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Who’s behind IPasstheCMAExam.com?

stephanie ngHello, My Name is Stephanie…

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of several accounting professional exam prep sites.

After a few years in investment banking at Morgan Stanley, I went to work for my client in their Finance Department specializing in internal corporate finance. It was apparent that all senior guys in the department have a CPA qualification, and I figured I better get mine some day, soon. I went ahead to register and study for the CPA exam diligently every weekend and got the CPA certificate within 9 months.

Having said that, it has never been my intention to work as a certified “public” accountant. After 5 years in the internal corporate finance I went to work as director of strategic planning in a global bank. I am currently running my own series of accounting and finance career websites on exam preparation, resume preparation and job hunting.

… And I am Meghan!

My name is Meghan D., and I live in the United States. My father worked in finance and my mother owned a series of home-cooking restaurants in the Midwest. I’ve lived in the Midwest US my whole life, although I have traveled all over – from Europe to China, and many places in between! I even interned as a member of a tax services team in the Middle East. I currently work for a big 4 accounting firm in the advisory department. My goal is to get promoted to manager by this time next year!

I took and passed the CPA Exam in 2014. I studied hard and passed my exams before I began working in public accounting, but I kept traveling while I was studying. It is possible to have a life and still study for the CPA Exam! In addition, I am currently working toward becoming a CMA. I look forward to writing about my experiences, helping you learn about all the different accounting exams, and giving you advice that has worked for me and my colleagues.

Why CMA?

Although CPA is still more prestigious, CMA is getting traction and in our opinion a more suitable certification for non-public accountants.

We also find the topics on how to manage, operate and strategize a business more interesting than the relative theoretical subjects covered in the CPA exam syllabus.

Guess You are Interested in Management Accounting?

Some of you are working in corporate accounting and others are exploring the opportunities. In any case, if you visit my site, you are at least interested in management accounting and the CMA exam.

CMA Exam is the Necessary Evil

Taking the CMA exam isn’t the end game; it is the necessary evil in your path towards a successful accounting career in the corporate world. Therefore, our goal is to pass the CMA exam in the simplest, fastest, and the most efficient way possible.

You will find two types of articles on this site. The first being the basic facts, such as registration process, exam dates, location and so on. They are all listed on my frequently asked questions page.

The second, which is more important, is the tips on how to nail this exam.

Don’t Miss My Tips Pages

The most important page on our site is the CMA review course comparison. Getting the most suitable course is extremely important for your passing success. You’ll see that we list out the pros and cons for each, but our general recommendation is Gleim CMA review, and we explain why on a page dedicated to this excellent review course.

Then, we also have tips page for each of Part 1 and Part 2 , together with the ultimate tips page.

You are also welcome to join our community by signing up to our free mini e-course. It’s completely free with no strings attached, meaning you can unsubscribe any time:

  • Ellen says:

    hello stephanie,
    can you tell me how long will it take it take to finish cma after the bachelors degree?

    • Stephanie says:

      Actually you can get prepared even before you graduate. But generally, many candidates can get it done within one year, especially nowadays CMA only has two papers. Hope it helps! Stephanie

      • alan abraham says:

        1.i am a b.com graduate and i would like to know if getting a cma(usa) certificate from india does it come with any hidden problem?
        2. does the cma course generally easy to complete within 1 year if i only study?
        3. will the contents of this course somewhere help me down the line if i wish to be an entrepreneur

  • Siraj says:

    Dear Stephanie
    Please find below queries regarding CMA course:-

    To introduce myself I have done my Bcom in the year 1991 from Bombay University, in India and since then past 21 years working as an Accountant. My job involves routine accounting work like book keeping etc.
    I would like to study for CMA but considering the gap of 21 years where I left studying & working as book keeper (routine accounting job) I almost forgot the concepts. When I went over the topics which will be tested for CMA I felt they are almost new to me.
    After review about available material, understand that Hock material is in detail & can help in basic understanding for accounting, costing.

    However in case if I am not able to understand the concept due to weak foundation and the material is written on advanced level considering candidates have basic knowledge, then what should I do in such case ?

    Another weakness is Maths or Stats. As there are numerical topics what should be done to understand the basics and move to advanced level in the material ?

    I am good at theory hence wanted to join CPA and write exam in Abudhabi, however current eligibility requirement is 4 years of educational qualification. As I am Bcom (3 years course) I have to study Mcom part 1 to be eligible. Due to this I opted for CMA. Is there any easy option still for CPA ?

    Request not to quote the details of this query on the web.

    Thanks & Regards

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Siraj, thanks for your note. Yes understand that you have been out of school for many years, but in a way these type of professional exams (either CPA or CMA) are quite different from what we experienced at school. It’s not difficult, but you have to get used to the question format.

      For me, for difficult concepts I just have to work on lots of practice questions before I “clicked”. Not sure if it works for you but if you get stuck, instead of reading the notes over and over again you can try work on a few questions and see if it helps.

      On the CPA qualification, I am afraid that with Bcom it simply won’t work these days. It’s getting pretty tough with Bcom + CA. In short, no easy option for Indian candidates in general unfortunately. If you are working in corporate I would go for the CMA.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Muneeb says:

    HI Stephanie,

    i am currently doing CIA….and then planning for CMA….is it a right choice….or should i opt for some other certification….also i heard after completing CMA, you can get a lot of exemption in ACCA…is this right? is there any exemptions for ACA also after CMA?….hope i am not bothering you with my queries…



    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Muneeb,
      Sure this sounds like a good plan. You can also consider CPA, which is arguably more prestigious, but the entry barrier is higher in terms of the educational requirement.

      Yes you can waive 7 papers out of the 14 if you have CMA. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Karim says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have finalized the CMA and got promoted in my work,
    However , i feel like i have finished my duty and do not have any new challenge (the CMA was a hard challenge).
    Do you have any suggestions??



    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Karim, good for you! If you can get qualified you can try CPA… but make sure you double check whether you can get all the educational and working experience requirement done.

      Depending on the nature of your work, can consider CFA or CIA… although they are not as relevant for management accountants. It is more useful if you want to switch jobs down the road.

      Otherwise, just enjoy life with your family and friends! Stephanie

  • Shan Khan says:

    Dear Stephine!

    I am currently working in a rent-a-car Company’s operations department, and i would like to enhance my career with CMA, as strong financial information is much needed to report to Management and hence indeed a tool to move up to the ladder. I am 35 years old and a non-accountant. Find myslef bit left behind in corporate world, and really want to make a difference. I need your advise if i should go ahead with CMA? and even being in Operations Departartment where little financial information is enough to run the show, i would request your advise if CMA will really be making a difference for me?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Shan,
      Thanks for your note! Sure I think CMA would be a great qualification for you to attain in your situation. It is not as “technical accounting” focused so to speak as CPA, and it is definitely more relevant because it is more about the management side of the financial numbers.

      In terms of whether the company will appreciate your qualification, I won’t be able to answer that for you (I do hope so!). You can discuss with your boss and see how they think about it, and just in case they don’t appreciate it I still think it is a qualification valued in other companies (especially the fortune 500).

      Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Mueez Ilyas says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I currently reside in Uk and I have recently gained ACCA membership. I am in process of immigrating to States in near future. I was delighted to hear about global strategic partnership between ACCA and IMA. I understand that it is quite tough to get exemptions for CPA but I see CMA as an alternative to get into finance qualification in USA.

    I have read previous articles/comments about CPA vs ACCA and it really frustrates me that ACCA is not widely accepted in USA for the purpose of CPA. This is why I am considering applying for CMA instead of wasting time looking for CPA exemptions.

    I have 4 years experience of working in both financial and management accounts department for a transport company which also has operations in USA and I also hold BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University.

    I would be grateful if anyone can guide me with the following questions;

    1- If I get equivalence certificate of my qualification and experience would I be eligible to apply for CPA examination or I could apply in California (apparently they may accept ACCA) and sit for my exam in New Jersey?

    2- If it is not possible for me to get into CPA, can I still apply for CMA exams and does CMA operates on individual states basis likewise CPA or it has one central exam body.

    3- Any further news on exemptions for ACCA individual who want to study CMA?

    I would really appreciate if anyone could guide me or share any suggestion which you may think would be more appropriate considering my situation.

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Mueez, thanks for your note. If you don’t mind, I will just tell you my thoughts in a straight-forward manner… I would say for, first of all, don’t count on California but even if the designated credential evaluation agencies approve some ACCA courses, you still do not have the equivalent of a 4-year bachelor degree. So I would say unless you get an extra master’s degree, you won’t have a chance for the CPA exam.

      But for CMA, they look for bachelor degree only and it doesn’t need the 4-year used in US system. Oxford Brookes University” is listed as one of the qualified universities (https://univ.cc/world.php) and therefore you are eligible for this exam and can apply any time. CMA can get substantial waiver for ACCA but not the other way round, since there is now only 2 papers for CMA and I guess it’s hard to waive say half of the exam…

      Anyway, hope this is useful and good news for you at least on the part of the CMA exam. Best of luck! Stephanie

      • Fahad says:

        Hello Stephanie,
        CMA and CIA is a good combination or not? I have 7 years of experience in Financial Accounting and it seems that not every organization need management accountant. I have 18 years of academic qualification which is 4 years of BBA and 2 years of MBA (Finance). Please. I need your help..Thanks

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Fahad,
          CMA + CIA works best if you work in, say, a manufacturing company in an internal audit position. In fact, management accountants are needed in all big companies but you are right some small companies might try to cut cost and ask the financial accountants to do their jobs. For CIA, it is useful only if you want to specialize in auditing, and internal auditing in particular. I haven’t done enough research to comment on CIA, but there are quite a lot of job opportunities for internal auditors and compliance officers so you can definitely take a look at that. Stephanie

  • Nadia Mirza says:

    I have masters degree in economics and have 18 years of experience working as accounting and finance manager with various organizations. Do I need to take admission in some accounting courses before sitting in CMA exam?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Nadia, sorry I missed your note! With a master’s degree you can apply any day! And your experience is more than enough to fulfill the experience requirement. Stephanie

  • Basheer says:

    Hi, I am currently pursuing the CMA and one time I failed in the part2 exam. Now I plan to take both paper at one time and studying for that, but I afraid that I would fail again this time even though much effort and spending money, could you please advice me that how I would change my approach and my effort to become a CMA, thanks.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Basheer, maybe you can take a look at this page and tell me whether any of the scenarios apply to you? Then I’ll find a way to help you out.

      • Basheer says:

        Dear Stephanie

        As per this link I got understand that I do not have enough time ro study and not that much efforts also putting towards the CMA credential

        Kindly advice how can I solve these drawbacks

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Basheer, I have a very dedicated reader (over at the CPA site, but same situation) who studied from 2-6am and go to work at 6:30am.

          And this reader completed the 4 parts of the CPA exam on first attempt within 5 months.

          This is obviously an extreme case and very hard to do, but with dedication and creativity to find time we can all pass this exam. Stephanie

  • Mohamed says:

    Hi. I am very interested in the CMA. I already got the 2011 Hock edition book a few days ago. I don’t know if this material is suitable or enough for self study or not! I don’t have a problem with self study. My problem is every thing else. None of my surrounders is familiar with the certificate. There are no examples to follow. I don’t know what to do! Advice would be so much helpful to me. I would be grateful for your response.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Mohamed, I hear you… I am in the process of setting up a forum just for CMA candidates so you all can support each other. I’ll need to test a few things before rolling it out, hopefully not for too long. Will announce on Facebook when ready. Stephanie

  • Hammad says:

    Hi Stephanie, first of all i wanted to thank you for this valuable resource that you are running. I am an ACCA member currently working in the USA and i am delighted to hear about CMA being made available to ACCA members, i have done research into it and i was wondering what the criteria was for a young professional, i am still under 30 and would like to know how it would benefit me. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best Regards,


  • sardar says:

    hi stephanie, iam sardar from india and finished my B.COM (1997) from a recognised university in India. But since then i dont have any practical experience in accountants as i have been into administration jobs all these years. Can you advise me whether to go for CMA and secure a good job and good career growth.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hello Sardar, I believe I answered your question on FB, but for everyone’s information…
      I have to say the CMA qualification may help but then it will not guarantee jobs. But then, if you find yourself completely stuck, it can be a good way to break through the “ceiling”… best of luck! Stephanie

  • Mohammad says:

    Hello Stephanie, first of all I appreciate you for this nice article …
    actually, my brother is intend to get the CMA and he has a few question
    by the way he is an international student live in the USA
    – he want to know which will be more easy to get : CBA or CMA
    – is it easy to study the books by himself or he need to take some classes
    – and if he need to get some class , what schools in NYC is offer these classes

    Thank you

  • Elie says:

    Dears ,
    I am Elie from Beirut – Lebanon , i will be sitting for my CMA exam P1 in October. If you would like to share our CMA studying experience and communicate regarding CMA topics, please do not hesitate to contact me via mobile ( 70 468 460 ) or email ( elieselfany@hotmail.com) .

  • Gerald says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I just stumbled onto this website. I am impressed with the format of this website.I am currently a CPA candidate and passed the BEC section almost two years ago. Unfortunately due to procrastination and overconfidence my BEC section expired and now I am starting from scratch. I have always been interested in the CMA designation, but got caught up in obtaining the more prestigious CPA designation. I have always been told that the BEC section of the CPA is comparable to both parts of the CMA exam. is this true? I plan on continuing to seek the CPA designation. Would it be wise to seek the CMA first to enhance my marketability? Just a fyi. I have a MBA , and 20 years of corporate, non- profit, and private company experience in accounting, logistics , and inventory management . I wish you luck in the development of your site for CMA’s and aspiring candidates and look forward to viewing your site in the future. Good Luck.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Gerald,
      First of all thanks for your note and your wishes.

      I agree with you that CMA feels very much like BEC, but an expanded one especially on the topic of cost accounting and strategic planning in Part 1, and other CFA-like topics in Part 2.

      In my own opinion CPA exam is harder because it covers a much broader topic from audit to business to law to taxation. So if the purpose is to get one qualification, then yes CMA should be easier to get in theory (faster too, since there are only 2 parts vs the 4 parts in CPA exam).

      In terms of whether it is relevant to your experience, it is most useful if you work in manufacturing related companies and/or in fortune 500 companies where the CMA qualification is well recognized. In other words, in smaller companies and/or service industries e.g. banks CMA is less relevant. So the priority of CPA vs CMA also depends on the industry your are in.

      Hope it helps? I’ve also written a page on CMA vs CPA here:


  • Mark says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Great site and thanks so much for setting it up. My questions for you are in regards to my education and experience. I have a BA in Liberal Studies and an MS in Accounting. However and unfortunately, the school in the USA where I earned my BA is not on your link of approved schools. This small school holds national accreditation through the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) and not regional accreditation, which I’ve learned all about since I graduated from there a decade ago. But my master’s in accounting which I earned last year does have regional accreditation and is listed in that link. Will my bachelor’s accreditation be an issue when applying for the CMA? It’s a real school and real degree which I worked real hard for at the time ;).

    Second, I have about six years of experience as a staff accountant, producing and analyzing monthly and quarterly financial statements and such: who determines whether a candidate has the necessary work experience and how do they determine it? Thanks so much!

    • Oh yes I did miss your note. My apologies.
      Let’s see… I think you are fine Mark, especially with your masters. I also believe your work experience is counted as relevant.

      But since I am not IMA it is best if you double check with them by emailing them at ima@imanet.org. Based on readers’ feedback and my own experience, they are very good at responding to questions like this. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Mohamed says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    First at all thank you for this valuable site.
    I’m going to take my first test exam CMA P2 after 8 days and i need you to help me in the essay part, i read your topic about it but i need further assistants within this remainder days.
    i hope to get your assistance ASAP

    • Hi Mohamed, maybe you can tell me which area you are facing the most difficulty in the essay? Generally people find it rather straightforward, so no need to worry too much about it. Stephanie

  • Payal says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am planning to take CMA exam I have a bachelors degree in commerce from University of Mumbai. How many credits are required for CMA exam. Also can I give exams and then have my credits taken later.


  • alexander says:

    hi Stephanie

    first off, i would like to thank you for your diligence and dedication

    brief introduction:

    my name is alexander, I am from MOROCCO and I am 22 years old, i have a 3-year bachelor’s degree in business administration and I’ve recently moved to QATAR to work as a relationship officer in Mashreq bank (a gulf based bank)

    I am interested in taking the CMA exam but i have the following queries:

    1.does my bachelor’s degree fulfill the educational requirement to be certified as CMA(knowing that it is a 3-year degree and i got it from Cadi AYYAD university of law and economics based in Marrakech,morocco)??(i graduated in july 2012)
    the university i graduated from is listed in the list that you provided in the previous replies

    2.currently i have accumulated 6 months of working experience, i know that i will need to have a minimum 2 years of experience to get officially certified but i don’t know whether my job qualifies me or not

    below is a brief description of what i do as a relationship officer”direct banking”

    Applying marketing strategies to attract companies, convincing companies to take a loan, assessing each company’s financial eligibility(turnover and average balance) to take a loan, checking the banking history of the company, processing the application and making sure that the money is disbursed to the company’s respective bank account, maintaining a continuous and genuine relationship with the company.

    does my job or work experience relate to CMA working experience prerequisites?

    what will the program and test cost me in total from start to finnish? (just an estimation or a rough idea)

    I Know that I am asking a lot of questions but that’s because I am extremely interested


    • Hi Alexander,
      I have been checking my pages lately and realized I never replied to you (at least not here). Sorry!

      On your education, yes I am quite sure you are fine.

      On your experience, sounds like you are doing something related to financial management, which is ok, but if you can word it in such as way (more towards financial management that is) then it has a better chance in my opinion.

      But since I am not the administrator it is always prudent to ask IMA directly. They do respond to similar questions from my other readers (email: ima@imanet.org)

      On the cost, I’ve got a post here on this topic:

      If you have other questions please let me know. Good luck! Stephanie

  • sherry says:

    hi stephanie i am having a hard time passing the CIA exam and i reveiwed the four areas and i believe I may not be understanding the concept and reading to quickly but how do i gasp the concept and read slowly to understand the materialsto ensure that i pass part 2 on my 6th try and part 3 on my first try. I am using Gleim 16th and the IIA learning material

  • Mark says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Would you possibly be able to address my question that I left above on May 31st? Thanks!

  • Sunil says:

    I want to know the credentials of IPFC India in imparting the CMA course. Is self study sufficient to pass the exam.

    • Sorry Sunil, never heard of IPFC, but it could be well-known in your country. I only review courses in the US or self-study courses (which is available globally). I do think self-study courses are sufficient, if not better than the local courses. Stephanie

  • Sunil says:

    Also would you be able to tell which one is best CIMA UK or CMA US

  • shayan says:

    hi. thank you very much for this web site. I am from Pakistan and wants to take cma exam. My questions are:

    1) Is student membership is also available for cadidates in Pakistan
    if yes then;
    can I take this membership as I have done B.com and MBA total 16 years of education and currently doing job and not a student. please guide me.

    • Hi Shayan,
      I am not too sure, but I read somewhere that student membership is applicable to North Americans (or even the US) only. It is best if you can check with IMA the latest rule. I will take a look again and see if I can find an answer for you later today.

      In terms of your credential, yes you can definitely get qualified for the CMA exam. Most people take the exam with full-time job, so not an issue at all. Stephanie

  • Krishnan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am 46 year old and presently I am Senior Manager (Finance) in PSU in india. As of now my qualification is only B.com (3 Year Graduation). I would like to upgrade my qualification. CA or ICWA in India is not seems to be feasible to me. Being and international qualification I would like to pursue CMA (US). is it possible to complete if I work hard. Shall I get jobs abroad at this age of I am qualified CMA.


  • Deepali Ramchandani says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am currently preparing for my CMA part 1 exam and I am planning to give the exam in February 2015 but I recently came across that there are changes ( addition of new topic such as external financial reporting decision and deletion of professional ethics) going to made in CMA exam effective 2015. I wanted to know how do I prepare for these topics as I have the old Gleim & Hock books. Where can I get material for these topics?

    Kindly do let me know.



    • Hi Deepali,
      I am not too sure about Hock, but for Gleim, if you have online access, they have two versions for you to choose. After sometime in mid Nov, everything will be switched to the new version.

      For Part 1, it’s mostly addition instead of removal of exam content, so there is no harm studying based on the existing version, but must somehow get the new portion i.e. External financial reporting, and some additional content on strategic planning.

      No need to study for professional ethics as it will be moved to Part 2.

      For details, please check out this page with a video showing you old and new version by subtopic: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/new-cma-exam-changes/


  • ahmed says:

    hi Stephanie,
    i’m currently working in a small firm as accountant, if i will be a CMA i can work in a big firms or bank?
    and where i can find more material about the financial field ?

    • Hi Ahmed, you can always try to work in big firms and banks, but I have to say CMA certification can’t guarantee that. If you really want to get into finance, maybe CFA is more suitable? Stephanie

  • Sushant says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I have Completed Master of Management Studies in Finance in 2009 ( MBA equivalent from Mumbai University( Bombay), India)), Currency I am working in a EPC firm in Finance Department since Five yrs in India, I completed My Graduation in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University .

    MY concern is am I eligible for CMA?, because my graduation degree is not in Commerce / Accounting.

    Kindly Advice whether I am eligible

    Sushant Desai .

    • Hi Sushant, yes you will be fine with the educational requirement as bachelor degree or above in any subject is fine. It sounds like your experience is fine too, but you may want to double check before applying. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Sameer says:


    I have just started with CMA. Planning to attempt Part 1 in 1st Qtr of 2015.

    I have BSc in Applied Accounting. I am also a member of ACCA.

    I am working as a Senior Accountant in Qatar. I believe attaining CMA could be helpful in terms knowledge plus bridging a gap towards promotion. I hope its true. 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sameer, welcome to the CMA community! There are lots of candidates from the Middle East. I think it must mean something to recognition and ultimately promotion in your region… Please let me know if I can be helpful along the way. Regards, Stephanie

  • Ridham says:

    I am a CA FINAL student , recently gave exams of final . now i want to pursue this CMA . but i am not aware of registration process. can i make payment in INDIAN currency..? If yes. then how..?
    and can i do it all by myself as i am aware of all the topics of CMA all thanks to CA.

    • Hi Ridham,
      In terms of the registration process, you can pay online by credit card but I would think the payment would be automatically switched to USD, so please expect a forex difference.

      Then, on the review materials, you can certainly study on your own (most people do in the US) but I recommend that you do this based on some review books / courses. I list out the pros and cons of major providers here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

  • Hassan says:


    I just want to start CMA (2 Parts) please suggest me study Material. my Qualification is MBA Finance

    Thank you.

  • Sufyan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am currently working in the Compliance department of a bank. I have done MBA (Finance) and now intend to do CMA. I just wanna ask being a banker, is it going to be an added advantage for me to do CMA?

    Kind Regards

    • Hi Sufyan,
      Hmmm, I don’t think there is a direct value-add if you continue to be in compliance department. If you would like to switch to finance, accounting, strategic planning, and the finance side of operations, then it’s good. But it also depends on whether your bank appreciates CMA because typically, it’s less so for service oriented firm. This post may help you analyze the situation: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-title-for-career/

      Wouldn’t CIA (certified internal auditor) more suitable for compliance work? Just my 2 cents.

  • Arjun says:

    I am a student pursuing CA Final from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. I want to know about the job opportunities for a qualified CA + CMA (US). Is it better to have a globally recognised certification such as CMA from Institute of Management Accountants – US rather than the CWA from Institute of Cost Accountants of India? Will Indian corporates prefer to have CA/CMA(US) in their management?

    • Hi Arjun,
      I assume you will be working in your country. If so, CA is probably good enough for Indian corporations in India. But if you are thinking about foreign companies in India, or global companies in India (e.g. Wipro, Reliance) with public listing in the US, then a US CMA and (even better) a US CPA is helpful. Hope it helps, Stephanie

  • Omi says:

    I am a CA dropper from last 5 years.. Can i do cma? Plz suggest

  • harjeet kaur says:

    Hello stephanie,
    First of all I’ll thank you for the depth info.about CMA that you’ve given.. I get all my doubts cleared through your article.. 🙂
    Bt I’ve a little query
    Stephanie ,can you pls tel me about the CMA review course..
    And second thing what”s the difference between CMA review n CMA full course …

    • Hi Harjeet,
      Thanks for your note. There are different types of CMA review materials. “CMA review” is the general term for this. As for the “full course”, it includes a lot of products such as video instruction, text book, practice questions, and sometimes flashcards, audio review and so on. It is a complete set with different learning tools. Understandably this set is also more expensive.

      For more info on review courses, check out my pros and cons page: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

  • Harjeet kaur says:

    Thanx stephanie..
    I want to ask u one more ques..
    I’ve recently given b.com 1st year exams (correspondence). Am I able to join the course ? Can i easily clear the Exams or be facing any problem to understand the concepts ?

  • Unzi says:

    After 18 months of trying , hard work, good habits, sacrifice, failure, demotivation, criticism, persistence, inspiration, no partying, no holidays, no break CLEARED CMA BOTH PARTS. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult to attain a Cma certificate, as for all kind of courses to my opinion it is a matter of motivation, discipline and putting enough hours into it. I found your site very helpful thank you

  • Janaki says:

    Hi Stephanie!

    Loved your well thought out articles on CMA and CPA!
    Am an Indian and a Cost and Management Accountant (ICWA from India). I will be shifting to the US on a dependent Visa in a year or so.

    I am aware that I can directly get the CMA certification through mutual recognition between the two institutes but am doubtful if I will get a job based on such a certification.

    Will doing a CPA help me? Or is it required that I should get an MBA degree and then get a job through that?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Janaki, thanks for your note! CPA is certainly more versatile and likely open up more opportunities. The entry barrier is higher though. Whether you need an MBA (or master’s degree) depends on what level of higher education you have already obtained. If it is Bcom or other 3 year degree, for example, you do need an extra degree to get qualified. The ICWA is unfortunately not recognized for CPA exam qualification purposes.
      Please read this post for details: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/indian-bcom-ca-holders-for-us-cpa-exam/

  • Devraj says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    This is Devraj from India I have done B.com in the year of 2012 and I have 2 yrs of experience in the field of accounts, now i am thinking to do CMA course can u pls suggest me on these.

  • Tere says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am new to the workforce and work as a corporate accountant. I only recently learned about financial statements. I am wondering whether to get a CMA or CFA certification. I have also considered both since I do not have an accounting or finance degree and the CMA can fill some gaps. I have not been too interested in investments and securities, but the CFA is more known, covers mergers and acquisitions, and is more popular among CFOs.

    What do you think would be most helpful for running a business and a track to controller or CFO?

    • Hi Tere, you are correct that CFA is more well known, but if you are not going for the investment or security analyst type of work, it’s not useful to get the CFA. Also, in my opinion CFA is not the qualification for CFO. CPA and CMA are much more relevant.

      Ideally it is best to get the CPA in your situation. But if it’s too hard to get qualified, CMA is my second choice. It probably won’t help too much until you reach a more senior position. Regards, Stephanie

  • sandeep says:

    I’m doing the mba distance education in India. can I qualify for student section

  • Zohaib Syed says:

    HI Stephanie,

    I have a question, when I sign up or register for the exam, does the instituion provide all the materials that would prepare me for the exam (Such as material textbooks, and etc).
    For example: When I registered for CFA exam (the provided me 6 text books to prepare for the exam), Does IMA institution does the same.

    The reason I ask is becasue I am a novice in accounting, whats the best way to study topics such as Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control for exam 1 or will the Text books will be provided to study on the subjects.

    Please advise.

  • Zohaib Syed says:

    HI Stephanie,

    Its me Zohaib again. I asked you a question earlier. I would like to ask you two questions.

    1. I have my bachelors from Canadian Unviersity, will IMA CMA recognize Canadian University’s Bachelors in Commerce.
    2. Can the exams for each part written in Canada – Toronto?

    Please advise thanks for your help

  • harji kaur says:

    Thanx stephanie..
    I want to ask ques..
    I’ve recently given b.com 1st year exams (correspondence). Am I able to join the course ? Can i easily clear the Exams or be facing any problem to understand the concepts ? And moreover do i require good mathematics and statistics skills ?

    • Hi Harji, you can register for and take the exam as a current student (you get a student discount as well). So yes, you can join the CMA program now but more importantly please consider carefully why you want this certification in the first place, and would it be beneficial to your career. If you feel strongly about this, it helps a lot for you to stay on and work hard on this exam. If you work hard, you will pass. It isn’t rocket science.

      You can check out the steps (including the why question) here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/how-to-become-a-cma/

  • Pallavi Dalal says:

    Hi Stephanie

    My name is Pallavi. I passed the CMA Part 1 exam and awaiting the results for the part 2. In the meanwhile I thought of submitting my transcripts and work experience documents to IMA. However I dont know whether my past experience will be counted. I am currently not working for last 4 years due to personal reasons and I am originally from India, currently settled in USA.

    I have 9 years of experience in the field of capital market/commodity markets with functional skills in Trade Surveillance, Compliance and Investigations of broker-dealers and stock prices.

    It is getting difficult for me to find a job in Indiana, USA on basis of my past experience as my entire background is from India. I thought after gaining CMA credentials, it would be easy for me, as the midwest regions of USA have a large amount of manufacturing firms. However companies prefer cost accountants with 1-3 years of experience even at an entry level, so things are really getting difficult. My resume speaks of compliance, surveillance and stock market experience and only accounting degree does not seem to help. Can you guide me as to how I should approach the job market.


    • Hi Pallavi,
      Thanks for your sharing. I guess it’s probably ok given it is related to financial management… but you may want to package it more like what’s covered in Part 2 of the exam. IMA is quite flexible so try emailing them your job description and see.

      As for your bigger question of finding a job, your skills sound pretty in demand in general (in terms of compliance) but maybe it’s in the niche of trading instead of company compliance, and given you are not living in big financial hub like New York, I can see the difficulty of landing a job.

      What you can do is trying networking a lot in your IMA chapter. Many job positions are not available publicly in the market, and even if they are, you get a much better chance if you know someone. It’s always difficult to get the first job in a new city. Best of luck! Stephanie

  • Slobodan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am not sure whether I am at the right part of the blog, but I wanted to ask you your opinion on certification from AFP called certified corporate financial planner and analyst (www.fpacert.org).

    It would probobly tie up well with CMA/CIMA). Any thoughts?



  • Tamara says:

    I’m confused, maybe I’m doing Gleim wrong, but I was wondering are there any other resources to practice problems other than the timed versions on the Gleim website? I’d like to practice some problems on my own to see if I understand them before I’m put under the pressure of a clock. I’ve done the practice problems offered in the Gleim textbook, but I’m interested in other resources.


  • Chad Fetters says:

    Hi Stephanie – I passed level on on 1st try. I think your website is great and has been a lot of help for me.

    • Yay! That’s awesome Chad, and I am glad to be helpful along the way 🙂

      • Chad Fetters says:

        Yes, it was Part 1. You may not see it, but for me I started on your website to research the exam and have been to it so many times!

        And kinda WOW, I just got a reply from you! Not surprised just excited!

        Thanks again for this website and information! Now on to Part 2.

  • Mac says:

    Hello Stephanie,
    I bet you are a really nice lady and truly want to help people in their quest for passing exams.
    I have been a long time reader of your website, but I have to tell you this: your website has become
    dull, bland and boring. Your bloggers don’t blog; the information presented hasn’t changed in months
    It really needs an overhaul, Stephanie. I know you mean well, but sometimes you need another
    set of eyes to point stuff out to you. Maybe I am wrong. But I don’t see anything fresh or helpful to me anymore. Hope didn’t hurt your feelings..

    • Hi Mac, thanks for your note and your comment! Sorry that this site is not up to your standard, but I am doing this for free, and my priorities are on my family and some of the works I have been doing in my community. I also need to spend a significant amount of time replying to readers’ emails which may not be obvious from the look of this site.

      At the same time, our blogger Joan is taking her exam in 4 days and I respect that she needs the time to study instead of blogging for us. She does promise to write soon 😉

      Anyway, I will still try my best to improve the site further. I hope the current info is still useful for those who are new to this site and needs info on how to get started on the CMA exam. Regards, Stephanie

  • Chad Fetters says:

    Very helpful I think! I just registered for Part 2!

  • Samrat says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    I am going through your blog and am really impressed with it.I am from India and planning to enroll for the CMA exam in 2017. I have a B.com(H) but I have done my MBA in Marketing.I have worked in the financial services sector in India for 3 years but in sales/marketing profile.Now I want to make a transition in accounting/finance domain.Do you doing CMA at this stage in my career will be a good move.Your advice will be appreciated.

    • Hi Samrat, it does sound like a good plan. If you are planning for internal transfer, you might want to check whether people know about the CMA certification. In an way the value of CMA certification also depends on the recognition… IMA is doing a lot of work in India to promote the brand, but it’s still relatively new name to Indians as far as I know. Regards, Stephanie

  • Samrat says:

    Thanks Stephanie.You are right that CMA qualification is relatively new in India but it has tie up with ICWAI.

  • Pacome says:

    I passed the first part of the CMA exam and I am looking t relocate I will definitely take and pass the second part of the exam during 2017. I have not work in the accounting field since 2012, could anyone gives me an advice on how to efficiently get back on the fields?

    • Hi Pacome, 2012 isn’t too far away, and you can package it by telling people why you weren’t in the field (family reason or tried something new?) but at the same time keep yourself updated and even enhance your skill set by taking and passing the CMA exam. As long as people see you aren’t giving up accounting, it should be ok. Obviously the interview skill is very important too. You’ll have to be “likable” 🙂

  • Meghana says:


    I would want to know what would be the membership fees that one has to pay the IMA after clearing the CMA exam, also want to know how long is the payment valid? Please advise. Thank you!! 🙂

    • Hi Meghana,
      You’ll have to pay every year to keep the CMA exam credits and to maintain the CMA title after getting the certification verified. It’s similar to the license fee one needs to pay for the CPA exam. The membership fee is good for a year.

  • Siddharth Vadoliya says:


    My self Siddharth Vadoliya. I am from the Mumbai, India. In December 2017 I left my job and started preparing for CIMA E1. Whole day i was just seating in a library and studying CIMA. I took around 3 and half months and finally exam day came and I found totally unbelievable questions and I got failed however in mock test by Kaplan I scored 81 and 83 respectively. Study materials I used Kaplan textbook and practice kit, Astranti text book, opentution videos, First Intuition study material but still failed. one think I don’t like about CIMA is that they don’t share previous objective questions. Please help me what should i do next?. you may contact me on ***DELETED***.

  • Saurabh Saraswat says:


    Just read your intro, the links to the tips for Part 1 and Part 2 link towards the CIA exam and not the CMA exam.

    Just thought you might want to know and correct that. Thanks.

  • Mo says:

    Im going for my senior year on commerce school in egypt and there is an ongoing discount for us Egyptian (50%) so I was thinking of making use of this and paying on advance for my cma tests and schedule it later that year, maybe in Jan/Feb when I get my mid year vacation. But this is gonna make me have to stress on those tests in addition to my 5 subjects per semester.
    This is gonna make the costs 188+1/2(39+310+310) so about 520$ for both exams and membership and entrance, and give me an edge when graduating as I would have the score report to give me an edge on job market. And also would have 7 years from now to complete the experience requirements (I read it is 3 but im sure it is 7)

    Another option would be wait till late April 2018 and enroll with students discount only and paying about 850$ instead and taking the exam on Sept/October. And waiting few months till looking for job.

    What do you think is the best option?

    Thanks and Appreciate the effort.

    • Hi Mo,
      I suggest that you take a look at the syllabus and see if you are familiar with the topics (I assume you are, given you are in commerce). Then, sign up for a free trial of the review courses, take a few questions and see if you score ok. If say you score >70%, you are pretty good and can go for the first option. Otherwise, the second option with the student discount is still a good deal.

      And you are correct you have 7 years to complete the experience requirements.

      Good luck! Stephanie

  • Didi says:

    Hi. I took both Parts of the CMA in June 2017. Does anyone know when the grades will be out. I thought that will be today. Thanks!

  • JOHNNY TUNG says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Nice to meet you!

    I’ve decided to try CMA exam and I’d like your suggestion about the exam period that I should choose. Since I work full time, I’d like to know how many hours (an average) do I need to study to pass both part 1 and part 2?
    Considering that I’ll register next month, what’s the best period to apply for?

    Thanks for your attention in advance.

    • Hi Johnny, glad you have your goals set! The IMA suggests 150 hours for each part of the exam. I also have a study planner excel file that details how much time you need (based on Gleim or Wiley review materials). Please take a look at this page: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-study-planner/

      You can start studying first and once you are almost ready, register for the exam. Normally registering a month before is fine unless you absolutely have to take the test on Fri or Sat. When planning ahead, need to be mindful for the blackout periods as well (e.g. Nov and Dec are blackout periods). Cheers, Stephanie

  • Shiba says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I’ve been following your blog for a long time and I need your advice on something-

    I have some time on my hands and I want to do a computer course. What course is relevant to my (future) qualification as a CMA, one that will enhance my career and be an attractive addition to my CV?

    Also, CMA has been running marketing campaigns on facebook and other social media sites saying/implying that the CMA qualification makes you tech savvy and something about “making robots work for you” but there’s nothing even remotely related to that in the syllabus. Do you know what they’re talking about?



    • Hi Shiba,
      I am not sure… as you said I can’t really relate computer course to the CMA syllabus.
      Do you refer to the SF magazine that quite often covers how automation transform the accounting industry? That’s certainly the trend, but I don’t think this directly relates to the CMA certification. I guess that those articles imply is if you process the CMA certification and the training, you will less likely be outsmart by all the AI technology in the future. Cheers, Stephanie

      • Shiba says:

        Hi Stephanie,

        Thanks for the reply! I’m not entirely sure what to think about the kind of misleading campaign… I did not know about SF magazine though, I’ll check it out!

        I do have a new question for which I can’t seem to find any straight answers online- do CMAs have a place in the field of Ethics, Corporate Governance and CSR (policy making and implementation)? Is my CMA qualification enough for that or do I need to study further if I want to work in that field?

        Thanks again, Stephanie!


        • Hi Shiba,
          I am not aware of a certification that covers specifically for corporate governance, but I’d say all the major accounting certifications such as CPA, CIA, CMA even CISA has extensive coverage on this. So I wouldn’t say it is absolutely necessary to get any certifications for this field, but any of those could be helpful. Stephanie

  • mahesh kumar says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    i am a student of ICAI, and ICWAI form india, am i eligible to become a member of CMA of USA certification course ?

    is it mandatory for me to qualify ENTRANCE TEST or Directly to obtain student membership for having registration in CMA Part-1 and part-2 exam ??

    Mahesh kr.

    • Hi Mahesh,
      Once you complete your ICWAI and become a full member, you can apply for the US CMA certification then. So I would wait until then so you don’t need to take extra exams. Best of luck! Stephanie

  • Verghese says:

    I have got a score of 350 for jan feb window 2018 for cma part 2 on my first attempt. Can i go for a regrade and pass the exam for such a close score ?

    • Hi Verghese,
      Sorry about that, it was so so close! You may request a score review, but I have to tell you I haven’t heard of a single success case… I believe the success rate is close to (if not) zero to be honest. If you’d like to go ahead anyway, please contact IMA at ima@imanet.org.

      Regards, Stephanie

  • Santoro says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I recently gave the CMA Part 1 and unfortunately, I did not pass. I want to know where I went wrong and how to prepare better for my next attempt. Does the IMA provide any kind of performance report, and if so, how do I get it?

    P.s: I read all the comments you’ve replied to and I’m grateful that you take the time to guide us so thoroughly.

    • Hi Santoro,
      Sorry about that – but don’t feel too bad as the pass rate is very low. So you are definitely not alone. I have this page for retakers, did you read it? https://ipassthecmaexam.com/fail-cma-exam/
      It is a guide to self-evaluation which I believe is the best way to find out what and how one can improve upon. The IMA will also send you a diagnostic report and show you the stronger / weaker areas. It is very general though so I don’t think its super useful, but it is an indication that you may take as part of the consideration.
      Stay strong – and we’ll hear your success story in your next attempt! Stephanie

  • Shrinivas Temkar says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    I’m currently working in People Advisory Services which falls under tax department in my firm. However, as per the CMA criteria and the guidebook issued by IMA , I understand that the work experience in tax background is not considered / irrelevant in obtaining CMA certificate.

    Could you please confirm the same and give your precious advice.

    Shrinivas Temkar

    • Hi Shrinivas,
      It is not directly related, but you may want to double check with the IMA directly. They are able to tell you a straight-forward answer. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Katherine Policy says:

    Hi: How do you get the 30% off code for Gleim? It’s only giving me 15%.

  • Sara says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Unfortunately I have failed the Part 1 exam now both times with a score of 330. Would it be better for me to try Part 2 first? I appreciate the help.

    • Meghan D says:

      Hi Sara, our team is sorry to hear this. Do you feel more comfortable with the material in Part 2? Either way, it’s not a bad strategy to give yourself a break for a while from Part 1. Maybe a fresh start is just what you need!

  • Navjot says:

    Hi ,

    Is practising from 2015 gleim question bank fine for 2018 cma part1 exam?

    I also have wiley 2018 question bank which i will be using.

    • I worry about materials that are that old. You can ask Gleim for an upgrade to get your materials up-to-date. They may be able to upgrade you at an affordable rate because you’re a previous purchaser.

  • Nur Aisiah says:

    Dear Stephanie, i wanted to buy Gleim premium, but when checkout , why video not included in items in the cart? I read in your web that Gleim Traditional not include video, however i am sure i choose premium. So i hold my purchase. I hope you can help me on this. Thank you Stephanie.

    • Hello, did you check out with this link and select Premium? Click the Gleim CMA Review link once again and see what’s in your cart. From your cart, as long as it says Premium, the videos are included. They just do not list everything out that comes with that package. Feel free to email me at stephanie[at]ipassthecmaexam.com for further assistance.

  • Vivek says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    My wife has completed ICMAI (Intermediate) and ICMAI (Final) – Group 1 in India. She is on H4 in US right now.
    We were trying to find out if it is possible to take the final group 2 exam here in the US, but it doesn’t look like there are any centers here.

    Is pursuing CMA (USA) a good option for her? As she is a dependent she cannot work here, but will it be possible to obtain work authorization somehow and land a job? Just trying to consider our options, kindly advise.

    • The CMA is a great designation in that it is globally recognized. So if she does not want to work in the United States, that is fine. She can work anywhere that values the CMA designation. The CMA designation already has global recognition and is growing rapidly in the Middle East and China. ICMAI is a much more limited program in terms of the recognition, so in this regard, the CMA might be a better option.
      Kind regards,

  • PHILIPO says:


  • AG says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Great website that is rich of useful information…
    I am from Middle East pursing CMA and would like to know how the CMA compares to IFRS or tests for similar materials on IFRS…For example Gleim shows IFRS differences in their outline.
    Can you elaborate more given that CMA is changing in 2020 (changes that are related to IFRS) and that many middle east countries have moved towards IFRS as the accepted reporting standard.

    Much appreciated.

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