If a person wants to become a CMA (Certified Management Accountant), then we can say that his decision is a great way to take his career to another level. The designation of CMA is recognized as the professional certification, which is granted by IMA (Institute of Management). That's why the credential will help you to access the opportunities in accounting and financial management.
The certified professionals in CMA have expertise in analysis and financial planning, including professional ethics, control, and forecasting. CMAs also work as corporate accountants, cost accountants, FPA managers, risk managers, financial strategists, budgeters, and decision-makers.
In general, the Certified Management Accountants work in the finance teams of both private and public sector companies and govt agencies. They can also summarize the financial and accounting data to help in understanding the performance of financial statements—besides, the CMAs function as the decision support for the board directors of the company.
Steps to become a CMA:
- The initial step is to attain the qualification for the CMA exam. The CMAs are classified into two categories: Educational & Procedural.
- Further, the requirements in the procedural category have to meet the CMA exam registration. It includes: Paying the entrance fee of the CMA program and should become a member of IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).
- The requirements in the educational category include a Bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institute (make sure that the University belongs in the accredited list of institutes). If you are not able to get a degree from the accredited universities, then you have to evaluate it from an independent agency.
- Finally, you need to request the original copy from the approved organization (like IMA).
Pay the Fee for the IMA Membership:
The membership in IMA provides leadership opportunities using networking tools and information in enhancing your career. You should activate the IMA membership by selecting a suitable one. There are many ways of obtaining membership: Through professionals by paying $245 and through the qualified students by paying $39 annually.
Join the CMA program:
Joining the CMA program and becoming an IMA member are two different steps. The program fee of CMA is not refundable, and the student has to enrol in the CMA exam only if he/she decides.
The fee details of CMA program:
- $250 for professionals.
- $180 for students.
After enrolling for the exam, you will receive an email for confirmation and then access the CMA support package. It doesn't include any study material. You have to attend the exam within 12 months after enrollment & have to complete the course within three years.
How to Register for the CMA Exam?
You can register for the CMA exam through Online, by mail or fax, over the phone and so on. The best way is to register online.
In the registration process, you will be asked to give the details such as which parts in the Exam you are willing and what is the testing window you are looking for.
The exam fee details are:
- $415 for professionals
- $311 for students
CMA Exam Pattern:
It is a computer-based exam which includes two parts:
- Financial planning, Reporting, Control, and Performance.
- Financial Decision Making.
It is a 4-hour long exam consisting of 2 sections:
- 100 multiple choice questions - 3 hours.
- 2 Essay questions - 1 hour.
The student must answer 50% of multiple-choice questions, and those must be correct answers then he/she is eligible to write essay questions. In both parts, you're no need to pass independently. All your scores determine whether you passed or not.
CMA Exam Testing Windows:
The student has to take the CMA exam in 3 testing windows.
- In between January to February
- May to June
- September to October
Note: The registration of the Exam should be done before 15th of the months February, June, and October. Only those who were registered before six weeks ahead are allowed for the abundant process time. For the exam testing location, please visit the Prometric Testing Center.
After you pass the CMA exam, one must have to complete some requirements in work experience before to be certified as a CMA. The candidate should also complete two years of financial management experience and management accounting. The work experience should be finished within seven years.
Ethical Standards and CPE:
Not only the CMA exam, but one must also complete the education in ethical standards and CPE to maintain CMA certification.
- 30 hours of CPE per year.
- On those 30 hours, 2 hours must be in ethical standards with IMA statements.
Maintain Your Certification:
You can maintain the CMA certification by paying the following:
- CMA Annual maintenance fee
- IMA membership fee
The above article gives you the procedure for becoming a Certified Management Accountant. CMA is termed as the valued global credential to boost the market value. Hope this article helps in knowing the details of the CMA exam.
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Author Bio: Anji Velagana is the Content strategist at Simandhar Education and has 2 years of experience in content writing and blogging. He loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for technology & educational content. Contact him on LinkedIn.