Why Become a CMA: 5 Tangible Benefits for Your Accounting Career + Video

Why become a CMA – that is the magic question. Becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) means expending lots of time, effort and money, so is it worth it? What’s the value of becoming a CMA?

I aim to answer that question for you today because I believe it’s very important for potential candidates to do all of their homework before making a final decision about which accounting certification to get. I know that the process can be daunting. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which is right for you and if the investment is really going to help your future career.

Here are 5 good reasons to pursue the CMA.

Why Become a CMA: 5 Motivations

We are going to dive into five motivations to become a CMA for a bit here. It’s important to understand why other people get the CMA certification, in order to help see the benefits. However, when making a decision for yourself, you also need to look at your own career path and what will help you get there.

1. The CMA Is the Gold Standard in Management Accounting

Your aunts and neighbors may have never heard of the CMA, but in the corporate accounting world, CMA is a very respected designation. In fact, it is considered the “gold standard”, meaning it is one of the top certifications in management accounting that you can obtain. It’s also the fastest-growing credential around the globe. Holding the top title in the field is a big motivation for many people.

The CMA is an advanced professional certification specifically designed to measure the critical accounting and financial management skills. This is especially relevant for success in a business environment. This means you will be a prime candidate for job positions when you hold this distinction.

Here are some tangible benefits you can enjoy after becoming a CMA.

2. It’s Arguably the Most Global Management Accounting Certification

The CIMA is the largest in this niche, but the vast majority of members are located in the UK and to a lesser extent Europe and Commonwealth countries. However, the CMA is growing around the globe more quickly than CIMA.

number of CMA candidates by countryThe number of US CMAs is smaller, but the certification is now the most popular management accounting certification not only in the US but also in the fastest developing regions, namely China and the Middle East. As you can see from the chart extracted from the August 2014 edition of Strategic Finance, almost half of the new CMA candidates came from the Middle East (UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan), and almost 1/4 from the Asia Pacific (China and India).

3. CMAs Get Paid More

Let’s face it — we want to learn, but ultimately, we need the certification to get better-paying jobs. According to a comprehensive study by the IMA, CMA certification holders earn 67% more than their non-certified counterparts.

More is good, but how much more are we talking? The global mean and median base CMA certification salary may rise and fall from year to year so you have to stay updated on the stats. However, the figures remain high and attractive to future Certified Management Accountants, meaning it’s still a good reason to consider getting your CMA.

The IMA reports that the global mean base CMA salary of 2018 was $74,344, while the global median base CMA salary was $66,000. Typically, this will rise from year to year so we can feel confident in steady increases for the years to come.

4. For Many, CMA Skills Are More Practical

Various industry journals have indicated that 80% of accountants end up in non-public accounting. The management accounting knowledge and skills are in fact more useful for these professionals. Additionally, many dual CPA and CMA holders find the materials covered by the CMA more interesting and practical in their daily work.

Again, it all depends on what career path you want to take but the skills learned from becoming a Certified Management Accountant are often touted as the best in the industry for the day-to-day tasks you will have as an accountant.

5. The IMA Makes It Easy for Us

Unlike the CPA Exam in which getting qualified is sometimes harder than passing the exam itself, the IMA (the CMA exam administrator) keeps things clear, simple, and organized for applicants. The IMA openly welcomes international candidates with the exam offered in hundreds of locations worldwide.

Don’t get me wrong — earning the CMA is not easier because of a low barrier of entry. Candidates are still required to have a bachelors degree, pass a rigorous exam, and secure 2 continuous years of management accounting experience to get certified.

However, the IMA makes the process of becoming a CMA as smooth as possible. Candidates can focus on passing the exam and fulfilling the experience instead of getting stuck with the bureaucracy and conflicting rules from different state boards like those involved in the CPA certification process. This is a huge benefit to many candidates and is one leading reason why some people choose CMA over other accounting certifications.

The CMA Sounds Great, But How Does It Benefit Me?

Maybe all of this means the CMA sounds good, but that doesn’t guarantee it’s great for you. At the end of the day, you are the only person who can truly determine that. However, I hope to give you a wealth of information to help you make your choice. Let’s see if the CMA certification benefits YOUR career.

1. Can the CMA Certification Land You a Better Job?

“Within the Finance department at J&J, the CMA is a highly regarded certification. The content of the CMA exam mirrors real-world applications used across the corporate finance and accounting functions.” – Ryan Perkins, CMA, Senior Financial Analyst at Johnson & Johnson

(Source: Strategic Finance Magazine, April 2015)

Please grab a pen and paper and write down:

  • 3 dream companies to work for and
  • 3 dream positions within the company

Then, look at this list and see if these are the companies you’d like to work for.

These fortune 500 companies are known to have CMAs in their key management roles:

  • 3M
  • Alcoa
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Boeing
  • Cargill
  • Caterpillar
  • ConAgra
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Microsoft
  • Procter & Gamble
  • KeyCorp
  • Whirlpool
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Verizon
  • Xerox

You will notice that the majority are big, global corporations focused on manufacturing.  If your ideal workplace is on the list above, then the CMA is great for you.

2. Are You Sure You Don’t Want to Be an Auditor or Tax Accountant?

If you aren’t sure, then the CMA certification may not be good for you, at least at this stage. There is very little use if you aspire to work in a public accounting firm either as an auditor or in tax.

On the other hand, if you want to build your career in corporate accounting, the certification greatly enhances your profile and knowledge in the field.

3. Is the CMA Truly Valued Where You Live?

It’s nice to know the 60%+ salary premium CMAs enjoy and that CMAs are in low supply. But honestly, does this average figure mean much?

Probably not, because the demand for CMAs is different in different regions across the US and around the world.

So how do you know if the CMA is valued in your area?

It’s time for research. Check out online recruiting sites such as Monster.com and Indeed.com, or other equivalent sites in your home country.

Then, type in “certified management accountant” and see if there are jobs that pop up in your area (“CMA” is likely too broad because it covers “certified medical assistant” and a few other certifications).

For example, Monster.com lists out 148 jobs in New Jersey based on “certified management accountant”. You should be able to find more listings using a variety of keywords.

why become a cma

Take a look at the industry, job description, and salary range. See if these opportunities excite you.

CMA Advantages and Disadvantages

We have spent some time looking over the advantages, but as you know, there are always disadvantages, too. In order to make an informed decision, you should look at the pros and cons of each choice to help guide your decision.

Some disadvantages of the CMA certification is the time and monetary investment it will take to get it. Of course, this investment pays for itself when you factor in the break-even rate, how much you can make in salary, and the new positions and job opportunities that will open up for you. However, these things are not important to everyone.

If you’re planning a simple accounting career in a job that does not require a certification of this level, it may not be practical to invest that level of time and money into getting it just for the bragging rights.

Scope of the CMA

To understand the benefits of the CMA better, let’s take a look at the scope of the CMA. By definition, a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is an accounting professional to whom the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has awarded the CMA certification. The IMA developed the CMA designation in 1972 to supply an objective measure of an accountant’s knowledge and competence in management accounting.

The CMA certification requires passing the CMA exam. This exam comes in two parts, and the breakdown shows the overall scope of the CMA well.

CMA Exam Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics

  • External financial reporting (15%)
  • Planning, budgeting, and forecasting (20%)
  • Performance management (20%)
  • Cost management (15%)
  • Internal controls (15%)
  • Technology and Analytics (15%)

CMA Exam Part 2: Strategic Financial Management

  • Financial statement analysis (20%)
  • Corporate finance (20%)
  • Decision analysis (25%)
  • Risk management (10%)
  • Investment decisions (10%)
  • Professional ethics (15%)

What Jobs Does a CMA Hold?

If you’re trying to decide if the CMA is right for you, and to calculate the advantages to choosing it, then it will also be important to look at the types of jobs CMA holders have. To see the potential CMA career scope, let’s look at the jobs a CMA can hold.

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

Understanding the scope of the CMA will help you see how being a titleholder can help you in a career in any of these fields. These are just some of the common titles that people will their certification might hold.

Is CMA a Good Course?

In simple terms, yes. The CMA is a good course and exam choice to take if you are looking to work a career in accounting. Earning the CMA is not a simple process. There are several things you need to do, in addition, to take the CMA exam.

Let’s recap those benefits to getting your CMA certification: 

  1. Higher income
  2. More job opportunities
  3. Greater job security
  4. Increased skills and abilities
  5. Heightened respect and admiration

Is CMA a Good Career?

Will it be a smart career choice to become a Certified Management Accountant? Again, only you can say for certain what is right for you. In general, yes, the CMA is a good career. You can see the job scope opportunities listed above. You can also see the many other benefits such as pay increases, job dependability, and personal recognition. These are just some of the reasons candidates decide to go for their CMA.

But don’t just take my word for it. You can also see what my bloggers have to say about it.

See Why My Bloggers Got Their CMA Certification

Take a look at these stories to see why they chose the CMA. It can help you in making your own decision.

Amani why CMAVinoth Hock CMA customer
Amani’s 6 Benefits from
CMA (even before passing)
Why Vinoth chose CMA
over Indian CA

Finally, Experience a Summary in Video Format

Sounds Good! What’s Next?

You may also be interested in signing up for my mini e-course to plan, study, and pass the CMA exam on your first attempt (click the link for details on the mini-course):

Join us if you want to get tips on how to plan,
study, and pass your CMA exam on your first attempt!

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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  • Eduardo Foss says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am from Brazil, I have a bachelor degree for a 5-year Law study and a recent MBA in Finance, Management Accounting and Audit.

    Given that my bachelor degree is not in Accounting, but I have a post-graduate degree in the subject, do you think IMA examinators would deny my application? Are they flexible in that matter?

    Kind Regards,

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Eduardo I would say you more than qualified for the CMA because IMA is looking for a bachelor degree in any subject. You should have plans to work in related field though. Here is a list of qualifying job. You need 2 years of relevant work experience to become a charter member:

      Cheers, Stephanie

    • Ali says:

      CMA USA is one of the worst courses. It has no value in India and nobody is paying more than 3 LPA. After clearing CMA last year, I went through a very agonizing phase for a lot of months as I did not get any job and had to finally choose one which required only a BCom.

  • Azhar Baksh says:

    Hi Stephanie..

    I am a qualifies Chartered Accountant from India and I am also holding a Graduate degree in Commerce field from an Indian University. The other day I’ve got a mail from you seeking information of CMA. What I am confused is of is that whether are both “CMA” and “CIMA” one and the same, becuase though i’ve heard of CIMA but i’ve never heard of CMA. So could you pleease clarify that and also suggest me how beneficial would it be for me to gor for a course like this.

    And me as a Chartered Accountant, will you suggest any other courses(CPA is what i’ve targeterd as of date)

    Many Thanks

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Azhar, it is indeed confusing… CMA and CIMA are both management accounting designation. CMA is the one from the US and CIMA is one from the UK. So it’s kind of like CPA (US) vs CA in other countries…

      This site is about CMA (US), but it’s totally fine to pursue CIMA too. Stephanie

  • Azhar Baksh says:

    I would add on to my previous query, that when i’ve targeted on for CPA as of date then would you suggest me to go for CMA also at the same time i.e. both simultaneously. And if you suggest me to go for this course i.e. CMA, then could you also suggest me with some good course material to go for with (like for CPA we have materials like Wileys, Beckers etc.).

    Many Thanks

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Azhar, typically I wouldn’t recommend taking CPA and CMA together because either one alone takes a lot of effort to pass. Both of them are tough exams covering many topics. There are a few overlaps esp on the BEC section of CPA so you can, for example, take BEC part of CPA last, followed closely with the CMA exam so the topics are still fresh in your mind. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • asad khan says:

    hi , i am doing ACCA uk, passed f1,f2,f3, i heard about CMA, i want to know that can i study CMA ? guide me if can do CMA then how and tell me the procedure !

  • Jayaraj says:

    Hi, I am recently certified as CMA . Would like to continue my study in CPA or ACCA. Please advice my CMA qualification is good enough to join for CPA.
    Many Thank

  • Khan says:


    I have earned MBA from Heriot Watt University last year. I am interested in pursuing a career in Management Accounting and I am deciding on doing the CMA. My question is until I get the 2 years professional experience, would I not be considered as a Certified Management Accounting?? As of now I do not have any professional accounting experience. Can I go ahead with the CMA? Will it have worth with just passing the exams and not having the experience until I look or find work in related field?

    • Hi Khan,
      This is a common dilemma for CMA candidates. I would go for the exam anyway. If you are going for jobs that value the CMA a lot (typically manufacturing companies, or companies with heavy cost/inventory management), then I can see how the interviewer will give you credit even if you are not fully a CMA. You will in two years if you work in their company.

      For companies that don’t value CMA as much, then yeah, it might not be that useful telling them you just passed the exam. But since you never know where you will end up working at this stage, taking the exam certainly doesn’t hurt especially when your interest is in management accounting. Good luck!

  • Khan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    If I pass the exams of CMA and look for experience after passing the exams, will I be eligible (for any exemptions) from CIMA to get CGMA designation with the combination of my MBA and CMA (Exams Pass)???

  • Shubham says:

    Hey stepphanie

    i am persuing cma from india
    and i wish to continue for some more degrees in accounting
    i am a little confused bw acca and cima which is better i mean which has better scope

    2 the mou which was that a cima = cma + cma and a acca – cpa + cma i am really confused can u please explain

    3 . Which degree/certificate combination will be best as i really wsh a good six digit salary in terms of us dollar

    it will be very grateful if u answer me

    thanxx in advance

    • Hi Shubham,
      On your questions:
      1. there isn’t really a “better” qualification. It depends where you want to work and which qualification is more recognized in that country. ACCA and CIMA is very different. CIMA and CMA are both management accounting qualifications.

      2. Sorry, not sure what it means… these qualifications can’t really be related by summation and subtraction. They have their pros and cons in their own right. Maybe this post can help you figure out the difference: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/accounting-certification/

      3. This is also a million dollar question: some people get 6 figure salary without any qualification (e.g. the successful investment bankers) while they are people who got an alphabet soup of titles and are out of job. It also depends on where you live, business cycle, and more importantly your resume and interview skills, and luck.


  • RAMKRISHNA says:

    Hello Stephanie..Appreciate your replies & inputs with regard to CMA. Thanks for those..Well I too have a few to ask. I am currently from India working in Banking Industry for the past 15+ years. I have few questions..Please clarify question wise…Thanks very much..
    (1) Will CMA suit me if I wish to switch over to credit / forex. (currently handling branch banking) Or shall I have to opt another industry post qualified. What is in store on career front / growth.
    (2) in your replies to the queries raised, you mention that self study is good. Well, please clarify, once we pay the entrance fee, from where do we get the study material, shall we have to purchase Gleim or Wiley ? Please clarify. (2a)
    (3) No of hours a normal individual to put in or the course demands? (as I am working)
    (4) Time duration by your experience which the course takes for working personnel like me?
    (5) If opted for a self study, is the study material (for both parts) is available over net for free download or approach GLIEM / WILEY for purchasing (considering budget)
    (6) Any other professional experience is required before the course or after passing the course?
    (7) Any schedule changes to happen shortly in regard to course or material for me to join the course in Nov 13.
    (8) If opted for a coaching center, could we first have the coaching & once the learning is thorough, I could pay the entrance fee (for registration) and later at convenient time, pay for exam.
    (9) Which part is preferable & easy to clear in general & what if for a banking personnel like me?

    Please have these answered for which I could gain clarity & get back to you further if any…!!…Ramakrishna

    • Hi Ramkrishna,
      Let me try to answer your questions here:
      1. I am afraid not… CMA is for management accounting, esp those with more work on cost accounting and inventory management, e.g. in manufacturing sector.
      2. You can get the review materials online, very convenient: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/
      3. Roughly speaking, 100-150 hours per part based on IMA recommendations.
      4. It really depends. Some people don’t want to study after work, while some get up at 2am and study till 6am (then go to work) every week day (real case from a reader). So I can’t generalize.
      5. Yes, Gleim free demo is available here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/gleim-cma-review/
      You may want to go to Amazon.com and take a look at the few pages for free of the Wiley CMA Exam Review.
      6. yes. The list of relevant experience is here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/how-to-become-a-cma/
      7. I don’t think so…
      8. Don’t know much about coaching center. It’s too hard for me to cover this on a global scale.
      9. Probably Part 2 as it is more on financial management. Part 1 is more on cost accounting and internal control. But you need to pass both for the certificate.
      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Azim says:

    I have done my bachelor degree in Commerce from India. Currently i am studying another bachelor degree in Business management here in US. Can you suggest me the process for doing CMA or CPA here in US. which one of these course will be accurate for me and how all this will make my good future?
    Thank you

  • Yogesh says:

    My name is Yogesh and my query is Does CMA helps in mobility. What’s the difference between CIMA and CMA

    • Hi Yogesh, CIMA and CMA are both qualifications for management accounting, but one is based in UK and the other in US. It depends where you want to work… for CMA (IMA/US), it is most recognized in the US or in US companies around the world. It is also very popular in china and the Middle East. If you work in UK, Europe or Commonwealth countries, CIMA is better. Hope it helps!


  • Yogesh says:

    Is there anyone doing CMA from pune, India. So it well helpful..

  • Gareth says:


    Would you know if the work experience of investment bankers qualify for the CMA?


  • Faraz says:

    I am an MBA working as Chief Accountant in KSA, I want to know if level of CMA is equivalent to CIMA or is it a certification that is not up to the mark?

    Since I will be investing my money and time I need to be sure if I am investing in the better one.

    What I have perceive is that CMA is even a lower category certificate even from ACCA.

    • Hi Faraz,

      I don’t think CMA can be compared apple-to-apple to ACCA — one is for management accounting and the other is more or less financial (or general) accounting. Because of this, it is hard for me to tell which is “better”. It also depends where you will be working in the long term. ACCA could be more popular in KSA, but in the US, ACCA is rarely recognized for example.

      As for CMA vs CIMA, it is a closer comparison, and indeed CIMA is much bigger in terms of membership base. Strictly from the data, CMA is getting more popular in the Middle East (around 9,300 members, or 14% of all IMA members in the world), but I would trust your instinct because you are the one living and working there.

      If you are not comfortable in getting the CMA, I would not go for it. As you said it takes time, money and effort to go through the certification process.

  • IQBAL says:

    Hy i am very much impress abt ur deep knowlege well i am iqbal from congo and working ad Internal Auditir from last 4 years so how should i start CMA from congo and if so where should i attaind exam for CMA.

    And where should i paid my fees in congo, by which bank or how i can paid my fees.

    Thanks for kind support

    • Hi Iqbal, it is great to hear from you from Congo!
      The process should be the same, but you may want to check whether there is a test center in Congo. If not, and if you don’t travel to a neighboring country, it’s fine. In terms of payment, it is usually done online with a credit card. Not sure if it is common to do that in Congo? Regards, Stephanie

  • Nadia Ahmed Mohammed Saeed says:


    I’m from Sudan , I have Bachlor degree of Accounting , My position is T/L Credit&Risk on Telcom. field, I have a desire and with high motivation to Pass CMA. need your directive and instructions,

  • ronald davis says:

    Recently I saw in online portal that “CMA’s can choose to pursue the CPA Designation to count their expertness and integrity for financial accounting & reporting, auditing & attestation and taxation.” .I have to know that whether CMA course providing credit hours requirement for CPA course.

  • malik says:

    hi stephanie … I have 5 years of experience in management accounting tools, which matched with the experience required by ima cma, but I do not have a bachelor degree, am I eligible for cma?

    • Hi Malik, you don’t fall into the category of “standard” candidate but given IMA is very customer friendly you might want to contact them and see what they can do. Other certifications such as CFA does allow waiving bachelor’s degree using certain number of working experience. IMA can be reached at ima@imanet.org. Best of luck, and please tell us how it goes! Stephanie

  • Shobhit Tyagi says:


    I am from India and looking for CMA enrolment this year.

    I have more than 5 years of experience in Financial Accounting, Planning, Analysis, Budgeting, Forecasting and Reporting.

    Below are my queries, would appreciate if you could provide a response on these:

    1- I have done Bachelor’s in Commerce from Delhi University, Is it recognised as per IMA to qualify for CMA certification?

    2- Currently I am working and also I am a Student of Mahatma Gandhi University Post Graduate Degree program, In which category I can enrol for CMA (Professional or Student)? Can I enrol as a Student?

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Hi Shobhit, I am quite sure it is Delhi University is qualified, but you can always double check with IMA by email. And yes definitely enroll as student to enjoy the discounts. Regards, Stephanie

  • Bernard Zen says:

    Hi Steph,

    Appreciated the blog. Currently I’m working as an Internal Audit Manager and have been in the auditing career for 13 yrs. does it counts for the work experience required for the CMA or i need to pursue a management accounting work experience to comply once passed. Have been procrastinating to review for the exam though I already have some of the materials with. More than the requirements I think I need a big boost/push to continue. Thus been roaming the CMA blogs recently.

    Thanks & regards,

  • Anuja says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for helping all the CMA aspirants and replying to all queries.

    I have graduated from University of Mumbai, India. I am currently pursuing M.com from the same university. Till date I haven’t worked anywhere. So I am a total fresher. I want to pursue CMA. But my question here is if I pass CMA exam (both parts), will I be able to get a job on the basis of just having passed the exam, as I will not stand out as CMA unless and until I fulfill the 2 years’ work experience requirement.


    • Hi Anuja, thanks for your note. I have to say CMA doesn’t guarantee jobs, so I can’t really say you will be able to get a job solely because you have a CMA. It helps if you go for multi-national corporations or if you aspire to work in the US in the future. You can mention that you passed both parts of the exam, but in order to call yourself a CMA, you have to accumulate the experience requirements first.

      In terms of how exactly the CMA title can help (or not help) you land a job, please refer to this page: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-title-for-career/

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

      • Anuja says:

        Hey Stephanie,

        Thanks a lot for your reply. I would like to ask whether for me (Fresh graduate with no work experience), will CPA be more beneficial than CMA ? A friend told me that CPA can be the base to start the career after which CMA can later on add value. What do you think ? I’m Confused.


  • Mehak Kohli says:

    Hello, I want to know what is the value of the CMA certification in Australia as I plan on migrating there. Do CMAs find jobs easily there?

  • coscubee says:

    Hi ,
    I am a production engineer from india and i wish to works in management account henceforth i wish to pass cma examination so do i eligible for this and if yes then does it really worth and then how do i move forward ?

  • coscubee says:

    Thank you so much mam for your valuable reply but here is my little query how would i basically start for this i mean start from my job profile that is it must be related to the financial analysis/managment ?

    • Hello, you don’t need to switch right away, but it only makes sense if management accounting is the long-term your career. If you aren’t 100% sure, you can start studying the exam right and see if the study materials is something you are interested. If ok, then explore relevant work opportunities as you move along in your exam. Regards, Stephanie

  • Mahesh says:

    I am studying last year of my bcom degree, am I eligible to write the CMA now,and what will be the exact duration to complete it,is it tough exam,,,

  • Qwerty says:

    Is cma accepted in australia

  • sachin says:

    i am civil engineer i want to go for management side in construction industry.i m working in canada.do really cma helps me to achieve my dream?

    • Hi Sachin,
      This is a smart move but then if you live in Canada, it is better to get the Canadian version of it. It might be hard to do without accounting background though.

      If you plan to work for US companies, then it does make sense to go for the US CMA certification even if you live in Canada. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Veeru says:

    Hi, I’m from India and have a Bachelor of business management certificate(UG), in Finance Domain. and have a started working so will IMA approve my application for persuading CMA and I don’t know whether this course is valid in INDIA.
    Waiting for suggestion.

    Thank You.

    • Hi Veeru,
      Thanks for your note. Yes you should be able to get qualified with a bachelor degree. Whether it is useful in India… I can see that it is gaining traction as I got substantially more traffic and questions from India, which shows that people are paying a lot more attention to CMA.

      But then it isn’t as popular than say the Middle East and China (yet, at least). Here is my analysis on this topic: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-title-for-career/

  • Meghna says:

    I have done my MBA in finance and have 3.6 years of retail banking experience. I wish to shift to investment banks and for a financial analyst or a core finance role comaored to my current profile. Will CMA help in giving me a head start to the career i look for?

  • Vijay aron says:

    Dear Mr.Veeru & Ms.Meghna

    Search in Job portals in India.All of them Asking about ICWA(CMA)/MBA/CA for Cost accountant Jobs, In case of Finance Manager Jobs , they are asking about MBA/B.com/ICWA(CMA)/CA etc….

    Here I did not see any job posting requires CMA (US) in India, Additional Specifications of job requirement is Tax & laws only.(ICWA)

    MRA established between ICWAI & IMA , So that IMA takes Salary reports of CMA(INDIA) in salary survey of IMA report in each year,

    CMA india means Cost & Mgmt Accountant
    CMA(US) means Certified Management Accountant
    Both are Different ,CMA US just test Knowledge of understanding only.

    There are also increasing number of candidates from India. Everyone who looks at CMA(US) should have a plan to move abroad in a couple of years .Indian candidates who go for the CMA (US) because they find ICAI (or CIMA) too difficult. While I totally understand the rationale, getting it easier doesn’t mean that it is as useful.there are also a large group of candidates taking the exam in the hope to find a job in the US. Some are even told that CMA can land you a visa and a job right away. Please don’t believe in those nonsense.

    In order to work in the US, most people need the H1B visa which is very hard to get. The most natural and easiest path is to arrange an internal transfer through your current employer.
    This is only possible if this company has a regional office or headquarters in the US (and that you have great track record in the company).

    Do not Hesitate me , Its the reality …..harsh reality…………………..

    • Meghna says:

      Well.. i got that point. Thank you. But a query on the point you mentioned that look for internal transfers in the current company.How could i jump to such companies in the finance function? I considered CMA as a tool to help jump from retail banking to a core finance job.

  • vinod says:

    hi frndz,
    i am qualified CMA fron INDIA
    I WANT to study CIMA or CPA
    INDIAN CMA is equal to american IMA

    • vijay aron says:

      Search in Job portals in India.All of them Asking about ICWA(CMA)/MBA/CA for Cost accountant Jobs, In case of Finance Manager Jobs , they are asking about MBA/B.com/ICWA(CMA)/CA etc….

      Here I did not see any job posting requires CMA (US) in India, Additional Specifications of job requirement is Tax & laws only.(ICWA)

    • Hi Vinod, for CIMA or CPA, it depends on where you plan to work long term. If it is US or US companies, then CPA; if it is UK or U companies (and also management accounting related), then CIMA.

      On whether Indian CMA is “equal” to that in the US, it also depends on where you plan to work. The Indian CMA is likely better if you work in India, but if you work in the US, I am afraid the Indian CMA is pretty much useless (to put it bluntly, to make sure my point is clear. Hope you don’t mind). Regards, Stephanie

  • naman says:

    i am from india doing bcom are there any chances after doing cma i will get a good job

  • Rekha says:

    I have done my bcom – honours from India and also done company secretary from india. Now I am in New Jersey, USA. I was thinking to go for CMA as well as do job in bank as teller. Would this teller job be considered as an experience towards CMA. Please let me know. If not then simultaneously which job should I search so as to be counted as an experience.

    Would really appreciate your response.

  • engee says:

    Hi Stephanie
    I’m a CA of India, having 3 years of experience in CA practice in field of tax, account, audit and roc matters … planning to move from India in corporates and pursue course to make it more stable
    The target countries will be US, Dubai or Singapore, can u pls suggest me the appropriate course to add proper value to my qualification. Also the value of CA practice to be considered in experience or not by the corporates

    • Hi Engee, I think your CA experience is great. I am not sure but I would think it applies to the Middle East, and probably also in Singapore. For the US, they don’t really recognize the CA qualification but I think people do look at your experience. Tax might be somewhat irrelevant, but audit and accounting… should be somewhat counted although people may question whether you know USGAAP.

      In terms of getting an extra qualification, the CMA does sound helpful. If you want to make sure, you can talk to the recruiters in various places and see if the CMA is valued in the companies you wish to work for. Regards, Stephanie

  • AMJAD KHAN says:

    Hello Ma’am,

    My name is Amjad Khan from India. I am 34 years old. I am MBA in finance (Part time) and a commerce graduate. Currently I am working for private bank in to operations since 8 years. I have total 12 years of work experience in banking and finance domain, which is mainly in to operations.

    In last few years my career is stagnant. I am not getting the desired growth and promotions, my parttime MBA degree is not valued by my employer. I have read about CMA-US qualification and promises good future prospects.

    I would request you to please analyze my career and let me know if doing CMA-US will be a boon for my career. After getting CMA-US can I get better jobs in audit firm or consulting firm. If not CMA-US then what would be the better option for me.


    Amjad K

    • Hi Amjad, my honest answer is that the CMA certification may not be a direct benefit for your career. There are several reasons:
      1. CMA is not as recognized in India yet (although I have lots and lots of candidates these past year or so)
      2. CMA is best for big global company, ideally with strong manufacturing arm. I am not sure if your private bank is global, but it is business services not manufacturing. IMA is actively promoting that the CMA is for all companies and corporations, but this is how I see its value for now.

      I’ve worked in banks and in finance for more than 10 years. In my opinion, certifications don’t help too much in this field. It largely depends on your workplace, but in general, your ability to work as a team, to take initiatives and take ownership is very important. Also, networking across department helps a lot. I see that you are in operations and for that one really needs to be able to lead and understand how the front line works to get promoted. See if you can work on these areas. Best of luck!

      • Amjad says:

        I really app your honest answer but still if I do and pass CMA will this open the doors for me in Gulf and middle East or anywhere outside India. I am seriously looking for a career and location change. If not CMA then which course is best suitable for me?


  • Azmat Tahir says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    My current job mainly focus on supply chain , procurement and pricing structures . I am planning to do CPSM from.ISM and please advise if IMA CMA can be good choice for me.

    Azmat Tahir

  • Isha says:

    Do I need to have an Mba or any other Master degree once I’ve passed my cma ?

  • Isha says:

    Do I need to have an Mba or any other Maters degree or professional certificate once I’ve passed my CMA?

  • Jaideep Dasgupta says:

    Is it true that cma usa has no value in terms of employment and even in the us it has very little value .Its cpa which has all value there.

    How well are the cma passouts places….i mean simply hving cma and not additional qualifictions like ca etc?

    • Hi Jaideep, I guess it really depends on which industry and what type of companies one is looking for. If it has too little value, IMA would have gone busted. The fact that IMA is expanding means that some people and companies do value this certification. The point is to know whether we as candidates are going to benefit from it. I have more thoughts here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-title-for-career/

      Regards, Stephanie

  • Elvie says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    This is Elvie. I gained my Bachelors degree major in Management Accounting from a university in Philippines, and have some years of experience in managing a Post office in Phil as well. Now I want to pursue a CMA certification in US because I will be soon moving there for good. I’ve read that IMA consider the degrees gained outside US if it’s from the list of accredited universities,. What if the university is not on the list, will there be chances that I need to take some more classes/credit hours in the US before i can take the exam? And if ever my transcript will be considered, can I purchase/download the study materials now for me to self study in advance? Thank you and hoping for your response to enligthen me more.


    • Hello Elvie, if your school isn’t on the list, what you need to do extra is to get a credential evaluation report. I believe IMA recognizes the agencies under NACES (the evaluator’s association) but please contact them to make sure. Typically the agency sends the report directly to IMA. Once you have that done, the rest of the procedure is the same as anyone else.

      You can certainly check out the review courses first. If you want to make sure the application is approved, you can wait until then to buy it, but you can compare and make use of the free trials while waiting. I list out the pros and cons of major providers on this page, and you can always click further to find out about individual courses: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

  • Jigar says:

    Hi… I am planning to migrate Australia. Does CMA (USA) will help me to find a job in Australia. I am wishing to enroll IMA.

  • jishna says:

    currently I am a degree student in Kerala. Im persuing my degree in business management. Recently i came to know about CMA but im not confident enough whether i could opt for the course as I dont have any previous experience in accounting. I cleared cost accounting paper in my degree. Am i eligible to appear for CMA? Does the course benefit me in future?

    • Hi Jishna, although the practical experience helps, you don’t need that to pass the exam. The IMA encourages candidates to take the exam when they are students (they have the student discount) so I guess they also consider those without experience is fine with the exam. If you know cost accounting, it’s even better.

      In terms of whether the certification is beneficial, it’s a good question but it depends on where you work. Please see if this post helps you make the decision: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-title-for-career/

  • Osman Asif says:

    Hi All,

    I am planning to pursue CMA from Symbiosis (Pune). Program Structure and the fees have convinced me to take this decision.

    Request you people to give your inputs on the same.


  • Anu says:

    Hi am Anu a final year student of b com . am confused about my further studies . will I be able to work in us or Australia if I am certified with CMA ? If yes what will be the salary per annum?

    • Hi Anu, I don’t think CMA qualification can land you a job in another country. Also, CMA Australia and CMA US are unrelated qualifications. I would try to get a job from a multinational company in your country first, do an excellent job and then request for internal transfer. This is likely the easiest way. Regards, Stephanie

  • Sooraj Vs says:

    I am planning to do CMA. I have almost 6 years experience in accounting/ auditing / finance etc. and I am working in a Big4 audit firm since 2 years.
    I wish to migrate to some other country from India. Can CMA help me to move abroad?
    How tough/easy it is to get a job in USA or Canda (etc.) with CMA as a globally recognized course? Also can you suggest which country might be the nost favouring towards a job migrant with CMA wualification?

    • Hi Sooraj, in my opinion it is much easier to arrange an internal transfer within Big 4. CMA is helpful but definitely can’t rely on a qualification to land a job in the US or most other countries. Just imagine whether you can rely on ACCA to get a job in the UK. Regards, Stephanie

  • faisal says:

    hi, I am currently doing a job in Riyadh(saudia arabia) and have completed my post graduatuion in finance. I just want to have a suggestion as to which course should I pursue cma or cpa also I am eligible for cpa, so which qualificationwill help me in future prospects. as I want to join banks or big companies

  • Venkat says:

    Is CMA (India) & CMA (US) same. Which is more acceptable. Also what about the fees for CMA (US)?

  • nasj says:

    good afternoon. I am a CMA board passer and currently hired in an Real estate developer company as an Project Accountant. these are my general duties:

    issuance of certificate of payment
    input milestone for billing
    Excess construction materials inventory
    Monitoring of owner supplied materials issued to contractors
    monitoring of disposal of scrap materials
    monitoring of farm and nursery transactions
    check of non sales receipts
    check of payroll billings of farm workers
    monitor check reconcile cash advance balances
    monitor charges to contractors
    housing repair monitoring
    regular review of purchase order with non moving balances
    regular review of non moving contracts
    constructions materials inventory cleanup
    checking of liquidations advances

    thank you. will appreciate your replies. pls dont just give me a link. need of direct answer from you.

  • Syed says:


    My name is Syed. I am planning to do CMA. I saw your sugestions on study materials. Based on that I am planning to go with Gleim. Is this discounted price applicaple only we go through your websites. Actually I received quotation from Gleim which is more than that. So if I go through your website I will get discount. Right ? Can you clarify.


    • Hi Syed, if you can get a better deal from Gleim, you should get that 🙂
      Or you can click through my site and see if you have apply further discount with your quotation. Regards, Stephanie

  • Eeshi says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Me n my cousin both are MBA in finance and have been working with retail banking. Work ex of 5 n 3 yrs respectively.
    Both of us have been into relationship management- meaning investments n sales.
    Both of us are looking for something better than sales. However, we are confused about CMA if it shall really help.
    Please guide us. Need to take a decision real fast. Though we both make good money, job satisfaction is zero.
    Please guide.

    • Hi Eeshi, switching from a relationship manager to a finance manager is quite a big shift. While the CMA title helps in longer term, it probably won’t land you a analytical job immediately. The best way, in my opinion, is to transfer within your firm. For example, is it possible for you to get into the investment team within your retail bank? You should have the background knowledge as the relationship manager.

      I understand you are eager for a change but this is probably something that cannot be rushed. It is a big change of career path and it’s worth the time and effort to think through it. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Sathish says:

    Hi Sir,

    My name is Sathish from Chennai,India.

    I am a B.com and MBA Finance graduate.

    Also I am a Lead Financial Analyst in BPO sector in Financial planning and analysis team.

    I recently applied for CMA inter. If i completed this, should i be stay in BPO sector or have to go into manufacturing companies. And will they hire me with considering my relevant experience? Since i am having 5 years of experience in this sector and getting 5 laksh per annum. Will i get how much pay?

    I need your help to make decisions.


    • Hi Sathish, are you referring to the Indian CMA? My site covers US CMA so I am not sure if I am able to answer your question correctly. In any case, hiring decisions generally do not depend on qualifications alone. Your interview skills, personality fit, previous experience etc also count. Regards, Stephanie

      • sushma says:

        Hello Stephanie,
        I have passes CMA(USA) in december 2014 both the parts in same window at first attempt with your guidance. I am from India and couldn’t find a job on CMA basis. Could you please guide me how can I approach. Thanks alot

        • Hi Sushma, first of all passing the exam is a great accomplishment, so be confident in yourself. On job hunting, did you get interviews? If you don’t, then need to work on the CV; if you do, then the challenge isn’t the CV but more on interview skills. If you let me know, we can discuss further. Regards, Stephanie

  • Katherine says:

    Hi Stefanie ,

    I just qualified the cma exam. I haven’t got the certification yet . As I do not have 2 yrs of work experience.

    How r the job prospects for CMAs in UK ?

    • Hi Katherine, I have to say in the UK, CIMA is probably more recognized. But there are certainly CMAs there. You can join the UK chapter and find out more. I would think it has more value-add if you work in a US corporation or if there is a boss who has a CMA as well. Regards, Stephanie

  • Abinaya says:

    HI…im planning to do US CMA from india …i jus want to knw the difficulty level of cma exams [both parts]……and is it sure i`ll land a decent job if i get through …

  • Shivani says:

    Can I do CMA after pursuing English honors ?

  • Revathy says:

    Hi Stephanie
    This is reva. Can u clarify the following:
    1) Iam a CMA from India, now I’m living in USA, how to get CMA in USA
    2) since I am already a CMA , do I have to write the exams.
    3) how is job opportunities in USA for CMA


  • itqa says:

    can i do phd after CMA? plz suggest me

  • Dhruv Khurana says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am at a stage which puts me in a situation asking what’s next?
    I am a CS and pursuing LLB from Delhi University.
    Now, I have two options, 1) pursuing LLM from abroad after 2 years from now (after having work experience in these 2years)
    2) opt for CMA course as that will give me a legal plus financial knowledge.

    The crux is whether CS,LLB,CMA will end me up in a better place than CS,LLB,LLM?

    Thank You

  • armaghan says:

    hi stepahanie
    what are exemptions cma is having
    as i come across ACCA has decreased exemptions for cma
    what cma is doing for international standing

  • Ankit says:


    I am from india and pursuing bcom(h)
    I wanted to knw whether i can opt for cma along with bcom or not
    if yes, then i have two choices, going for mba or cma
    Which one is beneficial??

  • Krishna says:

    Hi Stephaine,

    I am surprised to see that you are unaware of an understanding between ICWAI (India) and CMA (IMA).

    MOU with IMA
    ICWAI Signs MOU with IMA, USA
    The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), USA to enable mutual recognition and cooperation between the two institutes to develop the profession of Management Accountancy for the benefit of their members and students in the pursuit of excellence in education and training and continuing professional development in Management Accountancy.
    The MoU will enable recognition of the professional qualification of the respective Institutes. A member of ICWAI can get enrolled as a member of IMA USA and vice versa. However, an IMA member enrolling as a member of ICWAI will not be allowed to hold a certificate of practice to undertake any statutory work in India.
    The MoU will bring mutual recognition and global cooperation between members of ICWAI and of IMA. While continuing their longstanding relationship, ICWAI and IMA, besides mutual recognition of their membership, have agreed to assist and cooperate in conducting joint research, development of management accounting guidelines and standards as well as hold joint seminars, conferences and activities beneficial to both institutes, their members and students


  • Shilpa Rana says:

    Hi Stephaine
    I have done bachlor degree in commerce from Delhi university. I am pursuing CMA from ICAI.
    I want job in government sector of finance department. What should i do for it??
    Shilpa Rana

  • Christina says:


    I have been reading up on the CMA certification and from what I have understood, if you are an Indian who writes the exam in India your CMA qualification is equivalent to that of ICAI. You do not get the CMA (US) certication. However, if you pass the exam anywhere outside india you get a dual certification CMA(US) + ICAI. I do not know how far this is accurate and would really appreciate some clarity on this.

  • ali says:

    i am currently doing BTEC level 5 diploma. Will i be eligible for cma after the completion of my diploma.

  • shahbaz says:

    hi I am study Bachelor’s in nursing CMA certificate help me or not please guide me I will get the admission CMA or not please guide me this course help full my field or not because after Bachelor I will get the admission in MBA in such a hospital management I have no any idea

    • Hi Shahbaz, nursing to accounting is quite a big jump… in my opinion for a switch in career it might be easier to take an MBA or a master’s in accounting as you mentioned. Regards, Stephanie

  • Rajiv says:

    I am rajiv from india.i am intrested to do CMA.and am a b.com (computer application) graduate.i have 2 years banking expirence .But now am working as network support engineer for past 1 year.so i am confused that if i do CMA is it be helpfull for me.will this field change is a problem for me.Kindly request you to give a best advise.and share me the course details.


  • RAVI says:

    Hi ,

    Myself Ravi, planning to take CMA USA coaching classes in India . But plan to write exams in USA. After completing CMA USA, can I get CMA(ICWA) membership in India ?

    • Hi Ravi, I am not sure the exact definition of that… on whether by taking the exam in the US, you are considered “taking the CMA program outside of India”. It is better to double check with the IMA or ICWAI directly. I wouldn’t just rely on what the local coaching class is telling you. Regards, Stephanie

  • Anuradha gherira says:

    hi i am anuradha from mumbai, m working as an accountant in a pvt company from 5years, i have done B.com. want to update myself in accounts stream only please suggest me which course is eligible for me, also am an average student. Please suggest m so confused, somebody told me IFRS, somebody ACCA, n somebody CMA m so confused.

  • vamshi says:

    what is the job oppurtunities and salary of cma in india after completing us cma and us cma can dominate Indian ca given by icai….??

  • Spandana says:

    I completed cma in india…i want to grown up my carrier in canada…wat are the collateral agreements in canada to continue my carrier there???which subjects i have to attend exam there??pls tell me…

  • Jayaraj Chanku says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    This post is very much beneficial to the students. Thanks for sharing the importance of CMA courses. Loved this post.

  • David says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    We are a training facilitator who are providing online training on IMA certified CMA in the Middle East, APAC, US and UK. Could we use some of the contents from your web page for explaining the benefits of CMA to our aspiring delegates? Kindly email me at david.barn.12@gmail


    • Hi David, thanks for reaching out. We would appreciate if you could mention our website ipassthecmaexam.com (if online, please include a link) when you quote anything from our site. As long as you do that, you are welcome to use our content. Regards, Stephanie

  • DINESH KUMAR says:


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