How to Become a CMA: The Beginner’s Guide

How to become a CMAThis page is dedicated to professionals who would like to enhance their career with a CMA certification.

If you would like to know what a CMA (Certified Management Accountant) is all about and the benefits of becoming a CMA, please click on the respective links.

How to Become a CMA

There are 6 steps to embark on to become a CMA in the US:

  1. Become member of IMA
  2. Pay entrance fee
  3. Fulfill the educational requirements
  4. Satisfy the experience requirements
  5. Take the CMA exam
  6. Comply with the IMA’s ethical practice

1. IMA Membership

IMA is the administrator of the CMA exam and the certification. You are required to become a member to start the process.

The standard membership fee is $250 but if you are a student, a “young professional” (i.e. before you 33rd birthday) or work in the academia in the related subject, you can get a considerable discount.

2. Entrance Fee

Once you are ready to join the CMA program (i.e. to get the CMA qualification), you can pay the entrance fee.

Please note that from now on you will have to note the following deadline:

  • must start taking the CMA exam within 12 months
  • must complete the CMA program within 3 years

Otherwise you will have to repay the entrance fees.

3. CMA Educational Requirements

Unlike the CPA exam, pretty much anyone with a bachelor degree anywhere around the world can take the CMA exam. Your degree is recognized as long as your college / university is on this list.

In the event that your school is not listed, you can still get your transcript evaluated by one of the credential evaluation agencies under the membership of NACES or AICE and send an official transcript (in English) to IMA for reference.

4. CMA Working Experience Requirements

  • The candidate must have two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management.
  • The requirement can be completed prior to or within 7 years of passing the exam.
  • Teaching experience can be counted as long as the courses are related to accounting or corporate financial management above introductory level.
  • Part-time (defined as 20 hours per week) can be counted at a rate of 1 year of full-time for every 2 years of part-time employment.

Definition of Relevant Work Experience

The nature of work can include the following:

  • Financial analysis
  • Budget preparation
  • Management information systems analysis
  • Financial management
  • Management accounting
  • Auditing in Government, Corporation and Public Accounting
  • Management consulting
  • Research, teaching and consulting in related field

Please note the internships, trainee programs as well as non-technical positions in sales & marketing, IT, HR and administration will not be considered as relevant.

5. The CMA Exam

The examination itself consists of 2 parts:

  • Financial Planning, Performance and Control – 4 hours
  • Financial Decision Making – 4 hours

For details of the content and format of the exam, please refer to this page on CMA entrance exam.

You can register the exam online of by phone with credit card information. You can also choose to register by mailing or faxing the registration form. The examination fee (which is different from the entrance fee) is $350 for each part but if you are taking the two parts in the same testing window, it would be $300 per part.

Candidates can take the exam in any prometric centers in US and around the world. For US, the center is open every weekday during the following testing window.

  • January and February
  • May and June
  • September and October

You can typically cancel an appointment within 72 hours. A refund (minus $25 administrative fee) is available within 30 days of registration.

6. Compliance of Ethical Standard

After completing the two parts of the CMA exam, candidates will be required to take 30 hours of CPE (continuing professional education), 2 of which has to be in the area of Ethics.

Here is a Summary

This is a video from IMA website that summarize the process on how to become a CMA.

Further Information

Can I be More Helpful?

I know the process sounds complicated, but once you take the first step on how to become a CMA, it’s completely doable. I am more than happy to help you along the way!

If you find this article helpful, please consider signing up to my mini-course which is completely free. You can learn more about this mini e-course here.

Comments

  1. namu says

    hi,
    I’m from Nepal. my university is listed among the eligible ones. but does it include bachelors in all programs. the next question is does the exam and experience both need to be fulfilled within US territory. does IMA aid in finding training provider? I would be grateful to hear from yu soon.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Namu, I think you don’t need to major in anything particular to get qualified, but if you are not an accounting/finance/related major then please expect to go through all the courses in their CMA program.

      On the exam and experience, no you can take the exam and fulfill the experience outside the US. The experience needs to be properly verified though.

      In terms of the review course provider, I don’t think they endorse any particular one, but I have a list of providers for your reference with the pros and cons: http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

      Cheers, Stephanie

  2. namuna says

    hello,
    Can I complete my preparation for exam and appear in exam online from outside US (I mean Nepal or any other area nearby)?

  3. Daniel says

    Good information, very helpful. Thanks for links to website and Handbooks most site just want you to pay to review and get information its good to find one that is benefical in the insight department.

  4. MUYIDEEN ABIMBOLA OGUNYEMI says

    I WANT TO KNOW IF I CAN BECOME A MEMBER CMA WITH FINISH MY DEGREE AND HOW MUCH FOR THE FEES ALSO WHERE IS THE EXAM CENTRE MAYBE ARE LOCATED IN MY AREA,THANKS

  5. Rizwan says

    Hello Stephanie,
    This site has been extremely helpful to me in making up my mind about going for the CMA Certification. I have completed my B. Com (3 yr degree) from an accredited university in India. I plan to write my exam in India, work here for a couple of years and then move to US Canada or Australia. I would like to know if my certification would be acceptable in those countries or will I have to write any other exam again????

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Rizwan, I have to say Canada has its own version of CMA (CMA canada) so if you are sure you want to go to Canada, it is better to get the other one.

      But if you aren’t sure which country you may work some day, the US CMA is more recognized around the world and it would be a useful investment when you have the time to get it done. Cheers, Stephanie

  6. Jamie says

    I qualify to take the exam based on my education but do not meet the work experience for the CMA certification. I know I can complete the certification within 7 years but once I complete both exams can I indicate that I have taken and passed the CMA exams but lack work experience on my resume? If so how will that look to potential employers and will it help me get a job? I am looking for a financial analyst position or something similar. My fear is that I will pay for everything, pass everything, and still will not be able to find a job. Your thoughts are appreciated. If you can please email me your response that would be great.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Jamie, yes you are right there is no guarantee that you will get a job after passing the CMA exam. But in a way the working experience by CMA is very broad so I think a motivated person in who actively looks for a job will likely get qualified. Note that they aren’t asking you to work for big companies or anything like that. If you are willing to start small, in a smaller local firm and a supporting boss, I believe it is doable.

      Cheers, and best of luck! Stephanie

  7. JA says

    Hi, I recently signed up to take the CMA part 2 prep course offered through my employer, however I have not taken part 1 (timing was bad & didn’t want to wait until next yr). It’s been +10yrs since I did any hardcore accounting work, and my fear came true tonight after our 1st prep session on Cash flow statements & financial ratios – I felt completely lost! My instructor had to leave early today so I didn’t get to hear his advise how to handle this, so wondering if you have tips? I know this class is going to be intense so I’m searching for the fastest way to brush up on my accting fundamentals just so I can keep up with this course. I saw your recommended courses but since I’m taking one already via a local university, Im not sure if signing up for another one would help much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! thx!

  8. Stephanie says

    hi JA, yes I hear you… I would say, take each topic one at a time, and work on the practice questions to get the concepts sink in. Obviously everyone has a different study style but for me I won’t pass by listening to lecturers talking alone. I need to either rewrite my notes or work on actual practice problems to nail the concepts down. I would do both if I have the time and dedication.

    Yes those courses are expensive so it’s good idea to stick with your local course, unless they don’t provide enough practice questions then you can get the Gleim test prep software (only the question and not the whole package). Cheers, Stephanie

  9. RMUHAMMED says

    hai Stephane,
    Your site is really helpful, i am a graduate holder in commerce with 70% marks.would like to do CMA.i dont know how to start my preparations. which all books i have to depend. do i need to go for a review could you please help me dear….

    Thanks

  10. Monica says

    Hi, I was wondering about the 2 years work experience – can your boss sign a letter proofing that you completed the work or it has to be under a CPA? Thanks.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Monica, there should be a standard form that you can fill in and then ask for your boss’ signature.

      For CMA, no need to work under a CPA. Cheers, Stephanie

  11. Vinda says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m tad bit on tenterhooks right now as far as my pursuing CMA designation is concerned. I’m in Canada, am a stay at home mom who is ready to get into the job market. But I have my Bcom obtained in India, two years of work experience in a bank in India. I have been in Canada for last eight years. Since then, I don’t have any work experience or any other certification obtained in Canada.

    Right now I’m thinking of sending my transcripts to CMA for evaluation and then accordingly get into the AP. My question is: How do I obtain the kind of work experience that you need to get the CMA designation? Since I don’t have any work experience in Canada, I’m guessing I will need to get into a entry level accounting jobs in small firms. But my only fear is, what if that experience is not good enough given that to get a CMA you need to have a more of an advanced, in-depth CMA related work experience? PLEASE ADVISE. Thanks.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vinda,
      Thanks for your note. Yes understand the situation… I just look at the CMA handbook again, and my interpretation is that as long as the experience is technical it is fine, doesn’t need to be managerial level (in fact, management experience cannot be counted).
      The “intermediate level and above” applies to the teaching experience where the candidate need to teach a course above elementary level.

      With that, I think you can go ahead! By the way, this is a site for US CMA exam. It is recognized in the US but there is an equivalent CMA qualification in Canada that you may also want to take a look.

      Cheers
      Stephanie

  12. Stephanie says

    Hi Vinda,
    Thanks for your note. Yes understand the situation… I just look at the CMA handbook again, and my interpretation is that as long as the experience is technical it is fine, doesn’t need to be managerial level (in fact, management experience cannot be counted).
    The “intermediate level and above” applies to the teaching experience where the candidate need to teach a course above elementary level.

    With that, I think you can go ahead! By the way, this is a site for US CMA exam. It is recognized in the US but there is an equivalent CMA qualification in Canada that you may also want to take a look.

    Cheers
    Stephanie

  13. Prajakta says

    Hello Stephanie
    Thanks a lot for the wonderful information that you have provided here about the CMA exam. Could you please provide more details regarding compliance of ethical standards?
    Regards
    Prajakta

  14. Aniketh says

    Hi,
    I am currently pursuing my undergraduate engineering degree in india,i still have a year left.I would like to take up the cma,but like you know i dont fulfill the educational requirements.i can join the ima as a student member and after that what?..should i wait till i complete my degree or study for the exam and take it up any time next year?..if you were in my shoes,how would you go about it?…i would like to do a self study,which material should i use as a beginner without any knowledge?..and whats a cpe,how do i do it?….i personally want to self study but there are intermediaries who offer coaching at a fee,is it okay to go about it alone?
    i am sorry for burdening you with so many questions

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Aniketh, the CMA eligibility is much simpler — you only need a bachelor degree to get qualified. I would say you have to make sure you get qualified before thinking about the review materials. We’ve all the pros and cons analysis and recommendation that you can refer to when you are ready for the exam. Good luck!

  15. Prajakta says

    Thanks Stephanie. I had one more question. I am working here in India and am nearing the two year mark. So is a letter signed by my boss here in India enough to submit to IMA as proof of work experience?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Prajakta, I believe there is a standard form from the IMA that you can fill in with the signature of your boss. If you can’t find it please let me know. Cheers, Stephanie

      • Preeti Shanbhag says

        Hi Stephanie,

        I find your website very resourceful. Thanks for providing lots of information for all CMA aspirants.

        Could you please share the form we need to have our employer sign for experience eligibility.

        Preeti

  16. Mubi says

    I’m a little confused. In the pro and cons, it says I can write the CMA exam before graduating, but over her in says i need to have a bachelor’s degree.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Mubi, yes I guess I should be clearer… you can write the exam before graduation but before becoming a charter member (i.e. putting CMA on your business card) you need to have completed the bachelor degree.

  17. Arshad says

    Hi stephanie,
    So you are helping CMA too , in addition to CPA. You are very nice. I noticed that CMA requirements are less strict comparing to CPA.But, Is it worth it to do CMA instead of CPA,provided that my qualification ( 4 years undergrad from New Zealand) is acceptable for CPA US , by one of the state in US. Can CMA US claim any exemptions from CPA US.how are the job prospects of CMA US in US?.
    Thanks

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Arshad, you are most welcome! I would say CPA is still the preferred qualification (in my opinion) if you can get qualified. It has the longest history and is recognized for all types of jobs in accounting. CMA is more for management accounting but then if it’s hard to get qualified for CPA it is a great alternative. Hope it helps! Stephanie

      In terms of job perspect, I will say it helps, but none of those qualification including CPA can guarantee a job. You need a great resume and a good interview to get through and land a job that you like. Cheers, Stephanie

          • Nadia Mirza says

            Thanks for your feedback Stephanie. I have been working as accounting manager with various nonprofits since 1995 and prepare a lot of finanical reports for management. However I have not studied managerial accounting and I was thinking to take addmision in College of Dupage to complete a 3 month undergraduate level course on managerial accounting before studying CMA review courses but from your response it seems like CMA review courses would be sufficient to get a deep knwoledge of managerial accounting. Is that right

          • Stephanie says

            Hi Nadia,
            If it is strictly for the CMA exam, no I don’t think you need to go through a college course. I have gone through the CMA review materials extensively (for my own CMA exam preparation) and as a Economics major who have never taken a cost accounting class, I find it sufficient to prepare for the exam. I had the same experience when I took the CPA exam and the CPA review courses are sufficient to help us pass. Cheers, stephanie

  18. Mohamed Paravengal says

    Hey,

    I have passed 12 papers of ACCA, and intend to complete the course by June 2013. And then i look forward to do CMA. I would like to know whether i am eligible to take CMA exams by may be January 2014 or something.

    Cheers,
    Mohamed Paravengal

  19. Mohamad says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I only have IT experience and some IT project management experience.
    Can I still apply for the exam?
    Your recommendations please.

    Best Regards,

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Mohamad,
      You can certainly apply and take the exam, but in order to get the CMA you’ll need the relevant working experience. If you can get into more of an analysis role within project management it may work. Pure IT experience may not be counted. You may want to check with IMA (email ima[@]imanet.org) for details. Good luck!

  20. Sebastian says

    Stephanie,

    does working in AR cash applications department in a law firm satisfy the working experience requirement? What would happen if the 2 year working experience were not satisfied after passing the exam? Would the CMA certification be revoked after seven years?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sebastian, I believe the work can’t be “routine” i.e. can’t be, say, bookkeeping and secretarial, you know what I mean. There should be some sort of financial analysis or accounting involved. It is not clear from your description whether the work is accepted. If you worry about not able to meet the requirement, you can contact IMA. I believe by 7 years it means the 7 years prior to getting the CMA exam and not after?

      Stephanie

  21. Shanvi says

    Hi Stephanie

    Thanks a lot for your valuable time for clarifying our doubts on CMA

    I have been working with a accounts firm for over 4 years I am also in the final year of my BCOM – can I apply for CMA beacause by this year end I will be completing my graduation in commerce

    • Stephanie says

      Hello, I think so because they allow you to take the exam before graduation. And your work experience should be more than enough to fulfill the experience requirements. Cheers, Stephanie

  22. amy says

    Hi,

    I am working on to pass cma exam part 1 . yet i ahve not regitered my self for the exam but willing to schedule Sep/oct.
    So my question is can i give my exam on oct2013 for patr 1 or oct is only for part 2 exam

  23. jitendra says

    hi,
    this jitendra….
    my que is i have complited my icwa -india associat degree , i would like to go for cma. membership.after getting the cma membership. can i get job in usa….. i m from india.

  24. Amit says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am currently in US and in am seriously considering taking up CMA certification during my time here. The problem is that i am from Engineering background and have not been exposed to any accounting topics. I am pretty confident on taking up the exams but am not sure which materials to refer to. Professional study material such as Gliem or Hocks or even IMA dont seem to serve my purpose as they dont start from Basics of accounting (correct me if i am wrong).
    I am a bit confused as to which books to refer to or purchase a test prep from either Gliem or Hocks.
    Any additional help on this part is appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Amit

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Amit,
      Thanks for your note and your detailed description of your situation. I see what you mean… Hocks has this supplementary material that you can get to cover the basics that you should know (but not cover in the standard Hock material) to sit for the exam. This primarily includes basic accounting and economics.

      I actually find the Wiley/CMALS very well written and organized, although for test prep software Gleim is pretty good in a way that it gets you fully prepared. For Hock, it’s somewhere in between for both in my opinion.

      So in an ideal world I would love to get Wiley book, Gleim test prep software and Hock supplementary notes :) Anyway, let me know what you think so I can make a more solid suggestion.

      If you haven’t already, you can also take a look at this page here:
      http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

      Stephanie

      • Amit says

        Hi Stephanie,

        Appreciate your help in your previous post. I have, infact gone ahead and purchased Hock part Study material along with a additional ebook which covers the “Assumed Knowledge” required.
        Quick review of the material and i will take a call to purchase Wiley too. Also i will be purchasing the Gliem test software (along with the book). Note that i am taking one bite at a time. I need your advice on, at which point of preparation should i register for exams?
        Thanks,
        Amit

        • Stephanie says

          Hi Amit,
          you can register for the exam anytime but should be within the 12 months of purchasing your study materials, because it may get slightly outdated if you wait for too long. It’s exceedingly boring to study for more than 6 months anyway :)

          Stephanie

  25. Sabrina says

    How do I know if my work experience would qualify if my work experience title does not state any of the ones listed above, but have included financial work relating to research? Also, does the position has to be a paying position?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sabrina, the list is not exhaustive, and also the last bullet point does mention research in related field, so sounds like it can be counted. But it is always a good idea to double check with IMA by emailing them a quick note. They are pretty good at responding my questions. On whether the position must be a paying job or not, I assume so, but again you can double check with IMA. Cheers, Stephanie

  26. Nikko says

    I’m a bit confused on the time bound requirements. If you need to complete the CMA “program” within 3 years of the entrance fee how do you also have 7 years after passing the exam to satisfy the experience requirements? Will you need to pay the entrance fee again after 3 years even if you are in the process of satisfying the experience requirements?

    Also, I’m a commercial credit analyst for national bank. It involves analyzing financial statements and making decisions based on that. Based on your knowledge, would that qualify for work experience?

    Thank you

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Amit,
      You are right — the wording is confusing. Let me think about how to change it. But basically it means that you do need to complete the program within 3 years, and then the experience prior to joining the CMA program can be counted and you can count backwards up to 7 years from the day you apply for the certification.

      Hope this is clearer?
      Stephanie

  27. LakshayBanga says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I would like to know that as per the reciprocal agreement between ima and icwa(india), a person from india would be eligible for icwa(india) membership if he/she writes and clears the exam outside india?..so,since I live in new delhi(india) and would like to pursue cma(usa)..however,in order to get the icwa(india) membership,would I have to write and clear the exam outside india or I should have the valid visa for the country from where I will appear the exam from since I would register myself from there itself or i can register myself from india and would just have to write an clear the exam outside india?Also,please clearify that i can give the exam anywhere in the middle east?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Lakshaya,
      I am afraid I don’t know about the eligibility of ICWAI membership. You’ll need to contact ICWAI for that. But once you become a member then the reciprocity with US CMA applies. Stephanie

    • puneet says

      CMA USA outside india will help u get ICWAI degree. You have to register outside india and take exams outside india. Singapore, hongkong and Srilanka can be considered.

  28. james says

    Hi Stephanie, I have worked as a Financial Representative/Stock broker for the last 5 years, would this experience be enough to satisfy the CMA work requirements. Thanks for maintaining this site btw.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi James, thanks for your note, you are most welcome!
      I believe if you can demonstrate finance analysis in your work (not just a broker) you have a good chance, but since it is not a mainstream management accounting/financial analysis role it is best if you can check with IMA. Stock broker’s role varies greatly around the world and some do have a lot of work in financial analysis, while some outsource to the investment team. Try to package yourself as the former as much as possible. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  29. james says

    Hi Stephanie, thank you for your quick response. Do you know how I can check on the experience requirement with the IMA. Do i have to register and pay the fees etc before they will look at my employment history.

    • Stephanie says

      No James, I don’t think so. You can simply email them and see. Doesn’t hurt to give it a try! Stephanie

  30. Subho says

    Hey Steffi,

    Thanks for all the wonderful info. I come from India and my graduation marksheet is done in the national language, post which I have done my mba ,which thankfully is in english.
    Would it be ok if i showed my Masters degree certificate or would I have to show both of them ?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Subho, you are most welcome! I would just send in all the transcripts. But if it is a hassle which I understand might be the use for India, you can submit the master’s degree certificate and check the status online to see if it is sufficient.

      Alternatively, you can ask IMA and see if they can give you a firm answer. You might want to emphasize the difficulty of getting the transcript (if it’s the case) in your email so they understand the circumstances. Stephanie

  31. Subho says

    to secure a world ranking (looking at bright sides) is it mandatory to give both parts together or giving part1 in jan and part2 in may be also eligible the rankings??

    • says

      Hi Subho, what do you mean by world ranking? To achieve the highest score on a worldwide basis? I think you can take it separately, but it’s better if you could confirm with IMA. Stephanie

      • Subho says

        should i just pen them an email with regards to both my queries and they would be obliged to reply, I intend to take the part2 exam in the sep-oct this year meaning 2013.
        I hope that I am upto it and would really appreciate any and every insight that you would have to offer.
        Thanks in advance.
        regards,
        Subho

  32. Adam says

    Stephanie – just a quick question on the order in which I do the steps. Do I have to register with IMA before I enroll in a study course? It looks like once I register, I need to stick to an exam date, whereas if I just start studying, I can do the exam when I feel I am ready. Thanks Adam

    • says

      Hi Adam,
      Yes, I would generally recommend you register with the IMA first, but you don’t need to pay the exam fee until you are ready to do so. You are fine as long as you take the first exam (either part 1 or 2) within a year.

      If you choose to study first, it is fine too, just make sure you do take the exam within ~ a year so that your study materials remain the most updated. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  33. li says

    Hi-I am currently an engineering undergraduate student in U of T, I am wondering is there anything i can do to start my CMA (since i major in engineering not commerce or math), I don’t want to wait after graduation to start the test, is there any specific textbook or courses prepare me for the test?

  34. waqar khan says

    hi Stephanie! how are you? im from Pakistan..im recently registered for b.com from Punjab University.(it is in list)..,
    1.) my question is that,,,how can i get student discount from IMA For CMA??
    2.)am i eligible for student discount and to start CMA IMA??
    i am fully prepared for it since 7months…but my BBig problem is that (i have NO knowldge for IMA Student REG. proccesss For CMA.. please help me…. my time is wasting by WAIT….please Ma’m help me

    • says

      Hi Waqar, I think as long as you submit proof that you are a current student then it is fine. There is a button for student members to pay and attach the proof. What’s the issue? Stephanie

  35. waqar khan says

    i Stephanie! how are you? im from Pakistan..im recently registered for b.com from Punjab University.(it is in list)..,
    1.) my question is that,,,how can i get student discount from IMA For CMA??
    2.)am i eligible for student discount and to start CMA IMA??
    i am fully prepared for it since 7months…but my BBig problem is that (i have NO knowldge for IMA Student REG. proccesss For CMA.. please help me…. my time is wasting by WAIT….please Ma’m help me

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Waqar,
      I think so, if you are a current student. Just send in the proof when you apply for the student membership.

      If you have already studied for 7 months you should definitely get registered and take the exam — studying more will bore you to tears!

      Best of luck to your exam, Stephanie

  36. Kwesi says

    Is the student membership only available to American and Canadian students??? Or are European students included as well?

  37. Jing says

    hi Stephane,
    Thanks a lot for all the notes which were extremely helpful! I have one question regarding the educational background. I was graduated in with bachelor’s degree majored in finance management, however my GPA is quite low especially for some courses ( macro economics, information system etc). Will it be a problem for me to enter the exam? Will I be rejected to attend the exam?

    Thanks a lot!

    Jing

    • says

      Hi Jing, no worries on your grades. As long as you graduate from university and have proof of that, it is fine :)

      In your case the CMA certification would be a great way to make up for that lower grades at school. Stephanie

  38. Sanjiv says

    Is CMA course examination center is available in Pune/Mumbai (India) ? also give us list of coatching classess available in Pune along with contract numbers.

  39. Subho says

    hey steffi thanks for the great info and by world rankings yes i mean scoring maximum or being in the top ten in terms of the marks scored in the exam.
    Thanks a lot for the info. really appreciate it.

  40. Ady says

    Hi Steff,

    its good to see such a guide on the internet, with so many responses/queries. Cheerz! & thanks a Ton!

    my query – proff work experience – i work for a multinational corp – 3 years – inventory accounting ( month end close – journal vouchers, account reconciliations & analysis – reporting)
    so, will this be considered relevant?

    will they send out a mailer requesting my job description to my employer?

    also, i believe i must submit a form stating my experience.
    and this is Only after enrolling as a member ( i.e paying fee)
    what if, the above experience is not accepted? do i need to find a new job?

    i wish they had a help desk to verify my job details before i enroll, would spare me the fees .

    Thanks for the helpful article!

    • says

      Hi Ady, thanks for your note! I am glad this site has been helpful to aspiring CMAs. On your question, no I think you (and not IMA) are the one to ask your employer to fill/sign the experience verification form.

      I do think your job is very relevant, but to double check (which is always a good idea) you can simply email IMA at ima@imanet.org. In my opinion it is very close to a help desk as they are usually very helpful. Good luck, let us know how it goes! Stephanie

  41. naresh says

    Hi
    iam naresh from Bangalore, india. I had finished my b.com.
    I had 3 years work experience in an audit firm.
    now iam interested to do cma & cpa
    my problem is iam unable to find a consultancy for starting a process to US.
    Can we get a student visa to do cma & cpa in USA,if yes please tell me how to start the process and procedure.
    please give me some guidance & valuable information
    thank you

  42. Babar says

    Hi
    i am Babar from Islamabad, Pakistan. I am persuing my Carrier in Chartered Accountancy and had done CA (Inter) and now in Final Stage of CA (ICAP).
    I have almost 3.5 years work experience with Deloitte Pakistan in audit and Assurance department .
    now i am interested to do CMA
    my problem is i have no Bachelor degree in any discipline .
    Can i still eligible to apply for CMA
    please give me some guidance & valuable information
    I would be really greatful.

  43. Vivek Patel says

    Dear madam,

    There is any way that I can verify first my work experience and after that I start process for CMA. Currently I am pursuing CPA, as I qualified for CPA so it means I am also qualified for CMA but I want to check first my experience. So I appreciate if you help me in to this matter.

    Vivek

    • says

      Hi Vivek,
      Nice to see you here at the CMA site! The qualified experience can be counted backwards up to 7 years, so your experience before getting the CMA exam should be able to count. But technically I don’t know whether you can get the form though… you may need to ask IMA to mail you one directly. Stephanie

  44. desma says

    Dear maam,
    i wanted to know if working in the assurance department for 2 years will fulfill the 2 year wok experience criteria for attaining the CMA qualification .

    Thanks for you help .

    • says

      Hi Desma, it’s not strictly financial/management accounting or financial analysis / management. I would suggest you get a “ruling” from IMA, because I am not in a position to comment on their behalf. When you email them it is best to give them a detailed description, highlight any analytical work involved to get a better chance of approval. Hope it works. Good luck!

  45. surya says

    dear maam,
    I am a CA-IPCC student belonging to tamilnadu, I wish to pursue CMA.
    I need to know about the eligibility to enter into this course and what is the criteria for taking CMA exams. I have completed my schooling and have passed CA-CPT , I dont have any undergraduate degree from any college..

    kindly help me to resolve my problem.

  46. Chebait says

    Is there a way i can still sit for the CMA exams while still a student undertaking a Bachelor’s of Commerce

    • says

      Hi Chebait,
      Yes you can — you can start taking the exam but you will only get the CMA certification after getting the two years of required experience. Stephanie

  47. Uma Raj says

    Hello Stephanie!!!

    Thanks for the help through your website. I am a B.Com., graduate from India (Mom of 2 kids). Had 2 years of experience from a bank in India 7 yrs. before. Now residing in Texas. Planning to study and work later. But confused what course to do (CPA or CMA), am I eligible to do CMA now. How effective is CMA for getting a job than CPA. Will be really grateful if you could help me in this. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Uma, as a BCOM, it is much easier to get qualified for the CMA vs the CPA exam. In terms of effectiveness, it really depends on which type of companies you want to work for. If you are open to any accounting jobs, including companies with more costing/inventory focus e.g. manufacturing firms, then CMA can potentially help a lot. It’s a qualification that either people don’t really care (e.g. if you work in a bank or a CPA firm), or highly value. So it’s something nice to have, in case you do get an opportunity that values CMA.

      CPA is certainly more versatile — it helps in all types of accounting, and is required as you move up if you join a CPA firm, but as BCOM you need two more years of education, which as a mom of two kids (like me) it’s extremely hard to do. In any case, all the best, and let me know if I can be helpful! Stephanie

  48. Renee says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I just paid for my membership to IMA and the next step is paying the entrance fee. Does paying this fee mean that they will supply me with the materials I need to study for the exam? I’m unclear on exactly what this entails.

    Thanks!

  49. j b raviteja says

    hi, Stephanie Ng
    iam from india completed bcom 2010 i had work experience . i want to do cma us course whether there is good job demand after completion of these course? actually in my country there is coaching center for this cma can i prepare on my own? or else go to coaching? please give me exactly what about job market in usa after this course whether it is demanded or not?

    • says

      Hi JB, I would say, from the statistics, CMA does earn quite a bit more but it really depends on many factors, e.g. quality of resume, interview skills, prior experience, and some luck.

      But in terms of courses I generally do recommend the self-study courses via the internet, because they are generally (1) more affordable (2) used by most US domestic candidates (3) allow you to study at the comfort of your home. I can’t say much about coaching center in your country because I have never been to one, but the one I had in mine (for US CPA) gave me a bad experience, so for me at least I won’t try that again.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  50. Mridul Rajeev says

    hi sir,
    iam from india,i’ve completed my degree with bcom and now iam iam doing mcom, will i be eligible to do cma from india and how long it will take for me after my graduation to become a cma and what is its duration in india?

    • says

      Hi Mridul, yes, you are eligible with the bachelor degree. Even better with the master’s! You don’t need to wait until graduation; can start any time.

      the process is the same everywhere. It can take as quick as a few months if you take the 2 parts of the exam at the same time, but in any case you have to complete the CMA program within 3 years.

      • Mridul Rajeev says

        ok thanks a lot sir,in india i think ,i saw somewere in the internet that it takes only 9 months to complete is that true sir?

        • says

          Hi Mridul,
          Can do for sure. Technically you can complete the exam in, say 3 months, if you study really hard on the materials and take the two parts of the exam together. Stephanie

  51. himanshu says

    Hello Stephanie ,
    I have completed my MBA (Information System) in 2001 .But I started working as a Chief accountant in central Africa in 2009 so will be consider for CMA . Should it be prior or within 7 years after completion of Degree .

    Himanshu

    • says

      Hi Himanshu, I believe the rule is that you can count your experience up to 7 years before you apply for your CMA certification. So it isn’t linked to when you take your MBA, if this is what you mean. Hope it helps? If not let me know. Stephanie

  52. jazzy says

    first of all i would like to say , you are running very useful page & i really appreciate your response to our queries

    well dear stephanie , here an other little question i would like to ask .
    actually am graduated & holding Bachelor degree from accredited university & is present in the list of universities that IMA provided at http://univ.cc/world.php . but my degree program was of two years duration rather then 4 years . so can you tell me is that bachelor degree program of 2 years duration enough for satisfying the educational requirement of CMA ?

    • says

      Hi Jazzy, thanks for your note!

      I think so, since they don’t specify the number of years as long as it is a degree from recognized university. But if you aren’t sure you can always send an email to confirm. If I were you I would definitely do that. Email is ima@imanet.org. They are very good in responding to emails. Good luck! Stephanie

  53. Ade says

    Hello Stephanie,

    In regards to the academic background, I know I am solid. In terms of the professional requirement, I currently work as an Operations Manager for an Investment Bank. Do you know if that would be considered as under the Financial Management requirement? I do handle some basic financial analysis functions

    • says

      Hi Ade, looks ok to me if you can demonstrate (and emphasize) the financial analysis role. You can always email IMA for their opinion so you can take away one uncertainty. Many of my readers do that. Most of the “borderline” cases seem to have received green light. Good luck! Stephanie

  54. anwar says

    Hi Stephanie
    Thanks for setting up this information. I need to know if i have a two-year bachelors degree(equivalent to associate degree) instead of four years, am i eligible to do CMA

    • says

      Hi Anwar, I am sure 3-year bachelor degree (which is also seen as an associate degree) works. For 2-year degrees it depends on whether your school is included in IMA’s list. They don’t seem to have a minimum years of study as long as it is a bachlor degree from recognized university.

      The best way to get confirmation is to ask IMA directly at ima@imanet.org. Good luck! Stephanie

  55. mahmoud qatawneh says

    Hello
    First i would like to thank you for this very helpful website
    I have to questions
    1- I have 10 years experience in accounting , 7 of them as a senior
    do they considered for the professional experience requirement .
    2- candidates will be required to take 30 hours of CPE (continuing professional education).
    they mean every year or just once ?

    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Mahmoud, thanks for your note! Yes accounting jobs are good for the experience requirements. On the CPE, I am afraid you need that on an annual basis. That’s why it is called “continuing” education :) Stephanie

  56. JD says

    I qualify to do cma exam based on my education, i am CA(Inter) from ICAI. i am working in construction company since last 16 years will this be treated as work experience for the CMA certification. or i have to work leaving my job to get 2 year experience for cma certification. ince I am in Oman will it helpful to find better job back in india when i return to india. suggest me the best institute in oman to do the cma course or any indian institute through i can do like ipfc.

  57. john m says

    hi Stephanie.
    im working as a bookkeeper in the accounting center of our company, will that fulfill the work experience? do i need another work to get qualified?
    thank you!

    • says

      Hi John, this might be a bit tough because they need accountant vs bookkeeper experience… or do you do any analytical work at all? Try to package it this way and it will help your case. It’s better if you check if IMA as well before applying for the exam. Stephanie

  58. JD says

    hi Stephanie.
    I qualify to do cma exam based on my education, i am CA(Inter) from ICAI. i am working in construction company since last 16 years will this be treated as work experience for the CMA certification. or i have to work leaving my job to get 2 year experience for cma certification. ince I am in Oman will it helpful to find better job back in india when i return to india. suggest me the best institute in oman to do the cma course or any indian institute through i can do like ipfc.

  59. Sumit LAley says

    I have done MBA finance and I have completed 3 years experience in toll operations as a auditor, can i join this course. I have experiace of validation audit in toll operation. Plz suggest me, Because i want join cma certification.

  60. says

    Dear Stephanie,

    Let me thank you for spending your valuable time and efforts to answer the questions of students in this forum.

    Sometime ago, until June 2013 I was there in your mailing list while I was doing my CPA. I got my CPA ( not licensed) from AICPA and now interested to study something more. . Actually, I wanted to go for MBA.. When I calculated the cost and time involved in that program, I thought of considering CMA.

    I just wanted to know, whether MBA is better than CMA or vice versa or can be considered ‘equivalent’ ? How does market respond to a person with CMA ? I know, nobody can give a definite answer for these questions. Since you are in the field of education and advising, I thought of seeking your suggestion/opinion.

    Kindly let me have your suggestions.

    Regards,

    Krishna.

    • says

      Hi Sunny, not really, but I believe they do. I suggest that you pick a course that you like, then ask the provider directly. The biggest 3 players (Gleim, Wiley, Hock) should have them. Good luck! Stephanie

  61. sharad says

    I am preparing myself for CMA exam in India….I have completed my bachelor degree…after passing CMA exam,is it sure that I do grab a job….?…plz do reply

    • says

      Hi Sharad, I have to be honest with you that the CMA title cannot guarantee jobs… it may help, but there are a lot more factors such as your previous experience, resume and interview skills, and luck. Stephanie

  62. Hanan AK says

    Hi!
    how are you? actually i need suggestion from you…i have already registered with IMA and prepared for Part one exams but due to some serious issues i wont be able to sit for the exams in jan/feb window. what would be your suggestion, if i sit for both parts exams in may/june window or give the exams one by one???

    will you recommend this approach…?

    kindly reply me and let me know…thanks…

  63. kavitha says

    Hi,

    I completed my MBA finance, but i don’t have accounting experience.
    i have 6 years experience in personal secretary, will i take the cma course.

    Kindly suggest me.

  64. Deba says

    Hello,
    i m working in a SAP FICO consulting job about 2 yrs. Before i wroked in Accounting (ERP Related) field about 2 yrs in power Transmission co..i m B.com Graduate. now i m littlebit confuse that what should i do MBA (Fin) or CMA? if i do CMA then is it elegible with my 2yrs work Experience(in SAP Fico) for getting CMA certification.

    Plz Suggest me

    Regards

    • says

      Hi kv, if you are ICWAI member, then you can get CMA via their reciprocal mutual agreement. Alternatively, if you are ACCA member then you can automatically get qualified for the CMA exam, but there is no exemption in the exam itself. Stephanie

  65. Sharma says

    Hi,

    I’m master in Technology in IT and currently pursuing executive general management program in IT from IIM Bangalore. I have 7 years of experience in software development. Is im eligible to write CMA exam?

    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Sharma, I am sure your educational qualification can get your qualify for the exam. On the experience though it doesn’t sound if it is related to accounting/finance management so you might need to plan ahead and work on those before you get into the CMA program. You do need two years of relevant experience to get the CMA title. Stephanie

  66. Rajesh Verma says

    Credential Evaluation
    This is very complicated point. i have done my graduation from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Well-known university in india. but not comes in IMA university list. so major question arises. send your degree for evaluation original with photocopies and also pay high charges.
    should anyone prepare for CMA study or get tension to send his/her degree for evaluation. because of this point i am changing my interest of CMA study.
    but if anyone help me on this point. i am glad to that

  67. Noel says

    Hi Stephanie,

    A eager and looking forward to taking the course, but i dont want to rush.

    firstly can you tell me, what kind of basics do i need to know, to some day handel the pressure of the course, basically am a B.Com graduate. and its been 8 yrs now since i graduated.

    have been an accountant for 3 years but my profile is low, i do AR as well as some of AP.

    can you tell me what should i study prior to taking this course, my basics should focus on what?
    or what should my base strength be, before taking up this course

    appreciate your help and time with this querry

    Regards
    Noel

    • says

      Hi Noel, it’s good that you don’t want to rush. You can find out the exam content here:
      http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-entrance-exam/

      The content may look daunting, but as long as you follow the chapters in the review courses, and work on most if not all the practice questions, you will get very well prepared. Many candidates take it 5-10 years after university, so don’t worry about that.

      Let me know if you have more questions! Stephanie

  68. Jinga says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I took and passed the first part of the CMA exam. The results were given to me 5 weeks via email. I failed the second one, but the result wasn’t emailed to me and it was after 6 weeks. I re-took the exam but it has been such a long wait for the results! Is there any way I can get my results earlier? Does the IMA only email results if passed? I am nearing the sixth week mark and I don’t feel confident now. I will have to take the exam again, and at that point, the potential results will only be around June 15th. Seems like a very long process – I could be re-studying at this point.

    Anxiously waiting,

    Jinga.

    PS – Do you work for PWC? Name is familiar.

  69. sukhesh says

    hi! Im currently pursuing B.Com in a college which is affiliated to a university given in the list. So will it be valid as if i did my graduation from that university??
    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Sukhesh, sounds like you can. Students may sit for the exam before they complete their degree, provided they’re registered for at least six credits per semester during the academic year. The ICMA requires candidates to have fulfilled the education requirements within seven years after completing the CMA exam but not before sitting for the exam.

  70. sukhesh says

    i am a second year student of B.com from india. Should i wait till i graduate or can i apply to cma right now, so that i can complete both of them simultaneously.

  71. sukhesh says

    and one last thing.. Im also a student of chartered accountant course in india. According to this course i have to work as an intern under a qualified CA for 3 years before i can give my final exam. Can i take those 3 years as enough work experience for CMA.
    Thanx in advance once again.

  72. Nitin says

    hi Stephanie

    I have engineering degree.Currently i am working in bank as a manager.
    Is the work experience relevant for cma.
    please help me…

    • says

      Hi Nitin, it depends whether your manager role involves financial analysis and/or management. It is hard to tell from the title, but if you can articulate your job with a detailed description and submit together to IMA, it will have a good chance. You can check with IMA in advance by emailing them before the application. Email: ima[@]imanet.org.

  73. Anoop John says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have an important question to ask, is it possible to take the Part 2 of the CMA exam first and then the Part 1 later? I mean can I take and clear ‘Financial decision making’ first and then later take the ‘Financial planning, performance and control’ exam? Please clarify. Moreover I have heard that Part 2 is easier than Part1, is that true?

    Regards
    Anoop John

    • says

      Hi Anoop, yes you can do part 2 first. In terms of which part is easier/harder, I think it largely depends on the candidate’s background. Part 1 is similar to CPA’s BEC section while Part 2 is similar to CFA level 1. It is however true that CMA part 2 has a higher pass rate. Stephanie

      • Anoop John says

        Thanks and are the two parts inter-related? I mean will I have difficulty in clearing part 2 without reading part 1? And I am reading Hock material 5th edition. Is that sufficient? Or do I have to get the latest edition to pass the exam?

        Regards
        Anoop John

        • says

          Hi Anoop, the two parts are not in sequence so you can take part 2 without revising for part 1 first. As for whether out-of-date materials are good enough, I would say most of the things are there for sure, and you are fine your score is comfortably above the passing score. Otherwise, losing a few points due to out-dated materials may fail the test. Passing rate is quite low so it isn’t in our favor…
          More info on passing rate here: http://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-pass-rate/

      • Anoop John says

        Also please tell me do I need to enroll with any institute apart from taking a good review course like Gleim or Hock? There is an institute by the name IPFC which provides online coaching for clearing CMA, is it required?
        Please suggest..

        Regards
        Anoop John

        • says

          Hi Anoop, it is not required to take any of the coaching courses. I don’t know much about IPFC to comment. I would say most candidates take some sort of a course, but I think most people in America take self-study courses. Regards, Stephanie

          • Anoop says

            Thanks and please also tell me that suppose I clear both the levels of CMA exam, will I get any certificate/letter that proves that I have cleared the exam(without completing the experience requirement)? I mean to say that merely passing the cma exam without actually meeting the experience requirement will also increase my employability or not?

            Regards
            Anoop john

          • says

            Hi Anoop, well, yes and no… you cannot hold yourself as CMA without the experience, but if you are interviewing with a company, you can mention that you pass the CMA exam and all you need is the experience to become a CMA. If the company values CMA, it helps.
            Stephanie

  74. Anastassia Doll says

    Hi. This is a helpful article. I was wondering if you also knew about how quickly does the content on the exams changes? I have the 2014 prep materials from Wiley. I still need time to study but my accounting degree will help with this. I just don’t know if I have to spend another $1000 on study materials if I choose to wait until 2015 to sit for the exams. I just want to be more prepared… These prep materials were a part of a class that I had to take through my school. It was included in my tuition.

  75. Ahsan Anjum says

    Dear Sir,
    I am new in CMA and not regisered yet…
    I want to appear in May-June attempt. I am getting coaching by my brother.
    please help me, I want to appear in CMA part-2 firstly. it is possible??
    and how much money required???
    I am not a bachelor????? Is it necessary to become a bachelor first.??
    My planning is here:
    1. Pass CMA exams.
    2. Complete B.Com degree (it is already continue and half have been completed)
    3. Get 2 years experience…

  76. Khalid says

    Greetings Stephanie,
    I became an IMA member in March 2013 and decided to start with part 2. Since then I took part 2 twice in October 2013 and February 2014. For the exam I took in October I got 300, for February exam I got 350. I was really disappointed and furstrated to see my score extremely close to the passing score. If I got one or two of the multible choice questions I missed right I would have passed!. I am really hesitant whether I should pursue trying or not. I really wonder if I will pass on my next attempt or not. If so how will I do on part 1 given that it has a lower passing rate. Would I be able to pass both parts within the three years window (prior to March 2016).
    Please I need your advice.

    You advice and reply are highly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Khalid

  77. Avishek Chatterjee says

    I am from Canada, Toronto but I have done my B.Com (Honours) from India. I have registered with CMA but after sending them all my transcripts etc they have told me to complete 2 prequalifying courses i.e. Statistucs and Economics. Can you please explain why? Why can’t I sit for the main exam directly? What do i do?

    • says

      Hi Avishek, I honestly have no idea, and haven’t heard of this… Did you apply for CMA (US) or CMA (Canada)? My site is only about CMA administrated by IMA in the US. Regards, Stephanie

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