The requirements for earning the CMA certificate are as follows:
- The candidate should have completed a bachelor’s degree course or earned a professional certification from a recognized college/ university/Institute
- A work experience of at least 2 years in accounting, finance, or any of the related areas
- Candidates must have successfully completed parts one and two of the CMA exam is held by IMA.
A. Educational Qualification Criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree: candidates need to complete their graduation from an accredited college or university in order to become eligible for grant of the CMA certificate. The list of institutions in the US and abroad which are recognized for the purpose of grant of the bachelor’s degree are provided here.
In case the institution from where you graduated does not appear in this list, then you have to get your degree evaluated by an independent agency specified by IMA. A list of such agencies is available on www.naces.org/members and www.aice-eval.org .
- Professional qualification: IMA recognizes several professional certifications as sufficient qualification for the grant of the CMA certificate. The list of the approved certifications has been made available by IMA here. If your professional qualification is included in this list, the institution which has granted you the qualification needs to send an official letter to IMA directly confirming the authenticity of your professional certificate.
B. Practical Experience Requirements:
Before the CMA certification can be granted, the candidates need to gather two years of experience in working in the field of accounting or financial management. The experience must have been gathered within seven years prior to the date of passing the examination.
If the candidate has gathered teaching experience, wherein 60% of his time was spent in teaching accounting or financial management, then that can be accepted as a valid practical experience for the purpose of granting that of the CMA certification.
A full-time engagement or a part-time engagement where the candidate was working at least 20 hours in a week can be accepted as a valid practical experience. IMA specifies that the candidates who were engaged on a part-time basis will get the credit for one year for every two years worked.
As mentioned earlier, the position in which the candidate has worked should be directly related to finance and accounting. The candidate must have gained experience of various related tasks like preparation of financial accounts, book closing, preparation and reporting of budgets, forecasting, risk evaluation and management etc.
Any position which is not directly related to these fields, and only requires the occasional application of financial and accounting concepts will not be counted as a valid practical experience for this purpose by IMA.
The detailed educational and professional qualification requirements can be found in the CMA Handbook.
C. Examination Criteria:
CMA examinations are held in two phases: phase I and phase II consisting of one people each. The examinations test the proficiency of the candidates in 11 competencies. The exams are held over four hours, and candidates have to score 72% to pass. Multiple retakes are allowed in case the candidates are unable to pass any of the two phases.
Companies Looking For CMA Holders
The number of companies looking for CMA certificate holders has been steadily increasing over the years. There is now a considerable demand for CMAs both globally as well as in India. Some of the companies which actively look for CMA’s for their finance and accounting departments are:
Large companies with the multinational presence
Financial services companies
A few of the renowned companies that have CMAs heading their finance and accounting departments are Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, etc.
A CMA certification opens the possibilities for having a highly rewarding career in various companies. CMAs are experts in various finance and accounts related areas, and are highly skilled in practical applications as well. Hence, there is a demand for CMAs in a large number of companies. They also grow rapidly, both in terms of position as well as salary. A recent survey by IMA showed that the CMA’s in the USA draw up to 61% more salary than their non-CMA counterparts. Thus, by investing your time, money, and energy in completing the CMA course today, you will reap rich dividends for a lifetime.
Benefits Of Certification
Any student who has completed the examinations held by IMA and having an experience of two years in financial management, management accounting or any of the other industries as specified by IMA can be granted the CMA certification.
A CMA certificate holder is deemed to be proficient in the following areas:
- Financial Accounting
- Financial control
- Financial Analysis
- Decision support
- Business ethics
- Financial planning
- Venture Capital
- Internal Auditing
- Corporate Governance
- Risk management
The CMA certificate holder can rapidly grow in their careers and may even rise up to the level of a chief executive officer of the company that the work for.