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The CMA Final examination is the ultimate level that students seeking to become Cost and Management Accountants must pass. Aspiring CMAs in India have to clear all 3 stages before they can get the coveted prefix in front of their names. Like the CMA Intermediate, the CMA Final too has two groups with four papers in each. CMA Final Group – 1 includes Corporate Laws and Compliance, Strategic Financial Management, Strategic Cost Management, and Direct Taxes and International Taxation. The CMA Final Group-2 includes Corporate Financial Reporting, Indirect Tax Laws and Practice including Customs Act, Cost and Management Audit, and finally, Strategic Performance Management and Business Valuation.

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If you are a CMA aspirant studying for the CMA Final levels, keep reading to know how to clear CMA Final Group-1.

Corporate Laws and Compliance

Much like CMA Inter, the Corporate Laws and Compliance from CMA Final is also pretty much a rote-learning based subject. Unlike the other three subjects in CMA Final Group-1, you have to study the information as it is, so there is no question for any analysis.

  1. Companies Act accounts for 60% of the total marks. There is NO ESCAPING it. Your goal should be to cover this part as thoroughly as possible. You could afford to skip Companies Act, 2013 in CMA Intermediate Group-1, but that is IMPOSSIBLE here at CMA Final Group-1.
  2. Summarize information wherever possible. Your goal shall be to read as little as needed to understand any law or act. Write short notes with a pencil next to the paragraphs that highlight their main points to enable quick revision.
  3. Avoid memorizing dates or years as you will most likely get them wrong. Practice writing extended answers to ensure that your neatness in the exam paper is not affected when you are rushing.

Strategic Financial Management

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Strategic financial management in CMA Final is all about terminology and concepts. The subject has its fair share of computations in chapters like project cash flow estimation, project appraisal methods, capital budgeting, and so on. But it also is comprised of a significant portion of pure theory.

  1. Firstly, write down the definitions of the problematic terms (or concepts) from each chapter in a notebook, and revise it every day. Strategic financial management requires a thorough revision of ideas from each section. And it is nearly impossible to tell from which chapter what will come in the exam, so skip nothing.
  2. Make your notes for Strategic Financial Management. It might be tempting to highlight the portions of the study material provided by ICMAI and read from there. If you can make your notes from each chapter, you will be able to revise the whole syllabus twice before you sit for CMA Final Group-1 examinations.
  3. You must study and memorize the Concepts like computation of CFAT or Net Cash Inflow after Taxes, computation of Internal Rate of Return (IRR). So prepare your formula sheet and study that at least two times a day to retain the information.

Strategic Cost Management

Strategic Cost Management is a subject in CMA Final where you revisit many of the concepts related to costing which you had already studied for in CMA Intermediate.

  1. If you have retained your CMA Intermediate notes for Cost Accounting (we hope you did), revise them to refresh your knowledge of the various costing techniques. Topics such as Marginal Costing, Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) analysis, and so on have already covered in your CMA Intermediate, so your notes are the best refresher source.
  2. Get used to drawing tables, as much of the chapters inside the Strategic Cost Management syllabus include numerical problems that require you to draw tables to solve for the final answer. Unless you practice this A LOT, your speed and accuracy in the examination will suffer.
  3. Maintain a notebook in which for every chapter you study, you make a note of the formulae included therein. We have provided you with an example of how you can keep track of the methods for each chapter. Maintaining a table such as the one shown here shall help you revise ALL the formulae from a section quickly and efficiently. Each formula includes the page number, and you can always turn to the page and check whether your method is correct or incorrect.

Serial No.



Page No.


SN 1-Cost Management

Throughput Efficiency


Throughput Accounting Ratio


Primary TA Ratio



SN 2-Decision Making Techniques

Profit/Volume Ratio OR Contribution Ratio


Breakeven Point


Breakeven Sales


*SN = Study Note

**Page numbers are from Study Material PDFs (June 2016 Syllabus).

Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation

In CMA Final, the direct tax laws happen to be somewhat of a continuation of your CMA Intermediate portions, and they introduce more advanced concepts. Hence, the tips for studying this subject aren’t much different

  1. Do NOT try to memorize the years and dates for when the laws were passed. There is a good chance that you will get the information incorrect, and that will affect your overall marks.
  2. When it comes to direct tax, you CANNOT skip practicing by hand. Several chapters such as Study Note 2 – Non-Resident, Study Note 4 – Assessment Procedure, and so on have large sums the likes of which MUST be practiced, or you WILL forget the steps.
  3. Tabulate important information from each chapter to help you remember the same quickly. With tables, you can revisit the critical information quickly at a glance which is more efficient compared to reading paragraphs. We have provided an example here:

Surcharge Computation (SN 1 – Assessment of Various Entities)

Total Income

A surcharge as % of Income Tax

Domestic Company

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Foreign Company

Up to INR 1 crore (1 crore or less)



More than INR 1 crore, but less than 10



More than INR 10 crores



*4% of ‘Tax liability after surcharge’ is also levied from every company as ‘Health and Education Cess’.

That’s all for the CMA Final Group-1 tips. If you apply the information in this article, you will undoubtedly have a much more efficient preparation, but there are no shortcuts. Always put in your 100% effort when it comes to your preparation, and the results WILL be in your favor.

You can watch a few lectures on CMA  and see if you would want to consider subscribing to our video series for a better shot at clearing the CMA examination.

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How To Clear The CMA Exam In The First Attempt

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