Certified management accountant (or CMA) is a globally recognised credential in management accounting. The US-based Institute for Management Accountants (IMA) administers the CMA credential.
Notably, the management accountant certification is one of the most sought-after accounting courses preferred by recruiters worldwide. The course is appropriate for both accountants and other financial professionals.
In this article, we’ll look at the different aspects of CMA certification, CMA exams and how to become a CMA.
What is CMA certification?
CMA certification has been considered a benchmark for excellence amongst accounting and finance professionals over the last 50 years. But, what does the CMA certification entail?
A CMA certification course imparts advanced knowledge of management accounting and strategic management techniques. The course covers different branches of management and accounting and is known to provide ‘gold standard’ credentials for working professionals and fresh graduates.
Aspirants must fulfil the following criteria to acquire the CMA certification:
- Educational requirements to become a CMA: A relevant bachelor's degree in finance or accounting from an accredited university
- Professional requirements to become a CMA: A candidate must possess two years of relevant work experience in financial management or management accounting.
- IMA requirements to become a CMA: A candidate must become an IMA member and comply with the ethical standards set forward by the institute.
How to prepare for a CMA exam?
If you are looking forward to passing a CMA exam, then here are some study tips that would help you ace the course:
1. Sign up for a CMA prep course
A CMA preparatory course increases the chances of passing the exam in the first attempt. Such courses emphasise the critical concepts of CMA, which can be difficult for the aspirants to grasp on their own. The CMA prep course helps with real-life applications and problem-solving skills that would come in handy when candidates enter the workplace.
2. Take up the parts you are prepared for
Passing the CMA exam can be tricky. The CMA exam is divided into two parts. Depending on your preparation, you must choose which part you want to take up first. It is also pivotal to adhere to the IMA's content specification outline before deciding.
3. Make a robust study plan
Having a study plan is vital to prepare for a CMA exam. You can ensure optimal time management by building a realistic study plan based on your schedule. Set realistic study goals and keep revising the CMA exam key topics regularly. Focus more on the challenging topics that might give you a hard time.
4. Create a productive study environment
A productive study environment is vital to achieving the goals that you have set for yourself to clear your CMA exam in the first attempt. Set up a designated study port with limited distraction and dedicate a few good hours to prepare for your upcoming CMA exam.
5. Take a week off before exams
If you are working full-time and trying to maintain a work-study balance, then this tip will be helpful. Take a week off from your employer before your exams. This will help you recharge your mental energy and focus on your exams.
Benefits of a CMA certificate course
CMA certification is helpful for accounting professionals looking to upscale their careers. Freshers can also take up this course to start their management accounting journey. Here are the benefits of taking up a CMA certification course:
- Helps create a business appeal: CMA certification makes an immense business appeal, as it is known to be the best certification for accounting management. The course offers the perfect amalgamation of business and accounting knowledge and skills, a sought-after combination for employers worldwide.
- Provides growth opportunities: A CMA certificate course will provide a candidate with immense growth opportunities for a fulfilling career. Candidates will be able to get promotions quickly based on this ‘elite’ credential in no time. This would let them explore leadership roles at a young age.
- Gives global recognition: CMA is a globally accredited course that is recognised all over the world. You can easily apply for mid- to senior-level job roles in European, Middle Eastern and Western countries with lucrative salary packages.
CMA certification is crucial to get a job in accounting management. It has the components of finance and accounting that are very important in today's work environment.
If you want to become a CMA or take up a US CMA program, then check out Imarticus Learning's CMA Certified Management Accountant course. It is a 6-9 months course that will prepare you with the core concepts of finance and accounting while imparting the CMA skills you need to succeed in the industry.