The CMA or Certified Management Accountant is a globally reputed designation in high demand but relatively low supply. The designation is a lucrative career option for accounting professionals, thanks to its international appeal and high income-generating aspects.
Although certification is not necessary to become an accountant, the CMA certification offers individuals a host of perks that a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy won’t accord. CMA’s are known to earn 58% more than those without certification.
If you want to become a CMA but don’t know where to start, this comprehensive guide is just for you. Read on to learn the basic steps to build your career as a certified chartered accountant.
10 steps to prepare for the role of CMA
Acquiring a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation presents multiple employment prospects and gives an edge over peers in the accounting and finance fields. This globally recognised certification requires extensive accounting and financial management knowledge.
Here is a list of ten steps to become a CMA:
Step 1: Completing the academic requirements
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is essential to become a CMA. A professional certificate such as CPA, ACCA, or CA is also an accepted educational qualification to gain a CMA certification.
Step 2: Join the IMA
IMA, or Institute of Management Accountants, is the professional institution that grants the CMA certification to successful candidates. The stepping stone to becoming a CMA is to join IMA. Pay the membership fee and become an IMA student member.
Step 3: Learn about the CMA exam pattern
The CMA test is divided into two sections and each comprises 100 multiple-choice questions or MCQs and two essay-type questions. Part 1 addresses Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics, and Part 2 deals with Strategic Financial Management.
Step 4: Study for the exam
To assist you in your preparation for the CMA exam, there are several study materials and review courses available. You may train with textbooks, online courses, or a review course. It is imperative to create and follow a study plan.
Step 5: Plan the exam
The CMA exam can be scheduled through Prometric, IMA's testing partner. You can select the date and venue as per your convenience.
Step 6: Clear the examination
To pass, you must score at least 360 out of 500 on every part of the exam. You will get your results instantly after the exam, and if you pass, you will be issued your CMA certificate.
Step 7: Obtain necessary job experience
You must possess at least two years of relevant work experience to become a CMA. You can obtain the necessary experience either before or after passing the exam.
Step 8: Submit an application for CMA certification
After passing the exam and gaining relevant work experience, you can apply to get your CMA certification. Submit your completed application form, pay the certification fee, and show documentation of your education and professional experience.
Step 9: Follow the IMA Code of Ethics
As a CMA, you must follow the IMA Code of Ethics. The code of ethics establishes the moral and ethical standards that every CMA must conform to.
Step 10: Keep your certification updated
Each year, you must complete 30 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), including two hours of ethics lessons, in order to preserve your CMA certification. You must also pay the IMA's annual membership fee.
Becoming a CMA is a demanding process that necessitates dedication, hard work, and a commitment to continuous learning. However, it can be a financially rewarding professional path with several chances in the accounting and finance fields. Following these ten steps can help you become a Certified Management Accountant and advance your career.
Why choose to become a CMA?
Choosing to become a Certified Management Accountant requires clear sight and hard work since the CMA exam is one of the toughest to pass worldwide. However, the certification accords candidates with a number of benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Career advancement
- Increased earning potential
- Prestige and recognition
- Global opportunities
- Enhanced skill and knowledge
- Networking opportunities
Deciding on a career path is taxing and needs careful consideration weighing all the factors and investments it would require. A CMA certification is as prestigious as it is challenging. It requires lifelong dedication and perseverance. Hence it is not to be taken lightly. If you do wish to become a CMA, enrolling for a suitable course to prepare you for the exam is the best option.
Imarticus Learning’s Certified Management Accountant course prepares candidates for the advanced CMA exam. The programme offers pass protection and a comprehensive pre-placement boot camp, resume-building services, and interview preparation sessions. Learn from experienced faculty members with CMA, CPA, CFA and CA qualifications and pass the strenuous exam stress-free with flying colours.
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