CMA Exam Fees: How Much Should You Expect?

cma exam feesTaking the CMA Exam and getting the certification can be a big investment! Let’s look at how much CMA exam fees you should expect to pour in for this big project. Please note that the amount is denoted  in US dollars.

Quick Walkthrough on CMA Exam Fees in Video Format

I am responding to requests from readers to walk you through the different layers of fee. I hope the following video will serve the purpose.

Here is the text format for those who prefer to read and digest the information in writing.

In order to start the CMA journey, you need to go through 3 levels of payment:

1. IMA Membership

The IMA membership is an annual fee ranging from $75 to $225 depending whether you are a student, a young professional or a standard member.

2. Entrance Fee

The entrance fee is an one-off fee that allows you to take part in the CMA program which is the route to become a CMA in the US. The fee ranges from $75 to $240.

3. Examination Fee

Update: the exam registration fee has been increased from $380 to $395 for regular members, and $190 to $296.25 for student members effective July 1, 2014.

The registration fee of the exam is $395 per part, which means you’ll have to pay $790 altogether. To save $100 you can choose to take the 2 parts at the same time within the same testing window. There is also a discount of student candidates at $296.25 per part. A member can enjoy the student discount for up to 6 years.

Fee Summary

Here is an extract from my video for your reference:

fee-update

Extra Costs

1. CMA review courses

The study materials do not come with the CMA program. Candidates prepare the exam based on free second-hand notes to full blown coaching from their home countries. I generally recommend something in between — self-study review courses, which offers one of the best products, flexibility of studying at home and generally lower price.

2. Travel and accommodation

If you are lucky to have the testing center close to your home, then this cost is minimal. But there are candidates who need to travel far to the nearby city, or even to another country for the exam. If you are in this situation, remember to take this cost into account.

3. Annual payment

Please note that the membership fee is an annual payment.

For Your Reference

Here is an membership application form that specifies the fees for each category.

Note From Stephanie

The CMA exam fees is expensive anyway you look at it, but first, it is much more affordable than the CPA exam; and second, if you are pursuing a professional career in accounting and financial management, the certification is going to benefit you for a life time.

Can I Be More Helpful?

If you would like to become a CMA, check out the steps here or learn more about Certified Management Accountant in this FAQ section.

For more information on the CMA exam as well as tips on study tactics, please consider signing up to my e-course which is completely free. You can learn about the mini e-course here or sign up directly below.

Comments

  1. Michael White says

    Hi Stefanie,

    Your new cma website really explains all the details clearly, simply and colourfully. So much easier to grasp all the details about cma from your site than the ima site.

    Congrats and Well Done to you doing a wonderful job of simplifying all the information!!

    Best Regards,

    Michael

    PS I would hope to commence studying for the cma exams after i complete my acca exams in 2 years time. I was going to study for cpa but as you said there are many reasons (not least of which is less bureacracy) why cma may be the accounting designation to choose, unless of course one really wants to work in public accounting.

    Take Care!

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Michael thanks so much for your kind words. Best of luck to your ACCA! And come back when it’s time for you to work on your CMA. Cheers, Stephanie

  2. Vienna says

    Hello Stephanie,

    Is CMA exam the same all over the world? I am now in Dubai, United Arab Emirates but planning to live in Barbados next year. I would like to pursue my CMA in Barbados. I checked on the site but there is no testing center in Barbados, Carribean. Maybe I will look to a nearer country where I can take the exam. Shall we say the exam is Jan & Feb., can I take the part 1 in Feb instead in Jan.?

    Thanks.

    Vienna

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Vienna, yes the exam is the same around the world, and you can certainly take Part 1 in Feb. You can even take Part 2 before Part 1 if you choose to. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  3. Arhin says

    I live in Ghana, Africa. Will i be able to apply as student candidate?
    If not, is there any other way to save money en route to becoming a CMA?

  4. asiah says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Its so wonderful to read and understand a lot about the professions I m interested in.It is so clearly explained… I wanted to ask that I am good with management accounting compared to financial and cost accounting…so should I pefer CMA to CPA..Also,I do not want to narrow down my options in future like just into auditing etc,but like a job which challenging and keeps us on our toes everytime…So Which do u think will be better of the two..I have completed my B.com through distance learning(1 year from regular college) and MBA in Finance through Distance learning again..Will it be possible for me to apply for any of these courses easily?
    I thank you for your time and patience and once again appreciate all ur help here..

    Regards,
    Asiah

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Asiah, first of all thanks for your kind words! I think either designation will be great for you. In terms of the qualification process, it will be much easier for you to go for CMA because for CPA it is a relatively complicated process and most state boards do not accept corresponding degrees obtained from non-US universities. For CMA, this shouldn’t be a problem.

      You can get more info on the CMA application process here:
      http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-requirements/

      Cheers, Stephanie

  5. says

    Dear Sir

    Please advise whether the Annual Membership fees of 225$ as mentioned is compulsory.
    Or is it that we need to pay the Membership fees for a certain no of years only or it is to be paid for the whole life .

    Rgds
    Mohammed Ali
    Jordan

    • Luis says

      Hi Mohammed Ali,

      The fees are compulsory and you pay for the rest of your career. I was a CMA for several years and left it since I didn’t see $240 of value for the membership. There is no reason to keep something that in my practice today has no value. I no longer do any sort of management accounting.

      I recently sat down to add up the cost of maintaining several licenses and designations. I weeded out the ones that failed a cost-benefit analysis. CMA is now gone from my credentials.

      Best of luck,

      Luis

      • says

        Hi Luis

        Thanks for your valued information, Currently i am working as a Management Accountant but dont know if future.
        So if the Membership fees for rest of the life / Career, then it is better to choose some other qualification rather than CMA right now.
        Which you feel is a ideal one. Cost and dedication is required for every thing.

      • says

        Hi Luis

        Thanks for your valued information, Currently i am working as a Management Accountant but dont know if future.
        So if the Membership fees for rest of the life / Career, then it is better to choose some other qualification rather than CMA right now.
        Which you feel is a ideal one. Cost and dedication is required for every thing….

        • Stephanie Ng says

          I understand… From what I know though all accounting related qualification in the US require continuing Education and license/member fees. Maybe you can wait for a few more years before jumping in?

          • Stephanie Ng says

            Yes Mohammed, there is also continuing education requirements and license fees to be paid, but license fee is paid on a bi-yearly or tri-yearly basis, and comparatively not that expensive. Stephanie

  6. Arun says

    Hi ,

    I m in SIngapore Please advise me any supporting center for CMA course in Singapore.I m finished MBA and working singapore last 2 years onwrds .So How much I ahve to pay for IMA fee .

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Arun,
      For international candidates I think the best way to go is to get the self-study courses, because their quality is guaranteed to be the same as those got by the US domestic candidates. You might be able to come across some good lecturers in Singapore, but from my own experience, don’t count on it. I studied for mine using online self-study and it worked great.

      On the IMA fees, it is listed above. But if you have specific question on any of the above please let me know. Stephanie

  7. Bilal says

    Hi, I want to know about the impact of registering under “standard candidate” and “student candidate” category. Why would any one want to register himself under “standard candidate” category because it is expensive? What is the difference between both?
    I am an ACCA Affiliate and also holds a bachelor degree plus 3 years of relevant working experience. Through which category I should register myself? Is there any com pulsation? Kindly guide me in this respect as I really want to know difference in both. I am from Pakistan and there are not much guidance about CMA here. Thanks in advance.

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Bilal sorry I have been busy over at the CPA site these few days, and wasn’t able to reply. You got my link on facebook, but when I’ve answered all the questions here I will try to get the exact page on the site for your reference. Stephanie

      • StephanieStephanie says

        Hi Bilal, found it (it’s right after you click the membership link and choose your country):

        To qualify for Student membership, individuals must be enrolled in at least six (6) undergraduate or graduate credit hours, or the equivalent, per semester. Student membership can be held for a maximum of six (6) years. Student members who move to another membership category cannot revert back to Student membership.

  8. Manish says

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of all thanks for the wonderful info..

    My question :

    Im an engineer …but now a banker since last 10 years .Last two and half years I am into role of a financial Analyst which includes Budgeting and Planning> I am planning to go for the CMA course.

    Kindly let me have your views on whether it will be helpful and whether Im eligible to appear for the same

    thanks in advance
    Manish

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Manish,
      Yes I am quite sure your working experience can be counted because it involves financial analysis, but if you want to make sure you can always send a note directly to IMA. Looking forward to seeing you in the CMA community! Stephanie

  9. Mani says

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of tks for the info available in the website.

    Can you please clarify my doubt on the below point

    I have completed my bachelors degree 4 years back can i enroll for a student candidate as I have persuing MBA from correspondance mode in India

    Tks

    Mani

    • StephanieStephanie says

      Hi Mani,
      Here is the direct quote from IMA website regarding student membership:

      To qualify for Student membership, individuals must be enrolled in at least six (6) undergraduate or graduate credit hours, or the equivalent, per semester. Student membership can be held for a maximum of six (6) years. Student members who move to another membership category cannot revert back to Student membership.

      I would think that if you can submit the proof that you are currently a student, it should be fine. Not too sure about the rules on correspondence but generally IMA is quite reasonable and I would think they will be ok on this…

  10. Merly Moreno says

    Hi,
    Hi Stephanie, please advise, im working as an accountant for the past 12 years, graduated in bachelor of science in accountancy last 1998, i wanted to take another level in my carreer not doing routine data entry anymore. please advise if CMA certification would be a great help for me in pursuing my career. please advise also what would be my career prospect after passing CMA.
    thank you.

    Regards,
    Merly

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Merly,
      Thanks for your note, I hear you. Is your company/industry related to manufacturing? If so CMA is very appropriate and highly regarded. If you work in a fortune 500 company it is also recognized. But if it is in a service industry, it is not as relevant because they don’t deal with cost accounting and inventory etc…

      CPA would be a more versatile qualification but then the education requirement is pretty tough — need 150 credit hours for most states. Let me know if I can be helpful further. Cheers, Stephanie

  11. Marine says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for your website.

    I have question regarding my work experience.I have worked more than 2 years financial analyst and chief accountant not in usa. Do you think it will count?

    Thanks

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Marine,
      From the title I am almost certain that it will be counted, but you can double check with IMA by emailing them. They are quite responsive. Good luck! Stephanie

  12. KHAN says

    Kindly tell me the timings of fee payment specially the time of fee payment for IMA membership, whether I can pay that at the end of course or at start?

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Khan,
      For membership, program and exam fee, you need to pay upfront.
      If you are talking about the CMA review courses, it is optional, but also need to pay upfront. Stephanie

  13. Khan says

    I am MBA (Finance) with experience of Cost Accounting and Financial Analysis in service industry (Telecom Sector). Can I be considered for CMA as I have no experience in manufacturing industry.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Khan, you don’t need any experience to take the CMA exam, but in order to complete the program, you do need to gain the experience within 3 years. Previous experience counts (up to 7 years) so it shouldn’t be a problem for you? Stephanie

  14. khan says

    Dear, When I go for CMA registration , there appears three items,
    1. Dubai Chapter
    2. Abu Dhabi Chapter
    3. Chapter at Large

    I am presently at Dubai, can you guide me which chapter should I select and why and also tell me whether the exam fee for second paper (which I want to appear later on) is also paid at the time of registration. Also tell me, is there any need of sending academics documents to ICMA / IMA / NASBA. And how long it takes for verification etc.

    Kind Regards,

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Khan,
      I believe every candidates from around the world can (or should) apply to the central “IMA”, i.e. imanet.org.
      You can go to the horizontal menu bar and pick “CPA certification” –> “become a cpa” –> “how to get started” (a different horizontal bar, but you will see “how to get started” on the left hand side)

      Then join the IMA by paying the fees.
      When you are ready for the exam, then you can pay the exam fee on the same page.

      When I registered my own exam, I paid first and then submit the required documents afterwards by asking my university to send the transcript to them directly. I didn’t check it daily but after a few days my online status in the IMA indicates that I have provided proof of my education.

      To answer your question more specifically, you only need to deal with IMA. ICMA is an affiliate of IMA responsible for the exam content and you don’t need to deal with them. NASBA is related but more for CPA.

      Is this clearer? It might be helpful for me to write a step-by-step guide on this process later on. Will do that. Stephanie

  15. Johnathan T says

    Hi stephanie,
    Am really confuse and need your help. Am a holder of Bacherlors degree in Accounting have a little accounting from a service company, now i wish to study CMA will it be of help to me?
    Secondly i came from cameroon and it seem there is no testing center there, how will i sit for the exam incase i fail to complete both part here?

    regard
    Johnathan.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Johnathan,
      Thanks for your note. First of all, you should be able to qualify because of your bachelor degree. For the actual preparation for the exam, most people take review courses that are designed specifically for the CMA exam. I listed the popular ones here:
      http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

      If there is no testing center at Cameroon… would you be able to take the exam in neighboring countries? I know it is more costly and inconvenient, but it is one solution. Stephanie

  16. says

    Hi,
    I’m a student of ICMAB, a professional accounting body in Bangladesh. Can I enroll in CMA course of IMA under ‘Student membership’ route.
    Thanks.
    Razib

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Razib, I am not familiar with student status of professional qualifications, but are you working towards a degree, or that you will get an official transcript? If so it is likely ok; if not, it is best to double check with IMA. Stephanie

  17. Ahmed Ansary says

    Dear Ms/Stephanie Ng

    (1)is (Scenario Two – Student Candidate) for only US, Canada and, Mexico or it’s available for all countries? , i’m from Egypt ………

    (2)is the IMA membership fee paid annually till i complete part 1 and 2 or till the end of my life :D to be an active member.

    Regards
    Ahmed

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hello Ahmed,
      I think (1) is for everyone but I need to double check with the IMA.
      On (2), I am afraid you need to pay after the exam, as long as you want to call yourself a CMA. That’s how IMA makes its money I suppose :)
      Stephanie

  18. Chelle says

    Hi Stephani,

    I am a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Management Accounting batch 2005. My work experience focus on AR/Billing and AP, does my study and experience qualify to get the CMA Certification? Please advise.

    Thank you & regards,
    Chelle

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Yes, very much! If your work involves analysis on AR/AP then it’s all good; but if it’s more like posting JE and other “mechanical” type of work then you need to package it better. Stephanie

  19. hossam says

    hi Stephanie,

    i am stil student in egypt can i pay student fee or it is avaiable for american,mexican,and canadian students.
    Thanks in advance.
    Best,
    Hossam

  20. Sandhya says

    Its so wonderful to read and understand a lot about the professions I m interested in.It is so clearly explained… I wanted to ask that I am good with management accounting compared to financial and cost accounting…so should I pefer CMA to CPA..Also,I do not want to narrow down my options in future like just into auditing etc,but like a job which challenging and keeps us on our toes everytime…So Which do u think will be better of the two..I have completed my M.com from Calicut university Kerala India from regular college ..Will it be possible for me to apply for any of these courses easily?
    I thank you for your time and patience and once again appreciate all ur help here..

  21. PANKAJ KUMAR PATEL says

    I AM FINAL YEAR STUDENT OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA AND I HAVE COMPLETED 3 YEARS DEGREE FROM RECOGNISED UNIVERSITY IN COMMERCE. MY QUESTION IS THAT CAN I JOIN CMA COURSE AND CAN I COMPLETE THIS COURSE WITHIN ONE YEAR ???? I AM INTERESTED TO MAKE CARRIER IN THE FIELD OF FINANCE.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Pankaj, yes you are qualified with the BCOM. Having said that, if you are interested in finance, CFA is probably better for you. CMA is more for corporate accountants. You should be qualified for CFA as well with your BCOM degree. Stephanie

  22. khadija Ebrahim says

    is the Entrance fees different from membersgip fee ??? if it is different when i have to pay it with the membership fees at the begining or what??

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Yes Khadija it is different. For membership fee, you need to pay every year once you start the CMA program (regardless of whether you start taking the exam). For entrance fees, you need to pay once you decide to take the exam. Stephanie

  23. Allan says

    Sitting in Bahrain can I apply for this CMA course? Please help me how to go about, to start , to apply….

    Thanks

    Allan

  24. mohamed says

    I am a student in a recognized university in egypt . i was wondering if i still could have the substantial discount .

  25. Maria Gohar says

    Dear Sir,
    Please help me…
    I am living in Pakistan and want to take CMA exams in June-July. I have passed D.Com equivalent to intermediate. Please tell me how much money I will paid to CMA body. 1225 $ or 494$.

    Regards

  26. says

    I have 5 years of Accounts mid-level experience of which 2-years is in Dubai. The case is that I have degrees in business and marketing.

    Masters in Business Administration (Marketing).
    Bachelor in Business administration and IT.

    I want to take CMA so that I could be called as professional accountant. I have 2 questions in my mind

    1. What is CMA entrance exam and what to study for the entrance exam are there any courses designed?.
    2. In the two year SLP concurrent with full-time employment. Is this employment arranged by the CMA and the students are paid?

    Please help me clear my mind as I am independent and have responsible for all me expenses.

    Thank you.

      • Agha Muhammad Ibrahim says

        Thank you Stephanie for the reply but 1 more question is that if I find a full time job, will I be allowed to work as I will be on student visa and I do not think that I will have the permission to work full time aside with the studies. What do the rules state for the CMA students?

        Will be waiting for your reply.

        Thank you.

        • Stephanie Ng says

          Hi Agha, I am not in a position to comment on visa issue, but based on personal experience you should be able to work with a student visa. You have a SSN right? Then shouldn’t be a problem. But you are right you are not supposed to work full-time. So you can either work part-time or wait till after your graduation to complete the experience requirements.

          Here is more info on the educational and experience requirements:
          http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-requirements/

          Regards, Stephanie

  27. Govinda says

    I live in Nepal. I am interested to have CMA but I even don’t know about the start point. And what are the courses that makes eligible to have CMA exams?

  28. Farhan says

    Hi Stephanie
    I have my graduation date of 2004 and MBA in finance from 2010. Can i register on student package. i have already 9 years of experience in audit field.

    Can i register on student package?
    if i register, pay and pass on student package, can this be exposed at time of education and experience transcripts submission?
    Is there any check on transcripts and registration criteria?
    Have there been any cases of student registration and Bachelor and experience proof of back dates?

    Thanks.

    Farhan

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Farhan,
      Unless you are taking at least 6 credit hours per semester now, you cannot apply for the student package. You need proof that you are currently studying. If you live in US, Canada or Mexico and are under 32, you can apply for the young professional membership discount.

      I don’t think back dates are allowed because practically, everyone was student before so everyone would have taken the student package if that is the case. Regards, Stephanie

  29. Masudul says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have completed my M.A. degree. Now a days I am continuing another M.A. course.I also studying ACCA skill level.

    1.If I send any document from ACCA or from my continuing M.A. course, will IMA allow me as a student candidate?

    2. If I enroll myself at June , can i register for part 1 exam at September?

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Masudul,
      As long as you have at least 6 credit hours per semester, you are eligible for student membership. Sounds like you can if you are currently taking the MA course?

      Yes I am quite sure you can take the exam in September if you enroll in June. The registration process is very simple. I took me less than half an hour to complete the membership registration, exam registration and payment. You need to arrange sending the transcript/marksheets to IMA but other than that everyone can be done online. Stephanie

      • Masudul says

        Thanks Stephanie for your response.
        The registration process & the payment procedure seemed complex to me. It will be a great help to me if u consider your time to explain the step by step process ;(registration to completing exam) along with the fees payment.There are no local chapter in my country.

        Thanks & Regards
        Masudul

  30. Hussain says

    hi this is hussain is it possible that i can start cma without bachelor degree i m part qualified acca

  31. swapna says

    Hi,

    I have completed my second group of ICWAI inter and MBA .At present I am in US and thinking of pursuing CMA (US). I checked the CMA US website for membership but I am confused regarding the membership.Can you please suggest me under what membership should I apply for CMA(STUDENT/YOUNG PROFESSIONAL/PROFESSIONAL)?

    Thanks,
    Swapna

  32. Ada says

    Hi, I am planning to take CMA in Dubai but I am curious because I am married and carrying the surname of my ex husband but I am totally separated. My question is do I have an option to use in CMA application my Maiden Name? Because my worry is that if my annulment will be granted and I think it will take time again to change my surname in CMA. Please help me to resolve this issue.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Ada,
      I see. I understand that the full name should be the same as the one in the identification, e.g. the passport. Is your name changed back to Maiden name in the passport? Understand this process can be quite tough in some parts of the world…

      If it is a timing issue, maybe you can check with IMA and see if there is a solution to this. Their email is ima@imanet.org.
      Regards
      Stephanie

      • Ada says

        Hi Stephanie,

        I’m still using my ex husband surname in my passport because my annulment is still on process. But really i wanna take CMA exam for career advancement. I wanna use my maiden name so it will not be a problem or another issue if the annulment will be granted. Hoping you enlighten me with this.

        Thanks,
        Ada

        • Stephanie Ng says

          Hi Ada, I replied to a comment very similar to your situation before, not sure if it is you… anyway, your registered name has to be the same as that in your ID (basically means your passport). It is best for you to talk to IMA about this, but I think it is easier to change your name in the IMA system later on than having a different one during the exam day.

          It will still take time for you to complete the exam and fulfill the experience. As long as you are able to change that before getting the certificate, it should be ok. Anyway, please double check with IMA if this is the best way to deal with this. I am quite sure they allow surname changes.

  33. ryan justin Talavera says

    Hello Stefphanie,

    Kindly please help me,. Im currently in riyadh ksa, i’d like to take the exam on Jan & Feb 2015.
    my past work experience is Financial Analyst Nov 2010 to Oct. 2012 Dswd philippines,.
    Now im an Accountant Mar 2013 to Mach 2015 Riyadh Ksa. Could this be counted for the Experience Qualification?

    And regarding my Transcript, i have my transcript in Red Ribbon forpurpose of Emplyment can I used this for the Education Qualification?

    Please advise.
    Thanks and regards,

    Ryan justin talavera

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Ryan, it looks generally fine, and I have answered your questions in several pages. Please see if this is ok. If you have further questions just leave me a note again. Regards, Stephanie

  34. jewel says

    Hai Stephanie,

    Is it possible to pursue my CMA career from Qatar. I am a B.com, MBA graduate; do i fall under the student membership category for IMA? Can i do the registration and payments online, if so can u provide the details?

  35. Victor manor says

    Hi,
    You are really doing a selfless wonderful service. Appreciated.
    I am a international Student from a Indian University. I would like to apply for a membership as well as pay the fees for everything. I was told by a local private trainer stating that i can get the below special promo offer if joined his training course.
    For Students
    Regular Price Promotion
    a) Membership $39 $25
    b) Entrance Fee $120 $75
    c) Processing Fee $15 $0
    d) Exam Part1 $197.50 $125
    e) Exam Part2 $197.50 $125

    Also, that private trainer told that i can avail this promos if i join that private training and make the payment to them. But i prefer not to pay the IMA fees to a 3rd party, however i prefer to make the payment to IMA direclty using my credit card. So can you kindly let me know how to avail this promo offer directly from IMA website.

    Your earliest response on this will be appreciated.

    Regards

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Victor,
      I would definitely pay the IMA fees directly online. I don’t know about this trainer at all, but I can imagine someone overcharges his/her training product to compensate for this discount offer.

      I don’t know of any IMA discount at the moment, but I personally wouldn’t take the risk. Regards, Stephanie

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