Becoming a Certified Management Accountant = time, effort and money. Is it worth it?
Here are 5 good reasons to go ahead.
Your 5 Motivations in Becoming a CMA
1. Gold-Standard in Management Accounting
Your aunts and neighbors may never heard of CMA. In corporate accounting world, CMA is a very respected designation.
The CMA is an advanced professional certification specifically designed to measure the critical accounting and financial management skills. This is especially relevant for success in a business environment.
Here are some tangible benefits you can get after becoming a CMA.
2. Arguably the Most Global Management Accounting Certification
CIMA is the largest in this niche, but the vast majority of members are located in UK, and to a lesser extent Europe and commonwealth countries.
The number of US CMAs is smaller, but the certification is now the most popular management accounting certification not only in the US, but also in the fastest developing regions, namely China and the Middle East. As you can see from the chart extracted from the August 2014 edition of Strategic Finance, almost half of the new CMA candidates came from the Middle East (UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan), and almost 1/4 from Asia Pacific (China and India).
3. CMAs Get Paid More
Let’s face it — we want to learn, but ultimately we need the certification to get better-paid jobs. According to a comprehensive study by IMA, CMA certification holders earn 1/3 more than their non-certified counterparts.
4. For Many, CMA Skills are More Practical
Various industry journals have indicated that 80% of accountants end up in non-public accounting. The management accounting knowledge and skill is in fact more useful for these professionals. In fact, many dual CPA and CMA holders find the materials covered in CMA more interesting and practical in their daily work.
5. IMA Makes it Easy for Us
Unlike the CPA exam in which getting qualified is sometimes harder than passing the exam itself, IMA (the CMA exam administrator) make things clear, simple and organized for applicants. IMA openly welcomes international candidates with the exam offered in hundreds of locations worldwide.
Don’t get me wrong — it is easier not because of a low barrier of entry, because candidates are still required to have a bachelor degree, a rigorous exam and 2 continuous years of management accounting experience to get certified.
But IMA makes the process of becoming a CMA as smooth as possible. Candidates can focus on passing the exam and fulfilling the experience, instead of getting stuck with the bureaucracy and conflicting rules from different State Boards.
Sounds Great… But How Does This Benefit Me?”
Let’s see if the CMA certification benefits YOUR career.
1. Can the CMA Certification Land You a Better Job?
Within the Finance department at J&J, the CMA is a highly regarded certification. The content of the CMA exam mirrors real-world applications used across the corporate finance and accounting functions.” – Ryan Perkins, CMA, senior financial analyst at Johnson & Johnson
(Strategic Finance Magazine, April 2015)
Please grab a pen and paper, and write down:
- 3 dream companies to work for; and
- 3 dream positions within the company
Then, look at this list and see if these are the companies you’d like to work for. These fortune 500 companies are known to have CMAs in their key management roles:
- Bank of America
- Johnson & Johnson
- Procter & Gamble
- Saudi Aramco
You will notice that the majority are big, global corporations focused in manufacturing. If your ideal workplace match the list above, the CMA is great for you.
2. Are You Sure You Don’t Want to be an Auditor or Tax Accountant?
If you aren’t sure, the CMA certification may not be good for you, at least at this stage. There is very little use if you aspire to work in a public accounting firm, either as an auditor or in tax.
On the other hand, if you want to build your career in corporate accounting, the certification greatly enhances your profile and knowledge in the field.
3. Is CMA Truly Valued in Where I Live?
It’s nice to know the 30%+ salary premium CMAs enjoy, and that CMAs are in low supply. But honestly, does this average figure mean much?
Probably not, because the demand for CMAs is different in different regions across the US, and around the world.
How do you know if CMA is valued in your area?
It’s time for research. Check out online recruiting sites such as Monster.com and Indeed.com, or other equivalent sites in your home country.
Then, type in “certified management accountant” and see if there are jobs pop up in your area (“CMA” is likely too broad because it covers “certified medical assistant” and a few other certifications).
For example, Monster.com lists out 148 jobs in New Jersey based on “certified management accountant”. You should be able to find more listings using a variety of keywords.
Take a look at the industry, job description and salary range. See if these opportunities excite you.
See Why My Bloggers Got their CMA Qualifications
|Amani’s 6 Benefits from |
CMA (even before passing)
|Why Vinoth chose CMA |
over Indian CA
Finally, Here is a Summary in Video Format
Sounds Good! What’s Next?
- How to (quickly) become CMA in 12 steps
- See how much the exam will cost you
- The salary premium you can expect with the CMA title
You may also be interested in signing up my mini e-course to plan, study and pass the CMA exam on your first attempt (click the link for details on the mini-course):
Join us if you want to get tips on how to plan,
study and pass your CMA exam… on your first attempt!