The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a distinguished designation accorded by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) to accounting and financial professionals who have successfully exhibited their management accounting skills. Although it is not a required qualification for becoming a management accountant, many choose to acquire it for further professional growth.
Despite the CMA certification’s rising popularity among financial accounting professionals in recent years, many are still sceptical about its worth. They are apprehensive to invest the time, money, and effort required to obtain it.
This article will walk you through the benefits of earning the certification, the costs of doing so, and the overall effectiveness of the CMA certification.
What exactly is the CMA certification?
The CMA certification is a professional credential issued to applicants who have passed a difficult two-part test and met the Institute of Management Accountants' (IMA) educational and experience requirements.
Financial planning, performance and control, decision analysis, financial statement analysis, risk management, corporate finance, and investment decisions are some of the various topics that the exam covers. However, the certification must be maintained through continuing education and professional development by professionals.
Costs of earning CMA Certification
The cost of earning a CMA certification is determined by a variety of factors, such as course materials, exam fees, and professional membership costs. Each part of the CMA exam costs $460, with students and academic members entitled to a special discounted price of $345 per part.
Depending on the source you procure from, the course materials can range between $800 and $1,500. Some employers may offer to cover part of or even all of the costs as part of their employee development programmes.
Are there any benefits of acquiring the CMA certification?
The answer to this question depends on your career goals and aspirations. Here are some reasons why the CMA certification may be worth pursuing:
Increased earning potential
According to the IMA CMA Salary Survey, CMAs have a 58% higher median total compensation than those without a CMA designation. The average income of a CMA in America (all ages) is $124,000 in gross annual earnings, whereas the average base income is $105,000.
Earning a CMA certification demonstrates a commitment to professional development and expertise in the field of management accounting. CMAs are often given preference for promotions and leadership positions within their organisations, as the certification attests to their competency and skill level.
CMA certification is recognised worldwide, making CMA attractive to job seekers both nationally and internationally. Additionally, certification diversity is valuable across multiple industries, as many organisations require management accounting professionals to assist with financial planning, analysis, and decision-making.
While the costs of obtaining a CMA certification may appear to be excessively steep, the subsequent long-term benefits of the certification justify the investment for many accounting and finance professionals.
A CMA certification not only indicates competency in management accounting skills but also opens up new professional prospects and significantly raises one's earning potential. The CMA scope in future is excellent, considering there are plenty of job opportunities once you earn your certificate.
Candidates can work as Financial Analysts, Management Accountants, Cost Accountants, Accounting Managers and even become CFOs (Chief Financial Officers). Moreover, the accreditation's global acceptance make it an invaluable addition to the CVs of professionals seeking international expansion in their careers.
Disadvantages of pursuing CMA certification
Pursuing the US CMA certification also has its downsides. Here are some points you should consider before choosing to pursue the certification:
- Time and effort: Acquiring the certificate is time-consuming and requires dedicated effort and financial expenditure. The two-part exam requires extensive study and takes months to prepare for.
- Cost: The cost of obtaining the CMA certification can be significant, with exam fees, study materials, and continuing education requirements.
- Industry-specific: The CMA certification is more focused on management accounting, and it may not be suitable for individuals who are interested in other areas of accounting or finance.
Accounting and finance professionals seeking to advance their careers and increase their earning capacity may consider obtaining a CMA certification. The cost of becoming certified may appear high, but the advantages greatly outweigh the price. The CMA is internationally recognised for its management accounting expertise, making it a significant tool for organisations across a wide range of industries. CMA certification is an excellent investment for accounting and finance professionals seeking to thrive in management accounting.
Imarticus’s Certified Management Accountant course is perfect for students and working professionals offering pass protection. Hence, you pay only 50% of the fees when you enrol and the rest half only after you pass the exam.