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Why the CMA (and Not the CPA Designation)?

why CMA certificationCasey is our latest blogger from the US. He shares his progress on the CMA exam every Wednesday. This is his first post.

This week, I want to focus on the CMA and why this certification is important.

First, I want to discuss the great debate between the CMA and CPA. I talked with my manager concerning the CMA and the CPA in my previous job. It was his thought that the CPA was the only license/certification that had any merit.

When I discussed with him that the CPA does not fully cover some of the operational and analysis parts that the CMA does, he did not have an answer.

CPA and CMA: Complimentary and Not Competitors

I do not view the CPA and CMA as competitors but more as compliments to one another.

The CPA is great for auditing and attesting to financial statements, while the CMA will allow you to understand the numbers behind the P&L or Balance Sheet. Keep this in mind if you are considering one or the other.

For me, Part 1 has already paid off in my mind, regardless of my exam score. I have recently transferred to a small business (less than $10M annually) as their CFO. The company is a co-packer of beef jerky. It is essentially a manufacturing type of environment.

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CMA Benefits to My Career

During my first two weeks here at the firm, I faced some internal control issues and proper job cost accounting issues. Right off the bat, I could link back to the concepts hammered into my head during the study phase. And almost immediately, I had solutions to the problems.

Based on what I have learned from the CMA, I have seen big results because I can apply the concepts I’ve learned to my new job. These results have led to some success and, in turn, have led others in the company to want to take part in the success, too.

Knowing that the CMA concepts pay off motivates me to pass Part 2 of the exam. If you are studying for the CMA exam and are wondering why I am doing this, understand that you are essentially gaining the keys to success that you can implement in your work.

Change and success at any employer are the number one drivers for job satisfaction. As always, if you have any questions, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Note from Stephanie

I really enjoyed reading your story on how the CMA has an immediate and tangible impact on your career — not just on the financial side but also on equipping you with the right skills and, thus, job satisfaction. This is very important to have an enjoyable and successful career.

It’s also really interesting to get a glimpse of what you face as a new CFO as well. Thanks so much for sharing your first-hand experience!

About the Author Casey W

I'm Casey from the great state of Kentucky. I'm a huge outdoors and sports fan. I recently attained the position of CFO at a small but growing meat processing company. The CMA is one of my greatest achievements I hope to add to my list of accomplishments. If there are any questions about my posts or me feel free to leave a comment below.

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