unless you clicked on multiple links and dove into the details, we’re betting you’re even more confused now than before. That’s because the true cost of earning the CMA certification is a complex calculation that goes beyond basic exam fees. The first question is, what does a certified management accountant (CMA) actually do? Accounting knowledge is instrumental as well, but really, the CMA designation is for a variety of managers working in government, nonprofits or at corporations. In addition to continuing education credits, you must pay the annual IMA membership and certification fee to stay certified.

The price is $280 for professional members of the IMA and $210 for student or academic members [4]. Be prepared to have documentation of educational and professional experience ready to submit. As part of your program, be prepared to spend time studying for the exam.

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