An In-Depth Guide to CMA Certification

best certified management accountant course

Getting a CMA or Certified Management Accountant Certification is in high demand. It is a perfect certification course if an aspirant wants to take up a leadership role in a business. 

The credentials for CMA certification are issued by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), which has been globally recognised for over 50 years. The certification holds excellent value, and recruiters worldwide look for candidates who have this degree. 

In this article, let's know in detail how to get a CMA certification alongside its examination preparations with a detailed curriculum. 

What is CMA? 

certified management accountant course

A Cost Management Accounting (CMA) is a certificate course where the designation of CMA is provided to its qualifiers. This certification is a gateway to providing a lucrative career in business accounting. 

The CMA functions on 4 pillars of knowledge. They are Regulatory Framework, Strategy, Financial Reporting and Management. Three levels of the CMA exam are: 

  • CMA Foundation (Level 1) 
  • CMA Intermediate (Level 2) 
  • CMA Final (Level 3) 

CMA Career Path 

Becoming and acquiring a CMA certification is often termed a lofty goal. The market offers a wealth of fantastic chances for those with the necessary leadership qualities in business and finance. Government organisations, publicly traded companies, privately held companies, and distinguished corporate roles offer numerous employment options for certified management accountants. Here is a detailed career path to acquire a CMA certification

Staff Accountant: Entry-Level CMA Position

The majority of accounting professionals begin their careers in entry-level positions. One such employment would be a Staff Accountant, an excellent way to gain the expertise you need to become a CMA. Typical jobs for beginning accountants include ledger reconciliations, bookkeeping, and fundamental accounting procedures.

Financial Analyst (1-3 Years of Experience)

You should already have some accounting experience to qualify as a financial analyst. You have to carry out the following accounting tasks:

  • Create forecasts and reports
  • Analyse both recent and historical financial data
  • Calculate depreciation and capital expenses
  • Locate and evaluate investment possibilities
  • Create profit plans
  • Overseeing the yearly and quarterly budgeting procedures
  • Create a monthly report 

Accounting Manager (2-5 Years of Experience) 

You might be qualified to apply for an accounting manager post after your first few years in accounting. Your first real people management position may be in accounting management, which is a terrific first step toward financial leadership positions.

These kinds of tasks could be carried out by accounting managers:

  • Create budgets 
  • Monitor compliance
  • Track your spending 
  • Accounting obligations 
  • Control procedures
  • Control teams and persons 
  • Report writing and presentation
  • Implement accounting procedures
  • Observe and evaluate data 
  • Oversee daily accounting activities

CMA Exam Prep and Curriculum 

You only need to be an IMA member and pay the CMA entrance fee to take the CMA Exam. Thereafter, you have to sign up for the CMA exam after joining the IMA.

The CMA exam consists of two sections. For each section, you need a 360 or above to pass. 

Exam pattern: There are two sections to the CMA exam. There are two essay questions and multiple-choice questions on the test. The multiple-choice questions will consist of three hours, and the essays will take one hour. The exam becomes difficult at each level. 

Certificate requirements: A bachelor's degree from an approved university is one of the prerequisites for the CMA, albeit it doesn't have to be in finance or accounting. Some professional certifications are also accepted by the IMA in place of this requirement.

Finally, you must have two years of stable job experience in management accounting or financial management before you may apply for a CMA certificate. After completing the CMA test, candidates have up to seven years to fulfil this requirement. You will use your IMA account to submit documentation and apply for your CMA certificate once you have passed the CMA exam and finished two years of employment.

Testing windows: There are three examination windows for the CMA exam. You can take the CMA exam each year at any of the following testing windows:

Testing Window 1: January-February

Testing Window 2: May-June

Testing Window 3: September-October


The CMA course is extremely prestigious and has now become a mandate in many companies. This will not only upgrade your career in a management position but also provide the aspirants with real-life experience to tackle problems. 

To learn more about CMA certification, check out the Imarticus Learnings Certified Management Accountant course or the CMA course. It is a completely online programme, where experts from all around the world help you out with real-life CMA problems. 

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