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CMA Experience Requirements: 3 Tests to Check Eligibility

cma experience requirements

In order to earn the Certified Management Accountant certification, you must meet several CMA requirements, one of which is the experience requirement.

The CMA certification represents expertise in the field of management accounting, and candidates can only acquire some of this expertise through hands-on experience in a professional setting.

For this reason, the IMA has established the CMA experience requirements. Candidates must have at least two years of full-time work experience in either financial management or management accounting.

So, to determine if your professional experience satisfies these requirements, learn more about them and answer some simple questions about your experience. I’m going to review everything you need to know about the CMA experience requirements in this post.

The Basics of the CMA Experience Requirements

First, let’s begin with the basics. This is always the most logical place to start. At the most basic level, the CMA experience requirements call for certification candidates to have 2 continuous years of professional experience in management accounting and/or financial management. On its own, this doesn’t sound too difficult. Most people going for their CMA will likely already be working in the field, or a student looking to get a job in the field when they graduate.

Additionally, you can complete this requirement at any time before you sit for the CMA exam or within 7 years after you sit for the CMA exam. This makes it even easier to meet the requirement because you can sit for the exam first, right out of school, and get the work experience in the years that follow.

The IMA also permits candidates to use time spent teaching to fulfill the experience requirement.

For your teaching to count as professional management accounting/financial management experience, you must have done it full-time.

Also, 60% of your course load must have involved teaching advanced accounting or finance (classes above the principles level) over a 2-year period.

3 Details of the CMA Experience Requirements

Your professional experience in management accounting and/or financial management must last for 2 continuous years, as stated above. Part-time work or internships may not count toward your work experience. More on this later. Furthermore, it must be relevant, involve analysis, and be completed within a permanent hire position.

Consequently, you should ask these questions about your experience to determine if it meets the appropriate specifications. Here are three tests to help you check your eligibility.

Test 1: Is Your Work Relevant?

The CMA Candidate Handbook (p.5) states:

Qualifying experience consists of positions requiring judgments regularly made employing the principles of management accounting and financial management. Such employment includes:

  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Monthly, quarterly and year end close
  • Auditing (external or internal)
  • Budget preparation and reporting
  • Manage general ledger and balance sheets
  • Forecasting
  • Company investment decision making
  • Costing analysis
  • Risk evaluation

So, as you can see, the IMA’s definition of relevant is quite broad. Therefore, acquiring relevant work experience should not be too difficult for accounting and finance professionals. Let’s look at the next test to help you determine if your experience is considered relevant.

Test 2: Does Your Work Involve Analysis?

Your professional experience must involve analysis.

So, as long as you were involved in the analyzing of financial statements and their impact on the company, or if you participated in analysis and reporting that aided investment management and decision-making, you can count your work experience.

Therefore, you could have acquired your IMA-approved work experience within the external audit, internal audit, or financial analysis departments of your company.

However, if your work focused on repetitive tasks such as preparing and uploading journal entries, the IMA probably won’t approve it, as such work does not involve analysis.

Also, if your work only occasionally utilized management accounting principles, then it won’t satisfy this requirement either.

For example, if you worked in computer operations, sales and marketing, manufacturing, engineering, personnel, or general management, you wouldn’t have used the principles of management accounting enough.

But, if you have multiple roles, e.g. a manager with both administrative and also technical job responsibilities, you should emphasize the technical side of your job in your work verification form.

Test 3: Are You a Permanent Hire?

Finally, the IMA also expects you to gain your work experience while working full-time. This is an important one to note, especially if you’ve gotten some of your professional experience while still a student.

For example, the IMA does not accept experience gained from internships or trainee, clerical, or non-technical positions. And as mentioned, your professional experience must last for 2 consecutive years. Many students get part-time work, like in the examples above, while they are still working on their degree. However, this won’t count for the IMA unless it meets the requirement outlined below.

But, the IMA does accept experience gained in continuous part-time work so long as part-time consisted of at least 20 hours a week. At that point, part-time work equals full-time work at a rate of one year of experience for every 2 years of part-time employment.

All in all, it’s not that difficult to get IMA approval of your work experience in order to meet the requirements. Let’s look into this a bit more.

The Ease of Receiving IMA Approval for the CMA Experience Requirements

Is the IMA very strict with their approval of the CMA experience requirements?

Based on the shared experiences of my readers, I don’t believe so. In fact, the IMA seems to be among the most flexible certification administrators in terms of approving professional experience requirements.

Three factors serve as evidence of the IMA’s leniency.

1. Definition of Relevance

First, the IMA’s definition of relevance is broad.

In contrast, other niche accounting qualifications such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification and the Certified Information System Analyst (CISA) designation require applicants to accumulate work in internal audit and IT auditor specifically. But, that is not the case with the CMA.

2. Specification of Role

Second, the IMA does not specify exactly what you must do in your role within the organization.

In comparison, the CFA work experience requirements state that a candidate’s work must involve investment decision-making 50% of the time.

3. Lenience with Work Verifier

Third, the IMA isn’t very strict about who can verify your work.

For this reason, as long as your verifier is your supervisor, the IMA doesn’t concern itself with this person’s background. Conversely, in regards to the CPA license, most state boards require the verifier to be both your supervisor AND an active CPA licensee.

As you can see from these three tests, it’s not too difficult to get the work experience needed to qualify for the CMA.

Special CMA Experience Requirement Cases

Moreover, the IMA is even quite flexible in handling special cases.

For example, I had a reader who had been running her own company for 16 years. She sent her job description to the IMA, and they approved her experience as relevant.

Therefore, I encourage that you check with the IMA directly if you aren’t sure whether they will count your work experience.

Can I Take the CMA without Experience?

This is another question I’ve gotten here before. Can you take the CMA without experience? This is mostly answered above. The general answer is no. However, the IMA have exceptions and special experience cases, such as the reader of mine who had been running her own business for 16 years. If in doubt, you need to contact the IMA directly and they will tell you whether or not the experience you have qualifies.

That said, if you are trying to qualify with zero experience whatsoever – you just woke up today and decided you want to go for the CMA – that is not likely to work. While they are very lenient on the type of experience you have and what qualifies you for the experience, there IS still an experience requirement.

The Process of Submitting Proof of Fulfilled CMA Experience Requirements

In order to get the CMA certification, you must fill out a work verification form and send it to the IMA via email.

And if you have any other questions about the CMA experience requirements, you can email the IMA at ima@imanet.org or call at 800-638-4427.

Then, ask to speak to the exam certification assistant, as she can help you get any info you need.

CMA Work Experience Examples

What are some examples of CMA work experience that you can use to meet the requirements of the IMA? Relevant work experience includes positions that require regular judgments on the application of the principals of management accounting and financial accounting.

Some examples are (as listed above from the handbook):

  • Financial statement preparation
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Auditing (external or internal)
  • Monthly, quarterly and year-end close
  • Risk evaluation
  • Costing Analysis
  • Forecasting
  • Company investments and decision making
  • Budget preparation and reporting
  • Managing general ledger and balance sheets

These are just a few examples and you will see from them that the definition of work experience is indeed very broad. For candidates hoping to qualify for the CMA, this really is a good thing. If you are working in accounting in any capacity, you are likely going to have the work experience. This makes it easier for people who are already working in accounting to get their CMA certification.

How Long Do You Have to Meet the Educational Requirements?

You also have up to seven years after passing the CMA exam to meet the CMA experience requirement. This is not usually difficult for people since you can get a job in his field, if you didn’t already have one before taking the exam.

What Does a CMA Do?

To understand the work requirements for the CMA, it helps to understand what a Certified Management Account does. Certified Management Accountants are uniquely equipped not only to play a critical role in the financial department of a company but also to hold a high position of leadership in the management side of the company. This is why you see CMAs working as accounting managers and financial managers in different capacities.

CMAs have the financial understanding to make wise money decisions. Therefore, they may hold positions within a company that requires them to deal with money decisions for that company.

Furthermore, CMAs also have the skillset and business leadership to help the company operate efficiently and effectively. For this reason, CMAs can fit into a wide range of positions and lead interesting and varied CMA careers.

CMAs can hold these titles and more:

  • Budget analyst
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Cost accountant
  • Controller
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Internal auditor
  • Senior accountant
  • Staff accountant
  • Treasurer

See below for a video that helps explain the CMA experience requirements. This is great as a recap of this post, or for someone who learns better by video instead of reading.

Video Explanation of the CMA Experience Requirements

In this video, you will get a full explanation of the CMA experience requirements. If you have any questions about the video, or regarding anything that has been addressed in this post, please leave a comment so we can answer it for you.

The Next Step in the CMA Certification Process

Now that you know how to fulfill the CMA experience requirement, you must take the necessary steps to fulfill it. Taking these steps may mean requesting a new placement within your company or even looking for a new job.

Then, once you have a plan for satisfying the CMA experience requirement, you’ll also need to address the other CMA requirements, such as the education and examination requirements.

And if you want even more guidance for the CMA journey, sign up for my e-course. It tells you how to pass the CMA exam, and it’s completely free!

​Get Free CMA Information!

Further Reading:


About the Author Stephanie Ng

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

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Leave a Comment:

Jad waked says March 19, 2021

Hello stephanie
I hope you’re doing well
I just wanted to ask if any work experience in accounting will help me qualify for the cma
Thank you in advance

    Stephanie Ng says June 16, 2021

    Hello, Jad, without meeting the CMA experience requirements, you won’t be able to become a CMA. You can find more on the CMA requirements here.

      jad says June 18, 2021

      hello again, yes i do understand, but my question was, in which job position can i get the right experience for the CMA

        Stephanie Ng says July 3, 2021

        There are so many positions that it’s impossible to name just one — anything under cost or management accounting’s umbrella is what I would recommend.

Jismy Joseph says December 11, 2020

If work in a tax consultancy for continuous 2 years as an audit assistant.will it consider IMA for certification? Company is not a renowned one, it is a small audit firm, will it cause for my rejection?

    Stephanie Ng says December 16, 2020

    Hi, Jismy, I think you’ll be fine. But you can email ima@imanet.org to double-check. Cheers!

Mohammed says October 1, 2020

Hi Stephanie,

I have submitted my experience form today , and was wondering how long does it take usually for IMA to respond ?

Thank you very much

    Stephanie Ng says October 1, 2020

    Hello, I can’t say for sure because the virus is causing delays. You can email the IMA’s customer service to ask.

TEJA says March 3, 2020

Hi Stephanie Ng,
Iam an Indian passport holder, residing in south korea under dependant visa as my husband works here,can i give my cma exams in south korea? or i need to go to India to give my exams??and regarding work experience can i complete 2 years of work experience in korea?? after qualifying exams may i be able to get work experience here in south korea based on CMA exam qualification??please suggest me weather to take up the course or not depending up on my current situation

    Stephanie Ng says March 3, 2020

    Hello! You should be able to give your exams in S. Korea. But, your best course of action is to ask the IMA directly about this. Additionally, you can complete your work experience anywhere, and you can complete it after sitting for the CMA exam. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t take up becoming a CMA. Please let us know if you need any other info!

Sufyan says May 16, 2019

Hi Miss !
My Doubt is …it says 2 continuous years, what if I work for a year then take a break then again work for year.
Will they accept my 2 years work experience although it wants continuous?

    Stephanie Ng says May 17, 2019


    I don’t think the IMA will accept it if it’s not continuous. But you can always double check with them.

Raj says December 12, 2017

HI Stephane,

Greetings & Hope you are doing good.

Just would like to check with you about my experience fill to write CMA Exam.

I have qualification of Bachelors of Commerce(B.Com) & Master of Commerce (M.Com) from a University which was listed under IMA registered universities.

After my graduation i has been worked as a Teacher to teach Accountancy & Management Accounts for 6 Years

After that i moved into SAP Finance & Costing Consultant (FI/CO) & last 10 Years i am doing the same Consulting. My consulting involves to study client business process & Implement in their system. Like Budgeting, General Leger, Costing, Product Costing which includes COGM & COGS. Provide report which analysis on Variances.

Kindly suggest me with this experience can i go for CMA

Bests Regards

    Stephanie Ng says December 28, 2017

    Hi Raj, sorry not to reply earlier to this and the other message, but yes I think you are good to go. Please double check with the IMA to make sure. Regards, Stephanie

Shilpa mishra says December 9, 2017

Hi. What all documents are we supposed to submit to ima for proving our employment requirements??

    Stephanie Ng says December 28, 2017

    Hi Shilpa,
    You need to fill out a experience verification form and have your supervisor / HR people sign it. Pretty simple if you do have the experience. Regards, Stephanie

Clint says November 3, 2017

Hi Stephanie,

I have over 29 years of experience in accounting most of it in a management role. My problem isn’t experience as much as certification. What would be the quickest way to learn the material and pass the test? I’ve gone through the start-stop many time with this test. I would really like to just get it done. Any advice?


    Stephanie Ng says November 4, 2017

    Hi Clint, did you get a standard review course or just rely on your experience to prep for the test? I would say the review materials esp the online test prep is critical. Invest in one set, and work on the practice questions. In most course there is a study plan to keep you on track. Good luck! Stephanie

Tushar Mehta says October 17, 2017

Hi Stephanie !

I am currently pursuing my under graduation and I’m in my 2nd year in a 3 year course. I can appear for the exam, right?
And can you please help me on the time period within which I need to complete the experience requirement after clearing both the exams?

    Stephanie Ng says October 18, 2017

    Hi Tushar,
    Yes you can certainly take the exam as a student (and enjoy the student discount)!
    We list out the pros and cons of taking this exam as a student here:

    You’ll need 2 years of experience and you should get this done within 7 years. Hope it helps! Stephanie

thotabalucma@gmail.com says September 28, 2017

Dear Sir

I am thota bala guravaiah from Dr Congo, i have 9 and off years of experince in accounting roles
i want to becom a us cma please tele me forther details, i was read you hand book i has completed b.com in achrya nagrajuna university, in india, my university is in your listed but i dont have experince certificate for working
than what will do

please tele me sir

bala guravaiah

Dr Congo

Shahrukh Saifi says September 28, 2017

hi Stephanie

I’m from India. Recently I start working in Accenture as an Accounts Payable Executive.
Is this job profile is good enough for CMA experience criteria.

please Suggest

Sadaf says May 9, 2017

I am from India. I have completed my bachelor’s degree in Financial Market this year. I have basic knowledge in accounting.
I want to go for CMA and planning to do Masters in Accounting also.
Am i eligible for CMA or will it be too tough?

    Stephanie Ng says May 11, 2017

    Sure you can Sadaf. Most people take the exam with a full time job, so theoretically you can take the masters and this exam together.
    Your background should help you quite a bit so shouldn’t be a problem.
    Regards, Stephanie

Dhenmar chua says May 9, 2017

Hi stephanie, the former professor told me that the IMA is strict when it comes to 2 year relevant experience. It says that there should be no gap in your experience. I resigned in my previous job and got hire to a new company after 2 weeks. so basically there is a 15 days gap. Will the IMA still consider my previous relevant job experience even there is a 15 day gap?

    Stephanie Ng says May 11, 2017

    Hi Dhenmar, the IMA does specify two consecutive years of experience, but given it’s only 15 days, it’s better than those who work on and off? I would email the IMA to double check. They are pretty good in responding to questions. Good luck and please tell us how it goes. Stephanie

      Dhenmar chua says May 11, 2017

      Hi stephanie, please reply in this thread on what will the IMA reply about my situation. Thanks.

        Stephanie Ng says May 14, 2017

        I actually mean if I were you I would check with the IMA. I can’t really check it on your behalf effectively because each candidate’s situation is different and it is more direct if you can simply email them yourself. Good luck!

mails4krupa@gmail.com says April 9, 2017

have a question for work experience. Having 5+yrs of experience as Financial Analyst in Canada but request not to confirm with the employer or else it will definitely affected my increment & job safety even.

I can provide my job letter to confirm experience but not to inform employer.

    Stephanie Ng says April 12, 2017

    Hm… I am not sure if it is possible MK… but you can confirm with the IMA.

Rhos says March 29, 2017

What if I am a Senior High School teacher specialized in Acccounting Business and Management did i met the qualification to take the exam and be a CMA

    Stephanie Ng says April 4, 2017

    Hi Rhos, assuming you are asking about experience requirements, I believe you need to teach higher education (university level) courses in these fields to get qualified. But you may want to double check with IMA and see if they can be flexible. Good luck! Stephanie

Suresh Kondur says March 19, 2017

Hi Stephanie
Greetings to you.
I have cleared my Part 1 and wrote Part 2 exam in Feb-17. Before the part 2 results, i would like check CMA experience requirements. i have almost 14 years of experience, out that last 8 years i am working in the capacity of Manager- Finance. My job description includes, budgeting, monthly Financial reporting and Analysis, quarterly reporting, treasury functions, receivable , working capital management and Internal controls. I was headed a team of 8-12 staff with an authorized signatory for payments/checks at unit level of a multi location company In India. Last 3 years, i am working at Dubai as unit/ Divisional finance in-charge with management and Financial reporting.

How i can produce/submit my experience to IMA for CMA certification. Please Advise

    Stephanie Ng says March 19, 2017

    Sure Suresh, it looks like you are more than qualified! You can get the verification form prepared and signed so you can submit it immediately after getting a favorable results in your Part 2. All the best! Stephanie

Pence says March 17, 2017

I have a question. How does ima verifiy experience? Do they just call the employer and supervisor and take their word for it?

    Stephanie Ng says March 19, 2017

    Hi Pence, I honestly have no idea what they do, and how they do it. But at least for us we need to fill in the verification form and provide all the contact details. Regards, Stephanie

kirenmathi says February 27, 2017

Hi, I am studying 12th std.
Whether I can apply for CMA examination after completing my 12th std??
Or else I have a plan to do CA, after completing my article ship, I can apply for CMA exam??
reply soon

    Stephanie Ng says February 27, 2017

    Hello, assuming you are referring to the US CMA exam and not the Indian CMA exam…
    I suggest that you choose between the CA vs CMA path first. It isn’t necessary to take both. I wouldn’t start the US CMA program until you are at least a second year university student. Regards, Stephanie

Rupesh Tambde says February 7, 2017

Hi, Stephanie,
i am from india, i have 3 years experience in account field like as account assistant can i able to do the exam cma usa.pls suggest me.

Thanks & Regards,

    Stephanie Ng says February 7, 2017

    Hi Rupesh, if your account assistant role involves analysis as stated above, it should be ok. You also need to have a bachelor degree (or equivalent professional qualification) to get qualified for this exam. Regards, Stephanie

Mamoon says January 31, 2017

Hi Stephanie ,

First of all many thanks for your kind support.
I am working as an operation officer in a financial institution، I am handeling corporatre accounts and give recomondation to proceed to open the account after checking the company status in central bank and internal side, i am also giving recomendations for Personal loans and credit cards applicarion after checking the blacklist status and verifiying the documents, checking funds transfers request and check if it meets the policy, doing monthly bank accounts reconcellation, analyzing customer accounts statements to proceed with thier requsts in order to obtain the approval from concerned such as monthly installment postpone, in addition to preparing and reviewing financial and investement agreements and ensure that it is prepared as per standard profit rates

reference to the above, please advice me if i eligilbe for the CMA certificate noting that my experince is 4 years

    Stephanie Ng says January 31, 2017

    Hi Mamoon, thanks for your note. It looks like your work involves a lot of analysis, which is great, but I am not sure how much it deals with the accounting and financial aspects (the numbers and figures, vs the writing as in financial agreement). Please double check with the IMA as they are the decision makers.

    If your work does involve the numbers and figures, it is helpful to write it out clearly so the IMA won’t miss it. Good luck!

Curtis Jones says January 9, 2017

I am going for a master in accounting, and I wish to take the CMA exam. The question I have is, what courses should I schedule myself for to achieve this, however, my college adviser is waiting on me to respond.

zubair says December 14, 2016

i have recently passed CMA exams. i am a permanent management accounting teacher in a college. my college is offering ACCA UK and CIMA uk. i am teaching management accounting subjects of both qualifications. i am a permanent teacher and working since 2009.
do i meet CMA experience requirements.
kindly reply

Abhishek Kumar says December 8, 2016

Hello stephanie,

I have completed my B.Com from Inda and MBA in Finance from Dublin, Ireland. My MBA degree is full time course but my b.com is distance education but the university is registered on your Qualified college/university list. I also have 1.6yr of experience in audting. So, I just want to wheather I am elegible to pursue CMA or not.

Thank you
Abhishek Kumar

    Stephanie Ng says December 10, 2016

    Hi Abhishek, shouldn’t be a problem, but please double check with IMA. Good luck!

Sanjana says November 29, 2016

Hello Stephanie,
I’m from India and will start my B.com studies next year which is a 3 years degree. I would like to go for CMA IMA after that. But being just a B.com graduate won’t give me the work experience required for CMA. Can I pass the CMA exams and use the CMA Passed title to get a relevant job to complete the experience requirement for CMA certificate. Or will i have to go for some other degree to get a relevant job?
Please reply

Thanking you in advance?


    Stephanie Ng says December 3, 2016

    Hi Sanjana,
    Yes you can accumulate the work experience after passing the exam, but I am not sure how helpful CMA is at that stage, because you can’t call yourself a CMA (yet) without the experience.

    Any accounting work with some analysis is qualified for that. Is it really not possible to get this type of work after getting a BCOM? Just wondering as I’d like to know more about the situation in India…

    Regards, Stephanie

      Sanjana Warat says December 5, 2016

      Thank you Stephanie.

      Even i exactly don’t know what kind of job I’ll get with just B.com, to be honest. But as far as i know, i won’t get a job for analysis experience. Certainly not in the first year of joining. They will obviously prefer a post graduated student.

      My work experience will be considered even if i work in any company, right? Like even a local company will do?


        Stephanie Ng says December 5, 2016

        Hi Sanjana, yes, even a local company is fine as long as the experience can be verified by your supervisor.
        I understand it’s hard to know exactly what we want to do in the future, but it’s helpful to have a general direction.

shrinivas says October 5, 2016

Hi Stephanie,

I’m from India and will soon appear for group 2 of CMA, my question is will the work experience of working in government sector as an accountant will get recognised?

    Stephanie Ng says October 8, 2016

    Hi Shrinivas, if it involves the “technical” accounting (vs clerical side of accounting such as uploading JEs), then it should be fine. You may double check with the IMA but sending the job description to them to make sure. Email is ima@imanet.org.

Chinnu says August 10, 2016


I am a BCOM & MBA graduate with 4 years of experience in business relationship..
I would like to prepare for CMA .Kindly advice how it will benefit me .Also which is more better CPA or CMA??


Diina says August 7, 2016


I just graduated from my university and the education part is fulfilled, but I don’t understand this experience part.
Would that mean if I studied and didn’t have any experience I won’t be certified?
Then what is the use of me passing the exam?

Thanks in Advance 🙂 xx

    Stephanie Ng says August 11, 2016

    Hi Diina, basically yes — if you study and pass the exam, but don’t have the experience (yet), you won’t be certified. You will after accumulating two years of relevant experience.

Ajay Kumar says August 3, 2016

I am new to your website and would like to congratulate you for your selfless work of guiding students and same.
I am an ACCA graduate and lecturer of ACCA.
I have eight years of teaching experience.
All this years i have taught ACCA/ CIMA Students
My specialisation is Management accounting and financial accounting.
So i was wondering wether my job profile is enough to get IMA membership after clearing my papers (god willingly )
I appreciate your time and kindness in responding to my query.

    Stephanie Ng says August 3, 2016

    Hi Ajay, I believe academia can be counted but I am not sure if IMA has restriction on where you teach. It is best if you can check with them directly by emailing IMA at ima@imanet.org. Let me know how it goes 🙂 Best of luck!

      Ajay says August 4, 2016

      Thank you

      i will let you know the response

        Stephanie Ng says August 11, 2016


nasj says July 9, 2016

good evening. i just want to ask if the 2 years continuous experience required to be within the same company for 2 years or 2 years (different companies) but the experience is continuous.

    Stephanie Ng says July 10, 2016

    Hi Nasj,
    I believe you can be at different companies, but you may want to double check with the IMA. Regards, Stephanie

      nasj says July 10, 2016

      could you give me directions on how could i ask IMA about this. because this is now a major problem here in the Philippines.

        Stephanie Ng says July 16, 2016

        You can simply copy and paste the above and email IMA at ima@imanet.org.

atiq khan says July 8, 2016

And please explain the difference between ACCA and CMA qualification as well.

atiq khan says July 8, 2016

I have done my masters in business administration from a recognized university in Pakistan and my university is on the list given in CMA website. I have some questions:

1. Is CMA more valuable than ACCA.
2. Can I apply for exemptions in CMA exams because based on my academic background ACCA has already given me exemption in F1, F2 and F3.
3. The CMA exam consists of 2 parts, how the exemption is managed within these 2 parts.

    Stephanie Ng says July 8, 2016

    Hi Atiq,
    Thanks for your note. On your questions:
    1. Not necessarily; it depends on where you work. In Pakistan, ACCA could be more valuable unless you aspire to work in multinational companies (esp those from US) or consider going abroad at a later stage.

    2/3. You basically answer your own question — it is quite impossible to get exemption when there are only 2 parts. So there is none.

    The advantage of ACCA holders is that the bachelor degree requirement is waived. But since you have a master’s degree it isn’t applicable in your case.

Megham says June 21, 2016

Hi stephani,

I completed my b.com degree this year & I m sure that I would complete CMA by next year. I am planning to do job for my experience requirement. Suggest me what type of job I should try for, to make my career stronger in future

I love financing, strategic management, but I hate costing n accounting. I like to touch peaks in my career for whatever I work. I am asking u from where should I start my career. Which job I should try for? I m from India presently pursuing us cma

    Stephanie Ng says June 21, 2016

    Hi Megham, to be successful long-term, you should find a job that you like. If you don’t like costing, go for service companies as they don’t have much costing analysis. (The costs are mostly fixed, such as salary) It’s hard to start at strategic management as a fresh graduate so you may need to bite the bullet and work a bit in accounting. Knowing how accounting works in real life is a critical skill to be successful in strategic planning in my opinion. Regards, Stephanie

Mayank Saxena says June 6, 2016

hey, I am a CA student, currently pursuing my articleship which is 3 years long in one of the big4 in audit and advisory department. Will my articleship experience be counted as relevant experience for CMA( India).
And also will this experience can also be counted as sufficient experience required to get CPA certification.

    Stephanie Ng says June 6, 2016

    Hi Mayank, typically internships are not considered as US CMA experience requirement, but I understand articleship could be different. It is best to check with the IMA (and state board for the CPA exam) to confirm.

    Update: I just realized you are asking for CMA (India). I don’t cover that qualification so please contact CMA (India) administrator directly.

    harshita says July 31, 2017

    Hey mayank could you please let me know if your articleship experience was accepted by cma us or not as I am in the same position going to give my exams in jan 2018

nasj says May 31, 2016

what could be the possible positions that could land a best experience for a CMA. Thank you.

    Stephanie Ng says May 31, 2016

    Hi Nasj, sky is the limit really. There are quite a number of CFOs, COOs, and Director of Strategic Planning in Fortune 100 companies who are CMAs. Obviously, they don’t get to these positions simply by having the CMA qualifications. Regards, Stephanie

nasj says May 24, 2016

is CMA and CFA a good combination? I’ve already passed the cma examination and I want to take tthe CFA. need some advise. thankyou

    Stephanie Ng says May 26, 2016

    Hmm to me they are quite different — one is internal corporate accounting, and the other is (external) finance, e.g. fund / asset managers, and equity analyst positions.

Ahmed Ghaleb says May 21, 2016

I wish to know something
I’m still undergraduate and i haven’t finished my studies yet in the university and i’m not willing to take accounting for a major and i’m going for the finance major i wish to know that CMA would help me with this major or i should be majored as accounting to take the best out of the CMA?

    Stephanie Ng says May 22, 2016

    Hi Ahmed, in my opinion, if you are not willing to take accounting as a major (assuming you are not interested), it isn’t a good idea to go for the CMA certification and generally an accounting career.

    If you like finance, go for it and CFA is more suitable in the longer term. For now you can focus on your undergrad study. Regards, Stephanie

R says April 25, 2016

Hi stephani

I worked as an external auditor for a year 6 years ago followed by another year as an internal auditor…there is a short gap between the two jobs ..plus they were years ago

What do you think?

    Stephanie Ng says April 25, 2016

    Hi R, in terms of fulfilling the experience requirements, no issue at all, as long as you can ask your former supervisor (or HR) to sign the verification form. Regards, Stephanie

NASJ says March 14, 2016

good afternoon, i just want to ask if this job description would be credited by the IMA. I have passed the 2 part examination last year.

*cash advance, fs support, aging analysis, monitoring of contractors ledger, review and adjustment of various gl account related to advances.

thank you.

    Stephanie Ng says March 14, 2016

    Hi NASJ, it looks like you have some analysis in there. If this is an important part of your job, try to emphasize that more (as long as your supervisor agrees what you describe). You can also send this to IMA to double check. Regards, Stephanie

      NASJ says March 14, 2016

      aging analysis here is just a small part., probably 5% of my job. Majority of what i am doing is repetitive journal entries and making cheques.

      also, CPA’s here in the philippines are more preferred than CMAs. Majority of the companies does not know what cma’s are.

        Stephanie Ng says March 15, 2016

        Hi NASJ, it might be a stretch if your work is repetitive in nature. If you don’t think the CMA adds enough value in your country, maybe you shouldn’t go for it at this stage. You can always start later if you think it’s helpful in the future.

          NASJ says March 15, 2016

          what do you mean by “stretch”?

          Stephanie Ng says March 16, 2016

          Meaning it is likely not ok in my own opinion, but please double check with the IMA.

Naresh says March 4, 2016


I have completed 3 years of articleship training for CA in a CA firm. Will it be considered as experience?

    Stephanie Ng says March 4, 2016

    Hi Naresh, I am not sure about your nature of articleship, so it is best if you can check with IMA directly. In general, if it is more like an internship, it cannot be counted but given it is very long (3 years) it maybe considered ok. Regards, Stephanie

    harshita says July 31, 2017

    Hey naresh could you tell me if your articleship experience was accepted as work experience by ima

gaurav says December 27, 2015

Hi Stephanie!,
i work in bank for last 5 years as manager. work profile includes-
Handling bank accounts, Service Tax ,TDS handling, Balance sheet Analysis of different firms, Fixed deposits, Loans and Advances , handling 3rd party products Mutual Funds,Insurance etc

Could this be fulfilled the experience requirement?

    Stephanie Ng says December 29, 2015

    Hi Gaurav, generally they require work that involves management and analysis. It’s hard for me to tell here, so it is best to check with the IMA. They can be reached at ima@imanet.org and they provide an answer before your application. Regards, Stephanie

Kuka says December 26, 2015

Hi Stephanie!

I heard that financial information systems analysis positions can fullfill CMA’s experience requirements.
Could you please tell me, is my experience relevant?

I am currently working as SAP consultant in large oil&gas firm, responsible for users support maintenance of ERP SAP Financial system and functional administration. My current duties are:

* Provide regular and high performance work of the accounting program facilitating to SAP Finance Manager effectively manage SAP Finance and Controlling users support;

* Support end users and respond to system/process problems and requests for assistance;

* Provide support and implement fixes and additional features;

* Analyse data to identify problems or recommend preventive action, research and troubleshoot problems;

* Perform testing of additional SAP Financial developments, other add-ons, and system upgrade;

* Perform end users training, consulting as well as internal cross training to other team members as necessary;

* Continually strive to enhance or improve business system processes that drive efficiency through use of best practice.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks!

    Stephanie Ng says December 29, 2015

    Hi Kuka, sounds like it’s ok, but it is best to check with the IMA. They can be reached at ima@imanet.org and they provide an answer before your application. Regards, Stephanie

chandan says December 10, 2015

I am an Indian,if I do CMA (US) I will get placement in India on base of CMA (US),I in Undergraduate in B.com on Bangalore university.
Please reply sir

    Stephanie Ng says December 10, 2015

    Hi Chandan, there is no career placement provided in the CMA program. This kind of arrangement doesn’t exist in the US certifications I have to say. You’ll need to find your own full time job and get your experience verified by your supervisor. Regards, Stephanie

Tengku Farid says October 17, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

I just got offer a job as Order to Cash Analyst.

Below is the job scope:

       Bonus adjustment entries

       Journal entries for correction

       Monthly IBO bonus calculation

       Balance Sheet Accounts Reconciliation from OMS to CODA

       IBO Notification letter creation

       Preparing Sales report based on data in OMS

Could this be fulfilled the experience requirement?


    Stephanie Ng says October 19, 2015

    I am not sure to be honest, Tengku, because it doesn’t seem to involve “analysis” of “management”. You can send the above to IMA and see what they think. They should be able to give you an indication before your application. Regards, Stephanie

Unnamalai says October 14, 2015

Two consecutive years in the Same company or can it be any other company?
And can it be 18 months one company and 6 months another company?

    Stephanie Ng says October 15, 2015

    Yes, for both. Regards, Stephanie

Sonia says October 7, 2015

I want to persue CMA. I m a member of ICSI.
I don’t have any work experience.
How many years of experience will b needed to apply for the certificate?

    Stephanie says October 7, 2015

    Hi Sonia,
    The standard requirement is 2 consecutive years of relevant experience.

    Regards, Stephanie

rajaram k says September 29, 2015

My friend works in a bank as an Officer for the past 4 years. he would like to apply for CMA. Whether his experience counts?????

    Stephanie says October 7, 2015

    Hi Rajaram, it depends what he does as an officer… Please show him/her this page and let him/her figure it out. Regards, Stephanie

shrinivas says September 19, 2015

Thanks Stephanie

    Stephanie Ng says September 23, 2015


shrinivas says September 18, 2015

Hello Stephanie,

Yes It’s a data entry work

    Stephanie Ng says September 19, 2015

    I see, Shrinivas, thanks for sharing. For now, you can take the exam first, but please have a plan in place to move on to analytical work. If you don’t think this is possible, then might need to reconsider other certifications. Regards, Stephanie

Christa says September 17, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

I’m on office manager for a dealership and some of my responsibilities include preparing 3 different financial statements for 3 vehicle lines, creating a balance sheet, flooring vehicles and paying the interest on floored vehicles, payoffs and loans, debiting and crediting accounts, reconciling expenses and income, general ledger maintenance, ensuring quarterly and yearly taxes are calculated and paid, payroll along with 401k, benefits, garnishments, dividends, etc. I also oversee accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Am I just an inexpensive, glorified accounting assistant or can I actually qualify to become certified? Thanks!

    Stephanie Ng says September 17, 2015

    Hi Christa, sounds pretty ok to me, that’s the core of accounting!
    I suggest that you double check with IMA so you know for sure it’s fine. Just copy and paste what you have written above to an email and send to ima@imanet.org. Good luck! Stephanie

ali says July 29, 2015

iam an accountant , am i eligible for cma ?

    ali says July 29, 2015

    i have a experience of 1 year in accounting , after completing 2 years am i eligible for cma ?

      Stephanie Ng says July 29, 2015

      Hello again Ali, you can actually start before you accumulate 2 years of experience. There are students who take the exam before graduation (and obviously without experience), then work for 2 years after graduating to get the certification.

    Stephanie Ng says July 29, 2015

    Hi Ali, sure, either accountant or not is not a factor for CMA certification. All you need is a bachelor degree. But in terms of experience, yes, your accounting experience will be very helpful as long as it isn’t a routine work (E.g. upload JE) but more on analytical side.

Azhar says July 2, 2015

I am from India,need to ask if my experience matches the requirement for CMA CERTIFICATION.

Currently I am working in a Dental Clinic as an Accountant and Insurance Controller. I am resposible for daily income reports and also providing monthly P&L statements to the management. It also includes keeping the expenses track to ensure high Net Incomes every month. Apart from that i handle complete Inflow and Outflow of Insurance claims. Need your valuable suggestions, If my experience fits for CMA course. Thanks

    Stephanie Ng says July 2, 2015

    Hi Azhar, looks pretty ok to me, but I encourage you copy and paste this paragraph and email to IMA for their verification. They should be able to give you a confirmation even before you take the exam. Regards, Stephanie

      AZHAR says July 29, 2015

      Thanks Stephanie for your valuable comments.

        Stephanie Ng says July 29, 2015

        Most welcome! Stephanie

DM says June 22, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

just wanted to thank you for this website and the depth of discussion and advice it provides.

Have found nothing else on the net that comes close in helping people like me to foster an opinion that this is the right designation to go for.

Kind regards

    Stephanie Ng says June 22, 2015

    That’s great to know DM! Certainly glad to hear! Stephanie

AMIT says May 3, 2015

Hi Stephanie

I am from India,need your guidance on the experience requirement for CMA CERTIFICATION.
Brief Background : I am a BCOM graduate and MBA (MARKETING)- 2002- 2004 from the recognized university for IMA.I have got 10 plus years of experience,primarily into sales and marketing of financial products. At Present i am working as a Branch Manager of a Bank – HDFC BANK, where my job involves daily/monthly auditing of the bank branch activities,monthly,half yearly and yearly audit and risk control report submission,yearly SOX AUDIT,understanding Profit and loss statement for the branch and doing a costing analysis.I would want to know will my experience as a Branch Manager of bank -HDFC will count for the experience requirement for CMA CERTIFICATION.

    Stephanie Ng says May 3, 2015

    Hi Amit,
    It does sounds like your experience is very relevant. I believe it’s safe for you to copy and paste this to an email and send to IMA for a quick look. They will be able to give you an answer. Best of luck! Stephanie

Marc says May 1, 2015

I have 3 years experience as an Operations Manager in a distribution facility. During this time 40% of my time has been spent budgeting for the fiscal year, this includes budgeting for the workforce, training, equipment and supply needs. Budget planning based on previous years metrics/KPI’s. Managing throughput finances. Would this experience qualify for the CMA exam? Thank you.

    Stephanie Ng says May 2, 2015

    Hi Marc, your operations manager role sounds pretty relevant to me. But what is the 60% of the time? If they are not as relevant, I suggest that instead of “40%” you can see “a substantial amount of time”. You can also check with IMA to see if your work as listed above is good enough. Stephanie

      Marc says May 2, 2015


      Thank you…..Marc

        Stephanie Ng says May 3, 2015


ER says April 29, 2015

The link for the experience requirement verification form does not seem to be working. Would you recommend that I complete the form, send it to IMA to see if I would qualify?

    Stephanie Ng says May 1, 2015

    Hi ER,
    Somehow the link is working fine for me. In any case, you can ask for the same form by emailing IMA and yes, you can ask for their opinion whether the experience can fulfill the certification requirements. Regards, Stephanie

      ER says May 1, 2015

      Thank you, the link works now. Another question…do you know if the work experience has to be consecutive? For example, 1.5 years in finance, 1 year in insurance, then back to finance…

        Stephanie Ng says May 2, 2015

        Hello, that’s great. I understand you need to work continuously but doesn’t need to be the same job. But if say it is totally unrelated from accounting/finance… then it is best to check with IMA first. I believe the intention is to have candidates working at least in relevant field consecutively for 2 years.

Priyanka Nath says April 28, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

Can you guide me on one thing please!

As far as I read this website, we have to first go and register ourselves as member with IMA and then schedule our exams. At what point do we have to send our notarized copies of our marksheets and certificates to IMA? And also how long does it take for them to revert on that?

I am planning to take CMA exams in Sep-Oct testing window. So when is the point do I have to send them my marksheets and certficates?

Thanks in advance.


Priyanka Nath says April 20, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

Am a little confused, what is the difference between notarised and certified?

Also can i get the photocopies of my marksheets and certificates, get them notarised/certified and send them to IMA?
Because I donot have official transcripts. All i have is my orginal marksheets and degree certificates from my university.


    Stephanie Ng says April 22, 2015

    The difference is quite technical… I don’t think you need to worry about that. If you do want to find out, google is the best way to find out.

    Yes get the photocopies notarized is the way to do. Certified copies is just my suggestion if you can’t get it notarized anywhere (or too expensive). Please always check with the IMA. Original marksheet is probably ok for your country but please double check. Regards, Stephanie

Priyanka Nath says April 20, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

I am an M.Com & Chartered Accountant from India and my university falls under the list of accredited universities of the IMA. This means I donot have to get my transcripts evaluated for CMA. I also have 7 years of experience in management accounting in India.

I have one query, it is a little difficult to get transcripts from my university. I read in the CMA handbook that I can also send notarized copies of my mark sheets and certificates to IMA. Is that true? In that case kindly guide who can notarize these documents? Can a lawyer (or anyone who is authorized to notarize in India) do or I have to get them notarized from the Registrar of my university?

Kindly advice!

    Stephanie Ng says April 20, 2015

    Hi Priyanka,
    I think notarized copies are accept under special situation. If it is not common for your school to send official transcript, then IMA can usually accommodate. In terms of how to get the document notarized, it’s a very simple step in the US, where you can go to a bank and do it with something like $10. But it could be expensive in other countries.

    I encourage that you speak to IMA first. Sometimes they may allow certified copies from your country, which I believe the price is a lot more reasonable in many countries. Regards, Stephanie

Maryna says April 6, 2015

Hi, Stephanie. I’ve mailed a notarized copy of my transcripts and experience requirement verification form to IMA. How do I know if my education and work experience meet the requirements?Thank you!

    Stephanie Ng says April 7, 2015

    Hi Maryna,
    There should be an update on your profile page on the IMA website. If there is any question, IMA is helpful in answering questions. Please remember to include your membership number when emailing them. Regards, Stephanie

john says March 17, 2015


Currently I am a cost controller assistant in a construction industry and this September 2015 my two years for the company.

Do I qualified for CMA certification?

    Stephanie Ng says March 17, 2015

    Hi John,
    May I ask what’s your role as an assistant? Because if it is clerical, then it doesn’t count; but if it is basically what a cost controller does but with a more junior role, then I am quite sure it is ok.

    You can always send an email to IMA with a detailed job description, and they will confirm with a reply.

    Regards, Stephanie

    john says October 9, 2015

     Follow-up and accurately record actual expenses/actual commitments incurred on site and prepare reports for Supervisor.
     Verify and Monitor manpower daily reports against planned manpower and report results and recommendations to the cost Controller.
     Issue inter site or inter-account transaction to correct and reclassify actual cost between sites or between different cost heads within site.
     Assist cost controller in monitoring budget against MR’s, Store issue Vouchers, Daily delivery Tickets and inform of any shortcomings to the cost controller.
     Record store invoices in cost database. Receive store voucher, classify record and allocate cost in cost database. When store issues are marked for delivery of material to subcontractor, evaluate the cost of store Issue Voucher and provide details to Service Marché for further action (such as back charging to subcontractor).
     Compile delivery tickets coming from material controller for blanket orders (sand, gravel, sub base, etc.), reporting any discrepancies to the Cost Controller.
     Check and reconcile discrepancies between HOB monthly Journal transaction and actual expenses incurred – all to reconcile cost database with FIAD.
     Record verify and correct Journal vouchers related to Manpower payroll and update monthly recap as required and report any major discrepancies to the Cost controller.
     Reconcile in coordination with cost center representative at site asset billings (PIS received from cost center) with actual inventory of Assets on site. Also worked with concerned Cost Centre manager for resolving any identified discrepancies.

    Above are the duties and responsibilities as Cost Controller Assistant.

    Please advise.

    Thanks and Best Regards

      Stephanie Ng says October 12, 2015

      I think it’s ok, but since IMA is the one to approve or disapprove you case, please check with them directly. You should be able to get an indication from them before the application. Good luck! Stephanie

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